Friday 3 September 2010

Radical love

So I'm stripping back the layers of myself, discovering who I am, without the need to prove myself or win favour.  What I am discovering is that I am who I have always been, the essence of my character is the same, although the ideas I've adopted over time have sometimes hidden that from me. Sometimes, I got in my own way because I focused on those frameworks, on those ideas, a little more than I focused on my own essence, on being myself.
I was listening to an interview with Wayne Dyer just now and he spoke about the gift of wanting the love, peace and joy that we desire for ourselves for others.  Wanting it for them even more than we want it for ourselves.  This, I believe in.  I've always believed in it.

I used to think that I had to get down into the trenches with others, into their pain, anger, distress or deprivation in order to convey the care, love and compassion I felt.  But I can never become depressed enough to heal someone else of depression.  Being in the trenches did not work.

I had the right idea, but my tool was a little misguided.  I just got covered in mud.  Lots of it!  And it wasn't even my mud!

What I realise now is that less is more.  I don't have to take on the struggle of another.  I simply have to be open to loving them.  To wanting them to feel happiness more than I want to feel happiness, as St Francis said,
"Master, Grant that I may never seek,
so much to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved, as to love with all my soul."

It is about melting the barriers I erect in my heart and allowing the love that exists to flow freely; allowing love to use me as a channel to flow, comfort and nurture another.  This may be radical love.  Imagine a world of Radical Love Guerillas!  A world where people are constantly showering love on other, not through schmaltz, but simply by being allowing it to flow through our hearts and out towards others.

I believe this world is based on love, and allowing it to flow freely, especially to those who vex and stress us, can be profoundly healing - for us as much as for them.  I remember once having an incredibly difficult client when I worked as a waitress in Italy.  He arrived at the hotel for two weeks and no one else wanted to deal with him.  I decided to make him my challenge, to shower him with love as I took his order, as I listened to his complaints, as I served him.  And it worked: he blossomed like a rose in a very short time.  He even gave me the biggest tip I ever got in that hotel!

But more to the point, nineteen years later, I still think of him with love because he was my teacher.  He showed me how powerful love can be, especially when I am not searching for anything for myself, just simply to "love with all my heart."

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