Do it for Love

A brilliant therapist nearing retirement once gave me a radical way of looking at life and emotions. She said that for most of her training and career she got it wrong when it came to feelings and her understanding and exploration of them. Only in her sixties did she discover that it all came down to only two emotions: love and fear.

She described these as two frequencies, explaining, “We are either operating on a frequency of love or fear.”

Whenever I am getting things mixed up and messed up; when I am frustrated, anxious, self-pitying, full of dread, riddled with resentment, doubt or despair, I know which frequency I am on: fear. It is then that I must step out of it, and nudge my weak and wobbly self up to a higher frequency: love. What a splendid relief when I move up to love: I become inspired, purposeful, energetic, hopeful, engaged, and filled with vitality.

Of course, every day presents situations and stresses that threaten to drive me down to that lower vibration of fear. I can’t control what is outside of me. But I have the power to take charge of what lies within me. I can choose not to dwell in fear. Love is much more powerful and life affirming. But will I let it fill me and fuel me? Will I let love be my food, my drink, my air, my words, my actions? That is a goal worth pursuing.

I heard an inspiring lecture about this kind of love years ago at UCLA. The presenter was Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles.  His greatest love was writing, and he dedicated his life to it. An enormous old talent, he entertained the audience with fantastical stories from his childhood. He told of his writing career being sparked, at age 12 in a magical moment when a carnival entertainer, Mr. Electrico, touched him on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, “Live forever!” In that moment he decided on a career as a writer, to do what was foretold: live forever.

He spoke with a soft gruffness; his words were like poetry. His theme was about work, career, and making good choices in them. “Do it for love,” was his repeated chorus. He told stories of how everything good that he had ever accomplished, he did for love. “Absolutely nothing else,” he said, “ … only for love. Not money, not ego, not fear, not fame, not to please someone … only for love. Whatever you do; do it for love.”

He told a poignant tale about being asked to write an article for Pro Football Magazine. The editor wanted an article written by the celebrated author. But on the topic of football, Bradbury admitted, he knew little and cared even less. He was completely blocked and unable to produce something. He feared he would not meet his deadline. Finally, he decided to watch a football game … and fell in love with what he saw. The block disappeared. He then wrote a beautiful poem that was published in the magazine.

Bradbury marveled, “I could only do it when I did it for love.  And that poem was so damn good, they put it on the cover of Pro Football Magazine; they sold more copies than ever … and it was the first time in history a damn love poem was on the cover of a football magazine!”  The crowd erupted in applause.

I have never forgotten his story.  On a certain level, this is the central message of nearly every religion, including Christianity. Love conquers all. Perfect love casts out all fear. God is love; love is God.

This is my goal: to do what I do for love, and nothing else … to live in love, not fear.

Please consider sharing any thoughts you have on this subject by posting a comment. I would love to hear from you.


  1. Great post Lisa. A great framework to think in and an excellent reminder of which motor to drive from. Thanks!

    • Thanks so much mat. Living this philosophy certainly requires daily maintenance and reminders! Now I’m wanting to check out your blog … (I didn’t know you have continued it).

  2. I’ve found that a fearful orientation can be unconscious, having shaped my habits and patterns of thinking. And when I become aware of these patterns and I consciously choose an orientation of love, though it may feel a bit risky, it’s also freeing and lightens my spirit.

  3. That’s it precisely Andrea! Fear arises so often unconsciously – but we become awakened and then can influence it, and transform our response to a higher level. This process is so empowering when we cultivate our capacity to move to the love frequency.For example, I can see the results in a dramatic way in regard to my approach to public speaking. Anxiety reigns until I harness love, and then the fear becomes irrelevant. I simply rise above it.

  4. To be honest, with public speaking, a little Propanolol helps too (for the truly impaired like myself). I’m not above taking a pill when there is a hardwiring issue!

  5. Great insight about our approaches to life. I loved hearing about Ray Bradbury! Thanks Linda

  6. Juan Stricklan

    Lisa, that was pretty heavy….to do everything for love, even my job? If I do everything as if I am doing it for The Lord my God, I can actually do it for love and because of love. This would take unswerving discipline which may be can be developed not in a moment but over time. I will have to let this all soak in some more. Thank again for sharing this thought, practice and lifestyle.

  7. …This is exactly what we were talking about as we wrapped up our day; glad you shared your blogs with me. Definitely, when one adds unconditional Love to the things we do/ situations, our inspiration and perspectives on the situation are far more optimistic than if we go in it with fears. Sometimes it’s hard to see or most importantly “Feel” the love for everything we do or in every situation we are in, but like others have noted, it’s something that we have to work on every day. Thank you for the inspiration. You have a new follower.

    • So true Brenda. Striving to “feel the love” in every situation can help us move through so many difficult things. Brenda, you have a warm spirit, a wonderful perspective, and I see great things for your career in social work. You will be a terrific agent of change as you “do it for love.’

  8. Where can I find a copy of Ray’s football poem?

    • Hi Greg. Sorry, I was not able to find the actual poem, only references to it and descriptions of it. I am curious to read it as well!

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