Culture has taught us that we don’t have to really care how our actions affect another. If we wound or break, encourage or have impact, it doesn’t really matter. We only have to be concerned about what we feel is right for us. How that other person reacts has no bearing on how I continue my life.
This disturbs me, this idea of ‘live life for yourself only’. Self importance, preservation & defense do an incredible disservice. Not only to the people around us – but in the end we’ve done the most damage to ourselves. By attempting to shore up our hearts, protect our emotions and deflect any personal responsiblity in life, we live a life out of fear. We allow our hearts and souls to tell us that it is better to keep someone at an arm’s distance and not really let them in. It makes life easier. Less complicated. That may or may not be true. But the one thing we don’t tell ourselves is that it makes life a lot more lonely.
Here’s what Fear tells us:
– Love isn’t worth the risk.
– Faux Love is easier than Real Love. Live life with the appearance of love but when confronted with Real Love, you’ll have a back up plan. You were never committed in the first place. Therefore your actions had no meaning & if the other person is hurt – that’s their issue.
– The time you’ll save yourself in the long run by protecting yourself can be used doing other things that won’t need as much of your heart.
All of those things might have a ring of truth in the short term. But in the long term, when fear has taken deep root and grown into an oak tree of protection of self, the lie is suddenly realized and it is more hurtful than one thought possible.
What, then, is the opposite of fear? Most would probably say courage. But I would disagree. Courage is the fruit of that which is diametrically opposed to fear: Love. And isn’t this the very crux of life? We fear opening ourselves up to love of any kind. It requires risk. Love stands in all its glory and asks us to put another ahead of ourselves. Love requires us to fall into a pool that looks dark, murky and full of the possibility of hurt.
However what we don’t realize is Love is amazing. It never fails. Love sees our frailty, our fears… Love comes to us and says:
– Anything that is worth something will involve some sort of pain, accept that.
– Your life will be the richer for allowing Me to work in you.
– Your life, actions, words will mean something when I am at the root.
– I don’t intend to let you be a doormat – true love creates accountability, committment and depth in life. Allow others to bestow Me on you and you will know a joy that is unexplainable.
– I (Love) truly do cast out all fear.
I have been guilty of listening to the first voice of fear so many times. Indeed, Fear is an old foe that entices me at every turn. That voice whispers to me that I would feel better if I had protected myself. I should have listened in the first place because if I had, I would be crying. My heart wouldn’t hurt. My perceptions of the world didn’t need to be rocked like this.
And then, like a gentle breeze after a tumultuous storm, Love comes and plants truth in the deepest part of me: You gain nothing when you risk nothing. Pain lasts for but a moment. Joy is in the transformation. Sorrow might last for a night or two. Though your heart may be broken, I will put it back together in a way that makes you further capable of greater love.
Arise My beloved… the darkness is lifting. Daylight has come.