“Until you have loved, you cannot become yourself.” -Emily Dickinson
Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology posted the above quote on Facebook today. And I have to say this resonates more deeply for me than anything going on in this rather roiling world. News of riots in the streets of London and surrounding cities, hurricanes hurling category 3 in the aftermath of atypical quakes in my own town here, ugly political posturing, corruption amuck and with each issue after issue I follow passionately – finding no solid resolution – the one thing that shores me up, defines every footstep and hand-holding moment is love and, in particular, loving others. Loving others. In whatever way life allows, in whatever way we can create, envision, revolutionize, we become more truly who we are by our loving. This is especially true once the masks have been stripped away, the safety mechanisms melted down into acceptance and the ego purified, tamed.
A nearby train hails me on a regular basis and it twists through my ideas of what should happen in a life, what is “fair.” Love is tied to that train but a love I can’t access as I want to access it. That train held my kids when I hoped they wouldn’t know the hurts they know now (ah and the joys…the lessons learned, the wisdom), that train held a promise of healing of my own childhood, that train faithfully calls out, haunting, insisting, reminding me I cannot control outcomes but I can certainly be fully on the ride this life has become. And what does it evoke of me? Love of other. And it magnifies. Increases. Grows me up, asks me to accept what is and release what isn’t, allow all my longings to birth me beyond any guarantee of their fulfillment. It reminds me that we all have such a hailing reality somewhere in our lives, maybe even deep within calling out possibilities, asking that we love beyond the control-filled drive to get there now, flowing in a spiraling wonder of returning possibilities. Maybe new ones but it’s always love. Love is always returning us to the deep place within so we can grow more fully into who we are.
I hear the news. Watch cause and effect unfold in my own life. And it’s quite a ride. We do the best we can and sometimes that best doesn’t fill the void, assuage the angry wounds. One of my kids is grieving on levels deeper than I would ever fathom or imagine to witness, grieving his parents’ split. And it splits me, rips me into pieces as I give all that I can and find that I have, in pouring myself out, not begun to fill up the loss for him. It’s a process his life will unfold and I can only augment, give room for his awakening to what life is and is not, what love can heal eventually. This loving in the midst of grief and joy and challenges surreal does something to the stuff of amness. There is a solid being emerging here, there, in-between the shocked pauses but only as I allow love to stew me, brew me into presence. It’s not so much about scrambling for a solution as it is about standing in, being with, holding up.
I love the scripture that says “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” For all my frustration with many mis-translated, mis-interpreted scripture this one sings out a truth I cannot deny and that cannot be mistaken. It’s a highly powerful filter through which we can determine how much “love” is truly love. How many of us respond to others in fear of not being loved and call that very exchange love? How many of us respond to others in the hope to make them happy because we’re frightened of disappointment and identify that very response as love? What if it’s all we’ve known?
It’s the love that comes like a bit of a thief in the night out of nowhere that births us. It’s the love that melts away all the poses we identified as love, ceases all the reactions in the hopes to make mom and dad (in the form of someone who has become their replacement) understand or love us just a bit more, quiets the endless clamoring for the next fix and evokes heart, soul, mind in expression of gratitude, in constructs, creations that affirm the heartbeat of humanity. Through this unfolding of love for other, the fearless love, the control-free love, we become. And in our becoming the train goes ’round one more time, one more ride, and yet another. And we experience yet one more opportunity to manifest ourselves as love.
On with it…