Only when we are willing to truly explore these questions as a person, are we able to explore ourselves as beings.
It was during an episode of depression that I became aware of some major choices I had made in my life that were driven by fear.
I was infusing life into what I believe is lifeless: fear.
It makes sense to me that any thought or action that is driven by judgment and hate, for ourselves and for “others,” creates separation, and this separation isolates us from our true selves, which in turn keeps us from understanding what is real and what is not.
Perhaps, a life of “true” health and joy is paved by becoming aware of which thoughts and actions are driven by fear and which are driven by “Love.” And every inch of that pavement is infused with self-inquiry.
This practice might entail discernment combined with intuition, patience, and kindness. What a rich adventure life is within us! Self-discovery and self-exploration are so exciting to me, even if there is nowhere to go, and what is discovered can never be explained or fully understood.
However, what I ponder these days is whether it is true that we act and behave according to our fears or according to “Love”—at conscious or unconscious levels.
Is fear the opposite of “Love”?
If yes, then the place to stand is in between them.
As far as I can see, by trying to run from fear or trying to become “Love,” we can never “stand” anywhere. Our human experience is destined to be unstable—out of balance at all levels, mentally and physically—as long as we choose sides to “stand” on/by.
The magical antidote to unnecessary suffering might be the realization that it is not running from or becoming something that gets us “there,” but rather being “there” now, between the opposites.
I think this is called the non-dual state of mind. I am not sure how long, and how much of, our lives can be experienced in this state. Not through experience perhaps, as everything we experience has a dual nature attached to it, but through awareness—the subtle knowing, which cannot be known by consciousness.
It might be that subtle knowledge, at this very moment, simply is—and it’s all we have.
The past and the future are just memories. They can teach and motivate, but they are not real life. They are, perhaps, “necessary” illusions that serve as a guide depending on each person’s level of awareness.
It is in “being” here and now before becoming what our past or our future makes us to be that we meet life itself.
And so, it is by meeting life itself that we know “Love.”
I remember the beginning of my “raw” understanding of fear and “Love,” when I became open to new experiences that would expose my fears and help me to overcome them.
I began saying “yes” to thoughts that suggested and welcomed the new, the unknown to me.
And so, I said yes to everything that seemed to invite me to explore my hidden fears.
Boy, did this lead me to dangerous situations, one of which was when I quickly made the decision to spend a few months at a meditation retreat center in the “middle-of-nowhere” in France, where I was drugged.
From this experience, I became aware of which fears were not worth overcoming: The fear of living with strangers in a foreign country whose mission was to teach “others” to become “fearless.”
It is by replacing fear with “Love” awareness as a practice first, that we become fearless.
Those who are fearless are free to “Love” because “Love” is who we are: FREE. Free from the negative meaning given to our human experience.
The human experience includes everything that is possible to experience. The personal meaning we give to these experiences can be altered. The non-personal meaning for the human experience arises from awareness itself.
*** From Valeria’s new book: From Fear to “Love.”