“And in those first fifty years I believed there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and it was my goal to find that pot of gold. Now I realize that we are the rainbow, the pot of gold is love, and that is what we actually are.”
Gerald G. Jampolsky
Love Is Leting Go of Fear
In the late 1970’s my psychiatrist gave me a book. He said, “Take it home and read it. I want you to finish it before our next session.” He didn’t say more than that but it greatly changed everything for me. The book was Gerald Jampolsky’s Love Is Letting Go Of Fear. He went on to publish many more books, and I read them, and loved them, and, as the years went on, sadly, as so often happens, I forgot all about them. That is until last night.
One can only wallow in fear for so long before they either take that step from which there is no turning back, or turn a corner and once more walk back into the light. At the moment of my deepest despair when I couldn’t imagine what would happen to me those 6 words blazed through my mind like a streak of lightning, and they throbbed inside my head so that with my eyes closed I could see them flashing inside my forehead as if in neon… LOVE-IS-LETTING-GO-OF-FEAR. In that moment I realized that I could choose fear or I could choose love. I could allow myself to be afraid but it wasn’t going to change anything. I have to have the appointment tomorrow morning with the woman about disability. I have to figure out where to go from there. I have to work with the builders who are rebuilding the cottage and the endless people and paperwork with the insurance company. I have to do so many things and in that moment, as if hitching myself to a shooting star, something in me woke up and shot across the sky as if being slung from a sling shot across time and space. In that moment I chose not just for now but for the rest of my life. This is who I am, this is what I teach, this is how I will get through whatever lies ahead. I will let go of the fear and wrap myself in a blanket of love. It will keep me warm through the cold days ahead.
I’m no Pollyanna. I know that as sure as I write these words I will become afraid again, I will lose faith, I will feel hopeless at times, no, that’s not true, I am not hope-less, I have never lost hope completely or I wouldn’t still be here. What I know is that if I keep coming back to the present moment, where I know I am safe, if I keep repeating those words like a mantra… LOVE…IS…LETTING…GO…OF…FEAR as I finger my prayer beads, I know that I can hold on, move on, and grow into the future that awaits me. I am hope-full, I want to make it through this and then turn around and hold my hand out and help those who are coming after me to get through this, these hard times and fearful days. This is what I have always done with my work, lived through whatever the present hurdle was and then wrote about it as if sending notes in bottles to those who might need help, and love. My message is You are not alone, I am here, we will make it.
I believe this to be true. I will make it, you will make it, we will make it and there will be great glory and tremendous grace on the other side of all of this.
I didn’t know until today, after decades of knowing about this book, that Jampolsky wrote his book because he was inspired by A Course In Miracles. Well of course. It makes perfect sense. Such powerful work. I studied it in a church group in my 30’s and again, like the book I am returning to now, it slipped away from me. But it is powerful soul-food. And I think of the quote that I have long loved by Marianne Williamson whose work with A Course In Miracles is known worldwide…
“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. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
A Return to Love: Reflections on the
Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
I don’t know what will happen tomorrow during that phone call but here is the way I am looking at it now. It is just information. I talk to the person who calls and I give them information and they give me information and I learn/figure out where to go from there. I will not be afraid. I will approach the person on the phone with an open heart. I will be present, and I will be sitting in the heart of love. I don’t have control of everything, or anything, but I do have choice, and I choose love…