SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that the work of love is to love? Can you share a personal story of a time you held another and listened deeply and in that process heard the mystery of all life and the ocean of your own blood? What helps you dare to hold close those forced to the ground?
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[Hide Full Comment]
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.
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.
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!
Jagdish P Dave
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.