Love and Fear – Part Trois

August 28th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

“Nothing moves you so much as beauty and pain.”

I wish I could remember who said this. It’s a great quote; it’ll have to go anonymous for now.

I’ve stated my belief that early on we all take a look inward. I don’t understand the mechanics of what I’ve been calling a look inward. No, I haven’t exactly witnessed it. So, yes, I admit that my case is largely circumstantial. What I have seen in young children is a pretty sophisticated level of what we call a conscience. I’ve seen shame. Hiding.

With this look inward, we all see we’re human. We see limitations – a wanting. Being human, we do not always do what we know to be right. Being human, we cannot physically do all we want or need. At our best, we’re left with “I’m doing the best I can. I’m not perfect.” In an uncertain world, a broken world full of pain, that’s just not good enough. Our limitations swing the door wide open to fear.

Pay close attention, and you’ll see your kid begin to interact with this fear. Some dumb kid will say something to your daughter. The ridiculous judgment is embarrassing; it’s painful – never mind that it’s not true. She’ll figure without much conscious deliberation that she never wants to experience the sting of another’s judgment. The pain plants the fear in the fertile soil of her human heart, and move her toward one of two well worn paths: “Run and Hide Avenue” and “Work, Work, Work Blvd”.

On “Run and Hide Avenue”, there are lots of darting eyes. We walk about safely, quietly. People pleasers are always saying the right thing. On “Work, Work, Work Blvd” everyone is busily heading somewhere. You see, we’ve found a strength, and we intend to work it to greatness. By greatness, we’ll rise above. We either hide from pain or we rise above it. They’re both dead end roads. At best the most successful only defer the inevitable. At the end of the road, when we discover it has not led us away from fear we’re left with hatred, anger, and hopelessness.

This is the fear you chase out with love. You say to her, “I love you. Not because you’re beautiful. You are that, but that’s not why I love you. I love you, not because you’re smart. You are that, but that’s not why I love you. I love you, not because you’re funny, or because you’re really good soccer player. No, I love you because you are my daughter. I love you because of who you are. And I will never stop loving you.”

You chase fear with this love. She won’t believe you at first. But don’t ever stop telling her, showing her. Even as she heads toward those other paths. Follow her onto them. Hold her hand and keep telling her. Keep telling her until she believes you, and you see the fear wash away.


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