In the process of finding unconditional love, we usually need a guide—one or more—whose love and teaching we can trust implicitly. Without such love, we are left to the distorting—even deadly—influences of our own past lies and wounds.
As we follow these wise men and women on our journey toward joy, often the path is not easy. When circumstances get difficult—a spouse gets angry, a child becomes rebellious, an employer wrongly condemns us—we tend to become afraid, and then we forget the love we’ve been given and the principles we’ve been taught. In our fear, it’s a natural reflex that we reach out for what is familiar, rather than for what is true and effective.
During difficult times, how can we remember to cling to love and the truth?
On more occasions than I can remember, I have flown on commercial planes. On not a single occasion can I remember anybody raising their hand—or shouting, or banging on the cockpit door—to offer advice to the pilot of the plane. Such an act would seem absurd considering the thousands of hours of training and experience possessed by the pilot.
When the air is particularly turbulent, I have noticed that people are even more trusting of the pilot. Some people even offer up prayers that the pilot would be especially inspired to draw on his training.
At 37,000 feet on a commercial plane, our trust in the pilot needs to be greatest when there is turbulence and potential danger. Otherwise, we would panic, frighten other passengers, and possibly affect the flight itself.
Similarly, when life is difficult—when turbulence is greatest—it might be wise to consider that such times are exactly when we need most to trust those whose love and knowledge of life are greater than our own.