Prose of a Poet

Broken Glass 

O, it’s true, I needed a saviour. Who doesn’t, when one's own thoughts condemn them? Who among us loves to hear the one we love retract the affirmation we give them, recanting all we know to be true of them. Does it not break the heart and leave one bereft, grieving for the pain of another that would discount the beauty of their own humanity? Even the worst parent among us, if a child asked for bread, would give not a stone, but bread. Instinctively we desire to sustain each other, love each other. But, humans… built piles of stones, and put upon them: bread, and bulls, and rams, and birds, and in some cases, their own children. For what? To get the positive affirmation of the best of Fathers. To attempt connection outwardly with one who had already breathed connection into them: Breath that bound body and soul together in life energy, flowing in and out, uniting them with himself and all that is, animating, granting authority, bestowing beauty, splendour, character, the ability to love. 

And be loved. 

Loved. 

It’s the pivotal word in the story of us, really. We confuse it with like. A lot. Or being especially special. We think it always needs a reason. It can’t just be a deep seated understanding. A place of comfortable rest. A given. We also see the displeasure of another at our misunderstood actions and assume love has fled like a doe in the woods. But love is not so. Especially not that between parent and child. It says: You. Are. Mine. Divine declaration of personhood, that, because we do not yet know the personality of the individual. How can you? Their only language is silence and cries, and the ability to clutch and grip. A baby cannot create reasons for our affection, they just Are. Of. Us. Innately born into community, belonging. Set within family. How is it we think creation stopped mirroring the love of the Creator? Why do we think the gospel truth of our unique inception in one magnificent mind was somehow undoable by the strength of one man’s insecurity? All men mired for eternity. Cast aways desperately sending up flares, hoping to be rescued; mostly from each other, if we are honest. Scared of Love entering the room of our shame, in which we embrace self loathing and then wonder why it is so difficult to connect. We expect that everyone else, as they express their own insecurities through judgement, naturally sees us as we see ourselves. 

Now we see through a glass, darkly. Shadows in a mirror. All of us donning the veil of mourning, grieving the loss of our humanity together, and yet independently, as if only we suffer. That too is a guilty pleasure, because we compare our pain to that of another, and realize it could be o, so much worse. We groan, we reach, blindly hoping in our darkness that light will dawn. And it does. The trouble is, we saw it like a halo behind us when we looked in a mirror, and rather than bursting forth from within, it was allowed to only illuminate our shadows. We were handed our birth certificate, pre printed with all of the details of our origin stamped with the approval of heaven. All of this in the person of Christ, made obvious to us by the groans and desires of our own prophecies… not of what the Father would put him through, but what our misunderstandings would lead us to do to him because he did not come to change our religion, but rather to render all religion in all time unnecessary, void, useless. If he had come to change our religion, the leaders might have followed him without needing to slay him. But he pointed out the futility of their office. He told people that the kingdom of God was within them. He took away the “special” status of the jews and made them one with everyone around them. He stole their victim status and their own class system. Anyone could be an active part of the family, even the unclean. 

Jesus didn’t have to die to dismantle religion. He died because he did. To those under the law, a picture was needed to bring a system to a close. Law, and intellect require closure, sense, understanding by way of its own definitions. But to those never under the law, the crucifixion would actually have been optional. The birth of the tangible gift of love and grace would have been enough to see the One who is, the only glass which does not reflect us darkly, veiled by our own shame. I think this is why Paul can speak so glibly of the “unknown” God being the one they sought, without feeling the need to first correct their belief system, and why the gospel can be seen in creation, placed in the obvious view, for anyone with spirit eyes. 

Humanity, in its inception, is good, connected, one. That has always been the perception of the Maker. In the Person of Jesus, we were given the opportunity to see our own potential. One prayer he prayed for us: that we would experience our oneness. Our unity. Our irrevocable In-being. In our origin is the very secret of life. All we need is there. My fears, my shame, my sorrow, my guilt; all garments, torn like a veil, allowing the light to pass through me. All I need for life and godliness. In endless supply. Even the first of us to manifest belonged. Perfectly fashioned of earth and heaven. Flawlessly imagined. Animated and then revealed, and given one to behold and affirm this beauty. Community. 

One does not have to believe that the Way Christ pointed out was to believe his sacrifice was enough in the sense of penal substitution to have reason to celebrate Jesus. I don’t have to believe that the Maker orchestrated such a beautiful incarnation merely to appease his own temper. But to see those he loved returning his gaze, and meeting his eyes without the shame their religions insist they carry… for that he would allow us to do horrible things to the One who lived from the inside out. Never losing connection with Christ within… that Deep which calls to Deep in the roar of the waterfall. Christ our life. Putting to death that which stood between our perception and our true reality. 

Honour the sacrifice this Christmas. Don’t change your religion. Lose it altogether. One cannot “get into a kingdom” they were born in. They simply are. Especially when the mighty Fortress the Maker is, is also the very force of Love that holds all that exists inside himself. The inescapable Christ Universal. Stop looking through the glass darkly, break it all together.

Dry Rot 

 

open 

vulnerable 

alive 

but dying 

healing 

and still wounded. 

 

injury is deep 

but I appear impenetrable 

so it is the core 

the place where life flows freely 

but is now interrupted… 

 

in that place, 

I decay 

for the exposure 

to sun and air 

cannot heal. 

 

I crack 

and you wonder why 

I bend and break 

in the wind 

in the storm 

at long last 

I am exposed 

but it is too late.

 

put on your armour 

they said 

it will protect you. 

you are strong 

we can all see that 

why can you not see it? 
 

why can you not see 

me? 

you’ve asked 

inappropriately 

for the facade 

for me to be the bigger person 

and in the process 

you have denied me safety 

cut me off from supply 

 

for we heal in a place of rest 

 

it is written into the universe 

the day to work 

the night to sleep
 

What has been asked of me 

is abuse upon abuse. 

for the good of others 

also abused 

you have demanded 

I make deals 

with the devil 

for the sake of peace. 

 

but it has failed 

for the next storm 

will expose 

how deep was the wound 

you continually reopened 

by your own violating expectation. 

 

take care of the widows and the orphans 

in their distress. 

take. 

care. 

 

or watch the wounded fall 

from that which festers. 

 

 

I never expected to feel the pain of a broken tree. To understand the reality of the shell that still stood, but was bent over… it had decayed on the inside while looking so strong and sturdy. And in the end, something so tall and majestic could have blown over cracking and crumbling in the wind at night. 

And no one would have known. 

In a forest full of trees, no one would have known. One day it stood, tall, proud, leafy, and the next… bowed and gutted, not even useful for firewood. 

