Friday, December 15, 2006

Responsibility, Compassion & Love

There are some who believe that our feelings . . .any pain or any hurt or any joy, comes entirely from within. That the only person ever responsible for our emotions is us. While in an abstract way this might have a lot of truth to it, like many abstractions it doesn't entirely apply to Real Life.

A woman withholds lovemaking, withholds her softness and surrender, from her partner. Does that not hurt him? Is it entirely his problem? His hurt is a result of her actions, or inactions, and yes, he has some control, lesser or greater, over his emotions, but only in an ideal world can he really have complete control over how the dynamic with his partner creates feelings and thoughts within his heart.

An adult child never calls or visits her parents. They are hurt. Is it entirely their fault? Are they entirely responsible for their own emotions and pain? Yes, and no. The situation is painful to them, and while they might have a lot of compassion and love for her in the face of her inaction, there is a dynamicat work, with both parties responsible for their reactions.

In some Spiritual circles, there are those who place large emphasis on each of us taking responsibility for our emotions, as though to say we should be able, if only we were enlightened enough, to lightly touch upon then release every pain and hurt ever known to us. Human Beings Do Not Work That Way. This thinking too often and too easily becomes a license for some to put forth their "Truth" without consideration of compromise, compassion and love for those around them. "Your reaction to my Truth is your problem."

To take that view is to discount this Truth: We are all here to love one another and hold each other's hearts with compassion and tenderness. But we are all human, some less enlightened and centered than others. We are called to take great care particularly of the hearts of those who experience the joy and beauty of standing closest to our Sun, those we love most dearly.

It's also important that we look in the mirror as much as possible and ask: Am I living with love in the abstract, or in the particular? The abstract is easier, it's cleaner. It is Absolute Love. Love from Source never leaves, never doubts, never lies and never changes. But it isn't human love. It's Divine. Spiritual seekers without a lot of courage often opt for a life of celibacy, thereby avoiding some of the greatest juice of spiritual life, the particular love within a relationship with one other human we take into our deepest selves, figuratively and literally.

Particular love requires courage and a wide-open heart. A lot of courage, all the courage you can gather. This is Human Love, which comes from Source, but isn't Source. It's Source via a Human Being, therefore one experiences the Human with the Divine. It is so sweet and so beautful, but it comes attached to the Human heart and ego. It's where the rubber meets the road in Spiritual Life. And it's a path only the Courageous and Strong need bother to walk.

This path takes more compassion than you ever thought you had and more love than you think you can hold. Which is why you must be devoted and disciplined in your spiritual life--to breathe in enough Divine Love to sustain you when your human loved ones can't, and when they can.

This path take courage and gentleness, because on this path, we do take anoother's heart in our hands, and whether we like this fact or not, we become responsible in some ways, for what we have tamed. Or who we have tamed.

This path takes responsiblity and compassion, and an acknowledgement when our actions hurt others, or hurt ourselves, that we do need to make it right, and love well.

We humans have an infinite capacity to love and spread joy, and an infinite capacity to harm and hurt. We must recognize this, and walk the beautiful path of Human Love with openness, kindness and our mirrors turned toward ourselves, that we might see when we are causing pain and why. It is only then that we learn to love each other well, which is really the whole point of life on this earth and in this body.


Sail Away (a song)

Sail Away
Sail Away
It's time for me to sail away

Sail away
sail away
it's time for me to sail away

Once I lacked a boat of strength
could not sustain at sea
then time let go and now I know
there's enough strength in me

Like so much flotsam in the sea
the love I gave floats back to me
and the waves roll out
and the waves roll in

Sail away
Sail away
It's time for me to sail away

Sail away
Sail away
It's time for me to sail away

love couldn't hold me tight
the water frightens still
but the sea keeps flowing in my night
and my love always will

sail away
sail away
It's time for me to sail away

the precious gifts I gave
ivory shells on summer sand
I walk alone on shoreline now
gather them in my hands

I lean into the morning sun
and cast my heart's net wide
inviting all the love I gave
back to me, inside

sail away
sail away
It's time for me to sail away

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Querida (a poem)

The wanted one.
who wants her?
what does she offer?
who desires her gifts?

Querido claimed her
once upon a time,
and then left her
with outstretched open hands again.

This querida, though
she’s a fighter,
a gentle warrior,
but a warrior nonetheless.

When there was no one to say her name,
she took herself to her mirror,
and smiling through tears,
named herself preciously exotic.

Querida believes,
oh how she believes!
even when the words from another
never come.

One day, on the screen
the word spun ‘round again.
she froze.
she smiled.

joy, yes, joy it did bring,
and the valuable and rare gift of knowing
that the most important wanting
was the wanting of herself.