anointed for Love

What does it mean to be anointed for Love.  For me, it is twofold. Firstly, I am seen by the Other.  I am seen through by the Other, through the veneer, through the failures and the forgetfulness and the insecurities, through the misperceptions and idolatries, as a manifestation of Love. And secondly, I am sanctified not merely in my simply being here, but in my conscious ‘yes’ to Being here, in my seeking and serving Love, in my being a handmaiden, if you will, in partnership with the Divine, to be the hands, the eyes, the lips, the mind, the heart. And so as each of these are touched with sacred oil by human hands in co-recognition, I am blessed as Sacred.

Sitting in this chapel, alone atop this mountain, I feel such profound gratitude and peace washing over me, as if I have been welcomed back into the field of Belovedness. Of course I never really left that field of blessing, I just didn’t understand what it meant to dwell in this Holy place.

I feel abit like a broken record here, as I know I’ve been trying to express this to you for some time now, the way in which my experiences of Sacred Belovedness were such profoundly healing ones for me during those years of death and resurrection, when I experienced such intimacy with Love, holding me, beholding me, desiring me, in the midst of the darkness of despair as I processed my grief and the traumas that it brought up with it. As I’ve previously shared with you, I was in so very much pain in those days that I contemplated ending it many times, and it was that at the very edges of that despair Love came like a warm bath,  a healing light, a redeeming embrace.

But, as you also recall, somehow that sense of Belovedness eventually left me, and for years I felt outside of it, observing with wonder the Beauty of the Divine at work here, but no longer integral and intimate somehow. It was a dark time in many ways, an empty time. I couldn’t find my place in the Beloved’s heart anymore. When Godde became All That Is, I could no longer place my finger on a specific Love for Me in all that vastness, and somehow I became insignificant, a witness seeing through the eyes of Love at best, a detached observer at worst. 

I recall a conversation I had with a spiritual companion at that time, the difficulty they had understanding the sense of bereftness I felt at that loss, at the loss of feeling known, the loss of believing that I was at all cherished, important, seen even.  They mentioned to me then, that they didn’t get it because the Trinity was such a part of their understanding of Godde. I had no idea what that meant. My concept of the Trinity perhaps was something also separate from me— Father, Son, and all.

I do recall today, when considering Don’s proposal for marriage , his invitation to enter into a Lover/beloved relationship with him, asking God if there was room enough for 3? Perhaps I was intuiting the coming loss of intimacy. Perhaps I did not yet understand that Love was given not for me to cling to, or to hoard, but to give away, and that this is perhaps what was meant by the Trinity—that it is not a 2 way exchange of Love between Lover and Beloved, in mutual and reciprocal admiration and devotion to one another, but is given to overflow into and outwards to a third, toward others, to the earth, to become something New (as, of course, my vision had explicitly shown to me!!) in a “receiving and bestowing upon and returning to”, a flowing forth to water other seeds of Love here in this place. The 2 way bond must be broken open to give as I have been given to.

Still, the Beloved’s Seal was placed upon my Heart and now I know that Love never really released its claim upon me, but simply withdrew –as perhaps did Jesus- so that I might truly become Love.   And lately I have felt the Beloved nudging me back. It began several years ago at that Jack Kornfield retreat where I was surprised by words and feelings of Love in a Buddhist retreat. Then, this year’s contemplative way program steered me to pick up a Cynthia Bourgeault book again, one I’d also deserted some 15 years ago, and her blessed theology of Love.

Oh, there are so many pieces falling in place , so many ‘ahas’,  and so many ‘so THAT was what was happening’! Like this…

To find yourself you must lose your self, or ‘Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it will remain only a seed, but if it dies it produces many’

I am realizing that even my experience of being Beloved One had to die. I had to die to self, so to speak, let go of even that so that it might be transformed into something more Life-giving. Something not simply for me and my own healing (though I am not at all saying that was not necessary for me to know my belovedness, without which the bloom would never have unfolded, the seed never dropped) . This week I heard the words, that ‘even our longing and our desire must be hung up in that cloud of unknowing’ – not repressed or sublimated, but also not clung to. Yes, even our yearning for Godde must be released, allowed to die, to fall, and when that Eros is finally met with Kenosis, this is the point vierge, where Agape flows forth.  So THAT is why Love ‘left’ me!! … so that our Eros might be transformed into a Life-giving Love for the world. This is how the particular Love between 2 becomes the Universal Love for/of All. And I become One of Many. And We become One Love.

