Simply, Thank you.
The questions posed in the reading is, "Can you think of a time that you felt both been in love and fear?"
I wanted to say yes immediately, simply because my love has caused so much fear in my life. But then I realized that fear and love, even if closely linked, happen at two distinct moments. When I do operate out of love and let it stay in my heart, I operate with great strength and faith and a knowledge that I am connected to something bigger. I don't just believe in this connection. I feel it. Fear may come directly after, but it is a seperate moment.
I may begin to fear this faith that I have found, or this connection that I feel because it doesn't seem to be concrete. I can't physically show it to other people. I can't prove that I know my heart/body/soul are on the right track. But that fear comes from the logical part of my brain. The one who keeps thinking to make sure I am safe and in control.
So, no fear doesn't exist at the same time as love, but if we doubt it, doubt that we deserve it, doubt that we should be allowed to spread it or share it, doubt that we are capable of feeling are sharing it, fear sets in.
Once when I was freaking out over the Christian notions of sins during a meditation, I heard a voice say "Fear is the only true sin. It is the only thing that separates you from god, and your true self. Everything that we have categorized as sinful has it's roots planted in fear."
But if you wait until you can serve without any selfish motive, you may wait forever. Gandhi insisted that the best way to attain the ideal was to start on the journey: "If we all refuse to serve, until we attain perfection, there will be no service. The fact is that perfection is attained through service."
These words spoke to me. I spent two years of service as an AmeriCorps member. I started to serve because I felt that I needed to give back because others were doing so little. I started my service on a path of superiority. I looked at those not serving and was afraid to see myself. This service was out of fear. Then as I went along my service was from guilt. I was given so much, so I needed to give back. This service too was out of fear. As I went on I was told that I needed to have job skills to survive in the real world, and my service became a way to receive recognition and credibilty. I was serving still out of fear.
But as you can see my understanding and desire was transforming. It changed as I served. Near the end of my service. I stopped seeing myself as superior to my peers who "did nothing." I stopped feeling guilty for what I had. I stopped needing recognition. My heart started to lead my journey. I stopped letting the fear in and I began to realize why I was really serving.
It was the message that had been in my heart all along. It was simply muffeled by my fear. I was serving out of love. When I noticed this, and recognized it for what it was the fear started to stop confusing me. I was serving because this was how I wanted to live, connecting with others, finding myself in others eyes and stories. I was serving because I saw myself in others and others in myself. I was serving because it helped me to feel balanced and it made the world make sense.
I served because when I gave of myself a part of me was found, and I was able to watch another person discover themself as well. I began to see self-less service as the purest form of communication, the quickest way to connect with someone.
I'm still traveling on this journey of service, but Gandhi was right. It is transforming me. It is stripping away the fear. It is letting me see myself as I really am, and each day is making my service a little more pure.
[Hide Full Comment]
On Jul 27, 2011 Brandi wrote on A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted, by John O'Donohue:
It is Wednesday and 10:20 PM on the East Coast. In Santa Clara you are sitting together in silence at this very moment.
Today I work had an anxiety attack, simply because I've been trying to slow down and slow down those around me for weeks, and getting nowhere. I saw so much pain in these past few weeks that could have been avoided with honesty, calm, and authenticity. But in a fast past office and city this is a struggle to create. Like so many have said, "How did you know?"
The truth is, I know how you know :)
I will continue to follow the little pieces of the puzzle that are bringing me closer to myself and to the Universe. It's all a bit of a Metta-morphosis, as my hermano Pancho might say. I will continue to listen and be grateful for the "unintended" support and for my family near and far.
Light and Love