QA222 QUESTION: A while ago I got arthritis and the pains have come and gone. But just recently, the pains have been back, especially in my legs. I’ve felt kinder to myself in that I don’t strain my body. On the other hand, I feel almost as if I can’t stand on my legs and that I have to sit a lot. I’ve always counted on my legs and I don’t understand the meaning of this. I’m very upset.

ANSWER: Well, the meaning is quite obvious in that there is a part in you that does not want to stand on your feet in life, that resents it and rejects it and demands nurturing – an infantile nurturing – because you equate that with being loved. It is very important for you in your meditations to question this equation.

“Is being loved really being taken care of? Is it possible to be loved and to take care of myself? Is it perhaps also possible to be taken care of and not be loved?” There’s a confusion there on a deeper level, which will not be as difficult for you to ascertain as you may think at first, or perhaps you can even sense some of this, already now. Can you? {Yes}

It is that confusion that keeps a deep inner will, an inner intentionality, to want to force it according to your concept of “you must love me, and therefore you must take care of me,” because you see this as an equation.

In connection with that, you can perhaps begin to visualize a state in which you can give love, receive love, and not be taken care of; being entirely self-responsible, standing on your feet in life – materially as well as emotionally; being a truly independent, self-supporting adult who does not make childish demands on other people, who is willing to give as much as you are desirous to receive.

Visualize that with the glory of loving and being loved as a natural outcome. For how can you let yourself really be loved if you do not love yourself. And how can you really love yourself if you make unfair demands, if you demand more from others than you are willing to give? So your pain becomes simultaneously an expression of that which I just said, but also of the punishment you inflict upon yourself, because on a deeper level you know it is an unfair demand.

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