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by Patty Morell Bilhartz, M.D., M.P.H.

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Can you imagine a life without fear?

In many ways, love as we define it is merely the absence of fear. But, think about that statement for a minute. Can you imagine a life without the presence of fear? What would that look like? And, how could that possibly be achieved?

In my book, Love Trumps Fear: 8 Medical Insights to Heal Your Heart and Transform Your Health, I present the concept of “baby steps” as a concrete way to implement and integrate more love into our lives. The more love that is present in our individual lives, the less room we collectively have for fear to exist.

Let me give you a practical example of how one loving act can transform many lives. It happened to me a few weeks ago a few days after I finished the book.

I was attempting to order a product on-line from a major retailer, but their website was cumbersome and not working properly. I had rewards points as well as a coupon that I wanted to apply to my purchase, and I had previously joined the retailer’s “club,” which also entitled me to receive free shipping. Unfortunately, none of the above perks were showing up on my on-line order, so I called the customer service line.

The person who answered was one of the most compassionate customer service reps with whom I have ever dealt. He really was not that versed with the retailer’s website, nor could he quickly figure out how to apply my rewards, coupon, or free shipping perks, but because he was so incredibly kind, I dismissed the hassles of ordering on-line and instead felt compelled to extend patience and lovingkindness to him.

Ultimately, he took care of my order appropriately, and I complimented him on his excellent customer service despite the poorly-working website. By the time that I hung up the phone, the love that we had demonstrated to each other was so awesome that there literally was no room for the anger, frustration, and fear that could have easily existed under the circumstances.

I also like to think that our exchange of lovingkindness and compassion set into motion a priceless energy that we both were able to pass on to others with whom we came into contact that day. Love trumped fear between two strangers who were not even face to face, but having a phone conversation.

Do you have a similar story to share?

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