"This above all, refuse to be a victim."
If the ultimate goal in life is to love, serve and forgive, what keeps me from realizing that goal on a daily basis? The puzzle for me was, and probably will always be, to first love, serve and forgive myself so I can then do likewise to all others. Serious tragedies have brought me to my knees--the suicide of my husband at age 42 and youngest son at age 21; and patriarchal abuse from my father and church were all dark shadows in my life that came to a head when I was faced with my aging parents care needs. But gold was hidden in all that darkness. It led me to question everything I had been taught and to reflect often on what love is and is not.
For me the puzzle was, and still is, knowing when to first say, “Yes” to my needs and “No” to others’ requests, needs or demands. Overcoming fear, and understanding its gifts, will probably always challenge me. Gavin De Becker, in his book “The Gift of Fear” wrote: “Natures greatest accomplishment, the human brain, is never more efficient or invested than when its host is at risk. Then intuition is catapulted to another level entirely, a height at which it can be accurately be called graceful, even miraculous.” And, “Intuition connects us to the natural world and to our nature.” Fear’s gift to me was a heightened sense of presence to everything and everyone around me.
Within the gift of being present I came to know a Presence that resides within me, in all others, and everything. Comfort and answers to my troubles came from that Presence through the beauty and power of nature, small groups of helpful people, and reflecting on and writing about whatever showed up in my life each day.
I suspect fear is at the heart of all difficulty in loving, serving, and forgiving ones self and the other. Fear is a both/and thing and can shed light on love’s conundrum to love, serve and forgive the other and myself.
What if we all looked to our struggles for the gifts hidden within more often?