From Fear to Love
Mary Ruth Velicki MS, DPT
I’ve experienced and witnessed how the internal focus can switch from a fear-based mindset to a love-based mindset.
For example, about six years into healing, I was visiting with Alex Sr. (my father-in-law). He held my first book, which had been recently published, in his hand and pointed to the multi-colored swirl on the cover that moved from red at the base, through all the colors of the rainbow, to purple at the top. For many, this is just a cool-looking graphic, but others can appreciate the colors of the body’s energy centers, or chakras, and how the colors flow from the red of the root chakra, where the pain originated for me, and rise to the indigo of the sixth chakra, or third eye, which represents spiritual insight.
Alex Sr. had no knowledge of any of this when he said, “This shows your pain,” as he pointed to the red area, “and this is your healing,” as he traced the colors upward. “Your story lets people know that healing is possible,” he continued. “And when you know it is possible, it can happen.”
His insight was surprising to me because I had never told him what I had gone through and he hadn’t read the book. It was difficult to communicate because he had lost much of his hearing and English was not his first language, and I wasn’t sure he would be interested in the details, anyway.
He then told me about the new data from the Hubble Space Telescope, which led scientists to estimate the number of stars in the observable universe to be 1029, one hundred octillion (the number one followed by thirty zeroes). He shared how this number boggled his mind and how he often looked up at the stars, marveling at the vastness of the universe.
Then, almost as if a switch had flipped, Alex Sr. started to talk about losing his driver’s license and independence, and he became anxious and fearful. He had children who would have loved to help him, but he refused to accept the support. His fierce independence and hyper-vigilance had helped him survive as a fatherless child in Yugoslavia in the middle of World War II, but now this pattern was causing him to suffer.
I recognized these two contrasting states because I had experienced them myself. As I healed and my body-mind relaxed, I could feel more love within me and I sensed more of a connection with everything around me. It was only then that I understood how ramped up my system had been before and how the post-traumatic stress of my childhood had often solidified my mind and body into the reactive survival mode.
When we appreciate fear-based beliefs and behaviors and decide to update them with more loving ones, we move from being internally quiet to becoming progressively more still. When you are still, different perceptions can float into your awareness, and you may experience your life (even the same settings and situations) in a whole new way.
For example, about nine years into healing, I was walking in my neighborhood when I heard my inner voice saying, I’m spinning and depleted. Just then, another voice came through: Are you sure about that? In that moment I realized I was also grounded and full, and my perception shifted. I could see to the edges of the horizon, and the sky arched over me like a big turquoise marble dotted with wispy white clouds. Along with this expanded view came the knowledge that when we switch our focus, we can change our experience.