Unhealed trauma is so pervasive in nature. It is the wound that bears no visible scar, yet robs one of life with the most certainty. Even the one who bears it never really knows the full extent until they try to heal. If it were a tree, parts, limbs might be cut off, pesticides might be used… pieces of itself would be take off in the process and it would have to adapt to life without them: put out new branches, more roots. People need this too. Heart Wound Dressing. The support of a community that will bring healing to them, because they cannot move to healing themselves. 

A label has been given. We call the irregularity of response to trauma PTSD. It’s nice to have a name for it. But a name is not validation. I am a victim of domestic abuse. My children are also victims of domestic abuse. It is ugly. It is messy. Our wounds are on the inside. A word, a tone of voice, a second within an experience… and the brain bypasses reason leaving us flummoxed and incapacitated. Western culture doesn’t deal with trauma adroitly. It pushes the victim to just “deal.” It considers coping to be healing. It isn’t. 

I would love to say that the “secular” structure… social and legal are different than the “religious” in this arena, but I have moved through both, and they aren’t. Sadly, I think the one determined the other. More emphasis is put on the victim forgiving than the perpetrator being held accountable for their actions. While it is true that one can’t move past an event without forgiving, the human psyche cannot fully heal while still having to form a “thick skin” or employ “resiliency” due to continued contact with one they cannot trust. I can see my abuser with the eyes of love and forgiveness, even understanding, yet still want healthy boundaries. If I were a divorcee with no children, this would have been possible. I could have cut all ties and run, licked my wounds, and healed. 

But children need to know their father. I understand that in the legal arena, many people lie. accusations are made, people lose livelihoods because of vindictive words and actions. Injustice is made because anger and unforgiveness overrule reason. Many have experienced system trauma on both sides of this bench. But some of us are honest, truthful, hopeful, desiring healing, and unseen. Lawyers tell you to leave your emotions out of the negotiations. It’s simpler in the courthouse. But it’s hell in the healing process. 

I don’t know your story. I don’t know where you have hidden your pain. I don’t know which wounds lie dormant until someone inadvertently steps on the land mine they have become. I only know that I have trauma that has been tabled. And I see in myself the same dry rot that makes a tree susceptible to the winds of storms and changing seasons. 

And unlike the common thought and literature of the day, which says to cut ties and run and rediscover self, without the lies and lack of safety, I am forced to find healing without the distance. And it hurts. The wounds have festered. The effects of trauma have commandeered some of my physical being in an effort to be attended to, and even though my heart and mind might heal, my body still responds badly. 

I recently was lamenting the slow speed at which I am recovering from trauma I am now brutally aware of (awareness is the first step to healing, I think). I am by nature, a healer, and “physician heal thyself” is not a mantra I would run from. I find myself impatient with the process of healing, and what feels like emotional relapses. A very wise friend listened to the mama guilt and feelings of helplessness I was wading through in the moment. I was expressing the difficulty of looking unstable, not because I am irrational as a matter of course, but because PTSD is unpredictable and tears surfaced in the wrong place. I told her that I know I’m not a bad mother, I take steps to protect my kids from seeing me in this state, but a person with authority in my situation doesn’t know me well and misunderstood. She responded with with three words. “I AM Sure.” The capitals were important. There is One who actually sees. feels. knows. and connects me with others so I am not alone. And that Someone always sees me clearly. That is the voice that declares how stable I am. Thinking about how that erased the guilt and the shame put on me by so many who have only wanted my skin to get thicker and see me learn to take the hits and be the “bigger person” still wrecks me a little. I do not need to be strong all the time. And perhaps if I let myself bend in the wind a little before I break, I may find someone realizes I need support in healing before I blow right over in the next storm. 

I want to say two things: if your healing is in limbo, as much of mine has been, your wounds are not your identity. You are still beautiful and loved, and valuable. Sometimes your wounds speak where your true self should, and while it is not ok, and can create a rather unsafe place for the people in your world who don’t see the trauma, you will have to forgive yourself for hurting others, and learn to apologize and own it. Also, you are still alive and you are not alone. Find community. Someone who will listen, yes, but also someone who will not leave you in your mess. Commiseration never brings healing, it only sparks the spread of bitterness and disease. We need reminders that our experiences are not our being. Find people who will pull you up and show you who you are. 

Just because the book hasn’t been written on how to heal from trauma in the middle of what still feels like the battle, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just means that we who are in the middle of it have not yet told our tale. 

But healing happens in the sunlight. So here I am, dragging the difficult out in the open. Because we, are not alone. At all. Ever.

Things I'm glad I now know... 

 

Why is a divorcee, yet to remarry, writing about marriage? Doesn’t she know that people who are successful at something should write about it? Well. No. Sometimes failure, and healing from it gives you wisdom. Sometimes learning enough to avoid repeating your mistakes gives you a platform. And sometimes, opening yourself up to Love just plain puts you in a position to know a thing or two about a thing or two… Besides, no one likes to be the one to talk about this from any personal connection. The hypothetical “them” is always so much safer. But nothing risked, no amazing change! 

And who is this particular outburst aimed at? Well… you might want to keep reading if: 

-You are single and looking. 
-Your marriage has been anticlimactic even though you did everything right. 
-The only thing making you stay is commitment. 
-You are divorced and can’t forgive either of you. 
-You are convinced God is mad at you. 
-Your relationships with other humans have made it difficult to see yourself clearly or trust people. 
-You have read a pile of biblical marriage books written by well-meaning Christians. 
-You are just plain curious because I mentioned divorce and God in the same paragraph and those are wonderful hot button issues. 

Why am I passionate about a subject that has left me “without a husband?” Love. That’s really the sum total of why I’m engaging with you. It’s not Love’s fault I’m divorced. It’s not Love’s fault I haven’t had the opportunity to remarry. Love is still patient and kind, still without envy, still doing a happy dance whenever truth is told. I still love, Love. And I want all of us to love, Love. 

My marriage was dead before it really got started. It wasn’t divorce that destroyed it, it was identity crisis… Marriage is designed to be an outward reflection of an inner relationship between Creator and created. Like all other human interaction, it is supposed to be a safe place where we can repeatedly be reminded of the reality of Christ in each other. We treat each other poorly when we forget who we are and our wounds and insecurities dictate our actions. 

My relationship with my Maker allowed me to grow because I knew I was loved. The man I chose to marry the first go around thought God was judge, not a safe place.  He thought submission was total surrender of one to the other, and he stopped reading after wives submit to your husbands.  I retreated from his abuse, into my Maker... but my babies did not have this tool. I had to protect them. Separation was my only option in the circumstances, and divorce became the only rational choice. 

