“What is love?” “The total absence of fear,” said the Master. “What is it we fear?” “Love,” said the Master.”
~ Anthony de Mello
Often, in my musings on life and the nature of it, I am consistently reminded that all of the Masters have pointed toward love.
This concept of Divine Love, of God, from which all things are begotten and to which all things return, is such an abstract concept for the thinking mind. I think this is the truth, yet I have yet to experience that all-embracing light that the mystics careen over.
I know today that I am afraid of it.
You see, I am so very attached to my desires, to my wants. I identify a great deal with them, and in a certain respect they provide a comfort to my imperial ego. I am attached to the idea of romantic love, because it is safe. Its concept is warm and alluring, because the belief system that it engages with is one that states that I will find a partner and that partner will provide me with a certain amount of completeness—that partner will in fact, in some way, fill in the hollow places of my being.
Love—the kind that encapsulates everything, that causes our cells to buzz with life—is not safe.
God is not safe.
God is a fire that burns in a spiral throughout everything.
When I begin to cultivate that space, and to live through my heart and touch that infinite window, I become afraid. I am afraid, because I sense that God is pulling me into a world in which I have no reference point.
My ego says that at least my habits, albeit toxic, are familiar.
The Mystery is going to burn away all of the shadow structures of my sick thinking. It is going to burn away my codependency; it is going to destroy all of the belief systems that I have set in place that keep me coddled in my comfort zone. It is going to set me down in the middle of the desert, turn me loose and tell me to find freedom.
It is going to make me human. It’s going to call me out of my slumber. It’s going to bring me to life.
This all seems so heavy. Even writing this I can feel the pressure building around me as to the implied vastness of this task. So I breathe. I go within. I thank God for her Grace. I thank her for the awareness that I need not fret, that I don’t have to do this all in one day. I thank her that she leads me slowly, because I am her child.
I am afraid in moments and brave in others, and throughout all of that she smiles, leading me through life as my heart expands.
Involved as I am in studying various religions and spiritual paths, I know I can become so overwhelmed and frustrated with the path. For some reason, I forget to surrender. This has been the game changer for me.
I cannot rush my enlightenment, my growth, my depth. I can only stay present for it. I have to surrender to the process that God is taking me through. I have to trust that process, and I have to feel the fear, because repressing the fear only causes me to travel around the base of the mountain.
I have to turn my relationships, my finances, my lovers, my job, my writing, my practice, over to God.
It is in this space of surrender, of letting go, of not trying to control or manipulate, that I am freed from the committee in my mind. The committee that is trying to manage my enlightenment. I cannot attain something that I am not able to possess.
Let go. Let go of the need to control. Let go of the ideas of how life is supposed to be. Let go of the outcomes. Leave those to God. When we step into that space of surrender, doors begin to open, experiences come to our life that we couldn’t have imagined.
We join in partnerships with lovers, not out of needing to feel completed, but rather because they become mirrors that reflect back to us the areas in which we need to grow.
One day you will say that you love them, not because they completed you, but because they loved you while you learned to love yourself. They loved you while you learned to surrender to an experience that is bigger than the both of you. It may last a year, or a lifetime, but you will know that with them you stepped out into the unknown and learned to let go of all of the bullsh*t that kept you suffering.
We will realize that it was our fear of love that kept us from experiencing all that love really is.
Author: Jacob Crisp
Volunteer Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Toby Israel