Fear in Love's Clothing: my letter to the women pedalling their religion at me
To the Women with the Bibles and the Pamphlets on my porch this morning;
I answered the door looking for a fight.
I saw you both through the window, saw what I interpreted to be an ammunition of papers, and I felt a welling up within me to go to war. I felt Fear.
Except, in the moment, it didn't feel like "fight" or "war." It felt like a defence of the work I'd already put in.
See, about a half an hour before you both showed up on my doorstep, I'd spent an hour meditating. I'd spent an hour identifying and releasing a whole bunch of old, limiting beliefs I held about the world and my place in it. I let go of some fears, some grudges, and some self-hatred. And automatically when I do that, I feel myself expand into a brighter, lighter place of possibilities, peace, and acceptance.
And then, I saw you.
I thought I was grounded enough to speak from that space of bright, light possibilities. I believed I was in a space of presence and allowance of whatever is. I figured, as I reached for the doorknob, that I'd be able to listen to whatever you had to say, and then respond with my heart.
Except, as my hand turned the doorknob, my inner walls went up. I decided I already didn't like what you had to say, and I stepped from the space of possibility into a stance of defence and assumptions.
Of course all of this is in hindsight. I could have taken the tightness in my chest, or the way I felt myself fighting the shakiness of my rising anger as a sign that I was no longer open and receptive, and that I should have maybe left the whole thing well enough alone. But I didn't. My judgement of you, and my need to defend my stance around what I had already decided you'd say took over.
Here is what I wish I'd have said to you:
My god is Love. (I did say that part, but as I said it, I felt fear and disgust).
It's my belief that there are two forces in the world, and all decisions, actions, choices fall under one of these two forces: Love and Fear.
Love is acceptance. It doesn't fix, coerce, judge, or blame. Love acknowledges whatever is, and then is endlessly available to be stepped into. It is like the most patient, forgiving, non-manipulative partner or friend, ever. When the space of Love is embraced, anything is possible.
Love doesn't believe that it's a better choice or a better way. It's just an energy that always is. It doesn't sit around, tapping its foot and rolling its eyes, and it never uses the term, "Told you so." It isn't condescending or holier than thou. It doesn't become offended when you forget that you said you'd be right back, or you walk into the room forgetting what you were looking for. It isn't a a vengeful, angry, punishing parent. It simply exists whether you step into it or not.
Fear is everything Love is not. That's the easiest way I can describe Fear. Fear feels the need to defend, argue, and persuade. It's tightness, jealousy, possessiveness, and aggressiveness.
Fear's most favourite way to be heard is to masquerade as Love. But the easiest way to tell that it's Fear in Love's clothing is to ask whether or not the energy is resistant to whatever is unfolding.
See, because Love trusts that it will always prevail. Love gets that, actually, it's the only thing that is real and true and undying. Love gets that Fear is only ever a temporary illusory energy. As soon as you surrender your resistance to what is, Fear loses all of its life force. Waiting beneath it, just as sure as the sun, is Love.
So, Women with Pamphlets, I fully appreciate that you feel a connection to your beliefs. I get that you feel you're bringing your god's word to my door, and in doing so perhaps saving me.
But I'm really okay. I've got everything I'll ever need inside of me. I was made in Love's image, and as such, I'm literally and figuratively full of my god. I believe you are, too. I believe we ALL are, and I think Love loves that. As many different expressions of Love as there are creations in the Cosmos.
The moment I buy into any belief that I need saving, then I've forgotten who I am and I'm only seeing that illusory curtain of Fear.
No need to be afraid though. When that forgetting happens, it's only a matter of time before my acceptance kicks in, and I expand back into the space of bright, light acceptance. The curtain of Fear falls away and I'm with my god again.