On the 16th of July 1962, my mom delivered my baby brother during a home birth – and I, all of 6 years old, stood in wonder at the gift of life which had come to us. After the ordeal of giving birth, my mom slipped into the contented sleep and woke, much later, to find me sitting upright next to the crib – nodding from time to time, I am sure – but upright none the less. I was afraid you see, that he may just go away.
Now, many, many years later, I meet with him for coffee and I see an adult, someone who is leading a rich life – in many ways challenging and in many ways joyful – but rich none the less, for every experience we have in our lives, whether positive or negative, makes us richer. This morning, as I entered a quiet space of gratitude and contemplation of that morning of discovery and wonder, so many, many years ago, I realized how I had grown in my thinking. I no longer sit nodding in his presence for fear of him leaving, but rather I choose to be present when we are together, enjoying every moment of our belonging, knowing that tomorrow is promised to no one and that, should either of us depart unexpectedly, I will have enough beautiful memories to celebrate, rather than live in fear that I will have regrets at the loss which I will experience should a loved one leave.
Since spending about an hour with my brother last week, these thoughts regarding fear and love have been visiting me regularly, as I am surrounded, during consultations, by people who are dealing with control issues. There are those who feel that they are being controlled by either their parents, their employers or their partners. Then there are those who are controlling, whether through emotional blackmail, perceived power, manipulation or the abuse of money as power. Suddenly it became very clear to me – we always tend to think that those controlling are those in power, whilst those being controlled are the weak ones. Just let your mind go, look at your circumstances and the circumstances of those around you……..
Let me remind you that there are only two root emotions in life – love and fear. I used to believe, as most of us do, that fear is the opposite of love – now, however, I have learnt that fear is the absence of love. This, I know, is a rather challenging thought for many, for the majority of people will tell you that their need to control others, and especially children or partners, stems from their love for these people. This is not so. The need to control another stems directly from the fear that the other will leave, will stop loving, will make decisions which may reflect as them not being the perfect parent or perfect partner. This fear originates in the weakness of the controller, the inability to know and love themselves as perfectly loving beings, who do not need to be validated by the presence or correct performance of another. From fear flows weakness, and from weakness all other negative behaviour, such as control, aggression, manipulation, anger, abuse originate.
Love is the one emotions that makes us strong, allows us to be present, to tenaciously cling to something, thereby enabling the person being controlled to stay, sometimes against terrifying odds. Sadly, in both instances, the scales are not balanced, for in both instances, the perceived power is used to the destruction of either self, as in the case of the ‘victim’ or of another, as in the case of the ‘perpetrator’.
Many years ago, whilst we were living in Botswana, our son Jacques was diagnosed with a disease that I still battle to pronounce, and I was told by the doctor that he needed a team of specialists and later, on the same day, by a friend that if he was not in hospital on the day, he would probably not live another 48 hours. For reasons which I will always consider Divine intervention, my husband, Lorenzo and I met my parents at the border from where they took him to hospital, where he was admitted to ICU by doctors awaiting his arrival. I, his mother, went home with Lorenzo, and only joined them at the hospital the following day. I have often wondered why in the world I did that, until the doctor said to me that he would probably have picked up on my stress and should he have stressed, it could have caused severe complications for him. That night, however, during meditation, Lorenzo and I were clearly shown that he would need to make a decision, on a soul level, as to whether he would leave or stay with us. The message was very clear and has changed the way I think forever : “If you give in to fear, you take away love!” Love and fear cannot co-habit, and the kind of abiding love that carries us through crises, no matter what that may be, is the Love of the Divine, flowing forth from a deep, abiding knowing that you are a child of God, from which grows the sure Trust that all is well in your world. This lesson has carried us through many trials since, helping us, whilst many others thought that we had totally lost it, to stay calm in the midst of some very trying times. The Buddhist say “We wake up as angels, but we fall asleep as demons because all day long we rush for security”. How true and how sad is this? Knowing that I would rob my child or anyone else I love of Love when I give in to fear, has kept me striving to walk with the angels, and although I will never deny that some interesting demons have come to visit, I know that I can comfortably say that they have not found a foothold in my life.
We have been given the gift of free will, and sometimes I think there is nothing free about that, for knowing that what we sow we shall reap, is a powerful reminder that action always precedes results. Once again, it is about fear and love. If we make decisions out of fear, we will manifest out of fear and continually try to control the outcome, whereas should we act from a place of love, we will always know that what is manifested will be for our highest good – even though it is not necessarily according to our perceived desires, and we will surrender to the flow of life.
