Love is letting go of fear
The quote: ‘Love is letting go of fear’ has been my mantra for years. I’ve heard, said, thought these words so many, many times that they kind of lost their meaning. It became such a part of me, but what does it actually mean, this letting go of fear?
I was reminded of its meaning again when I was at my little nephews birthday party. Ehm, excuse me, my BIG nephew, ’cause he turned 11. We were talking (like old folks do) about how fast time goes and how very cute they were when they were babies, and how precious they are growing up. I remembered his younger brother, now 9 years old, screamed whenever he saw anybody other than his parents or brothers. He didn’t want to know anybody else until he was about 2 years old.
He’s also a very sensitive boy. So when he overheard me saying this he sat next to me, curled up against me, and asked: ‘Why was I screaming at you when I was little?’ I told him that he probably was a little scared. He thinks about that for a bit. ‘That is because I didn’t know you then. But now I know you very well.’ I agreed, pulled him a little closer, and said that now all he does is laugh at me, because we got to know each other so well and love each other so very much. He giggles and confirms this by kissing me. I tickle him, he laughs and jumps up to go play with his friends.
Just an idea
Now this made me think. What if we put Putin and Zelensky together on an island. Nobody else around, no weapons or anything that may be used as such (I’m thinking no coconuts). They may probably use fists, feet and teeth, but hopefully will get tired pretty soon. Then all that’s left for them to do is sit down and get to know each other. Yes, they will be scared at first. But the more they get to know each other, the more they will learn to love each other. I know, it’s a bit naive but it really isn’t such a crazy idea when you think of the alternative.
Love is letting go of fear
I know a lady who fled from her country, Afghanistan. She tells me about the time she was a kid, playing with her friends in front of her house. A bomb went off near the end of her street. Her mom looked out the window, saw her daughter was still alive and told her to continue to have fun with her friends. Uncaring? No, absolutely not. You think this mom wasn’t shaking inside? Of course she was. But she wasn’t going to show any of her fear to her young daughter. She believed her daughter had the right to the most loving and ‘normal’ childhood possible in these scary circumstances.
A young boy, 10 years old, shot an elderly lady on the street. The lady didn’t survive. Terrible and tragic. Looking from the perspective of the young boy, his mom worked all day long, his two year older brother had to take care of him. Gang members took care of the two boys instead. Violence was something they got to know too well. A longing for love made them do whatever the older boys wanted them to do. Even to kill. Did that mean they loved killing so much, they let their fear go? No, quite the opposite. Their actions were just and only out of fear. Fear for repercussions. Fear for being ‘outcasts’.
I once wrote an article for a newspaper about two young people I met on a train. They had just been released from prison. Already they were talking about their next jail visit. It was something they were familiar with. They mistook the care in prison for love. Craving for love, they talked excitingly about their next time, their hope for a specific facility up north, and what they had to do to get there asap. Everybody around them stared in horror. The culprits were teenagers. Insecure, bright, clear eyed they discussed their next adventure. I wrote my article about those young men and their potential. I got threats. How could I identify with such thugs. How dared I to even see them as humans? And how stupid was this newspaper to give me a platform.
Scared, they had given up on those young men before they got to know them. They didn’t see their brightness, their love of adventure, their courage to do anything to be someone, and to be loved. With the right kind of encouragement those guys will go far. As soon as society sees that love is letting go of fear these guys will have a bright future. I hope it’s not too late. That’s why I wrote this article. And if only one person believes this, too, it was worth all the hatemail. Though I chose not to let it scare me into silence.
I know I make it out to be simple. Still, I truly believe that fear always stands in the way of love. This does not mean to be reckless. But most times we rather scream and cry before we take the courage to get to know one another better. Still once we do, we so often are left smiling and happy. So, I’d say, give it a try sometime. When you feel afraid of new people, new cultures, something that is a little different than what we are used to, smile and say ‘Hi’.