Divorce did not break my family, and I don’t think it’s divorce that breaks families, I think wrong thinking about who God thinks we are destroys the relationships that we call marriage. Sometimes they are doomed to fail because two individuals with misunderstood identity strike up a relationship. Sometimes, wounds we don’t know we have rear their unhealed heads, and take an awful self preserving, selfish control freak form, and we don’t know how to heal from them. There are times, as in my own experience,  when letting go of the commitment is the only way to create a safe place in which to heal. 

I don’t know your situation, but I do know that understanding a few things allowed me to let go of my marriage and embrace the reality that the Father cared more about me than my vows, and enjoy the freedom I had to grow me. 

1. An institution is never worth more than an individual. 

2. True love is union because the Love of God flows through uninhibited. Corinthians tells us what that looks like. Galatians tells us what the fruit of spirit life is. If you aren’t safe, and tangibly loved, you aren’t in a marriage. 

3. Confrontation might be necessary, but should leave you feeling safe to be vulnerable and more clearly connected to right thinking about, you, your spouse, and your Maker. 

4. It is never about a balance of power, it is mutually empowering to be in a healthy relationship. 

5. If God sees me clearly, and I can expect to be fully known, seen, heard and loved by him, my spouse and I should want to do this with each other. Love unveils inherent beauty, it does not dictate what it looks like. 

6. Marriage is not the result of begrudged commitment, it is commitment born of the love that sees with spirit eyes. 

7. The most basic human right, due to the intrinsic value bestowed on us by our Designer, is to Love without inhibition, and be loved so in return. This is the foundation intimacy is based on. 

My marriage was none of those things. He had broken every vow by the end of the first month. I deserved to be loved for who I was, and so do you. It is painful to have to choose to walk away from the person you vowed to love and cherish, even if staying means you or they will self-destruct. It is painful to have someone walk away from you, but I think, much like a butterfly cracking out of a chrysalis, the discovery of beauty may follow the pain. Let yourself fly. Let yourself discover abundant life. If you desire the return of your spouse, look forward to it with hope... but embrace change while he is away. Embrace love while he is away. Embrace yourself while he is away, so that you are so beautifully who you are in your Makers eyes that he can’t stop staring. Maybe reconciliation looks like reunification, maybe it looks like grieving and moving on. No one else is in your relationship. They can’t know what is right or wrong for you or your family. 

I had read so many books on dating, marriage, and relationships from a biblical perspective, that I stayed to my own detriment. I actually believed that biblical marriage was the context in which iron was to sharpen iron. I expected conflict, difficulty, external attack, a million things I would have to forgive, and a boatload of painful growth to come my way. Needless to say, instead of looking for happiness and peace in a relationship, I searched for spiritual stimuli. I felt more connected to God when I was hurting, emotionally raw, and spiritually needy. I sought to give more than I took because sacrifice was righteous. I sought my all in Christ so that I wouldn’t need anything from my partner. I. I. I. There was no need for “we” outside of what “we” might do for Jesus. The trouble is that when I latched on to someone, I had been groomed for disfunction. For all my passionate pursuit of holiness, I could never have had a marriage that reflected the love relationship between the Creator and His created ones. 

And in the process of seeing that to its logical conclusion, I entered a relationship in which I lost my sense of self. 

Secure identity is key to healthy life. It determines connection, bonding, dreams going from goals to reality, tangibility of desire, community engagement. If the Maker hates divorce, as the modern english text asserts, it isn’t because a covenant is broken, or because the action itself is sin. It’s because it reflects an error in understanding of how much we are loved, and what it looks like when we rest in that knowledge. We were created for relationship that draws to the surface the beauty of our being, imagined by God. Unique and equally a part of the whole that is Source and Life. We were designed to compliment each other, and hold each other up, for mutual support to build strong intimacy. To know as we are known, in all aspects. To grow deep enough in love to discover all that we are, and have someone else’s eyes see us more clearly than the veil of our negative experiences will allow. 

Look for that kind of love. Strong, gentle, beautiful love with hopeful vision. Marriage is supposed to be happy. And we are supposed to enjoy it. If we’re not, asking “why” is wiser than enduring out of duty that which might be destroying us. 

***why does it feel like I might not be done... well, ask me. Comment. Share your story. Let’s discuss. I’ve had years to think about this one, and I’m know there’s lots more to say (but it’s a blog, and you were expecting a five minute light read).  The understanding that who we are intrinsically matters more than our do’s and don’ts effects our relationships, but it’s new enough to leave us wondering “how to.”  Let’s start the conversation, because let’s face it, we look for love to heal our hurts, and part of sitting down inside and learning to “be” is replacing unhealthy boundaries with healthy ones.  If it’s too personal, Facebook has messenger for a reason.  My website also has a contact form on the bio.  Let’s talk. Let’s heal. Let’s be well.

Flowers in the Manure Pile 

I don’t want to be the person you can’t live without. I want to be the person who reminds you that you are alive. 

The deeper I move into love, the more I realize that the truest form of it seeks the good of the other person. Not their comfort or their prosperity; not their ease or their external happiness. Their good. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Not because it buries its head in the sand and hides, or because it naively continues to allow repeated bad behaviour, but because it sees the mistakes as growing experiences, or symptoms of deeper issues and requests change. It isn’t the inconvenience that drives this confrontation, it’s the knowledge that the relationship cannot progress past this point without it. If one party stops growing, content to wallow in the muck and mire of stunted emotions, there is no new adventure. 

Mature confrontation also reveals the person one is, rather that expounding on all they are not. The truest self in any of us is who we are at the level of spirit. The sharing of Source places us all on an equal footing. Equally supported, seen, heard, and in essence, imagined by our Universal Maker. I strongly believe healing is much simpler when this belief is there, though I realize that this is the point in my discourse where some will leave me. However, this premise may cause a return: True Love looks at a person who is in the middle of the mess and divides the experience from the individual. It is able to look, much like a groom recalls the beauty of the woman behind the veil at a wedding ceremony, recall, and verbally affirm the beauty. Humans tend to act how they feel, picking up old habits or using old responses or coping mechanisms based on wound memory. Temporarily we feel we have created a place where we matter as much as we want to, because we are doing whatever we choose. However, as we mature, engaging in selfish behaviour only serves to make us feel worse about ourselves. Generally we give ourselves a berating making it unnecessary for someone else to step in and take up the baton. 

