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  • Writer's pictureJill Louise Foley

My Year to Clarity: I am not fearless. I am brave.


The more I read of love, it compares to fear. Fear and love are opposites. When one is present, the other can't be seen. Fear hides love and love heals fear. Fear is the mind. The mind is something we are taught; our filing cabinet of experiences and teachings. We bring the mind into everything. As a child, we are born into love. Love between two people conceived a child. Here’s the thing about love... we've never been taught to love freely, to naturally let love happen. We control. We've been taught rules and guidelines of love.

Where has the “love” that you know of derived from?

Was it taught to you from your parents, who learnt from their parents, who learnt from their parents?

Love has been passed down the line, similar to the game Telephone. Have you ever played Telephone? One person comes up with a sentence and whispers it in the ear of the person next to them. That person then whispers it to the next person, so on and so on. When it hits the last person, that last person says the sentence aloud, usually turning the sentence into something unrecognizable to the source. This is the same in love. God is love! Pure love. We are children of God. We are brothers and sisters of love. Every time love is passed on to the next generation, it becomes distorted. Unrecognizable to the source.

“As the child is born, the oppressors are ready to jump on him, to crush his energies, to distort them to such an extent, to distort them so deeply, that the person will never become aware that he is living a false life, a pseudo life, that he is not living as he was meant to live, as he was born to live; that he is living something synthetic, plastic, that this is not his real soul. That's why millions of people are in such misery - because they feel somewhere that they have been distracted, that they are not their own selves, that something has gone basically wrong...”

-Osho (Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously)

My family has a history of pain. Pain towards love, which hadn't been fully healed. So of course, just as a battle wound that hasn't been tended to, it becomes infected and the pain never fully goes away. It becomes a reminder. When it is love that has been broken, every time love is re-entered, our infected wound reminds us of the past pain.

“You have to break down the known to enable the unknown to enter.”

-Deepak Chopra (The Path to Love)

I'm going to explain this in relation to your body. It's so interesting how bodybuilding structures a similar path to the soul and spirit in terms of growth. If you are wanting to build your body, you can't simply lift super heavy weight and expect your body to hold up underneath the stress. First, you have to unblock your body. You have to stretch, build proper mobility, and release the tension and the knots before you can effectively build lean muscle evenly on your physique. If you skip repairing your body’s natural ability to move, you will become injured, uneven and stuck. The old injuries will arise sooner or later if you don't take care of them. Same when it comes to love. You must heal, recover, and come back to the foundation and go freely into the now.

“Love is simple if the child is allowed to grow, helped to grow, in natural ways. If the child is helped to be in harmony with nature and in harmony with himself, if the child is in every way supported, nourished, encouraged to be natural and to be himself, a light unto himself, then love is simple. One will be simply loving!”

-Osho (Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously)

That's why children are so open to love, talk to strangers, move their bodies, have an abundance of energy. We don't often nurture this innocence, instead we turn them into us. We are told to sit down, be nice, don't talk to strangers, stop screaming, eat this, money doesn't grow on trees, follow these rules. We lose our sense of freedom, our zest for life and passion for discovering the unknown. Instead we sit down, be nice, don't talk to strangers, stop sharing our feelings, mimic eating habits we're taught (rewarded with treats, comfort with food), try to follow rules and beat ourselves up when we fall short. We are all born to be different shapes, but that isn't praised. Instead, we are taught to compromise ourselves into a shape of a box.

I spent a long time holding resentments against my family, never feeling seen or understood. That's why bodybuilding called to me so much; it was all about me. My efforts. When my efforts began to change my body, I received praise. We are taught to seek out praise. We are praised for good behaviour and punished for bad. So, naturally, since this praise amplified with the size of my muscles, my ego told me I needed more, more and more. When my natural efforts didn't seem to be enough I began using oral steroids. When oral steroids didn't seem to be enough, I added injectable steroids; constantly feeding my ego. The ego is your false identity. My false identity was that I'm competitive and I needed to be the best. I believe that bodybuilding can heal you. Not competing. Bodybuilding! Bodybuilding allows you to build yourself up. The art of bodybuilding is creating a symmetric, functional, artistic physique by putting love towards your body. Now the mind is what ruins us. The mind is important for the outside world but not good for the inside. We should all take care of our bodies with movement and clean nutritious food. Instead, we begin to look at others instead of focusing on ourselves.

“Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life.”

-Jen Sincero (You are a Badass)

Now the mind comes in; we change ourselves to compete with the person next to us. To be better. Not to embrace our authentic selves, but to transform into someone we don't even recognize. That's exactly what happened to me. I love fitness! I love feeling healthy. I love treating my body with care. I allowed my ego to lead me, not my heart. The ego led me so far away from my authentic self that I became unrecognizable. The ego can exist only if it hates, because in hating, you feel superior (I need to be the best). In hating, you become separate. In hating, you become defined. In hating, you attain a certain identity. In love, the ego has to disappear. In love, you are no longer separate. Love helps you to dissolve with others.

“If you are too much attached to the ego, then hate is easy and love is most difficult. Be alert, watchful: hate is the shadow of ego. Love needs great courage. It needs great courage because it needs the sacrifice of the ego. Only those who are ready to become nobodies are able to love. Only those who are ready to become nothing, utterly empty of themselves, are able to receive the gift of love from the beyond.”

-Osho (Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously)

Your own story is your best teacher. Look at yourself! No one else; just you.

What infected wounds are you carrying around from one relationship to the next?

Are you blaming others for how your life has unraveled?

Take back the control. I've been told how to live my life for a really long time; my eyes are now open to my synthetic ego driven life. I am no longer a victim. I can unlearn the lessons that don't derive from love. Any portion of my life led by hate I can fix with love. I have fears. Every day I am faced with fears. Surrounded by waves of fear, I choose to be brave, stand strong and practice love. Love is a practice. I practice giving it to others and I need to consistently practice giving it to myself. The more I let go of my ego, the more I become filled with love. I am replacing my false identity with the authentic Jill Louise Foley. So far, on my year to clarity, I've known this to be my truth:

I am Jill Louise Foley.

I am a child of God.

I am made from love and the answer is love.

I am not a victim.

I have fears but I am brave.


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