Beyond all of the material gifts we share, the greatest gift we can offer each other is the truth of who we really are. While true love invites us to come out and stand naked in the sun, fearful "love" asks us to hide who we are for the sake of holding on to a person or relationship.
When you think about it, how valuable can a relationship be if you have to live in the dark to keep it? How much can you trust your partner if you do not believe they will have you if they knew your true thoughts and feelings? And how can you give love to another if you do not honor yourself?
Learning From Movies
I was deeply moved by the film, Fearless, in which Jeff Bridges portrays a man who narrowly escapes death in a plane crash. In surrendering to imminent death, he loses all fear; and when he goes on with his life, he finds himself in the unique position of being unafraid in a world largely motivated by mistrust.
In the face of his innocent candor, no one knows how to deal with him, and he has a hard time adjusting. His lawyer wants him to lie to exact a larger settlement from the airline company, his wife cannot handle the truth he is now unafraid to tell about their numb relationship, and his psychologist thinks he has gone bonkers -- while in truth he has gone sane!
Fearless masterfully portrays the extent of our world's investment in keeping things hidden because we are afraid, and how much one unintimidated man can rock the boat.
The film contains a poignant scene in which Jeff Bridges momentarily gives in to pressure to lie, which leaves him painfully contracted. To vent the horror he feels, he climbs onto the roof of a tall building and screams at the top of his lungs.
Watching this symbolic scene, I wondered how loud would be the cries of humanity if we all went up on a roof and screamed at the top of our lungs in proportion to the pain and constriction we have experienced by living in ways that are inconsistent with our hearts' desires.
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Love Is Free
True love liberates us to be more of who and what we are. The highest relationships bring out the best in each other, and stimulate both partners' creativity. Many of us have experienced relationships yielding the opposite result. Instead of waking up each morning with expanded visions, we find our creativity dampened to a mere pittance of the vast riches we were born to express, a tiny ember of the fire we were burning when we began our romance.
The most valuable goal of real relationships is to enhance our aliveness and outrageousness. When Norman Vincent Peale was asked why he stayed married to his wife for over fifty years, he answered, "Because I feel very happy in her presence."
When we are in love, we do outrageous things we would never think of doing when we are slaves to fear. For example, when I went away to college, my girlfriend was in her senior year of high school. To celebrate my love for her, I bought a three-foot greeting card, wrote a major mushy poem in it, and had it sent special delivery to her in her English class.
Go For It
Take a moment to consider what you have done when you were in love. Then ask yourself if your current relationship reflects that high degree of unabandoned celebration. Even if you are not in a particular relationship, the force of love invites you to be uniquely and creatively expressive in your daily life. Love means freedom which has the power to melt the fortress of fear that makes most people's lives a monument to bored adjustment.
We were not put here to be bored; we are here to create color and beauty and make love every moment. This day and every day, let's all be lovers; let's live from our hearts, not our fear. The mind will make every attempt to justify why you should not express your outrageous uniqueness, while the heart gently urges you to go for the gusto.
Book by this author:
A Daily Dose of Sanity: A Five-Minute Soul Recharge for Every Day of the Year
by Alan Cohen.
In times of challenge as well as ease, we all need a helping hand to stay on top of our game, make successful decisions, and find peace of mind in the midst of people and events that might distract us. This collection of inspiring, poignant, and humorous real-life stories, coupled with uplifting insights, will show you how to keep your head on straight and your heart open no matter where you are or what you’re doing. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)
About The Author
Alan Cohen is the bestselling author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Join Alan and musician Karen Drucker in Hawaii, December 1-6, for an extraordinary retreat, “A Course in Miracles: the Easy Path.” For more information about this program, Alan’s Holistic Life Coach Training beginning January 1, his books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com