What we need is the mud washed off, the mirror held up, and the insistent “look at yourself” presented. You, are stunning, lovely, strong, capable, utterly cherished, of untarnished beauty. You so reflect the light that you make it look good. Love recounts the times you accurately reflected your Maker, and asks how it can help you do it again. Love remembers who you always have been, and declares you “good.” If it confronts behaviour it does so in a way that stresses that you are not low, the poor conduct is beneath you. It also lends enough strength to help you discover your own so that healing can begin. It doesn’t drop a truth bomb and run (although, there are some circumstances, like abusive relationships, where I might advise the running, as staying around can be self destructive, or at the very least, enabling). 

The base instinct is self preservation when we don’t know who we are. We hold onto the things we have accumulated, the “doing” that declares our individuality. We identify ourselves with our roles and accomplishments. Our culture reinforces this: jobs are awarded on credentials, loans on credit scores, marks on work, success on visible display of wealth. While track record should affect our material output potential, and sometimes it places limits on our level of impact, it should never dictate how valuable one finds themselves. 

Who we are is intrinsic. Our value bestowed. Circumstances do not dictate character, or potential. The Course is not charted by the mistakes we make, though the path may spring from that point. The most beautiful plants are grown in dirt and manure. Not because they took on the shape and form of their soil, but because they pulled the nutrients out of what was decaying and BLOOMED anyway. They bowed to what had been bestowed on them, not what they found most tangible. 

True love reminds the one beloved that they are the seed they are. It will not tolerate the mask of poor behaviour. It will not tolerate the stench of old, rotting wounds that constantly declare the incapability of change. Love does not sit on the sidelines and watch one self implode. And it should never be asked to. It may for a time, appear distant while someone goes through a process and finds health, but it does not actually retreat. 

I used to believe that I needed someone who couldn’t live without me. I needed to be needed that badly. I also used to believe that when I had messed up, I needed to wallow in the nastiness of that feeling, and label myself useless and unlovely. I used to think repentance and guilty feelings followed each other around, and there needed to be an emotional incapacity to function until something wrong had been dealt with. That is penance. Love does not require penance. Love requires freedom of movement uninhibited by the wrong perceptions I have about myself. If I believe the Truth about me, from the Mouth of the One who is Truth, I will also believe, by default, the Truth about you. And because I Love you, and Love rejoices in the Truth, I will tell you what I see. And it will only be difficult to hear until you believe it. I don’t want to be the person you can’t live without. I want to be the person who reminds you that you are alive.

What If?  

I wonder what would happen if we embraced the beauty and the good with the same fervour we latch on to that which scares us spitless. Humanity was given authority, Creation has bowed from the beginning. How many choices do we give it, really? 

So many have seen the world situation and shuddered, some proclaim the end is near, as if they are waiting for the world to self combust and blow all of us to kingdom come. It is almost as though we are a child in the middle of a temper tantrum, longing for a parent to change our circumstances, but forgetting the house rules. We forget that we decide our outcome by our actions. If the rule is no screen time until the room is cleaned… well, a fit won’t make a computer magically appear. In essence, we have tied our mother’s hands. 

Maybe the disruptions in our world peace and natural order, are, not so much our “fault,” as they are the inadvertent response of our environment to the stimulus we present. Like a child who has forgotten the house rules once they have given into frustration, leaving the parent no option, perhaps we have given Mother Earth no choices. 

If, all is made and held together in One Spirit, and, if said Spirit established order giving humanity, which shares this Spirit, authority over our world, power to be collectively used for the good and sustainability of our Being, and we live outside this paradigm, believing ourselves helpless and in need of rescue, what then do we bring our environment? 

Indeed, what “If?” 

Perhaps the secret to our cohabiting in our world peacefully and without violent incident or fear lies in how we collectively view our status and placement in this friendly universe. 

Small scale experimentation in quantum physics suggest we have much more power, in imagination and in intention to see our desires manifest. It also points to the possibility that observation can alter outcome. Tricky. Combine God given authority with that kind of infinite option, and the human might want to be careful about what we dream out loud. It would seem that the principal that governs life… what we focus on becomes reality, has widespread implications. 

For instance, current circumstances: world wide pandemic. Wide spread fear, dependence on others for safety, political unrest in many countries, and, it seems, a few extra natural disasters cluttering the weather channel. 

Sometimes I talk to storms. I tell them they can wreak havoc wherever they want, just don’t hail on my garden. And they don’t. I spoke to a whirl wind one day, told it to settle, and it did. Put down the tumble weeds and went back to where it came from. I’ve spoken to my body and told it today wasn’t an option for a physical ailment. It stopped. Jesus said we would do greater things than these. Religion has relegated these greater things to soul saving and demon control. It has delineated, making it a “spiritual” game, separating spiritual things from the secular. Its major accomplishment, the creation of a whining, snivelling population that requires saving, rescuing, relief, salve and snacks. We’re toddlers with limited understanding and language skills. I’m not picking on any religion, by the way, all of them seem to throw us back to infancy and dependency. 

Perspective is everything. If I believe I am a baby, and God is out there somewhere making decisions, I am going to view my input as inconsequential. Everything I hope for is iffy. Seeing my intentions manifest becomes as possible as being the one to break open the piñata at a party. Either grave disappointment awaits, or fabulous surprises! If I believe I am actually a joint heir with Jesus Christ, due to the sharing of the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead, having already been given all things needed for physical life and spiritual life (life and godliness), the whole game changes. I no longer beg for something outside of myself to change my circumstances, I rather imagine the possibilities and open my eyes to see how the situation may change. If I believe that all things happen for my good, I look for that good. If I believe that my Father is the Father of Lights, I remember that I am Light as well, and the darkness loses its power. In short, I stop looking for that out there to change in my favour while I sit helplessly and wring my worried hands, and I allow the peace within to pervade the unrest without. 

Have I accomplished flawless execution of this practice? No. However, I have come to realize the patterns in my own life which prove the outcome possible. When I thought I must be content with little, I made do, expecting only enough. When I allowed myself to look for more, and believed it possible, more began to come. Abundance requires an open hand in which to fall. Wringing, worried hands are closed. A mind that is constantly doing budget sums and never imagines more will not dream of financial independence, nor will it shoot for the stars and seek out opportunities for betterment. A crushed, unhealed heart will not look for love, but rather confirmation bias of its brokenness. Relationships will not be healing or fulfilling until that is what one seeks. How much land would God have given Abraham if he had looked at his feet instead of lifting his gaze to the horizon? Would Jesus have calmed the storm if he hadn’t spoken to it? Would the disciples have had a net breaking catch if they had cast their nets on the left side? Nope. Only the Right. Growth and change and healing require a change in perspective and a healthy outlook of “I can” possibility. We are given the desires of our hearts. Sometimes what we have told ourselves we deserve interferes with the manifestation of the loving, abundant and beautiful. 

