Last year, the week before Thanksgiving, I was sitting with my husband in a doctor’s office, looking at the beating heart of our unborn baby, a baby we’d waited years to have, a baby doctors told us wasn’t even possible. The doctor was thrilled to see a heartbeat so early. We were ecstatic to see this miracle come to life and then we set up an appointment for a follow-up ultrasound the next week. The doctor said, “We’ll check again and, if all looks well, I’ll release you to your Ob/Gyn and you’ll be on your way.”
We got to the next week’s appointment (the day before Thanksgiving) so hopeful and so excited to see that next heartbeat. The doctor put the ultrasound wand where it needed to go and he began to look… nothing. That specialist spent five minutes searching for a sign of life, searching for the flicker of a heartbeat, scouring for anything that would even remotely resemble a tiny bit of growth from the previous week. But there was nothing, just a tiny ball of a sac slumped over on itself with no trace of life.
The doctor turned to us and said the words that two people waiting for a miracle and getting it never want to hear, “It’s gone…”
It was a horrible Thanksgiving last year and, even though this Thanksgiving is better, the remnants of that one moment haven’t faded with time.
So it brings up a question in me:
How do you overcome the fear of loving something or someone more than life itself?
You see, I got pregnant and was afraid to hope. I took tests and was leery of planning for a maternity leave, a nursery, a new life. But when I saw the heartbeat, I mistook potential for inevitable. I saw the heartbeat and felt a naive sense of stability that all would be well. So I hoped and I dreamed… and it all fell apart.
That experience taught me why so many people are afraid to love, afraid to give themselves completely to a relationship or a new career or pursuing their dream business. The fear isn’t about getting the object of their affection.
The deepest fear is about losing it.
It’s the fear of putting your whole heart into something, giving to it the complete, unabridged, absolutely-everything part of you and losing not only the thing you desire but yourself in the process.
People fear that. I fear that. Somehow, it seems easier to love from a distance, to love conditionally or halfway or with a guarded stance. But that’s not really love, is it? Marianne Williamson has said, “Love isn’t love until it’s unconditional.” And unconditional love requires that we give everything we are to the object of our affection.
So how do we do that exactly? Love completely without losing everything? Give all ourselves to a passion, a project, a relationship, to an ideal and still remain sane, healthy and open, even when the relationship ends or the project fails?
How do we do that exactly?
The answer isn’t at all simple but is very basic:
We love the things we love for what they are and when they change (because they will and they do), we love the change for what it is…
Tough stuff, this unconditional love business. I’m learning and I hope you are too…
I’d love to hear from you!
What’s something that you’re afraid to give 100% of yourself to?
What one thing will you do this week to come closer to overcoming that fear?