Each event and every moment of life brings with it a kind of gift just for us, providing we will receive it. What is this gift yet claimed? What power is there that can make all of life's moments turn brightly golden? Please let neither the simplicity nor the familiarity of the following answer keep you from investigating the secret behind its unimaginable promise: perfect love casts out fear.
What is "perfect love"? It is not what we know of love at present -- the emotional experience of its various forms passing through us. Rather, think of a flower opening its soft petals to the welcoming touch of the sun's morning light. Unfolding further, it collects and passes this energy into the fruit growing there in its bud, giving it the food it needs to grow. Holding in mind this picture, see this fruit ripening and falling to the ground and how, in time, its seed becomes the stalk of another flower from which more fruit will be born. Now, as best you can, imagine all of these movements at once; realize that these seemingly individual expressions of life, death, and rebirth taking place in passing time are but one principle--eternally expressing itself--and you have some idea of what love is: nothing is made without its living light, and all things are made new through its power.
Why does perfect love cast out fear, along with all of the ways that it compromises us? Because much in the same way as it is impossible for a shadow to live in the light, such a love ensures that dark divisive states such as fear, anxiety, and depression cannot dwell in the presence of its living light. Our task, should we wish to walk through life with such a fierce advocate by our side, is to awaken ourselves to the fact of its presence as a power already within us.
Imagine how different life would be if we understood that nothing happens to us that isn't sent our way to help us learn more about the eternal nature of love. With such a realization we would know that whatever takes place in our life has not come as something set against our best interests, but to help us realize them!
What prohibits us from awakening to this essential relationship, and realizing its power as our own? In a word, resistance. We see life through the eyes of a part of us that instantly opposes whatever challenges its idea about the meaning of life and what's "best" for us in it. It is this mistaken sense of self that stands between us and true self-transformation.
If our wish is to know the freedom of perfect love as our own, we must yield to what is above us. This wish reveals the eternal relationship that exists between the greater and the lesser: the greater is continually pouring out its life, giving its light to the lesser. This means that the lesser is made greater each time it surrenders to the greater because in that moment the lesser becomes the greater; then it understands that greater work of which it is now a part, and to which it now wants to give itself again.
Think of the way in which a barren winter grape vine yields itself to the first rays of a warm spring sun, drinking in the radiant energy that will--in a few months--be a part of the sweet fruit it grows. In nature we can see this order of relationship law: for one life to "increase" another must "decrease." The same holds true within us. We too must yield the still dark and undiscovered parts of ourselves to the light of awareness that transforms them, so that the soul can blossom and bear fruit. This eternal genesis is the secret nature of love, as is its living Light through which we perceive our relationship within it. Our gift in life, should we choose to receive it, is to witness and realize our oneness with this perfect love.
As our inner eyes open, and we see that all things come to us for the sake of increasing our trust in this love, the flame of true faith ignites. By its light we see with ever-increasing clarity that nothing happens to us that isn't part of preparing us to transcend--to outgrow--who and what we have been. Our conviction in the goodness of Truth moves past all doubt. Now our inner work is to practice being one with this Light whose love has made possible our awakening. The fruit of this union is freedom.