We cannot see that which we do not look for. How many of us have missed our exit because they moved the sign, or tore down a landmark? The road is still there, but we can’t find it because we want it to look how it always has been. We can’t find our future because our past is dictating our present. What if we are collectively missing our turn because the landmarks we have always relied on: science, class, government, religion, prosperity, law, are crumbling around us, and our external influences have crushed our imagination. What if it is time to listen to the artists and the lovers, and the visionaries who see the basic form of our being as the platform for change. Those who see our sameness which fuels the beautiful tapestry of our diversity? What if the world we live in, cradled in the universe we were placed in, craves our loving influence rather than our subjective fears? What if our perceptions are the key to victory, freedom, and harmony? What if justice and protection flow from love? What if reconciliation is possible? What if? 

What if the path of peace is within us, and the key to our health and well being is unity, togetherness, and correct understanding of individual and collective intrinsic identity. What if Love really is what the world needs now? 

What if rather than praying for peace and healing and unity, we became channels of peace and healing and unity. What if, like Abraham, we stood on a mountain and searched the horizon, and both envisioned having all we saw, and being a steward of it, accepting the beauty of responsibility? 

I think, if such Light as we are truly Shone in our World, no darkness, sickness, poverty, religion, ideology or government could stop the changes. And I also think, that if we chose this path of peace, we would give Mother Nature an option in the outcomes, and the earth might find its rest along with her inhabitants. 

It is not for lack of “things” the people perish, but for lack of vision. Let’s envision together, so we might live together in the way we were created to. I promise, that place is beautiful.

Fake News 

 

News of the death of my faith has been greatly exaggerated. One might even call it fake news. But all the best propaganda is based on, at best, one’sjudgement of another’s actions, and at worst, outright lies. And so, this event is not surprising, for agitated reactions and conspiracy theories are born of such rumours: I received a very well meaning letter today. Extremely well meaning. In it were several admonishments not to abandon the faith of my youth. 

My faith is alive and well. Although it has grown to an inclusive stance that I believe allows God more freedom to be His Loving, Fatherly Self, and that process has taken me away from traditional congregatory fellowship, my faith has not died a slow, agonizing, nor a quick, traumatic death. It has merely been given the room required to breathe, and the ability to sustain me in every facet of life; not merely those within the common boundaries acquired by the adoption of an externally sustained legal system and conscience. I’m sorry if that is unclear. The long and the short of it is this: the law of love, evidence that the Spirit within is truly the breath and life of my being, has captured my heart, and those uncomfortable grey areas have become points of rest. 

My faith has been set free to truly be put into action. Endless possibility and imagination are the only limits to what might manifest. Potential outcome of belief is no longer subject to the weighing of checks and balances. Have I done everything right? Have I somehow sinned and ignored it? Have I exhibited proper penitence? Have I properly considered the eternal consequences of my daily mistakes in a way that might prevent further disruption of the norm? Have I properly taught my children so that they might avoid the fire, or have I abandoned them to hell and tied round my neck the proverbial millstone by my neglect of their eternal souls? Well, have I? 

Well, no. I haven’t. Because Love never fails. And Love has already won. And I am safely relaxed in the lap of the Maker. And I need no creed or doctrine, no community held conclusion of truth’s contents to ground me. My very existence is solidly sought and sustained in my Maker, who, incidentally, saw fit to charge man with appropriating stewardship of creation, in essence, doing unto others what we might have done to us, the earth included, and we, who believed a lie, have subsequently dropped the ball and repeatedly ask to be let out of the penalty box, saved from our self inflicted consequences and perceived injustices, if you will, when we were never sent there. We are as Christ in this world. Yet, we sit tight and hang onto our beggar’s prayers, grasping at straws we feel we have no right to. We are sons. Daughters. Children. Identity is one thing, perspective is another. Which one is given opportunity to rule? 

On second thought, perhaps, MY faith is DEAD. For rather than believing that He can do anything, in spite of me, if only I muster enough faith, I have quite agreed with Him, that In Him, as all things are, anything is possible, and I shall find myself quite capable of listening, and acting, as did Christ Jesus, and consequently, I shall be getting it right. I shall be looking for that which is needful and necessary, even abundant to show up in perfect timing. I shall be agreeing that my Father indeed has all the cows, and moves them around as they are required. I shall agree that I have all I need for life and godliness, including the faith of Christ, inside me, at my very core, and I shall stop looking for the checks and balances to line up and award me the blessing based on the formula. 

And I shall accept that within holy relationships, the timing of which may not line up to widely accepted legal standard, I shall understand myself as seen through Love’s eyes, because those with whom I share relationship are also in the beloved, and might, perhaps be seeing me with clarity. I shall listen, rather, to their supportive truth, which heals and manifests as divine sustenance and calls me to abandon the lies that seek to defeat me, thus, disagreeing with the Maker who called me GOOD. For indeed, all I have needed, His hand hath provided, past tense, there is no lack. Not in me, not in my world. 

The trappings of that which felt like faith, I have indeed abandoned, for both God and I were hemmed in on every side by them. Freedom is beautiful. Faith is beautiful when it is allowed to grow. And if it is not mine, formulated carefully by me, but rather, His faith in Me (yes, there is a double meaning in that), then grow it shall! Faith Unlimited. Fully embraced!

"LABEL MAKERS DOWN!" 

 

“A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet…” One should thank Shakespeare for the penning of that phrase. It is true… the wild rose in the woods so fills the air, one cannot miss it. Its power is not in the name of it, but in the essence of its being; the sight, the smell, the subtle hum of the bees it draws in, and the medicine within the hip left on the bush long after the petals fall. I am attracted by its beauty, not its name. I stop and breath it in, not for the name, but for the peace and harmony I am immersed into as it spreads the love it has been allotted without reservation. Flowers in general are captivating to me, each one a delightful surprise, I meet them, and then I ask what they are called so that I may share the joy with another human. 

Others, I think, feel this way about their dogs, or cats, or horses. They rarely are chosen for the name they have been given, but rather for their personality, demeanor, or appearance. There is much in the eyes of an animal to speak of its character, and they are best named after the knowing has begun. I’ve named a tomcat, Teeny, as a kitten (to go with its twin, Bop), He is definitely not little. The juxtaposition makes me giggle. Hindsight. Clever hindsight. 

Whatever it is you have come to love, Whomever has stolen your heart… it was not the name that crushed your defences. Why so, do we expect this of the Maker of all these good beings, that life be in the name rather than the essence? 