We need to understand that the universe, and that includes the people in our lives, will respond in the same currency as we put out. Therefore, if you have spent your life showing those in your life your love by giving them money, rather than a part of you, then do not complain if, when they need you or your attention, they ask for money. You set the stage, you defined the currency. So often I hear people complain – especially parents – that their children only call them when they need money. These children are often heard to say that their parents never call them. That is so – these parents will not call them simply to ask how they are and to say that they love them – that is not their currency. The children therefore have never learnt to trade in another currency with this parent, and therefore will call asking for money, the currency of their relationship. What is even more astounding is that these parents will not teach these children to be financially self sufficient, for that would rob the parent of the hold that they have over the child. This is so sad, and it is even more so where this scenario plays out in relationships between adults. I have to admit that it saddens me – and sometimes makes me quite angry – a feeling which stems from the nurturer in me who feels powerless to make things better for people – when I see adults give their power away in the name of love. Never, where true Love is present, will you be expected to sacrifice who you are, will you be controlled or will there be a need for control, or will a relationship be anything but balanced and rewarding for both parties. People choose to give money, material gifts or security, simply because they fear that they are not enough. If they were to know themselves, they would know that their true essence is that of Love and the would not wish to share anything but that.
Your soul journey is to know yourself, your magnificence, your God-given beauty. That is what Love is. Fear is real, it is something that, when it works for us, strengthens us, but this can only be if it is our own fear. We may not live by the fear of others, for if we do, we feed their fear, their demons. Instead, we need to face our fears, accept and embrace them that they may work for us. Leo Rosten explained our personal relationship with fear as follows: “In some way, however, small and secret, each of us is a little mad… Everyone is lonely at bottom and cries to be understood; but we can never entirely understand someone else, and each of us remains part stranger even to those who love us… It is the weak who are cruel; gentleness is to be expected only from the strong… Those who do not know fear are not really brave, for courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined … You can understand people better if you look at them – no matter how old or impressive they may be – as if they are children. For most of us never mature; we simply grow taller… Happiness comes only when we push our brains and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable… The purpose of life is to matter – to count, to stand for something, to have it make some difference that we have lived at all.”
Know that when you live in true relationship with Spirit, you will not be controlled by fear, for you will know that nothing will happen to anyone unless it is ultimately for their highest good. Furthermore, the more you live your life in harmony with Spirit, the more you will know that the energy generated by fear is energy devoid of love – no matter what we think. We may think that we love our children and therefore we fear for them – this is not true. When we carry any fear in our hearts for our children, it means that we do not fully believe in love for, contrary to popular belief, fear is not the opposite but the absence of love. Therefore, when we fear for our children, we draw love FROM them in order for us to feel better – as opposed to our belief that we fear because we love them – and in drawing love from them, we rob them of the energy of love. If however, we stand in Love, in a firm knowing that all is well in our world and that we are loved beyond human measure, we cannot help but transmit this same energy to our children and all else whom we come into contact with, thus strengthening them as well.
May your days be blessed with Love and, if you come to celebrate the joy of another being born into your life, whether a day or a lifetime ago, may it be a celebration and a reminder to cherish every moment together without conditions or control – let it be an experience of knowing one another for who they truly are, not for what you wish for them to be – experience Love together, for then each person in your life is truly a gift. Know that anything or anyone who tries to lead you away from expressing who you truly are, is in fear and not in Love. I leave you with the gentle words and reminder of Saint Exupéry from his book Wind, Sand & Stars:
“Perhaps love is the process of my leading you gently back to yourself”
Following on the responses received regarding the above, I would like to add the following:
I wish to make it very clear that the material I send into the world, except when I expressly state that it is channelled material, comes from the centre of my being and very often from the edge of my sometimes somewhat questionable sanity.
So it was, too, with the musing regarding Fear and Love. Whenever I encounter issues that ‘push my buttons’ enough to motivate me to write about it, I will sit with it, chew it and try to learn from it – and from this space, write about it. It was interesting then to note how many people responded to that particular writing, some very positively and others with anger, sadness or with what I call passive aggression. Even worse, there were those who reacted towards their loved ones – the ones they believed had told on them! This was soooo strange to me, for there are many people whom I encounter in my daily traversing of life, and of those, the ones who responded were not even people whom I had specifically had encounters with. Amazing….
So, to all of you who reacted in a challenging way to that writing, I wish to say “Welcome home, Cinderella – and I wish you many hours of honesty and wisdom, for once you have walked through the mirrored doors of your soul, you can never again claim that you did not know……”