FEAR | UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
There is a comfort in love. It will make a thing endurable which else would overset the brain or break the heart . . . .
~ William Wordsworth
We humans have a way of complicating the simplest things. Love is one of the things we have a tendency to over-complicate. We stack so much unnecessary crap on top of the concept of love that it becomes something we might prefer to avoid, even when we know it is the very thing we need.
Perhaps, it is because there is always so much going on inside us. Some of it, we understand. Much of it, we don’t.
We are each a part of the Great Mystery, which insists upon keeping its secrets. The exact formula for loving and being loved unconditionally seems to be one of those secrets. We learn the process through trial and error only; and we never stop learning because the process is always asking more of us.
While it may seem there are some who have all the answers to this and other secrets of the Great Mystery, it only seems that way. Spiritual personas run rampant in this age of rapid evolution. And appearing to have all the answers is what makes gurus gurus and the famous famous. Nonetheless, personas are only personas: illusions.
We would all do well to remember that everyone who is still here being human is still here being human. There is always more for everyone to learn, always further to take an evolving consciousness. No one here has all the answers.
We can only share what we have learned thus far; and that is always my goal when I speak to you. All of my lessons have been lessons of the heart. And my greatest challenge in this lifetime has been to learn what it means to feel Safe & Loved. This is a short summary of what I have learned so far.
What is most honest and most authentic about us lies always in our hearts. The soul speaks to each of us through the heart; and it leads us always into the purity and comfort of love.
Unfortunately, however, we are not always strong enough or wise enough to follow the heart’s direction.
There are a lot of obstacles that get in the way. The ego, whose sole purpose is to protect the separate identity that makes “you” you and “me” me, can go to great lengths to drown out the heart’s calling. It does so in an effort to protect us from pain; but, even more so, to protect us from a loss of our separate identity.
The ego knows that unconditional love means unity. Unity frightens the ego because it does not understand how an individual identity can reside in unity. So it fights to protect what it knows best, separateness. The ego tells us that we must remain separate to remain safe.
If I love you with my whole heart, will you hurt me? Will you take something I need from me? Will you exploit my weaknesses? Most importantly, will you somehow take away my identity . . . my sense of separateness?
Who am “I” if I allow you to become a part of me . . . if I accept you completely into my heart? What will happen to “my life” if I choose to share it with you?
Is it safe to let you in? Will you be enough for me? Will I be enough for you? Am I “enough” – period?
These are the questions that the strong, healthy ego asks before it steps aside and allows the heart to do its work: to guide us into the sweet comfort of unconditional love. If we never entertain the questions, we will never find the answers. We will never know the unity of unconditional love.
Sometimes, we are conscious enough to recognize what amounts to the ego’s survival instincts. Sometimes, we are not. We need to be gentle but determined when we are learning what it means to love and to be loved unconditionally: to feel Safe & Loved.
The truth is that most of us do not feel safe in this world. We don’t feel accepted for who we really are inside or for the choices we make in our lives. We aren’t sure it is safe for us to be fully and completely ourselves. For some of us, there is a long history of trauma and pain: good evidence that even love cannot be trusted. It is a self-perpetuating cycle of negative beliefs and the experiences we create from a place of distrust. Our beliefs dictate our actions and govern our choices, thus creating our experiences in Life.
Consciously or unconsciously, we might believe that separateness is better than unity: that separateness keeps us safe. That belief interferes with our ability to love and to be loved unconditionally, and we continuously experience what feels like rejection. It is only with an open heart that we can either give or receive love unconditionally.
When our heart is open, loves flows in and out easily. When our heart closes, we push others away. In return, they push us away. So it is that we create a cycle of acceptance and rejection that swings as rapidly as the revolving doors of our hearts. We vascillate from the joy and comfort of love to the pain and isolation of rejection. The evidence mounts, and we become more and more convinced that the only way to stay safe in this world is to stay separate . . . to love and to be loved sparingly.
To ease the pain of the separateness we have created for ourselves by distrusting love, we turn to drugs, alchohol, religion, things, or busy-ness: anything that might distract us from the loneliness of our self-imposed isolation. And, although it hurts to live this way, we keep doing it because we aren’t sure how to do it any other way.
There is, however, another way: the way of the open heart. When we are brave enough to listen to our heart, to lead from our soul, we discover new possibilities. We find ways to love ourselves and to love others from a place of openness and honesty. We become more transparent, with all our strengths and all our flaws. And we trust that our authenticity is what will keep us safe in this world, not the walls we have built inside ourselves.
It isn’t an easy thing to do, to trust love . . . to feel safe opening up to another human being. After all, everyone has an ego (a separate identity). And their ideas about love and what it means to love might not match ours. They might hurt us, even when they do not intend to do so. Or, worse, we might hurt them, even when it’s the last thing we want to do. There is a lot of risk in loving, and wanting to be loved, unconditionally. The way of the open heart asks so much of us that is sometimes hard to give.
Our pride can get in the way. If we give more love than we receive, we can feel the stinging pain of humiliation: the ego’s cry for a return to safety. But pride is a taker. It will take from us everything we love, everything we hope for . . . if we allow it to do so.
I’ve learned all of this from my own experiences with fear and love. I first began experiencing trauma while I was still in my mother’s womb. She was pushed down a flight of stairs while she was pregnant with me. And the long series of traumatic events that followed throughout my childhood made the notion of feeling Safe & Loved nothing more than a hope I carried in my heart. Fortunately for me, I have a very large heart and the capacity to carry with me the greatest hopes.
After many years on my own journey of transformation, I have finally gained a sense of clarity about what it means to feel safe and what it means to be loved. I have finally reached a level of self-awareness that allows me to choose what I will and will not trust, from a place of knowing what my heart tells me is true and following that truth every chance that I get. This initiation into intimacy is painful at times and magnificent at others. Like all initiations, however, it is transforming me.
What I have found is that the more I am willing to trust love, the more trusting love becomes. The more I am willing to live with an open heart, the more I feel Safe & Loved in this world. As my old beliefs about love and safety pass away, new experiences arise from a place of infinite possibilities. It inspires me onward, into the expansiveness of love unjudged.
I pray every single day that my Creator will instill in me the strength and courage I need to keep moving forward on the path of the open heart. I pray this same prayer for you, for all of us.
Today, I want to encourage you to consider what feeling Safe & Loved might mean to you and your life. What would your life look like if you knew that you could trust love? How much love would you like to give away, if you knew it was safe to love whole heartedly?
What will it take for you to feel Safe & Loved? Are you willing to do your part to make those closest to you (and maybe even strangers) feel Safe & Loved in your presence?
How can you move forward on the path of the open heart?
Consider these questions and consider them well, my friend. For you are here for love.
We all are.
© T. Sloan Rawlins
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