I was asked once, if it was possible that all roads lead to God. It was in the context of a discussion on world religions, and I was, regrettably, very naive in my definitive response. I thought it couldn’t possibly be so, for I had been taught that so many roads have a very bitter end, and was convinced that taking them would be the undoing of the pilgrim who walked them. Somewhere in my journey, the road has lost its power, and the movement towards the goal has revealed the desire and passion to both connect to something, and be found by someone. It is undeniable that humans search for that which was somewhere, lost, and we feel it is us, until we find it. The trouble is, we do not consult the map before we begin the journey, and we seek the route with the wrong eyes. 

The map is within, and the eye has a single focus. Spirit. Union. Essence. Being. Connection. Our world has it so backwards. Our need to be part of something, less of an island, has us clamouring for the trappings of a label. A small group to identify with. We search for our “peeps,” our “tribe.” We feel small and insignificant without our ID, our boxes. In our search for belonging, we have forgotten the essence of our being. Significance is not as much in the knowing, as in the being known. But that too has been twisted. We have wrapped identity up in a name and tossed aside the depth of connected existence. Spirit. The very breath of God. 

Interesting to me, in the biblical account of creation, God called creation into manifest reality without having a name for anything. He then created Man, in his image, and instructed him to give his creations a name. It strikes me that in this process One is imagined by the Maker, Called into being, Known or Revealed by character, and Named accordingly. History has revealed that any adulteration of this process produces disastrous effects. We, the created ones have reversed it to our own detriment, beginning with God. And in so doing, we have lost who are. 

But he told us who he was! Arguably, yes. The trouble is that every religion could claim that. And not one got it right. Put down your label gun, Adam. I know you’re forming a rebuttal. If you were raised in Western Christianity, you are presently mentally flipping through the old testament and going through the Nature and Character of God “revealed” to Israel, and forming a tidy list. And then Jesus enters the Ledger, and the books no longer balance. He is, as it were, depending on how concrete your certitude, either an eraser, or a bottle of whiteout, liberally bandied about until all that remains is… Love. Shock. Panic. Terror. Only Love is left? God revealed in Christ Jesus, Jesus revealed Christ in us. Union at the outset. Oneness, Connection, Immaculate Conception. All in a very all-ish sort of way. Spirit born Humanity sourced in God himself. Inseparable. 

So why then, the insipid need for the label maker? The constant classifying of things? The us and them? We have simply inverted the process. First we name a thing, then we define its characteristics, then we form a knowledge box to flesh out the possibility of containment, allow it to coexist with us, and imagine that it is the ordained plan according to the mind of God. Who sadly, is no longer allowed omnipotence, omnipresence, or even, unlimited state of being. We have grossly misused our label maker. What was meant as a tool of understanding the infinite mind of Christ… essentially the ability to accurately describe the identity of an individual being within the context of the Great Oneness, has instead been used to squash, squelch and box our World and its inhabitants into an unhealthy, and somewhat pregnant pause. Every now and again, her labour gets ugly, and reflects our tenuous state of consciousness, and man looks to whatever being it has defined as sovereign for rescue. In our clumsy attempt to define such a state, we often call it revival. 

But I wonder, does the One who is Love agree? If in His mind we were imagined, If with his words we were called into being, If in His heart we were first known, before we had a name, before we were manifest in a body, visible as individuals to one another… if this is our origin, is what we call revival bringing him pleasure? Why then, are there factions among us? Why is this group, or that one called to repentance, and the subsequent human experience seemingly a movement from one camp to another instead of a general move to unity? 

A question was posed concerning the Christian idea of an encounter with Christ, because so much emphasis is placed on the Name(s) for God in this tradition. The core of the query was this: could one actually have a genuine encounter with Christ without ever using his name? It’s one of the core values of the church, upholding the Sacred Name, at which every knee shall bow and tongue confess. We have used it almost as a threat to the ungodly, spewed it like venom, clung to it in our oppression, validated martyrdom, hoped for the ultimate outcome that lets us know the world will finally see WE WERE RIGHT! In this context of knowing, how is embracing some abstract idea of a loving deity of any kind enough to satisfy so exacting a being? How could one even begin to experience true repentance without also forming true allegiance to Jesus? 

And we wonder why there are factions among us? Humans are silly. Terms first, definitions second… Our boxes so square and limited, our world so Round. Just as our word repentance, in its translation and interpretation has become skewed, and is no longer just the change of direction implied in the original language of the Bible, so also have our terms for God. Many have had God thrown at them in a verbal beating, a definite vain use of the Name. Imagine using a name to describe the greatest Love you have ever encountered that had come to symbolize your personal prison. If someone can come to the place where they find God to be good, or even remotely trustworthy after humans have used him for abuse and oppression, it is proof positive that Christ is at work in them; healing, restoring, redeeming… finding that which was lost: their true identity. 

What is the point of embracing a name that does not fit the character? Which Husband or Father would rather be properly addressed according to their title and feared, than be nicknamed and approached with openness and trust? I cannot imagine a Father, who’s baby cannot say “father” berating a child when “ba” or “da” comes out in its place. My brother’s children call their grandfather “Boppa.” It was a mispronunciation by a baby that stuck and came to mean something. The point was that it was freely combined with “I love you,” and the feeling was reciprocated. How do we think our Heavenly Father could possibly be less accepting, and offended by use of the the wrong name. The power is not in the term, for the Being was already in existence before the label. It is the Essence, the Love to which we are drawn, it is the attitude of that Love towards us which beckons us to come. It is the deep mutual knowing that produces the unbroken unity within our being, the REST that comes of finding ourselves (that which was lost) to be irrevocably held in the lap of he who imagined us. 

Just as heaven’s gates are never shut, the Father’s Lap is ever available. In fact, if we look into his face, and catch our reflection in his eyes, we find we are already there. 

Stop there, just as you might among the roses, and be refreshed. Not because you know His name, but because your heart is captured by the fragrance, the essence of His being. Know as you are known. His heart is familiar, not because you have memorized his attributes, but because at the very core of your being is the same heart. 

O, Humanity, we are embraced in such a Union. Why then are there Factions among us? 

Label Makers DOWN, Adam. It is time to Sit and Be.

Resurrected Life 

Life is in the living. 

Really. 

And the proof of life is in the way life is lived. 

It is all well and good to say, “He is Risen” and realize that it is Christ in us declaring that “We are Risen.” But what effect does it have on our lives, our relationships? How does a vertical reality translate into a horizontal one? 

Love. Patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, peace, gentleness, faithfulness… Fruit of the Spirit. Too long have these been seen as virtues to be cultivated rather than the default setting of a human made in the image of the Maker, and given life with his very breath. This is what love looks like. This is the outcome of the resurrection. No longer are we enslaved to the faulty understanding that we are not all of these things without a certain amount of intense refinement. It was for our freedom that he subjected himself to the path of man that a broken system might be revealed to be useless, so we might discover that the Kingdom of God was where it always had been… within. 

