I wanted to share some quotes that have come across my email recently that I relate to, and that relate to my life right now. I've blogged before about fear of love, fear of loss, and how these things and the pain of the past and the disillusionment can imprison us and keep us from experiencing and enjoying the good in our lives, and the real deal when it arrives. When I was 20, I have a distinct memory of working at this office to raise money for my upcoming semester in Australia and there were these 2 older gentlemen who worked there I became friends with, and I was always a super happy bubbly type person, and I'd say "smile!" and "cheer up!" and they'd say, "You just don't understand. Life hasn't beat you down yet." And at that time I vowed to myself that no matter what happened I would NOT let life's pain take away my joie de vivre.
But you know, it happens without you looking. The pain does zap all that childhood joy and free spiritedness out of you. I still have always tried to keep a certain joy, and childlike quality about me. I love to do fun silly things like spin around, jump up and down, and all that kind of stuff. But there's also can come a sadness in one's soul from losing people who we love, and from believing in something only to be betrayed or have our hopes dashed. But I have always vowed to continue to live my life giving my all, giving my heart, risking despite fear, and believing if I pursue the longings of my heart, God will hear and bless me with those answered prayers, even if certain things take way longer than I ever wanted.
When I met Matt, we had a very instant attraction, sort of like the "love at first sight" kind of thing. Whatever that means, our relationship moved very quickly. There were no games, no questions, we just "knew." I never knew if that was the way it's supposed to be or if that was a mistake we made, since it obviously ended down the line after 13 years. Life is so confusing and complex and we just have to "take data" (as Daline would say) and observe and see. All I know is that I recognize the fears that I have in my soul that can drag spirits and emotions down, and that bring my own spirit down, and that can sabotage things, but you know what? I'm still going to risk. And I believe, as my friend Miranda has told me, "When it's the right thing, nothing can stop it."
As I was ice skating with Doug the other day I thought that is sort of the way real loving relationships are. You're out there on the rink with like a zillion other people, some skilled and some totally unskilled. Some times you skate around holding your loved ones hand, side by side. Even when you're skating around like that, people come up and you have to separate your hands, raise them over a little kids head, and then come back together. Then other times, you don't hold hands but you separate and skate around on your own path, smiling at one another as you go around past and catching up when you can. You may travel away from one another, or go to work for a while, or one may get ill and need time to heal, or whatever. But you come back together and hug and hold hands again and reconnect. The whole analogy seemed a very healthy natural way to view how relationships should be. When I first met Matt I remember I had to go to Oregon and visit my dad and I was almost obsessively missing him. And I've had that model in past relationships. I feel very balanced and grounded right now. I'm super happy. There's no fear. And when it did come a few days back, we worked through it. And if it comes again, I'm sure that reassurance and time will cover up and heal all. So here are the quotes I wanted to share:
"Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourage; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable." -- Harry Emerson Fosdick
"Courage is fear that has said its prayers." Keep Coming Back by Meiji Stewart
"As we grow spiritually, we naturally become more generous. It's a quality of a well-developed person. Rather than being anxious over whether we will have enough -- and rather than hungrily seeking more and more -- we become more openhearted. We feel more abundant within ourselves and find that our spirit of generosity even adds to our own abundant feelings. Where we see a need, we help out." - Wisdom to Know, Hazelden books
"Sincere love is not born of possessiveness but of necessary space and distance."
"Whenever we try to understand, analyze, or probe too much into the reasons for love, we damage it. All that can really be done with love is accept it." - Days of Healing, Days of Joy by Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty
"To relax, to feel the love in your heart and keep to that as your focus in every situation--that's the meaning of spiritual surrender. It changes us. We become deeper, more attractive people." - Marianne Williamson, Return to Love