Because I am not satisfied with the ordinary, I am fascinated by the extraordinary. And because I am agitated by rules, I seek new paths. And because I am not content with the status quo, I rejoice in creativity. And when I rejoice in creativity, I am compelled to find new ways. Every journey of the spirit is a simple quest for love – divine love, human love, self-love. I am learning to open my heart and love.
Conversations with a Compassionate Universe
Into the Shadow
The discomfort and aching
of a God that tugs
a bit too
in the gut,
requires my fight?
thing wrestles me down
in broad daylight?
has me by its claws?
I tell you.
I was born into a life of divine discontent. Divine discontent is a persistent state of searching for something else, something more, with absolutely no ability to explain or know what it is I am looking for. Divine discontent is not torture but longing. It is the driving force that propels me on this lifetime journey to return to love. How maddening it is to realize that healing is perpetual. I will never simply figure it out, it seems, and move on. There are no answers to the questions of the searching soul. Only yearning. Only yearning.
Love is understanding.
Understanding another’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person.
Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.
Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Love
Love is understanding. It is embracing our humanity, and by humanity I do not only mean the human capacity for love, but rather the human reality of imperfection.
Perhaps this is radical. Love is not the desperate need to fill the empty ache of the heart. It is not the solution for loneliness. Love is not even the search for companionship.
Love is a gift, not a get. It is the gift of empathy, of understanding the suffering of another. It is the gift of a broken heart. When my heart understands suffering, understands my imperfections, I can understand yours. There is a mutual understanding, a common acknowledgement of the nature of our humanity. And our imperfections should be met with love and understanding. With as little judgment as possible. That is why it is written in Leviticus: love your neighbor as yourself. We are commanded to have compassion for the humanity in one another. And we are commanded to have compassion for ourselves. Every diamond soul has its flaw.
That is love.
Everything I know about love I learned when I was pushed down on the playground in third grade. I fell hard. I don’t remember who pushed me or why. But I remember sitting there. My knee was scraped raw, pieces of blacktop embedded in the skin. It really hurt badly. I sat there embarrassed and indignant. And I was in shock, astounded by the brutality. Did he really just push me?! It was hard to get up from the ground. I suppose I cried, but I don’t remember that part.
And this is what I’ve learned about love. That the embedded hurt from some distant fall, the insult to the soul’s sparkle, the astonishment of a slap and the embarrassment of the affront is the persistent. We tend not to forget. We do not let go. Some remnant of our psyche refuses to rise from the asphalt of childhood.
O dwellers of the dust, awake and sing for joy. Isaiah 26:19