This article can be read without reading the previous article called: LOVE. But it might be useful to go back and read it if you want to get inspired after reading this article. Part I was about a selected few instances where self-love knocked at my door. The purpose was to encourage you to reflect on how self-love knocks at your door in your life.
The purpose of this article is to go a step deeper: We each have a role to play in the evolution of humanity and the only way to play it is to recognize what our purpose is. That is a form of awakening. It is happening… revolutions in Egypt, Libya, Wisconsin, and then more recently Occupy Wall Street and all the other occupy that followed. It reminds me of Rosa Park, Martin Luther King, and you! We may think that it is too far away to try and figure it out, so we put it aside, and focus on material things and needs. We fall back on our responsibilities: feeding our family, paying our bills, taking much needed vacations, etc… But living our purpose is not as far away as we think. And routine life takes us there anyway… but it may take much longer and we may endure traumatic life experiences to wake us up: relationships break up, jobs loss, bankruptcy, accidents, terminal illnesses, etc., etc.
Where to Start
Trauma is the result of fear of love. Wars are the result of fear of love. Oppressions of all sort are the result of fear of love. This shows the extent of the problem for humanity as a whole! The suffering in each of our lives is the result of fear of love. We each experience some love and we seem easily satisfied with a little, so little, that we accept or fight anything that comes our way. We are so much more than we think. We are infinite. That means infinite love is available to us. But we often live as though we don’t believe it.
We cannot see our purpose if we are scared of love. We may not realize that our struggles come from fear of love. We may not see that we are scared of love or the extent to which we are. So the first step is to see where in our lives our own fear of love expressed/expresses itself.
Trauma and Oppressions as the Result of Fear of Love
Perhaps this statement is not as obvious to you as it is to me. When two people are hurting each other, what might happen if one of the two suddenly realizes that the other is hurt and is scared of not being lovable? What might happen for instance if, in the moment someone is about to be raped/tortured/abused, the potential victim gets in touch with her/his own sense of being lovable? Imagine that s/he talks softly to the about-to-be-abuser and says: “No… listen… you do it all wrong… this does not feel good… let me show you…” (or something more directly appropriate to the situation, or simply train oneself to forgive if there is nothing that can be said). That would be a dramatic unexpected turn of event, wouldn’t it? To get there, the potential victim has to step out of her/his fear of love. I was describing this scenario to one of my students once and she told me that a friend of hers had done exactly this with a potential rapist. The man, who was about to rape her, ran away. He could not handle it!
So underneath trauma and oppression is a dance where fear of love is being expressed. If it is seen for what it is, if awareness comes, there is a chance that feeling lovable can replace the fear of love and for the process of healing to take place.
I think we each live with trauma, more than we acknowledge. We hide from it and protect it because of shame or because we are scared to look into it because we seem to be stuck if we let it overwhelm us. I think that the solution is to see the fear of love that is being expressed in our painful stories. We need to see that that fear is not real, that it is illusion… and to see instead the radical realization that the beauty of love is the only thing that is real and life transforming. It comes from a shift in perception. We just need to try that shift, over and over, as life events knock at our door, until one day it is there and we wonder why we could not see and feel it before. It had always been there!
Enlightenment, Here and Now… Really?
Fear of love in the world affects all of us. The result is, as the Buddhists say, that we are asleep but we don’t know it. One day some of us wake up, like in Egypt, and Libya, and Wisconsin… and it helps the rest of us wake up if we let it touch us. But until then we live unaware of our own fear of love, of the infinite love available, of the full importance of love and compassion in our own life. We live unaware that enlightenment is here and now… And we live waiting, longing, striving… not seeing that we already have the key to bliss. The key is two fold: 1) see the fear of love in your heart, and 2) see how it keeps you from knowing yourself. And then simply open yourself, empty from hurt, stories and beliefs you thought were yours, and dive into the unknown infinite love.
Yes, it takes practice, but when you see and feel it, you realize you had the key all along!
We each need each other. We each have something that needs to be shared with each other: art, research, celebration, humble sharing of power, uplifting acts, kindness, love, words, hugs, touch, books, documentaries, sharing our stories, connecting, forgiving, taking the street, speaking up, holding our authentic space… Our authentic sharing is our true nourishment for each other! Christianity represents this with the body and blood of Christ in the form of the Eucharist and the wine. Sikhs share the ‘Karah Parshad.’ I am sure other traditions have something equivalent. But it is no longer enough… we need authentic nourishment from each other.