Sunday, April 29, 2018

Unconditional Love

The Mystery within...
Could life’s greatest journey be learning to accept and love everyone and all things unconditionally?  Stepping-stones to that end, or puzzle pieces I have found so far, has shown me that breathing from my heart, where the Great Mystery resides, helps me think and act from my heart, appreciating how hard life can sometimes be for the other, and myself. My heart breathing/thinking can lead me to unconditional empathy.  Unconditional empathy leads to unconditional kindness toward the other, and myself.  By learning to be kind to myself I came to know the transformative power in kindness, and also came to understand I will never regret being kind to others. Unconditional kindness can foster reciprocity and lead to friendliness with whoever or whatever comes my way.  Accepting what is, being empathic, kind and friendly to whoever or whatever shows up in my life looks like a lesson plan for loving unconditionally.  This is the transformative work of a lifetime requiring much forgiveness, patience and trust.    

Could the hard to love be here to teach how to love unconditionally?  Could going high when the other goes low shrink our egos and open a path toward mutual transformation?  Could breathing and thinking from our hearts grow empathy for the absence of transformative hardships in the lives of the hard to love? Could being patient in the face of oppression highlight the importance of tolerance, respect and sharing?  Could responding to violence with loving compassion teach we can’t go wrong with its hopeful forbearance?  Could being of generous spirit, wanting good for the other, highlight what is important in life?  Could being forgiving of self and all others grow us as peacemakers?  Could not blaming, shaming, or imposing guilt when wronged open our hearts to the bigger reality of the Divine Mystery within?  Could believing justice will be kind and accomplished over a period of time comfort us?  This is the transformative work of a lifetime requiring much forgiveness, patience and trust.  

Be curious about the hard to love and their role in our lives. It is how we come to understand the Great Mystery’s work in our lives. 

The poet Rumi understood the paradox of unconditional love: 

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent 
as a guide from beyond.

What if the hard to love are here to teach us how to love unconditionally?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Unconditional Empathy

The Mystery within...
I am always in a state of becoming more—hopefully more loving. I’ve been reflecting on how choosing to be empathetic leads me to be more kind and loving toward all others and myself.  When I stumble, I can make that part of my dance that grows me through empathy. Joanna Macy, in an On-Being interview, suggested we be present and fearless with our pain for it eventually reveals our connectedness and love for the world. Understanding empathy as accepting my own shortcomings, and those of others, does move me closer to unconditional love.

Unconditional empathy is possible when I breathe and think from my heart.  A paradoxical sense of well-being comes from genuine empathy for my own shortcomings.  Making my darkness visible does lead me to want to choose light.  Hopefully, my empathy for another’s shortcomings could lead him or her to want to choose love.  Perhaps unconditional love lies in my ability to empathize how hard life can be sometimes for all others and myself.

Hafiz invites, “Come dance with me.”  Perhaps radical kinship with all others grows from unconditional empathy for each other’s missteps, and moves us from blame to understanding.  Let us enjoy dancing with one another and cherishing what is right in front of us, our mutual original blessing as children.  

Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don'ts,
Not the God who ever does
Anything weird,
But the God who knows only 4 words
And keeps repeating them, saying:
"Come Dance with Me."
Come Dance.
-- Hafiz (1320-1389)

What if it's all in our dance with one another?