A simple prayer. A profound revelation.
How is it that as beings we come into this world as pure love? And yet we forget? And need to be taught-or perhaps just need to remember again.
As a child I remember being cared for on all basic fundamental levels. But if you ask me honestly, I don’t remember feeling loved. To be fair to my parents, I don’t remember most of my childhood. As an adult student of the mind, I recognize now that there were not a lot of emotional highs and lows on which to attach memory. I suppose I was "lucky" in that.
There was abuse, once that I recall, at the hands of a trusted caregiver. But even in that I made little meaning. Still don’t. And my intent in sharing is not to minimize its occurrence, but simply to highlight the power of the human psyche to shield.
It seems I was a successful graduate of the school of tough love. I remember being told to quit my crying-so I did. Until I was 38 years old.
Not after break ups, not at funerals, and barely at the birth of my children (I blame the oxytocin).
When you go through life devoid of feeling on any real, intimate levels, you may see yourself as different from others, but you see nothing flawed in it. In fact, you may even pride yourself on “having it all together.”
But if you root your identity in being impervious to big emotions-let me tell you, you’re missing the point of this wild ride!
Emotive love- in all of its forms- is just one big sticky ball of immense feelings; a beautifully ugly and joyfully painful experience like no other. Love is not found in the avoidance of suffering or even the absence of boredom. It is unpredictable and chaotic-far from the safety and security of the apathy I once embraced.
Actionable love is the choice you make to love despite all of the chaos. The commitment to yourself and others to remain open and vulnerable even when it hurts.
While I may have understood love on an intellectual level, it is a far different thing to now feel and choose love.
I recently wept buckets of tears on my pillow without any volition. Just pure, raw, unbridled, flesh-torn open, exposed, pulsating-heart. It was the best feeling ever. And somewhere in the middle I began smiling and eventually belly laughing at the ridiculousness of my very own tears! Not because they weren’t beautiful, but because they WERE! Why had I been hiding them so long?
Because I asked.
“Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be open to you.” - Matthew 7:7
And then I allowed.
I allowed myself to be shown through feeling- as foreign and uncomfortable as it has been. I could have shut it down at any point. I am a master at emotional masonry and I can erect some pretty damn solid walls around this heart of mine. But instead I have chosen to remain open.
Being shown how to love by the infinite divine well-spring within me has been a miraculous answer to a simple prayer. The depths of the love available to me and through me has no end and will continue to grow as long as I allow it.
Here’s to the next 38 years. May they not be without tears.