Here’s an instant message conversation that took place between my work-wife Mila and me the other day:
- Mila: I’m wearing sunglasses today because I feel like a rock star for once.
- Nic: You are a rock star always! Speaking of sun and glasses, I see the light of God in you.
- Mila: I just want you to know that lately I’ve been picturing you wearing a white tunic when you say all of these positive things to me.
- Nic: LOL.
- Mila: Seriously dude. A white tunic.
She has a point. A white tunic would really compliment my holistic demeanor as of late. I’ve been all about positivity. Which means I’ve been all about my spiritual journey. Which means I’ve been all about love. Which means I’ve been thinking things like, Damn. It’s such a shame that the word “love” is as abused as it is these days.
In addition to abused: overused, diluted, undervalued, demeaned, clichéd, misunderstood.
I’ve misunderstood the concept of love for, I don’t know, about 25 of my 25 years here on Earth. But the other day I was listening to an India.Arie song called “The Wings of Forgiveness,” and thought to myself, Wow, she gets it.
Then I was all, OMG does that mean I get it?
I don’t know if I’m totally there yet, but I’m amazed at just how much perspective I’ve gained over the past few months. I’m well on my way.
I owe much of this to the fact that I’ve been reading Marianne Williamson’s seminal New Age-y masterpiece, A Return to Love every night during American Idol commercial breaks while sipping on herbal tea and donning a peaceful and enlightened half-smile. (You’re picturing me in that tunic right now, aren’t you?)
There’s no way I could characterize the power of this book (which is based on the insanely long yet insanely the-answer-to-everything-ever-ish spiritual textbook A Course In Miracles) in a little ol’ Keychanges blog post, but if there’s one principle I’d say has resonated strongly with me it’s that love is the exact opposite of fear. Love is a thing, and fear is so not a thing, but fear is the root of pretty much all negative things, and negative things aren’t actually things at all in the first place, because love is THE ONLY THING.
Have I lost you yet?
What I mean to say here is that love is real and everything else is an illusion based on fear. Our egos are nothing more than fear, blocking us from getting to the love that we often don’t allow ourselves to step into.
So the road to happiness and honestly loving ourselves and others involves recognizing and letting go of these fears.
(Now think about THAT for a second.)
More often than not, letting go of fear means truly, truly forgiving people – including our parents, ideal-shattering ex-boyfriends, those who’ve called us fat, ourselves, etc. It’s not easy, but it’s powerful.
I’ve already started stopping myself in the midst of my every day situations to close my eyes and say, “Hold the phone, brother Nic. [Yes, I’m referring to myself as my own brother. IDK, it kinda works?] Are you reacting with fear or love right now? FEAR OR LOVE? YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH!”
And then I breathe. And then I forgive someone.
And then I choose love.