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Surrendering the Shields
Fran Fisher

Your heart is a doorway to your essential self where your deepest desires emerge from the heart of Universal Intelligence/God/Spirit.

What I discovered in my heart December 2000 is that I want to love and be loved. From earliest childhood, my spiritual belief was that I am loved, but throughout most of my adult life my fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs blocked my awareness and experience of the presence of that Love.

When my best friend, Adria, found out I had been rushed to a hospital and scheduled for emergency surgery, she immediately cleared her business and social calendar. She flew to Seattle from Toronto, so she could take care of me as soon as I was released from the hospital.

For the first two weeks, I was completely dependent on her to help me in and out of bed, and in and out of the living room recliner where I spent most of my time. She helped me get on and off the toilet and in and out of the shower. She cleaned and dressed my wound several times a day. She cooked for me and laundered every day. She made quick trips to the grocery store and brought home fresh flowers that she lavishly arranged in every room in my home. She slept on the sofa so she could be near me at night. When the pain was unbearable she rubbed my back. She read to me to lull me to sleep. And she rented a key board and played Christmas music for me.

One day Adria came back from a shopping trip with two new over- sized beige bath towels. She proudly gave me her gift. I snapped. I unleashed a torrent of anger. I was shocked at the intensity of my emotion. Something unexpectedly triggered this outburst. I can still remember some of my mental images and thoughts in that flash flood moment. I already have oversized towels that I don’t even use.  I don’t have space for stuff in this apartment that I don’t need. I don’t like the color of these towels. I don’t like to use over sized bath towels. I am overwhelmed and feeling smothered by all that you are doing for me!

I felt ashamed and guilty for my outburst and for what I was feeling. She clearly didn’t deserve anything but gratitude and appreciation from me. I was so overwhelmed I was unable to let in one more ounce of generosity and unconditional love. I couldn’t feel grateful. All I could feel was anger.

Adria understood what was happening to me. She maintained her unflappable and unconditionally loving presence with me. When I was calm enough to hear it, she gave me some feedback that was the catalyst for a profound shift in my world view and ultimately the quality of my life going forward.

She said, “Fran, you wear shields. Your shields have been protecting you from getting hurt up until now, but they also have been shielding you from the love that wants to get through to your heart.”

In my highly vulnerable state, I could feel the love pressing on those shields and the shields straining under the pressure. Up until then I was unaware that I had shields. I felt like I needed them right then, too, to protect my heart from the pain of letting that much love in as well as my fear of surrendering control. She is right!  I do have shields! I felt the truth in her words.

That night, sleepless in my bed, flat on my back staring up at the ceiling tiles, I sensed the presence of angels filling my room. Angels had been with me too when the surgeon informed me that he had removed a tumor the size of an orange from my colon.

Have you seen movies about people who go to heaven and then they are shown scenes from their life? Well, it was like that for me that night. The ceiling was my movie screen. I watched scene after scene from my past when people had tried to express their love for me and my shields deflected it. I grieved. I felt such deep sadness for all those lost opportunities to honor them and let in their love for me. I wept for the lost opportunities to receive the healing that would have been available. I grieved for what it had cost me to wear those shields.

I made a decision. I decided to let go of my belief that the world is not safe -- that I have to protect my heart. I realized by holding that belief, I had attracted lots and lots of evidence for reinforcing it. I decided “I am Done. That’s Over. Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt. It is time for a new core belief.”: I will now go forward living my life consistent with a belief that the world is conspiring to love me. 

Until that moment, I had lived my life consistent with the belief that I had to protect my heart. That had cost me way too much love, joy, peace, and freedom. So, I decided to release the shields. I closed my eyes and visualized letting go of my grip on them. I saw them float up and away into blue sky and break apart into a zillion little glittering pieces. Then, I felt a rush of freedom and exhilaration, with just a pinch of vulnerability. I sensed the adventure of being unleashed in love with the world – no more holding back.

I reconnected with what I learned in Sunday School when I was a small child: God is Love, and God is ALL - everywhere present. My grandmother used to say to me, “Frannie, there is no place that God is not.” I decided to see everything as expressions of Love.

My new belief was soon tested when it came time to start my chemotherapy treatments. I knew medically that this would be poison going into my body. I also knew intuitively that it was the right thing for me to do. So, I called the chemo the “love juice.” In my new belief I saw it as an expression of Love loving me. Holding that thought in mind helped me to relax, surrender, and trust the process.
 
I believe my heart is the heart of Universal Intelligence/God/Spirit. I believe that when I consult my heart, I am discovering what Universal Intelligence/God/Spirit lovingly wants for me. Since I shifted my view, my life has transformed. For one thing, my heart is happy. Truly and authentically happy. I didn’t know my heart wasn’t happy, until it was. Now, I am attracting amazing personal and professional relationships that reflect and appreciate my love.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls. Joseph Campbell

10/9/2008

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