Motivational musings, inspired by Mumford and Sons



Column by Fatimah Shalash. Email [email protected].

Mumford and Sons sang the following: “And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.”

This lyric struck a chord with me. There’s an interesting dynamic between love, fear and heartbreak. In order to love, you must let go of, or accept, your fear. To feel heartbreak, you must know love. A breaking heart can renew a sense of fear.

Yet it’s love that we keep chasing after, despite knowing where it can take us. Though it can lead to despair, the ultimate prize of loving and being loved outweighs anything else. This leads me to reflect on my experiences of the past two years completing my Family Studies program, and how when I think about leaving, my heart drops to my stomach.  Saying goodbye to a part of my life that further shapes who I am all of a sudden seems impossible.

My instinct is to plant my feet to the ground so that they have to drag me out by force. To be experiencing something making me feel this strongly tells me something important.  This visceral bittersweet feeling tells me that the more difficult the goodbye, the more it all meant to me.

In this program I have learned something new about love; the importance of loving yourself in order to expand love for others, love, not fear, as the reality of what should motivate us, and that love has many different faces.

This took time to discover. In all honesty, perhaps it is something I have always known, but it was buried deep underneath all the layers that kept me safe and comfortable.

Things felt more manageable from a distance. It’s easier to want others to change than to be introspective about what you could do to change. It’s easier to value yourself by how much others love you, but to forget to love yourself. It’s easier put on a smile rather than share hurt with others.

Slowly, I confronted the process of knowing myself by facing the fear of what would happen if I just avoided it all, or if I found things I didn’t like about myself. But I found that neglecting the scary parts, the darker parts, also means neglecting to find the light.

In doing what felt like could be a lonely journey, I realized how far I was from being alone. Not only did I have wonderful supporters on the way, but I became more comfortable with myself and with my clients.  Even better, it gave permission to others to open doors peeking into their own depth, making us closer and less alone.

And so to Mumford, I say: Bring on the tears. Bring the sad ones, the tragic ones, the happy ones. But just give me just enough to grow and lean into the sunlight.

I dedicate this article to my program, and to all those that continue to love despite all odds. Thank you.