With Jesus was crucified the idea that we are separated from God, and the Sin defeated was the misunderstood identity the thought produced. If our Maker cannot love us without the mediation of sacrifice, then why should my human relationships be any different? Should not all relationships be part of the formation of my being into the image of the invisible? Religion turned creation on its head. It has been doing so for ages. 

Do we assume the Trinity laces heaven with tension? Is the flow of Divine love inhibited by selfishness? Misunderstandings? Miscommunications? Or is there security in the identity of each member of that “us” into which we were birthed at creation? Why then do we assume that our relationships need to be difficult? Humans have written so many books on how to avoid being hurt by difficult people, how to assert the self, even subject oneself to what could only be called abuse in order to cultivate humility and submissive spirit. 

But do these coping mechanisms honour the Christ life in each other? Do they declare freedom to the captives? Do they bring about healing? Do they reinforce the Divine Design unique to each person? Or do they manipulate people into filling a mold. I fear it’s the latter. My greater fear is that it is because of fear, and the belief that suffering is necessary for refinement driving us to accept the self deprecating declarations as our personal truth. Such a contrast to the mantra of Easter spread over Christendom: He’s alive in us. If he is alive in us, if he indeed is our life, why then the disconnect among the humans? 

Let’s make this practical… We are One, as the Father and the Son are one. Joint Heirs, He was the firstborn of many brethren. One Spirit, One Family, One Body. Many members, many parts. What might come about if we chose to live this out? To look at one another, not with the fear of being known ourselves and exposed and vulnerable, for being known deeply is a privilege,  but with the express goal of seeing the specific manifestation of the Maker in that person. And then turning inward, and noting the specific manifestation of the Maker in ourselves. Am I a hand, a foot, a tongue, an arm? Am I a healer, a shepherd, a priest, an evangelist, a compassionate lover, a giver, an advocate of the weak… How can Christ in me bring Christ in you to the surface so that you and I stand in strength together? 

If you are buried under the weight of your circumstances… How can I roll away the stone that holds you in your tomb? You have been set free, how do I relay the message to your broken heart? Of late I have been experiencing a kind of love that reveals Christ in me gently, rather than chiselling away at the false representation of myself I had presented to the world because of the faulty expectations lies, religion and abuse had placed on me. I had fears, insecurities, wounds, false understandings about the achievement of holiness ingrained in my being. And all of these things are falling away in the midst of a love that essentially came from behind, softly, demanding nothing, and giving everything, affirming the beauty of who I am. 

Sometimes, we get so used to the grave clothes of our pain that we forget they are just garments which can be shed. We get used to the depressive darkness of our tomb, and the light without begins to feel like a fairytale. We feel like an imposter when we embrace our beauty and life, and when the fruit of the Spirit begins to flow effortlessly, we wonder when the “old” us will surface and ruin it all. 

But what if it doesn’t need to reappear? What if it has no power in and of itself? What if we are resurrected in our in-Christ-ness, without everything that hinders. What if we are not being refined into something useful so much as our true state of being is being revealed? What if I am truly who Love says I am? What if lies are just lies, and the only sin I have ever been guilty of is believing the great lie that connection with my Maker is tenuous and more heavily dependent on the attitude of the the created one, than the sovereign decision of the Creator. 

The truth about me, is that I am not in the grave. And I never have been. My grave clothes are a strong illusion, but only an illusion, and there is no stone I have not rolled over the door of my being. I can come out anytime. And once I let myself out, I am free to love others with the same open, honest, life affirming, ultimately revealing passion that I am being loved to understanding my wholeness in. 

We have a choice. If we are truly alive, because He is Alive, our relationships should also reflect the beauty of that reality. We have been birthed out of the constant love and mutual enjoyment our Maker experiences within himself, so let’s embrace that same reality as we celebrate Christ in each other. As He is, dear one, Are you.

I am not as I have been 

I cannot go back. I can only go forward. Love is like that, I’ve found. It is always in constant motion. Preparation for the next step that often looks like loss, is providing open space for what is new and full of life. A relationship morphs and leaves one feeling bereft and then another comes and creates more understanding of wholeness than any other could possibly have done. And I am well. 

The Maker not only moves cows, it seems, but people and families as well, to provide homes for the heart. 

Changes in world view can prove challenging in the context of culture and family. It only takes a difference in perspective to cause division. One can read the same book, draw a different conclusion about its context, believe it to contain truth passionately, and yet be utterly wrong. The difficulty is that humans have been conditioned to read with an external template. We don’t search for truth, we judge it based on our cultural, religious, and personal experiential templates. Our assumption about the origins of our thoughts, and those in our community who may morph away from them in favour of a different paradigm create an innate tension. There is fear there… So many books have been written about the dangers of labelling a person, the ostracization, the mental health problems, the simple act of rejecting a person based on differing beliefs. 

But if our beliefs are solid, and we are certain, why is the simple act of someone changing their mind so threatening? Why does it have the power to entirely destroy relational intimacy? Obliterate trust? Divide families? Why, under the pretext of understanding, does the line of questioning inevitably move into the realm of attempting to unconvert the one altered and regain their status as “one of us” instead of delving into what made them change in the first place. If they arrived at their conclusions after a point where want has always been done proved to them to be an epic failure at sustaining life or stimulating growth, and they have successfully changed into a more palatable human because of it, what are we not insanely curious? What changed? 

We’ve all met that person who has a tale that could be titled “I am not as I have been.” Their story is most often a tale fraught with peril or adversity and laced with personal epiphanies. We hire them as motivational speakers for conventions and leadership conferences. Hold retreat weekends with them in hopes that their vibrancy and way of life will rub off on us and we too will become shiny. But when such an individual rises from our own ranks, we carefully cordon ourselves off from them and find they are radical and dangerous. O, the irony! We would rather maintain our doldrums and status quo and our traditions, hang on to our beliefs as though they are God himself, and not a system of ideology based on man’s interpretation of them (this can also apply to cultural and political connections), than find out what it was that brought about such marked change in one who was once so close and agreeable. Because, heaven forbid, I cannot explore, let alone agree, because I have already declared my allegiance to another line of thought. 

We forget that at the beginning of religious and cultural shifts, there have always been forerunners of a questionable nature. What you consider to be ancient thought, true ancient thought would find to be untested and in its infantile stages. Truth may not change, but our perspective on it may. Religion and science have long been a balance to each other, provoking exploration. It stands to reason that as we grow more connected in our world, the fields of study will also begin to overlap, giving solid evidence for that which was at one time a mystical stymie. Even Spiritual experiences have become the fodder of studious examination, because the inexplicable, or miraculous begs for definition. Humanity, in this post religious scientific era, is once again exploring the metaphyisical. We want to know. 

