“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.
Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.
Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”
– Marianne Williamson –
It sounds like such fluff. Such crap. Whimsy. I was reading through some old journals and I thought, who is this person. I recognize her. I remember her, vaguely. But like a dream that’s faded, or like an aging town, it’s only superficially recognizable. I can’t really make you out over the distance. I see you, but I’m not sure if it’s you. Your posture is the same, but your walk is different.
It’s always fun to look back and see what you knew then but didn’t acknowledge. It’s fun to see the words pop out of the pages and see, I knew it then. There’s nothing I know now that I didn’t know then. I’ve known it all, all along. Isn’t that strange?
But if that’s true then how am I different? How have I changed? I think I’ve found my meaning. The meaning has become more apparent to me. I’ve faced my fears, and I’ve survived. I think…I think there’s nothing you can do to me that hasn’t already been done to me. There’s nothing to experience I don’t already have an idea of. There’s nothing I can’t imagine. The worst that can happen will happen but I’ll still recognize myself. I’ll still have myself. I don’t know about spirituality. But I know about my gut. And I know when things make sense and when things feel right, I’m at peace.
I guess that girl– she was afraid, but I’m not. It seems silly, how afraid she was to acknowledge her fear, to meet it head on. To see it for what it was. To give it a name and a seat and a plate of food. The only way to get rid of your fear is to nourish it. To let it hang on for a little while. I called it a lot of other things, but never by its proper name. I was eager to confuse it for anything else.
Confucius says, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”
I think by letting it be and letting it develop I was able to finally push it aside. By working with it and in it I was able to leave it behind. I had to let myself be afraid though. To pretend to be unafraid, to pretend that anything I was feeling was coming from a place other than fear…that was me being young, naive, precious. To be able to say now, I’m afraid. This is what’s happening to me and it’s freaking me out, well, that has been significant for me. That has made all the difference.
I don’t know why I thought I was so special before to think that I wasn’t suffering from fear, to think that I could rise above and avoid it unlike all the rest. To think that my experience was so complex it was beyond the usual terms and understandings. We are not unique. We do not exist in silos.