“Love Is Letting Go of Fear”: 12 Lessons on How to Love, Not Fear

12 Lessons on How to Love, Not Fear

Written by psychiatrist Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D, the book “Love Is Letting Go of Fear” offers easily applicable guidelines on how to transform our emotions and thoughts from fear into love.

It is a timeless reminder of the transformative power of love and the importance of overcoming fear in order to live a more joyful and fulfilling life.

Published in 1979 this highly successful self-help book in its own right was deeply influenced by the teachings immersed in “A Course in Miracles”. At around just 150 pages, this concise book contains 12 lessons on transforming our mindset that can easily be applied in daily life. 

In fact, that’s what this book recommends. Jampolsky prescribes taking on each lesson a day as a format for constructing thought patterns.

One lesson is focused on every day until completed and then the process is repeated until these methods of turning thoughts of fear into love have become ingrained in the mindset.

Ever since its inception, the method has served as popular self-help and spiritual guidelines to achieving inner peace and happiness.

The Instructions:

1. Starting with the first lesson, every morning spend some time repeating the lesson title and by conjuring up where it can be applied to situations in life.

2. Set your intentions by asking yourself if you want to experience inner peace or conflict, ie. live based on fear thoughts vs. those sourced in love.

3. Refer to the lesson repeatedly throughout the day, by writing it down on an index card and apply it to every situation that arises. 

4. Meditate on the lesson once again in the evening. 

5. Repeat this process every day with each lesson that follows.

6. When the 12 days are up, start a new 12-day series all over again and from the beginning until you find you no longer need it because the concepts that lead to transforming fear into love will have become ingrained. 

The 12 Lessons in Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky

The 12 Lessons in Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky

Lesson 1:  All That I Give is Given to Myself

Giving love is how one gets love. The process of giving love puts one in a state of love. Instead of seeking someone else’s love, give love to yourself and others. When you grace others and yourself with love and understanding those qualities become a part of you. 

“The law of Love is that you are Love, and that as you give Love to others you teach yourself what you are.” – Jampolsky

Lesson 2: Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness

“Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions,” says Jampolsky, who likens anything that is not derived in love as a misperception.

Forgiveness is choosing to not interpret situations as being harming to ourselves or harmed by another.  Forgiveness is choosing to not hold on to hurt by replacing it with compassion. 

Lesson 3: I Am Never Upset for the Reason I Think

This lesson draws on the notion that our thoughts determine our reality and not otherwise. Our thoughts dictate how we perceive things and this lesson aims to pinpoint that the reasons why we may be upset are rooted in fear.

As the previous lesson puts forth: fears are merely a misinterpretation and through forgiveness, empathy and understanding we have the capability to change those thoughts into ones based on love. 

Lesson 4: I Am Determined to See Things Differently

This lesson is about committing to the practice of seeing things differently.

It is setting the intention to focus our attention on the present moment and not get wrapped up in the automated thought patterns that reel us into the pain of the past or wariness of the future.

The way to do this is to change our thoughts in the present to those of love and not fear and this lesson serves as the mantra to remind us.

Lesson 5: I Can Escape the World I See by Giving Up Attack Thoughts

Attack thoughts are those defensive thoughts we develop in the belief that others are trying to harm us. They are thoughts such as judgment and assumptions.

When we give up holding on to these types of pervasive thoughts then we no longer perceive things as being invasive.

This means that attack thoughts originate in our minds and if we stop thinking them, then we will no longer feel attacked.

Jampolsky advises that the way to get out of this mindset is to tell yourself the following: “I want to experience peace of mind right now. I happily let go of all attack thoughts and choose peace instead.

Lesson 6: I Am Not the Victim of the World I See

This lesson draws on the concept that we are the victims in and of our own projections. We create the world we see and thus we can choose to stop perceiving ourselves as victims of it.

Just as we can rewrite our pasts from the perspective of love, we can choose to see the present from the lens of love, which is how things truly are.

Lesson 7: Today I Will Judge Nothing That Occurs

Today I Will Judge Nothing That Occurs

As Jampolsky succinctly states: “Not judging is another way of letting go of fear and experiencing Love. When we learn not to judge others – and totally accept them, and not want to change them – we can simultaneously learn to accept ourselves.”

We can perceive others as either sharing love or needing love and we can extend love, empathy and acceptance rather than criticism or condemnation. 

Lesson 8: This Instant Is the Only Time There Is

If there is anything in this world that is a constant, it is that the present moment is our reality. We can choose to acknowledge this fact and do everything in our power to enjoy it.

Having awareness and feeling fulfillment in the now is in essence inner peace.

To achieve this state, we must relinquish the thoughts of the past that negatively affect our present and instead draw on images of a future created through thoughts rooted in love. 

Lesson 9: The Past Is Over It Can Touch Me Not

Holding on to fear from the past inhibits us from experiencing love in the now. By doing so, we allow our pasts to continue to harm us.

The past is in the past and we do not have to carry it with us into our thoughts in the present or projections of the future. Instead we should allow the present to just unfold as a welcomed opportunity.   

“To let each second be a new birth experience is to look without condemnation on the present. It results in totally releasing others and ourselves from all the errors of the past. It allows us to breathe freely and experience the miracle of Love by sharing this mutual release. It allows for an instant healing where Love is ever present, here and now.”– Jampolsky

Lesson 10: I Could See Peace Instead of This

We can choose to feel peace instead of negative emotions despite the circumstances.

We have two choices of what to feel: love or fear, expressed in this context as peace or conflict. It is in our power to choose to look through the lens of love and create peace versus conflict, which is a focus on fear.

We do not need to let external influences dictate us to feel fear and we can rewrite any scenario as a story of love. If we change how we see things, then as the popular saying goes, the things around us change.

Lesson 11: I Can Elect to Change All Thoughts that Hurt

In this lesson, Jampolsky implores readers to use their willpower to choose thoughts that help us and not harm us.

We can use our will to choose thoughts of peace, compassion and love over conflict, attack and fear. 

Lesson 12: I Am Responsible for What I See

The final lesson in the series is simply acknowledging that we are responsible for how we perceive our reality.

“I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that happens to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.”

Love Versus Fear

The core message of the book revolves around the idea that love and fear are opposing forces.

According to Jampolsky, love is the essence of our true nature, while fear is a learned response that distorts our perceptions and creates suffering in our lives.

The book teaches how to let go of negative emotions by using forgiveness, compassion, and the power of positive thinking as tools for transforming fear into love.

Jampolsky proposes that by letting go of fear, and as a result suffering, and instead embracing love, we can experience inner peace, happiness, and fulfillment.