When love meets fear, by David Richo:
Welcome to our day free from the fears that happen when love walks in. That’s our topic. And I’m David Richo and I’d like to begin with this card, because it’s the loving kindness practice that is the fast track to the letting go of fears that come up around human closeness. So, this is our kind of a summary and you can use this as a daily affirmation that I use every morning as a way of opening to the style of loving kindness. Everyone have this.
Okay. If you don’t, come up during the break and I’ll give you one. So, I’ll go through it slowly, then I’ll come back.
I say yes to everything that happens to me today as an opportunity to give and receive love without reserve. I am thankful for the enduring capacity to love that has come to me from the sacred hearts of the universe. May everything that happens to me today open my heart more and more. May all that I think, say, feel and do express loving kindness toward myself, those close to me and all beings. May love be my life purpose, my bliss, my destiny, my calling, the richest grace I can receive or give.
And, may I always be especially compassionate toward people who are considered least or lest, or who feel alone or lost. So, beginning this way on our topic brings us directly into the hearts dimension of our topic, because both fear and love have to deal with our heart. Love is the giving of our hearts and fear is the closing of it, the protecting of it. And as we look at our topic today, you will see that all of this has to do not only with what goes on in our adult life, but what happens to us in childhood. So, let’s begin with looking at the, basically, simple way of describing what love might be about.
Oh, thank you.
So, we came in to the world some very specific needs. I call these the five A’s, and some of you are familiar with them so I won’t spend a lot of time on this. But the first thing we needed when we came into the world was attention. Someone had to be paying attention to us and what we needed, and responsive to us, we had a need to be accepted just as we are, rather than be turned into what our parents wanted us to be. There were supposed to be looking with us with curiosity, wondering how we would turn out, rather than trying to fit us into certain mold.
We needed to be valued, appreciated, we needed to have love shown in a physical way, be held, be cradled, be hugged, kissed—that’s affection. And finally, when the time came from us to move out on our own and no longer need them so much, they had to allow that rather than try to hold us back. So, that began with we first crawled and they no longer had to carry us across the room as we could crawl across. Then it goes on to leaving the house, going to school, and finally leaving all together. All of that had to be totally okay with them.
When these five are happening, that with be the equivalent with being loved. And at the same time, it describes an environment in which all of you, all that you are, feels cared about. So, that’s going to be like what in Psychology the holding environment. These are the same five needs when the needs are fulfilled, that’s love. These are the same five needs that we carry with us all our lives.
So, when the time comes to have an adult relationship, we’re looking for someone who will pay attention to our needs and feelings, now in more subtle ways than originally, accepts us just as we are—that’s the unconditional love, appreciate us rather than take us for granted, show us affection, sexually when that’s appropriate, and finally allowing us to have a life of our own, and live in accord with our own basic and deepest needs and wishes, rather than trying to control us. When all of that happens, it will resound in our bodies the feeling of being loved, so it’s the same set of needs from childhood that we carry into adulthood. And when they’re fulfilled, we have the sense that someone loves us. How do we know we love someone else? We pay attention, we accept, we appreciate, we show affection, we allow.
How do we know they love us? Same way. So, it’s just kind of a working definition. Obviously, we come into the world with many needs, but I’m just choosing five that seem most connected to the experience of love, both giving it and receiving it.
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Find more mindfulness exercises related to loving kindness, compassion, and heart practices here.