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The Work Of Love Is To Love

--by Mark Nepo (Sep 17, 2018)


My own time on earth has led me to believe in two powerful instruments that turn experience into love: holding and listening. For every time I have held or been held, every time I have listened or been listened to, experience burns like wood in that eternal fire and I find myself in the presence of love. This has always been so. Consider these two old beliefs that carry the wisdom and challenge of holding and listening.

The first is the age-old notion that when holding a shell to your ear, you can hear the ocean. It always seems to work. The scrutiny of medicine has revealed that when you hold that shell to your ear, you actually hear your own pulsations, the ocean of your blood being played back to you. Yet this fact does not diminish this mystery. It only enhances it. For holding a shell to our ear teaches us how to hear the Whole through the part, and how to find the Universe within us. It teaches us that when we dare to hold another being, like a shell, to our ear, we hear both the mystery of all life and the ocean of our own blood.

Amazingly, each being has the story of the Universe encoded within them. Each soul is a shell shaped by the currents of the deep. Even physically, the inner ear — that delicate source of balance — is shaped like a conch. And so, whatever is held and listened to will show us where it lives in the world and in us.

This brings us to the second belief: the folklore that if a horse breaks a leg, it must be put down. I've discovered that this isn't true. Oh it's true that it happens. Breeders shoot horses with broken legs as if there's nothing to be done. But now I know they do this for themselves, not wanting to care for a horse that cannot run.

In just this way, fearful and selfish people cut the cord to those who are broken, not wanting to sit with a friend who can't find tomorrow, not wanting to be saddled with someone who will slow them down, not wanting to face what is broken in themselves. In this lies the challenge of compassion. For when we dare to hold those forced to the ground, dare to hold them close, the truth of holding and listening sings and we are carried into the wisdom of broken bones and how things heal.

These are quiet braveries we all need. The courage to wait and watch with all of who we are. The courage to admit that we are not alone. The courage to hold each other to the ear of our heart. And the courage to care for things that are broken.

The practice ground for these braveries is always the small things at hand. Somehow, through the practice of doing small things with great love, as Mother Teresa puts it, we learn how to be brave. In truth, the work of love is tending to small things completely. Such tending opens the mystery. By the large-heartedness of our smallest attention, we enter the ocean of love that carries us all.

Simply and profoundly, the work of love is to love. For in that act, the Universe comes alive. Such aliveness is the space that opens between us, as Martin Buber says, when two bow and touch in a true way.
 

Mark Nepo from "The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life"

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12 Previous Reflections:

 
On Oct 22, 2018 Footwear Boss wrote:

 It's really informational audio. I will follow this guide so much. my work is love blogging. check for more details



On Sep 25, 2018 Raj wrote:

 Love Love Love



On Sep 18, 2018 R wrote:
I live by giving love to mostly everything and everyone I come across but lately I’m facing a dilemma . I’m finding it so hard to give love to those who mistreat me. It’s bringing me down to the point where I stopped going on their social media posts. I’m a very empathic person but it’s a constant battle and I don’t know what else to do. Cutting him off isn’t me. 
 

On Sep 18, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 To work of love is to love = being present and honoring and loving someone no matter where they are on the journey. It means loving them when they are hurt or angry or feeling unlovable. It means reminding them of their worth when they cannot see it. It means seeing their heart and inner beauty. This happened for me this very weekend. My cousin whom I love like a sister had to have her young healthy dog euthanized because he had bitten 3 different people he didn't know and all unprovoked. My cousin had no choice but to have him euthanized, it is a state law where we live. The love in loving, was to choose to drive up from Washington DC to be with her face to face in PA and be by her side as she went through the awful process with her beloved dog. It was to love her even when she had moments of shutting down and of anger and of hurt and to just be present next to her, saying nothing at times, just being with her. This is a small example, but I think one of value because it is a s  See full.

 To work of love is to love = being present and honoring and loving someone no matter where they are on the journey. It means loving them when they are hurt or angry or feeling unlovable. It means reminding them of their worth when they cannot see it. It means seeing their heart and inner beauty. This happened for me this very weekend. My cousin whom I love like a sister had to have her young healthy dog euthanized because he had bitten 3 different people he didn't know and all unprovoked. My cousin had no choice but to have him euthanized, it is a state law where we live. The love in loving, was to choose to drive up from Washington DC to be with her face to face in PA and be by her side as she went through the awful process with her beloved dog. It was to love her even when she had moments of shutting down and of anger and of hurt and to just be present next to her, saying nothing at times, just being with her. This is a small example, but I think one of value because it is a small moment of love that adds up to the bigger moments. <3 What helps me to hold close is to see the child and the inner beauty in the person in front of me and to remind myself of their heart when they cannot see it ( and sometimes I struggle to see it too) It is to remind myself that I too am worthy of that love: to work to love myself as I love others <3 

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On Sep 18, 2018 Susan wrote:

Wow, loved this read!  Such a wonderful thing to begin my day with here in my world.  A reminder of love in everything, of doing the small things with great love!  The analogy of the conch shell and our whole being and the universe... of the holding and listening and the challenge to us all for compassion.   



On Sep 16, 2018 david doane wrote:

 I agree that the work of love is to love.  Love without action is theoretical and meaningless.  Love put into action enhances the other and the person expressing the love.  Love put into action grows and spreads.  In holding another and listening deeply, I wasn't conscious of hearing the mystery of all life and the ocean of my own blood, which phrases I love, but that is what happened.  I know that all that is is one and we are one, and holding and listening are a natural expression of that.  In the process of holding and listening to another, I am holding and listening to myself, I am being how I am meant to be and doing what I am meant to do.  When I do dare to hold close those forced to the ground, it's knowing all this that helps me dare.  I know that in such moments I am vulnerable, and the satisfaction of love in action is worth the risk.



On Sep 15, 2018 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

How I relate to others, how I hold them in my hands and listen to them compassinately and mindfully is a work of love. That work itself is love.  Most of the time I relate this way to people who are close to me. In my workplace I experience such heart to heart connections with children and my colleagues. Such experiences bring lots of joy and fufillment and create deep connectedness with each other. Last week I got a call from a friend of mine whose husband killed himself as a way of ending his suffering. She was very concerned about the effect of this tragic death on her 20 years old son who loved his dad deeply. Her son has been going through depression for quite some. I deeply felt for her and for her son. I told her that I will be happy to help her son.She expressed deep gratitude for being willing to  help her son. And when she shared this information with her son, he was  deeply touched by it. He felt that someone cares for him, someone is with him, someone loves  See full.

How I relate to others, how I hold them in my hands and listen to them compassinately and mindfully is a work of love. That work itself is love.  Most of the time I relate this way to people who are close to me. In my workplace I experience such heart to heart connections with children and my colleagues. Such experiences bring lots of joy and fufillment and create deep connectedness with each other.

Last week I got a call from a friend of mine whose husband killed himself as a way of ending his suffering. She was very concerned about the effect of this tragic death on her 20 years old son who loved his dad deeply. Her son has been going through depression for quite some. I deeply felt for her and for her son. I told her that I will be happy to help her son.She expressed deep gratitude for being willing to  help her son. And when she shared this information with her son, he was  deeply touched by it. He felt that someone cares for him, someone is with him, someone loves him. That lifted his spirit up. He called me this morning.I held him and listened to him.The  is work of love and it is love. This is spiiritual living-holding with love, listening to with compassion-doing small things with great love as Mother Teressa puts it.

I would like to conclude with the the concluding words of Mark Nepo: "Simply and profoundly, the work of love is to love.For in that act the Universe comes alive. Such aliveness is the space that opens between us, as Martin Buber says, when two bow and touch in a true way."

May we bow and touch in a true way, everyday!

Namaste.
Jagdish P Dave






                                



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On Sep 14, 2018 Amy wrote:

 Promises!  I will love you and honor you ... In good times and in bad, all the days of my life. My husband has had seven concussions in his medical history (that are recorded).  Little by little throughout my 40 years with him, I am noting changes that directly relate to his past trauma.  The work of love most certainly is to love ... Cuz love is all I have!  (When I speak Love, I speak God ... because He has everything to do with it!).  I am, thru the holding and listening  relationship I have with my Father, able to love my husband in the way I promised ... and in the way God makes me aware that he needs. (irregardless, of reciprocation). That's what God's love for me is for!  Amen.



On Sep 14, 2018 Vinod Eshwer wrote:

All beings big and small,
the ones you’ve met through spring and fall,
the ones you’re with and hopefully having a ball,
the ones you will meet maybe in a mall,
the point of this bad poem by vinod lal
is, can you truly love them all?