The Only Problem We Face - Denying Love
“The Course says we think we have many different problems, but we only have one. Denying love is the only problem, and embracing it is the only answer.”
- A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.
Could it be that easy? Oh, not easy.
Could it be that simple?
In the frenzied nature of day-to-day life, I have a way of convoluting and complicating areas of my life that seem to be, in my mind, well, complicated.
I don’t make as much money as some of my other friends my age.
I’m working in customer support, even though in the past, I had jobs that were more “prestigious” or higher level.
I remember the differences I have, politically, with much of my family.
I’m often taken aback at how many of my fellow Americans vehemently support a president who traffics in such dark rhetoric.
On my own, I create layers and complexities, complications and obstacles that seem almost impossible to overcome.
Sure, there might be some truth in all of these perspectives.
But what’s most true, in all of these observations, is that I’m living from ego. Seeing myself as separate from others. Separate from my fellow citizens. Separate from my family. Separate from those who think and believe differently than I do.
Wiping away all of these scenarios, there are only two choices left: love or fear.
When I compare my professional status or rather income with peers, I’m choosing fear over love.
When I’m judging my current job compared to what I did in the past, I’m choosing fear over love.
When I hone in on the differences I have, politically, with my family, I am often choosing fear over love.
When I see the worst in my fellow citizens and the president of the United States, I am choosing fear over love.
More than choosing fear, I am denying the existence of love in all of these thoughts, situations, and people.
For some reason - maybe because I’m simply human - I spend so much time and effort dramatizing all of these areas of my life. Deep down, part of me feels that by adding this complexity, I can side-step my responsibility for choosing love instead of fear.
I mean, who could blame me for denying love in the midst of what we see in the world today? Who could really question how I came to that conclusion?
Typing this out, I notice clearly how ego is at the very core of this storytelling.
The ego believes separateness (an illusion) and craves justification. It will work to justify any beliefs it stirs up in my mind.
In the book of Genesis, we’re told “a deep sleep fell upon Adam (Genesis 2:21). But there isn’t any mention that Adam woke up. As author Alan Cohen writes, “We are all Adam still asleep, dreaming we are separate from God and each other”.
Love, on the other hand - the Holy Spirit - comes crashing in like a tsunami of light, washing away the illusion of separateness.
As The Course states in the opening lines:
“It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of fear is love, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.”
Embracing love may not always be easy, but the call is clear and powerful.
What about all of the atrocities in the world? It’s as much a crime to downplay, overlook, or minimize any of that, right?
Cohen continues, stating:
“The Course sees sorrowful experiences from a different viewpoint. It tell us that when we become upset over fearsome events and give them undue power, we are sticking our heads in the sand as we deny the presence of love.”
As I think about the challenges in my own life, there’s a gentle comfort knowing that I don’t have to “figure out” the intricacies of each situation.
All I need to do is embrace love anywhere and within all of life.