On my mind is how to maintain a practice of love over fear. Of keeping up the spiritual discipline. Of not letting fear win the day.
Fear of what? Fear of the unknown, of losing, of dying maybe. Fear of envy, of guilt, of other people, of not loving enough, or being or having enough.
Fear is insecurity. Fear makes us lie, to be inauthentic, to cheat ourselves and others. Fear leads us down the wrong path, has us reacting instead of acting from what really has heart and meaning. Fear leads to anger, and anger, if it takes us over, has us making the wrong moves.
Not that fear doesn't have its place. Of course, it does. It alerts us to things that are dangerous. It tells us when we are under attack, when we are at risk of being hurt. The resulting anger can help us defend ourselves, to keep our rightful territory. Yes.
But I am talking more about long standing fear, habitual fear. The kind that makes us envious, greedy, silly, elitist, backbiting, cruel, gossipy, overly cautious, trying to control the behavior of others, pointing our fingers. The kind that has us looking over our shoulders, worried that someone is going to take what belongs to us, the kind that has us forgetting what is sacred.
I love this word.
It is the root word of sacrifice.
(ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sacrificium : sacer, sacred ; see sacred + facere, to make; see dh- in Indo-European roots)
There is always a sacrifice involved in making something sacred. Isn't there? Is that where the fear comes from? That some (presumably false) part of us has to die in order for sacred substance to reveal itself?
My creative life is my primary altar, my creation and performance is my ritual. As an artist, I understand the effect that fear has on creative work. It serves to constrict, to suffocate good ideas, to inhibit intuition, to make things smaller, more shallow. It sucks the soul, the sacred life, right out of it. I have experienced this phenomenon.
I have been subjected to the fear of other artists, too; witnessed it. They create illusions of conformity, scarcity and exclusivity; they pat each other on the backs for their surface success, but fear the transient nature of it...
Fear replicates itself.
People who are sure of themselves never feel the need to put anyone else down to feel OK. When we meet someone like this, we know it! The world gravitates toward people who love themselves, who put love first, before fear. These are the people who encourage us to do the same, who are not afraid of another person's success.
No one owns the sacred. Who could presume to do so! The gods laugh at us for being so foolish!!