And yet, and yet, I will not deny all of those years of bearing witness to Love’s unfolding in this place. The need is great in this world for Lovers who see the world through the eyes of Love — even if we don’t at all understand the gift we are bestowing. And perhaps beneath that soil the transformation was taking place, as I was falling in Love with Life itself during those years, letting that love flow out into the 3rd person of that Blessed Trinity , ‘from the Holy Fountain of Love to the seeds throughout the whole creation’ . (in a strange way , however, it felt very one- directional. I didn’t understand at all how that Love was feeding the Divine, or vice versa, feeding me)

But I find myself beloved again! Not perhaps in an intimate, personal way, or a unique way, but a collective way. WE are so beloved, so needed, so yearned for, so valued. If only we would remember Who we are to Be.  And I am a part again. Belonging to the Divine , integral in Its becoming, along with you, and all that is.  We are an expression of Love, if we let it flow through us, let ourselves become Love, Let go of our need to be assured and simply Be.

And All Manner of Thing Shall Be Well,

Dreaming of Glory

In the dream, I was supposed to be meeting with my spiritual director, a wisdom figure, at my home. However, my house was full of the chaos of grandchildren and their parents, who kept sidetracking me. At first my hands were full of the newborn infant, trying to settle him into a nap. Then the whole gang was playing a game of cards and no one was playing by the rules (the younger ones didn’t at all understand what they were ‘supposed’ to be doing) and so the game was never ending. At last, I broke free and moved to a quiet room where the wisdom figure joined me.

Of course, the wisdom figure had not been simply waiting, off alone in that quiet set-apart room, he’d been right there in the house, in the room amidst all that boisterous energy of family life. Still, I apologized for making him wait, for not being able to make the space and time to sit with him. His response? “But don’t you see? The mystical spirit (the Mystery of Love) was flowing through the whole of it”

I was thrust into the crucible of motherhood at a very young age. Soon had 5 children to raise, a painful divorce before they were all fledged, the first grandchildren arriving when my youngest was still in high school. For years the story I told was that life had happened to me, beyond my control, and that I had somehow missed out on who/what I was supposed to be/do with my ‘one wild and precious life’. I believed that when at last the children were grown, then I’d discover who I was to be, find my ‘self’. But alas no one was following the ‘rules’ I thought I needed them to follow in order to craft the life I imagined I was missing.  Caught in the cultural story of fulfillment, believing there was some other Self, some Thing I was supposed to do, I missed somehow the other line in that infamous Mary Oliver poem, the one where she is simply lying on the ground, watching the grasshopper’s jaws moving side to side, fully present to the Beauty of it all, rapt in attention, immersed in wonder.

Despite the fact that, all those years ago, I had been shown and I understood that I was here to Be Love, to Feed Love, to Be a Part of Love’s Becoming, it was hard for me to trust that was enough — that I was enough– particularly when I felt so overwhelmed by it all.  But something has shifted in me through the years, perhaps stage of life appropriately so. My eyes and my heart perhaps have been cleared of the cultural baggage that I carried about what made a life meaningful or important. Most recently, it seems as if some proverbial missing piece has fallen into place and I can see clearly the picture. Perhaps that piece could only fall into place when I Let Go the illusion. (And isn’t it funny how ‘getting there’ required ‘letting go’?)

For too long I believed that the gift that I was to be was still hidden for me to find as if it was something specific and concrete I would discover only after I had completed my years of being a mother. The advent of grandchildren, I mistakenly believed, threatened again the emergence of this hidden self, as if the role I’d been thrust into playing was somehow preventing my own becoming. How foolish I’ve been to not see that those roles, while yes, they were not ‘me’, were the channel through which I might bring forth and Become Love – the same as any other role I might have inhabited. They did not prevent a thing, rather they forged/revealed the very thing I’d been seeking. The hidden treasure within is that I AM Love, I Am manifesting Love in this place. What better role might one inhabit to bring forth the tender fruits of Love—compassion, empathy, forgiveness, forbearance, mercy, joy, peace, gentleness, bearing witness, patience—than the vulnerable, heart-opening, tender one of Mother.

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