what’s love got to do with it

I have decided I’ve wasted too much time recently trying to understand. I’ve realized that all of this seeking a framework in which to understand and accept the ‘other’ (and, of course, myself) –moral foundations theories, ethical philosophies, and personality typologies — in an effort to stay out of judgment and remain in love has in many ways backfired. My attempts to both safeguard and gentle my heart, in fact, have in some way possibly even hardened it by building a protective wall of mental constructs and justifications around it. Yes, all of this seeking understanding—spending too much time in my head — has somehow separated me from my heart.

Perhaps I was simply seeking a way to deny my own anger – an anger based on feelings of hurt, betrayal, frustration, fear and injustice. Being angry/judgmental is not an emotion or aspect of myself that I particularly want to accept. And acknolwedging my hurt can sometimes make me feel selfish.

(Specifically, I have struggled mightily with persons whom I perceived as being willing to selfishly  put themselves above the needs of others. Persons either jumping the line by lying about conditions (at the time, when we had a limited supply, making up conditions to put themselves ahead of much more vulnerable populations, (there were sooo many instances of this) or alternately, refusing to get the vaccine for the sake of community welfare or to wear a mask in public for the sake of the other. Lebanon county , where I live, is such a hotbed—ahem, place for me to practice. We recently closed our mass vaccination site because not enough people were registering for open slots, when we currently have only a 17% vaccination rate and kids’ classrooms are forced to close because of a rise in cases. All the while, my personal sacrifices, my trying to do the right thing, for the sake of the other, have left be feeling alone, misunderstood, and left out (Easter was quite hard for me)  )

Although my seeking understanding was based upon my desire to not dismiss the other, steeped in my desire to remain in Love and out of judgment, and to somehow reconcile these feelings of dissonance within me, I realize now that Understanding is not a prerequisite for Love. My quest for understanding has been based in my deep knowing (belief?) that humanity is innately and inherently good, and worthy of the deepest compassion and mercy, despite the fact that we more often miss the mark and don’t always, or often even, act with that integrity (recognizing that another’s acts of integrity might look different than my own!) These feelings of anger/judgment in me have challenged both that pure belief in humanity’s goodness and my own self-concept – as one who sees and believes in humanity’s goodness. Coming face to face with our failures to Love in the face of our fears has challenged a naivitee in me, perhaps. Are we evil, or merely broken and confused? Are we selfish or merely afraid?

What I recognzie is that my seeking understanding has been a bit too urgent. I have perhaps used it as an antidote for my feelings of anger, fear, disbelief, betrayal, and judgment. It was a vain attempt to stay soft, because what I realize today is that Understanding like this is seated in my head- in constructs and paradigms, perspectives and world views. I guess the real question I must ask myself, then, is this—do I seek to understand the other because I Love, or am I seeking to understand the other so that I can love. Which one is primary in me? Can I love first, without reason, without understanding, simply because this is how I AM, and who I am to be. Love

Today, I am choosing to live from my heart. To love WITHOUT understanding, without reason, without cause. To fall (or jump) willingly from this ivory tower of my head into the softer mercy of my heart.

Go on then, Be different. See differently, believe differently, choose differently, act differently.

Today I am choosing Love.

Let the practice begin.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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