Being open to love… What an adventure. Why is it not talked about more? Why are we not encouraged more to open to love? It's kind of a mystery to me. It can't be THAT occult or hidden an idea, can it?
I'm talking here of the love that is accepting, acknowledging, respectful, encouraging, enthusing. The love that helps the beloved unfold toward a truer, more authentic and more organic form of being. A love isn't based upon any demographic, any outward expression or manifestation. As Rina Sircar has put it time and time again, “a love that is simply for the sake of love.” (I love this phrase.)
Fear and love. Love and fear. In seemingly constant ebb and flow in my heart, first love holding a place of value, then fear stepping in and saying, "yeah, but what if…" And then the buying into fear. It's sometimes like we get so stretched open that it hurts, and the natural things, like a rubber band, is to recoil. Yet at the same time, the stretching has left a impression, a sort of muscle memory, and a yearning for more, a seeing of something greater. What a process. And to think of all the suffering and stretching the saints and seers have experienced to be able to be so open and without expectation or judgement, basically to be without fear. Let's both keep moving toward the light.
I remember working as a spiritual care practitioner in a hospice program. The patients I saw were all dying. It was understood, a given. It was so much easier to love these people than even those most close to me: my wife, my brothers, my friends. I came to the realization that this ease of loving was because from the beginning the end of the relationship was clear and would be over soon. So the conception of loss was already a part of the situation. With my wife, my brothers, my friends, the loss is not already understood. There is still the fear of loss as an unknown. That this has not been built in as part of the relationship.
To this day I try to deal with this fear of loss and therefore this incapacity to love further. The best I can do is a sort of truce with the fear, an understanding that it is there, a sort of love, or better said, an acceptance of the fear.
And it's not like I love my wife and family and friend less. Even this truce allows me to love them more.
I”m moved again by the words of Rumi…
your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.