“Cowardice is Only a Lack of Love”

“Cowardice is Only a Lack of Love”

Yes, that is a quote. It knocked me over with its clarity, truth, and simplicity when I heard it today, and one of the reasons I was so easily felled was because it came like a curveball from seemingly nowhere, and hit me right in the heart. Who do you think would have lived love enough to have claimed the knowing of such a thing?  Oskar Schindler? Paul Rusesabagua? Mother Therasa, perhaps? Or the 911 First Responders?

I’m sure all of them did, and have, and do.  Out of any of them, such a statement would not be a curveball at all. It would be just as profound, but the delivery wouldn’t have caught me by such surprise, and so not knocked me right onto my knees before I even knew what hit me.  It is a very good thing to stay present in the moment, and this is proof!  I don’t mean because  one could get hurt by sudden fast balls if one isn’t paying attention, either. I mean because they might pass you right by unnoticed. Then,you would miss being hit in the heart, and knocked to your kneees, and never know that grace had visited you at all.

I heard that quote in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” the first film I’ve seen in months. I only went because I had a feeling it would “be good for me.” The character who’s mouth it came floating out of was Ernest Hemingway’s. Ernest Hemingway!  I love much of his writing, but all that I’ve read about the man himself has made me cringe. And he killed himself.  I’d always seen that as a sign of his inability to love enough, in the end.  And perhaps it was. But he knew. He knows.

My heart goes out to him now. I thank him for his knowing, and for somehow sharing that with me, personally, so many years later, and through such a divinely formulated setup.  Of course, for all I know, the quote was not even his, but Woody Allen’s. If so, I thank him as well, for he was the go-between.  For I felt  Hemingway in it, you see, and I have never felt, or wanted to feel, this man at all!  That’s another curveball, feeling his energy, reaching out to me and as real as life, to tell me this powerful truth.  And I never even liked him! “Cowardice is nothing but a lack of love.” I hear you, Mr. Hemingway. I thank you.  Forgive me for not understanding better before, and thank you for finding me, and telling me, anyway. I’ll pass it on. And, I love you, too.

What I heard tonight was not only the truth I already believe– that love will set us free from all of the hell we create within us and around us by choosing to fear one another rather than remember that we are one. I heard the so-called “fatal flaw,” the weakness that I was taught to look for when analysing Shakespeare’s tragic characters back in college.  And I heard it from one who lived it out and came back to tell the tale.  He even named this core tool of self-destruction that breaks even the noblest heros, and the name he gave it is is lack of self-love.  Hemingway overlooked that in his desire to live up to his own standards, and so tortured himself with every perceived “failure” to be more than he thought he was.

It is the ego that drives us, and without any love for us at all. It is the ego, a third dimensional, artificial, construct that is built and programmed after our birth and throughout our younger years, that is our most formidable foe. The ego is there to keep us “in line.” Sometimes, in one with a strong spirit as Hemingway’s was, for example, one’s relationship with it can get very twisted, it is true. But, under the ego’s programmed domination, even if one thinks one is rebelling against a system, one is actually a puppet playing a designated role within it. All polarized systems, as ours has certainly been, need “bad guys” to point the finger at, to blame, to go to war against, to be the fall guys. This is how the system stay alive.

This is a tricky game to discern, then, for we all fall at first into believing that the ego is our protector, our defender, fighting for our rights and our survival, demanding that we be recognized and approved of.  It takes time to discover that  this approval we seek, these demands we make to be recognized, these pseudo-rebellions we play out against it, are all part of the trap that keeps us locked into its puppetry. The system pulls the strings, and the ego dances. In the process, we lose touch with our most sacred truths and our nobility of spirit. We forget that our love of humanity flows from the wellspring of love from Source, right within us, and that this is the love that motivates us to step out into the world!  It is necessary for us to experience the game, of course, and to feel the strings that jerk us around, in order to learn what it is.  We cannot gain mastery over it, otherwise.  If we get caught up in the game instead, however, if we accept our life sentence to play our roles of “good guy,” “bad guy,” whatever they are, for the system…we become cowards.

Know that your ego does not love you. Your ego does not care about you at all. Your ego only keeps you running after whatever carrot was hung in front of you when its programming was put into place.  And, you will never, ever, get hold of that carrot. You’ll get tastes to lure you forward, and then blame yourself evereytime it slips away. You’ll sacrifice your own soul to finally grab it, only to find that it is a tasteless illusion, and all you are left with is the self-loathing you have built up throughout the chase. And then what? This is the message Mr. Hemingway brought through me tonight, and in a far harsher way than is my natural bent. But I am delivering his message, because it is alive with his energy and his passion to share it, and because he wants me to.

He says, “Love yourself, dammit!  Honor that spark of divinity within you, for that is your light, your way, and your truth! Don’t be a fool, because otherwise you will lose the very power that drives you! You’ll lose your passion to give something of yourself to this world, and that’s the only reason you came to this planet, anyway. If you do not love yourself, how can you value what you are here to give? If you do not value it, how can you have the courage to offer it?  Courage comes only from the love within you, and you have to feel it for yourself before you can give it away!  Don’t forget this, whatever you do!”

Thank you, again, Mr. Hemingway. It was an honor to share your message. You are a valiant and noble spirit, after all. And one more time from my heart– forgive me for not understanding that about you before.

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