December 31, 2016
Leaving 2016 for higher ground I am keenly aware of my fragility as I am acceptance--as the crow flies--that you and I are here for a moment. And yet I, or maybe you too, perhaps, spend days, months, years even, in conflict with the other, or in dissatisfaction, or annoyance, or a thousand points of hurt from all the ways we imagine we do not belong, instead of a thousand points of light and the deep knowing that we are the light, each one of us. If we really know this, there is no conflict or disaffection and no judgment of one another. We spend years bewildered by the questions of, does he really love me, do I really love her? And so if we have to question or wonder about the validity of our love for one another, can we say we really know love?
May I say what love is not? It is not conditional. If I say this and you do not agree, will I lose your love for me? If your love for me is measured by how I speak, how I look, my views of the world and in all those other ways you may judge my worth, how can I leave a place called distress when thinking of you? Embracing our common humanity, yet allowing for our differences too, practicing tolerance with one another in respect of our individual journeys and finding a state called empathy, are pillars that provide the foundation for unconditional love. To stand in the light of vulnerability, as the love we are, takes courage and a dedication to reach higher ground. I would rather spend time on my own--lost in my dreams is one of my most favourite places to inhabit--or with just a few kindred spirits than spend time with one who would judge my humaneness, and leave me wounded.
This year I am sparked by Father Michael Fish, a friend devoted to all that is sacred and one who spends much of his time in solitude at the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, his monastic community. I have leaned in to listen to Michael this year, a man who stands openly in the light of vulnerability, laying down his shield. He taught me the meaning of deep friendship. It goes like this: In the loving gaze of the other, we discover our own beauty--the beauty of who we truly are. If I look at your loving gaze and see my beauty in it, it is everything to me. This is unconditional love. It is a state of being, a country and a world of no judgment, no purposeful wounds, no jealousies, no assumptions and no exclusions.
The year 2017 is the year I am devoting to remain standing in the light of vulnerability--come what may--laying down my shield to embrace you. I may disappoint you without knowing why along the way, yet I have nothing to achieve and everything to gain if I remain in my natural state of being--love, actually. And to my friends, I hope you dance and you never lose your sense of wonder....I wish you bluebirds in the spring, to give your heart a song to sing, and then a kiss, but more than this, I wish you love.
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