LETTERS FROM LOVE — With Special Guests Iva and Rose!
"For every olive branch, let me be the dove"
Happy holidays, Lovelies!
I wanted to offer you something really special as a holiday newsletter (our first major holiday together as a global community!) and so I decided to invite the most peaceful and wise person I know to share a Letter from Love this week. That person would be my luminous friend Iva Nasr, whom some of you may remember from the early pages of EAT PRAY LOVE as the friend who encouraged me to write a “petition to the universe” asking for divine intervention upon the settling of my never-ending divorce . . . and it worked!
Iva is a miracle worker of the heart and a true ambassador of peace. But she is not an innocent about the realities of war. Iva grew up in Lebanon during a time of terrible carnage and trauma, and spent most of her childhood nights sleeping in a bomb shelter while missiles rained down upon her and her family. But it was in that bunker that Iva had her first mystical experience, staring into a candle flame and seeing the Infinite on display within its dancing light. After that experience, I suppose you could say that Iva herself became a dancing light — for that is indeed how I have always seen her.
Iva has spent her life working for peace and for the safety and betterment of children. It was at an international conference for children that she met an Israeli woman named Rose, who would someday become one of her best friends in the world. This unlikely pairing — a Lebanese woman and an Israeli woman — immediately recognized each other as soul-sisters. And indeed they have led parallel lives in both beautiful and awful ways: both of them were raised in war zones; both of them have experienced firsthand the weapons and attacks of the others’ nations; both of them emerged from war as advocates for peace and love; and both of them have spent their entire lives working to protect the children of the world. And both of them, through all the chaos and suffering of their native lands, still love each other dearly.
Iva invited her friend Rose to “share the mic” this week — so they could both offer up their letters of love, and also to give them a chance to speak of their great love for each other. Their loving friendship, born in a war-torn region of the world, is our sincere holiday offering to you all.
Thank you all for your open hearts and for being part of this community! Everyone here at Letters from Love Industries (meaning: me and Margaret) send you all the love in the world this holiday season — to you, to us, to all.
Dear Love, what would you have me know today about hope?
My little tremble, my little quiver, my dear little fearful heart . . .
First of all, rest with me. Stay with me. Wait until you feel me before you keep writing. Settle into this moment. There is no hurry, there is no urgency. Put the notebook down, lay down your pen, and sit with me for a while in stillness, and feel my comfort.
Okay, darling. Can you hear my voice? Stay with me, child. Stay with me.
You have asked me today about hope, but I know you, my love, so I know that what you are actually asking me about is FEAR. Hope is a beautiful word, but in your consciousness, it is always associated with fear. You long for hope whenever you feel frightened. You come to me when you are most afraid, begging for me to fill you with hope — because what you really want, dearest one, is to experience an end to all fear.
What you are really asking me, then, when you ask about hope, is “Can you promise me that my fear will someday come to an end?”
So can we pause for a moment, my love, and just address the fear? Can you allow me to love the one inside you who is fearful and desperate and overwhelmed? Can you allow me to love the one who doesn’t know what to do to make things better, and who is so afraid that things will never improve, and who can’t always find her role? Because until we can love that one — the one who is so frightened — all the hope in the world will not be able to reach your terrified heart and settle its frantic pulse.
Little Fear, I want you to know this: there is no part of you that I do not love, and there is nothing that could ever happen in this world or to you where love cannot be accessed.
Child, do you remember when you went to hear those two Nobel Prize-winning physicists speak one night about the nature of the universe, and at the end of their long conversation, one of them admitted that after all his decades of studying the nature of reality, he felt like he knows less now than he ever knew — that the more he learns about the universe, the further he gets from understanding how any of it works? And he concluded by saying, “All I can tell you anymore with any certainty is that nothing is what it appears to be.”
My Hungry One, can you accept that? Can you accept that you will never be able to understand what anything is, or why? And that nothing is what it appears to be? Can you replace the need to understand (which is also the need to control, the need to hope) with the willingness to love? Can you love whatever arises? Can you become a friend to the parts of yourself who still want everything to be different? Can you become a friend to what is? Can you become a friend to others, as they struggle and worry?
Can you see that this is what hope really is? It is friendship. It is a willingness to love. It is presence. And therefore, it is already here. Let’s keep going.
This week, if you are so moved, you might want to ask Unconditional Love what it has to tell you about the subject of “hope.” Or you may wish to use our standard prompt, which works in all situations: “Dear Love, what would you have me know today?” Or you may wish to ask Love your own question, about something that is painful or frightening or confusing in your own life. Or you may wish to sit quietly and observe. Whatever you choose to do or not do, we love you and you are welcome here.