"In the burning away of fear, love is awakened." (Diane Mariechild, January 31)
"When the mind is no longer trapped by conditioned response, what remains is love." (Mariechild, January 18)
I put together these two quotes from separate days because they speak of love and because I believe that most of my conditioned responses arise from fear: the fear of not being good enough, of not being smart enough, of not looking well enough.
And with three to five days a week taken over with migraine pain, I pretty much never feel good enough or smart enough and, certainly, wan and baggy-eyed and messy-haired as I am, not even close to looking well enough.
I just read a comment from my friend, Cristina, on the January 26 post. She is planning a wedding now and writes honestly about being caught up in worries about what will make the day "perfect." But then, after a paragraph about what is freaking her out, she says this:
So I just take a deep breath and remember all the love I share with Patrick. The amazing intangibles...the priceless perks. I also think through the fact that I do not want to be defined by material objects, and I do not want others to define me.
To me, Cristina is a keeper of the fire. Not in that she has no fear, no conditioned responses, but that she allows herself to be aware of the hold they have on her. She takes a deep breath and finds, beyond them, the love that remains.
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Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.