Rainer Maria Rilke: Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love

 

Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Yes, that’s my experience.

What frightens me is already what I am. It’s part of me. It happens within and as me.

And what that part of me wishes for is being respected, loved, listened to, intentionally allowed. It’s very much like a frightened animal.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t act when life and the situation calls for it. I’ll still act in an as kind and wise way as I am able to. For instance, I’ll still support putting some people in prison, although treating them with respect, as fellow human beings, and – if necessary or possible – supporting their transition into more helpful members of society. It’s not about being naive or passive in how we relate to our life and the world. It’s about finding kindness towards the parts of ourselves that are unloved, and also that in the world which is unloved. And the two are really the same.