I began my life as a busy joyful wild thing, all play and curiosity and imagination. We all start this way. Then I began learning about the world I was living in. This is what I was told:
Be careful. Don’t be so noisy. You’re too loud. Stop yelling. Watch where you’re going. Don’t fall. Be quiet. Don’t cry. Stop that. Don’t touch. Stop running. Slow down. That’s too big for you. That’s too much. Give it back, it’s not yours. Leave it alone. Wait for your turn. Let them go first. Be a good girl.
Now, I get that most of these messages are good advice in their immediate context. ‘Be careful’ is vital if I am crossing a street. I do need to look both directions before I step out, and I do need to pay attention until I am on the opposite side. ‘Don’t touch’ is wisdom if the object is a wasp nest or a burning match.
The problem is, as a child I heard something else under the spoken words.
This world is dangerous. Bad things happen. If I make myself careful, quiet, small, invisible, I might get through safely.
I was hearing I am supposed to be afraid.
Albert Einstein had a big question that requires a big decision. Do we live in a friendly universe? I hear the unspoken part of that question—or do we live in an unfriendly universe? What he was talking about is a choice between love and fear. Which way do I wish to live?
I know, without even thinking, that my choice is love and a friendly universe. What I was taught and what I learned as a child, though, was fear and a hostile universe.
Everything I am learning now, and everything I write, has Einstein’s big question at its base.
Am I choosing love or fear?
I didn’t like living in a world of fear when I was a child, but I didn’t know how to be different. Everyone I knew lived like this. I was sort of okay with it, until I discovered I had a choice.
Acting on my choice of love and a friendly universe is not always comfortable. I have to be paying attention to myself all the time, my thoughts and beliefs and expectations and actions. I have to keep myself from falling into the ruts, the old habits that fear cut into me. I have to be willing to notice when I am afraid, open to it, and see-feel what I am afraid of. When I know, I can choose differently and change my reaction around what is happening. Create rather than react. This is choosing. When I choose like this, I am walking in the friendly universe.
The good thing is, choosing love and the friendly universe is a habit. The more I pay attention and make the choice for love, the wider and smoother I make my path. Eventually those old fear ruts will be flattened out, disappear underneath the paths of love I am creating across them. The choice and change get easier and faster every time I do it.
So ask. Am I choosing to live in a friendly universe or an unfriendly universe? Love or fear?
I choose love. Welcome to the friendly universe.
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