Five years ago I drove from Albany, NY to Hansville, WA. Alone. Those five days in the car broke and rebuilt me. As I white-knuckled it through horrific thunder storms in Wisconsin, ascended impossible inclines on the way into Yellowstone, and drove down miles of completely empty highway in Montana, fear hovered on the edge of every thought. Each time I felt it close in, I said “perfect love casts out fear.” It’s part of the bible verse 1 John 4:18. Dwell in love and fear can’t get a foothold. Dwell in love and you arm yourself against doubt. Dwell in love and you fortify yourself against destruction by your own hands.
I shared these words with a friend a few years ago and she asked what “perfect love” meant, because it sounded impossible. Perfect love is the dance between you and God. Perfect love is the moment you surrender to the desire of the Divine. Stepping into the profundity of your natural light is perfect love. Laying your head upon the blazing heart of the Universe is perfect love. Devotion, however humanly imperfect, is perfect love. You, here, breathing and reading is perfect love. The sacred being that you are at your core and your fingertips is perfect love. The soul life, with it’s honey-like sweetness, is perfect love. Your soul is perfect love. Your bones and blood are permeated by soul. Your mind is wrapped in soul. Your skin whispers of soul. Your whole being is a constellation of perfect love.
When it feels like life is testing my mettle, “perfect love casts out fear” rises in me. It slips into my consciousness with the effortlessness of a muscle memory. It rebuilds my strength. It turns the lights back on. And it often accompanies an image of a beautiful artist selecting a star from the sky, cracking it open ever so delicately, and pouring all that twinkling light right into me. Then I get to walk around all day pretending to be a mere mortal. In reality I’m starlight and fire breathing in a body.
beautiful photo by Alexey Kljatov