ON FEAR AND HARM: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WEARY PARTS OF MYSELF
To My Dearests:
I know you have been feeling scared lately and I want to soothe you. Or rather, I want you to feel freer - to feel confident walking alongside the fear, whether or not it’s pestering you at the moment. I also love you, and I want you to trust me, so I don’t want to lie to you. The world can be a scary place, because living beings will always be vulnerable - we bruise, we bleed, we break, and we are susceptible to predators. We get old, we get sick, and we die. I can’t really protect you from all of these things. I, too, am vulnerable. That is how we were born, and that is how we will stay. Incarnate, bound here in this body, we are fragile. Unbound, connected into the energy of all living things, we are quite literally unbreakable. I want you to know you are so much more than the body holds. And, that the body does bind us. It is important to understand the interplay between them, and trust that you are neither, but both. You exist on a spectrum between them, depending on how you see yourself at the moment. Your material experience will be forever changing; and your spiritual experience is forever unchanging - yours, and everyone’s. In the realm of the formless all is equal. Or, more accurately, in the realm of the formless all is.
It is ok to feel scared, and at times I wish I could take that away for you. But the thing is, that wouldn't help. What will help is when you learn that you can tame the beast at the end of the leash. That it is you who has the handle on the lead, not the beast which has a handle on you. And the handle is not in controlling and fighting. The handle is in the accepting. Sometimes fear gets aggressive - that’s what all fear is, when it isn’t actual imminent danger. It thinks it has to roar loudly to protect you. But it isn’t really that protective, in the end. And when you see that, its outbursts become less compelling. They get less scary and more run of the mill. This is the transformational point that you would miss if I took the fear away - if I sheltered you from the experience. You would never learn how to engage with the fear, nor come to know that you are capable of expanding to hold it all. That your strength lies not in outrunning the fear, but in learning to understand, and walk beside it.
And still, there is real harm. I will work hard to keep you safe. I will do all that I can do, because I love you, and you deserve a safe world in which to play. But if I was under the delusion that I could protect you from every harm, you would come to believe this delusion - that you can protect yourself from every harm. And when we believe we have that kind of control, we can get swallowed up there. Sheltering yourself against the world will lead you to a small life - full of fear, and confusion. This isn’t what I want for you. That kind of life is the smallest form of torture. Fortresses morph into prisons without the occupant ever understanding the difference. This can take decades to even come to understand, let alone dismantle.
Loves, you don’t need to spend time over-protecting yourself against the world. Of course, I want you to be sharp - the fact that we do not have ultimate control is also not an invitation to be frivolous. Life is a precious gift, and we want to properly care for it. Life is also a grand adventure and, by the end, we want to have sucked the marrow from the bones. I want for you, a life that is well loved - which is a life that is well lived.
It is important to know that when people cause harm, they do so because of themselves - because of confusion in their own minds, not because of other people, and not because of you. Life is kind of like a playground without supervision. Understand that I want you to play on the playground, if you want to. You might get hurt. In fact you probably will. You will trip, and fall. You will play and get weary and slip from the monkey bars. Someone might push you around, or call you names. Hear this: That doesn’t have anything to do with you, and you are worth more than believing that any of that can stop you. Your material form, and its offshoots, are fragile. Beyond the material, your spirit is whole and well - and it always will be. You are so much more than you know. You are ever-expanding, infinite forms of Love. Getting in touch with the expansion, and the infinite will always help. Identifying with the idea that you are small, separated from the universe, from the land, from nature, from life itself, from me, from god… this tendency is par for the human course, but it does not help.
The truest protection I can offer you, and you can offer yourself is unconditional love. I will be here to hold you, and to heal you. Through that process, you will learn how to hold and heal yourself, and then how to hold and heal others.
When you come to me, you can try to fall apart, and I will remind you that you are whole - there is no “apart” and you can’t go there. It is the collective habit of this society to see fragments in what cannot be fragmented. This is the biggest fallacy of our whole human psychology - a collective delusion. Because of this, it will be hard to remember your innate strength, and wholeness, but I will remind you, time after time. Eventually, you will remember it yourself. But still I will be here. Then, we can remind each other.
It is also the collective habit of this society to believe that some people are worth more than others; neither is this true. Zoomed out to the widest lens, we are all humans having a human experience. None of us is “special”. You are worthy, and whole, because we all are. You are vast and expansive, because we all are. Every. Last. One. And you mustn’t forget that too. You aren’t strong because you’re unique, you’re strong because we are all strong - and we can call each other to our highest purpose through this understanding. If you ever start to feel like a quality is setting you apart from others, this is just Ego. Anything you are is accessible by the whole. There are no chosen ones. This is a misunderstanding that even some dear Wisdom Traditions get wrong. Don’t fall victim to this very subtle seduction.
It will also be hard to look around and see Spirit sometimes. Our society is founded on structures of dominance, which in turn create intimate violence - of self, and between others - sometimes by just existing inside of them. Some of us aren’t taught that we are Love - and in fact, we are taught to cover up our brightest light. If you don’t have someone who can reflect that Love back to you, you may never know. So I want to make sure you know. Love - True Love - not the flimsy, conditional, misunderstood stuff of movies - is the thing that will protect and save us all. True Love both deeply accepts everything, and also roots out harm. But most authentically, True Love is an inside job - it starts with you. It starts with us. Let gratitude keep you afloat. Use your clear seeing to understand others. Do what you can to support clear seeing for them. This is the glue that binds. This is the truest protection, and, let it go if it doesn’t work. True Love is not self-sacrifice. If someone else doesn’t know your worth, or their own, making yourself smaller will only confirm their delusions. Stand tall, shine bright, and call people in to join you. Be a living reminder of who we all really are. Love the folks who consent, and be patient with those who are weary or downright incredulous and angry. It’s not your job to persuade them, but neither do you have to dismiss them. We are all that person sometimes, and for good reason.
Lastly, Life doesn’t move at the speed of you. Life moves at the speed of the collective - the LARGEST collective - on the scale of the Universe. Life IS the speed of the collective, and you have to move at the speed of Life. You are excitement embodied when you connect into the Deeper Knowing. You can’t muscle something that needs to be nourished. You have to practice patience, and understanding. Try to be content to follow the thread for a little while. You will always be a leader, you don’t have to practice that bit. Practice patience. Practice following. Practice seeing where things lead. Enjoy the beautiful surprise in the not-knowing. Who knows where the road can take you - your little human mind cannot even imagine the possibilities that are before you when you collaborate with the pace of Life.
And maybe this letter can be summed up in that one sentence: Don’t limit yourself to what the human mind sees, feels, or knows. There is so much more. YOU are so much more - and you can keep expanding to fit more and more complexity - or rather, as you unravel the complexity, you expand into greater and deeper simplicity.
You are Love, and you are Loved, Forever and Always.