Inquiring minds want to know. And why do I bring that up? Man, created in the image of God, who created us, and knows all things and gave us unlimited access, not only to his life but his mind, wants to journey into all truth and know and be known by the Maker. It is within our make-up to search the deep things of God, to desire not the hypothetical abstract truth, but the workable, interactive reality consciousness and awareness bring to life. 

If a car stops working, we replace it. If a dishwasher ceases to function, we replace it. If an animal dies, we bury it, and let it go. If a friendship or a marriage becomes dysfunctional, we either attempt to change its patterns or let it go. If we cannot physically or mentally get well, we subject ourselves to both diagnosis, and treatment, and often change our location to hospitalization in order to become well. We may even change habits and lifestyle to maintain the level of wellness we acquire during the period of healing. When two people of different cultures begin personal or working relationships, they may have to compromise, or leave components of their upbringing in order succeed at remaining connected. 

Why, then, is it so unbelievable that one may need to change one’s perspective on God, or Spiritual life in order to become well? If the religious template is not a functional model producing life as it advertises, but there is still a desire to remain connected to the Deity one claims faith in, why is it almost worse to change how one reads a book than it would be if one denied there was any truth in it at all? Why are the consequences of spiritual exploration so severe? Especially, if one begins to see results. How can belief that did not serve a person, only wounded them further and made them feel innately defeated, now let go, and replaced with the fruit of the Spirit and the abundant, joyful life preached by both Christ and Paul, be so dangerous that the traditional statement of faith is allowed to trump intimate relationships. 

It should be possible to leave religion, keep God, and keep the Bible. To be tied to the Bible, only as it is currently viewed by the religious sect you adhere to is to replace a free range Creator with a dried out, boxed version, with less free will than the beings he created. What if in this day, God is doing a new thing, that truly will be truth that sets free the captives, and your adherence to tradition has you in a holding pattern. 

You won’t know if you label before you look. You won’t, you can’t. If what you have doesn’t feel like  freedom, and someone you know is talking, walking, and living differently, and it looks like freedom, ask them them questions like they are a motivational speaker at a conference. Even if they are your family. You may find, that in the changes of their life are the desired goals of your own. And you may also find that growth, of all kinds, has an uncomfortable, untraditional beginning. Unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground, and DIE, it will bare no fruit. No one wants to whither. And what if we have always believed a lie. What if? 

I am not as I have been. Are you?

 

Love Wisely, and Too Well  

It’s February. 

Hearts and flowers. 

Love spelled out 

in awkward hours. 

 

A day set up 

in celebration 

Of a single word 

in a context bold. 

 

But what of those 

who now grow old 

in love grown cold 

alone? 

 

Single is such a lonely word. And a free word. It doesn’t have to be an alone word, but context makes it so. Every event, it seems is designed for the sharing of it. And let’s face it, even having the possibility of a someone who might just stay for a while makes spending time in the community of couples a bearable experience, for one day, it might be you. 

And falling in love is fun. The crush, the butterflies, the constant texting, the feeling of being wanted and necessary. The temporary overriding of good sense… loving, perhaps, not wisely, but too well (I think I’ve borrowed that from Shakespeare). Loving too well: the act of investing oneself entirely from the onset of a relationship, regardless of repercussions. 

You know, I don’t think I do anything by halves. I tend to be present in all experiences and relationships. My immediate moments are my focus… unless I am trying to fall asleep, and then tomorrow’s list, or all I should do instead of taking this nap, loom like an adrenaline inducing weather emergency, but I digress. I rather invest myself in relationships, and people, and nothing so upsets my apple cart, as limbo. Commitment isn’t scary, and choosing to love someone isn’t difficult. Letting someone love me isn’t at all awful either, though, I have found that it is a catalyst for some uncomfortable but necessary healing. So many people would say that working on oneself while you are single is what makes your next relationship more successful than the last. It’s true, but there is something to be said for the process of learning in a relationship as well, no matter how long or short. The things that chafe us in another person, friend or lover, usually do so for a reason and taking a moment or two to understand why, could be the sense in the senseless heartbreak of a good bye. 

There are no useless relationships. Loving someone too well will always lead to one’s own growth if it is allowed to do so. Human refinement happens in community. It may begin in the isolation of self reflection, but I put it to you, that it is hypothetical healing until the muscle of the heart is put into training. It is the beautiful thing about the interconnected reality of the world. Some might call it the universal body of Christ… others, simply the Universe. However one may need to see it, at the core of Life itself is the Source of Love. It is the energy that spoke us into being. It cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred. And therefore, using it never runs a deficit. 

If I feel used up by a person, there was something grossly unhealthy about the relationship, and my own boundaries were in places that did not reflect the value I have as a person. If this is true, I could have loved too much, but not wisely. The wisdom is not in the choice of who we love, as much as it is in how we love ourselves. If this is done properly, two things will happen: we will choose to allow into our deepest being, people who have a right to be there, if only for a time and a purpose, and we will grieve changing or severed relationships without having to form a hatred for someone who has let us down. Each of us is as human as the other. Our pasts overlap into our present, and relationships are messy. But the key to seeing other people accurately, is getting to know where the windows we look at them through are cracked, foggy, or dirty on our side of the glass. When things hurt, allow them to reveal why. And embrace yourself. Too often, we fail to do this, and become our own worst enemy. It’s ok not to like our actions and desire to change, especially to realize that our poor behaviour is the result of unhealed wounds. But don’t hate the vessel. Your design is perfect. My design is perfect. The healing of wounds when we choose to lean in instead of pulling away tends to clean both sides of the window, and the design begins to gleam and shine without inhibition. 

The greatest Valentine we could ever have, is at the very core of our own Being. The very Source of life. The One to whom we are the perfect manifestation of many pleasant thoughts. Out of this Source, we live, move, heal and love. For these things, there are endless resources. There is no love lost, only love allowed to flow. And like fresh water, it perpetually cleans and provides life. 

I want to love both wisely and well. As a part of a family, as a friend, and as a lover. But none of this can be done in isolation, and it will never happen if I hold myself back from attempting depth in my relationships. It will also never happen if I never try. I am not so much putting myself out there, as choosing to engage in the present, whatever it may be. When a river of love flows from the core of my being, knowing another human, and myself within the context of that relationship is Valentine’s day. Giving the gift of my authentic being is not ever a waste. And wounds heal. One might even say that love relationships are the gift the Maker gives to reveal the people he imagined. We look so good, in love…