The Mystery

I spent a good deal of time early in my life learning from love. Unconsciously at first and then gradually opening my eyes, I learned from the love of my mother, father and extended family. I watched, listened and learned how they treated one another and felt how they treated me. That love was steady, naturally given and without any “ifs” or “buts”– unconditional in today’s language.
Later on I devoted a lot of attention to looking to be loved. I wanted the same kind of feeling I got at home. I wanted someone to regard me in an uncritical, all-accepting way. I knew it was possible, after all I had just come out of the greenhouse of my family’s love and had not fully discovered how different this other world was. So, I hurt some and got hurt some, asking that someone love me. I had the script and I wanted them to follow it.
That was not successful, to understate the facts, so I turned my attention to learning about love. I figured the more I knew about the subject, the more able I would be able to love and be loved. I thought hard about love, talked about it, read about it, led classes on love and even wrote a book about it. Now, I had a firm foundation of experience and knowledge and relationships would be easy.
Ouch.
Perhaps the pain turned me around and at some point in my life I decided (was it a decision?) to give love, just to love. With all my experiences, with all I’d gone through and learned, I could give my love to someone and we’d both be happy. In fact, I felt so strongly about this, I reasoned I could probably save someone with my love. All I had to do, no matter the health or responses of the other, was to devote myself to their well being. Right. Let’s move on.
Currently, nearing the end of this life lesson, I am learning to be love. I am learning to be the brightest candle I can be, in a room with other bright candles and not in competition with or need of the other candles. I am getting to a place where I can just be all that I am and the essence of who I am will be enough. It will show. That essence will be felt. And if it’s not, that can’t be helped. I don’t have to earn love. I don’t have to know a lot more about it. I don’t have to demand love. And I don’t have to love someone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t love themselves and can’t accept what I have.
AND I hold the distinct possibility that this is not the end of my learning.
Perhaps beyond being love, there is simply being, no reference to other.
Perhaps love is a delightful, twisted, amusing, painful and totally rewarding mystery that doesn’t have heroes or villains and we never know how it ends.
#

1 reply
  1. Mary Utley
    Mary Utley says:

    John,
    As always, you are a master of making something that seems abstract more tangible for those of us who do not know how to transfer what is happening inside of ourselves onto paper.
    What I wonder about is how many people today, actually examine their own relationship with love. I would suspect not many.
    In my own experience, love continues to take on different meanings to me and has completely done a 360 since I was younger trying to figure it out. And yes, as soon as I think I have a deeper understanding of love, it slips away and morphs into something else…something more magical and mysterious than ever.
    I wonder what percentage of us will ever really get it or more importantly, be it? Maybe it takes crossing over to really know it. Hate to have to wait that long!
    Thanks for your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *