Love or fear? The only decision
“Clinging to what you already know is the path to an unlived life.”–Parker Palmer
A Course in Miracles says we all have a mighty purpose. The reason we don’t recognize this is because we’re trained to listen to the ego, the voice of fear. The other voice, the voice of love, the voice that instructs us on exactly what to do, what to say, etc, is always available. But too often we let the ego drown it out.
I heard the coolest story yesterday that illustrates the simple decision we continuously make. Do we listen to the voice of fear or the voice of love?
Elizabeth Gilbert, in a recent Ted Talk Daily interview, talked about meeting Amanda Eller. She’s the hiker who, about a year ago, got lost in Maui’s Makawao Forest Reserve. Her 17-day ordeal made national headlines. Because she had intended an easy three-mile hike through the 2000-acre reserve, she left her phone, water bottle and wallet in the car.
Instead, she got lost in the dense forest of steep ravines, giant ferns and vegetation so thick it requires a machete to cut through. As you can imagine, she was a tad bit FREAKED OUT.
On the third night, after falling off a cliff, losing her shoes in a flash flood and experiencing other assorted terrors, she finally closed her eyes and begged for help. From the universe. From God. From whatever might be big enough to hear her, to help her. Mostly, she told Liz, she asked to be delivered from fear. She said something to the effect of, “When I open my eyes, I want the fear to be gone.”
Well, guess what? When she opened her eyes, the fear was gone. And in it’s place was a gentle voice (call it intuition, call it God, call it the Dude, as I often do) that clearly told her “It’s okay. I’ve got you.” It went on to guide her: “Eat this, not that. Head right, not left.”
The voice came through LOUD and CLEAR once the fear was gone.
Although I have no idea if Amanda is a Course student (as the Course plainly says, there are many different bus drivers to deliver you to your destination), it is a perfect example of what is ours to claim once we eliminate fear. Specific, clear guidance. But we gotta get the bully fear out of the way.
So that’s my bedtime story for today, kids! It has a happy ending–Amanda was rescued and, as she told Liz, the fear has never returned.
Big shoutout to all of you who so clearly urged me to keep sending these posts through email. It appears to be unanimous. So I will continue to send these from time to time, whenever I feel there’s something important to share.
The story about Amanda is one of many fabulous things I picked up from the interview with Elizabeth Gilbert. If you have an hour (and who doesn’t these days?), it is SO WORTH a listen. You can find it here.
Until next time, keep smiling, keep dancing and keep asking to be delivered from that pesky, persistent voice of fear.
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).