“Buried deep in the heart of every human is a savage, wanton passion for life. To love and to be loved, to go beyond survival and to embrace life to its fullest–these are the primal drives of the heart that allow us to continue, even in the face of all opposition. These feelings have become suppressed in so many humans that the passion of primal, loving instinct has almost come to extinction in many sophisticated nations. Some call this passion animalistic. The Ancestors called it the Force behind Divine Creation. Today’s pilgrims on life’s road can choose to give it another name–love.”
More and more, as life allows me I find myself flowing passionately, openly and with the inspiration of that part of myself most unashamed of the primal. It’s a flow that can reach into every relationship where the receptors are less fear/control inhibited. I can think of a few, only a few, with the appetite for unhindered preciousness and that fact alone is grievous. But what a wealth is found with just one or two. What we lose in our childhood of our capacity to unabashedly revel in the pleasure of relating, of loving we must eagerly, unrelentingly seek to revive or even to call forth for the first time. It is the most rewarding, rejuvenating elixir supreme. And I mean something beyond the mere perfunctory hugs between friends and family. I mean something beyond the routine routes of affection. We are capable of so much more.
We can find it in the most basic moments, opening the heart wide and the hands fully towards those we love. We forget how hugely the heart can resonate, respond and revive until life graces us with the gift of experience. Something as simple as a moment with a son who is still unashamed of his capacity to cuddle, to love, to need, one moment opens a door and the heart sings. Just last night my youngest needed my presence just long enough to pass out at bedtime. I rested there next to him on his tiny bed and he said “Face….” and touched mine… “Face….” He was sleepy but couldn’t pass out without face. Up to that point, I was barely functioning, my exhaustion wrapping me up tight in bonds of severe fatigue, every part of me tense with that effort to simply avoid collapse. “Face…” and every part of me sighed, remembering to breathe into the fatigue, remembering to be something other than an effort to stand. I felt my heart grow larger with just one word. His hand on mine then mine on his and then his hand on my hand on his face. Then jerking awake every time his hand falls away from that contact. This won’t do. So what do you do? You get the child to lie on his side and his face is fully cupped by your hands and his arms fall freely as he floats into sleep and you rest there on little twin bed. Face. Hands. Rest. Heart sighing in great gulps of fresh air.
Ah but no. He should grow up strong and brave and able to fall asleep alone. Right? No. Maslow says our capacities clamor and do not cease their clamoring until we find an outlet for their needful expression. And what of capacity? How deeply does it run beneath the surface we’ve accepted as good enough? In every area of our lives, as parents, as friends, as lovers, as artists, as writers, as healthcare workers, as whatever role or expression we reside…this savage inspiration needs to guide. Where would I be without calls that end so beautifully and passionately in “I sooo love you!!”? When the cynicism and toughness is stripped away, these are the friends who come calling, who grace our lives with passion, hope and expressiveness. When the fear and reaction-based routines melt away, these are the hands-full moments that fill up our hearts.
And all we need to do is change the pattern, open the door a bit wider and let love in.