“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
1 John 4:18, ESV
On this Love day, I thought it appropriate to share with my friends a book that has been profoundly influential in my life. Years and years ago, I was having dinner at Linda Jean’s house—one of the most beautiful women I know—and she had this quote in her dining room, maybe you know it too, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…” I have been meditating on this quote for years, pondering this mystery. I had, of course, been meaning to read the book from which the quote it taken, but you know how it goes when there are things in our life that will give us profound inner peace—we are always too busy or too tired or ___________________ (insert your ego’s favorite personal excuse).
Anyway, I finally got around to it last summer because my whole life I’ve made decisions based on fear and it really ruined things. It’s a book called Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson. You’ve probably heard of her.
Love is the intuitive knowledge of our hearts. It’s a ‘world beyond’ that we all secretly long for. An ancient memory of this love haunts all of us all the time, and beckons us to return. Love isn’t material. It’s energy…Fear is our shared lovelessness, our individual and collective hells. It’s a world that seems to press on us from within and without, giving constant false testimony to the meaningless of love…(from the introduction, p. xxi).
And how do we access this “ancient memory”? We relax. Physically relaxing the body is the energy of love. Tension, constriction, obstruction—these are all the energies of fear. Fear quite literally manifests as clogged arteries, relationship disconnection, disease, wars, and all manner of conflict within the world and us.
But Love? Think about your body posture when you’re feeling love—when you’re generous, compassionate, merciful, kind, or non-judgmental—it is a relaxed posture. On this Love day, I hope you take a deep breath and connect with the Love that is indeed all around you. Feel your lungs and your life expand as you connect with the Ancient of Days.