How to love others recklessly, consuming, unabashed, risking everything, gambling away every gift...?
This is the poem that our Sacred Conversations read last week. It's by Rumi.
Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.
Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
As much as I long to be loved in such a way--indeed, there are days when I'm acutely aware of the ache inside me for this kind of love--I know the 'secret' is to first love others in this way. Not because that will guarantee I'll get the love I desire, in some kind of cosmic end-around, but because to love others, to freely love others with wild abandon, is the only -- no, not only -- the best thing for an aching heart.
Instead of closing myself off in a natural desire to protect my heart, it's actually opening myself in a strangely trusting manner that allows God to work that divine alchemy within me, the transformation of my very being into love itself.
But of course only saints experience that kind of powerful alchemy, right? As long as I've been "doing" spiritual formation, so often, still, when the opportunity to risk loving presents itself I choose to protect my heart.
I'm in a situation now in which such opportunity presents itself almost daily. Present day reality easily tempts old wounds to resurface, and before I know what's happening, fear/insecurity is in control of my reactions. I behave as if hiding is my best option, or as if it's best to assume I'm at a disadvantage.
My best self knows that present day reality is NOT the same as those old situations in which I was so hurt and beaten down. My authentic self knows that in this present day reality I can be as free and as loving as I choose.
I can't really blog about the situation itself yet. It's nothing hugely dramatic, just different from the norm and full of unknowns. But then, the future is always open-ended, isn't it? Despite a low level of instability right now, my freedom to choose to love is undiminished.