I am here in Palm Springs with my parents, who are both in their eighties. My father is extremely frail now and struggles daily just to eat, walk and sleep. My father is a man I feared as a teenager, learned to cook from as a young woman, and became friends with now in my mid-forties. It’s fearful to see him so frail.
When I am with him, I am always watching him out of the corner of my eye, making sure he is managing. Last night, on the way to his bedroom, he nearly lost his balance and needed to clutch his walker to remain steady. When I visit him these days, I am mindful of responding with love and not fear. I have noticed how the power of love can transform the fear. The energy of love creates compassion. So as I spend the day with my parents in their home, cooking a pot of soup for my mother, while my husband gives my father a shave, I call on love to give me patience, for myself and my parents. This is a tender time, which borders on the edge of fear, but opens to the continent of love.
This poem by Rumi (13th century) always inspires me to try to move away from fear in any situation.
Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
but don’t move the way fear makes you move.
Translated by Coleman Barks, Unseen Rain
For today, can you live in love and not fear? Notice when fear takes a hold of you, and decide to move another way.