Love, True Love

I used to watch the sappy part of a movie and cry because I wanted to be loved like that. Now, I watch those parts and cry because I am so Loved. I guess I should clarify the “sappy part” because it isn’t the proposal, or the wedding that grips me, it’s the mundane exchange of Lovers written into the script. The part where she is given her favourite flowers, or he remembers the way she takes her coffee, or likes her eggs. The well placed quote from a book they shared, the allusion to a mutual memory. All of these things are such poignant moments for me, because Love that Stays is Knowing Love. It covers the full strata of the human being. It is the tangible expression of the Divine between two flesh and blood people. The unconditional acceptance is the vibrance of intentionally cultivated beauty. True Love works at knowing, and this fertilizes the growth of relationship. 

It is interesting to note that Love does not begin with knowing the other other person, but rather, knowing oneself in the context of all Life. It’s easy to do a personality quiz… there’s a million available, and many of them are very effective tools for understanding what to pursue in life. Some move into love languages and relational styles, others workplace aptitudes. Knowing about myself is useful, but it is not the depth of understanding required to love another without inhibition. That seems to be inextricably related to our early experiences with other human beings, and belief, or reasonable lack thereof, in the Divine. The perception of failure to fulfill roles in relationships can have a very detrimental affect on the validation of the authentic self, despite the legitimacy of another’s claim of our offence. We usually do a rather harsh assessment of ourselves when there has been judgement or rejection that severed a valued connection. Unfortunately, this can also create a disconnect between spirit and emotions, via soul, and our true sense of identity can be buried in the sludge of unhealed wounds. 

Much of my existence was connected to organized faith community, wherein I was taught to find my “all in Jesus” and not expect so much of the humans. Not in my family, not among my friends, not even in my marriage. It seems such a juxtaposition at my present place in the journey. On the one hand, God is love. On the other hand, the people who represent him are fallible, and expected to be so. But, Love is faithful, kind, good, long suffering, keeps no record of wrongs, rejoices in the truth, it is gentle and peaceful. Loving one’s neighbour as oneself is no blind love, it is a love that knows intimately and loves anyway. Why then, should the expectation be that love should bear no expectation of mutual care and support? 

I think it’s trauma talking, trauma that sets such a low bar for relationship standards, and trauma that has the one with arms sending the one with pain to the Jesus who seems so illusive, except, perhaps in the field of support in martyrdom. If we expect nothing from anyone, we are protected from being hurt. But, consequently, we are lonely and isolated from community, even when our body moves through a crowd. Good soldiers in the same ranks should not require their sword and shield as they march together. If being bumped is enough to set us off, then we are wounded already, and require no external enemy to battle with. 

I felt so at odds with humanity, such a lack of belonging, such an inadequacy. I knew not love, for not only did I keep a record of the wrongs done to me, but of my wrongs, chief among them, my inability to find my “all in Jesus.” How does one create meaningful connection with the tangible when the model relationship is with an external person who knows all your motivations better than you, and is believed to be all that stands between you and God’s judgement? Every thing that happened to me felt like deserved discipline, a divine learning experience. I wasn’t raised to believe in Karma, but I did, a rather immediate sort than brought impact within days or minutes of that thought, that failure to pray, that flaw in my character that didn’t allow me just to submit to another. I felt I deserved to be treated like the church of his day felt free to treat Jesus. Outcast, judged, square peg, round hole, and generally verbally flogged for questioning the traditional understanding of things. Funny though, the pharisaical attitude was purported by the very ones who preached to “follow Jesus.” Persecution was always spoken of as that which the “world” does to the “believer” but I did not find that to be so, it seemed to come when the human had to make a Love decision that coloured outside the lines. 

Love was not found to flow until I addressed my trauma. I began to see that if God is indeed Love, then, God is also patient, kind, and willing to sit awhile and work through things. Not, indeed, far off and needing to be hailed by my grovelling humility, but close, and present enough to pull me up out of it to look into Love’s beautiful eyes and catch my reflection there. It wasn’t so much that I needed to find my “all in Jesus” and, so doing, measure up, but rather, that I would understand that All of Love was poured into me, and there was no need to measure a vessel that is by default, always full of that which flows fresh and free in it’s own perfect flavour and deep notes. Love not only forgets wrongs, it affirms what is beautifully right, specifically designed with intention, and brings the fullness of joy. It illuminates the existing beauty, and calls it to rise. Parts of me that had been buried were suddenly seen for the intentional, essential component they actually are. Where I actually belong, I fit very well… when a hose is no longer kinked, the water flows to the destination rather freely. 

Humans seem to feel True Love is illusive as the point at which dawn moves into day. Those who have not found it marvel at those who have, as though it will never happen. Even outside church walls, people are told that love comes when we least expect it, and it’s a mystery with its own timing. We are taught not to chase it, and that somehow we will “just know” when it comes. And then in the next breath, we are challenged not to miss our chance. 

Seek to know yourself, and be one who desires to know others. Any relationship… romantic, friend or family, will thrive in the ecosystem of patient knowing. All human interaction is training for true love. Checking the internal wiring of our own being is a great place to start. Knowing where we were meant to shine definitely allows us to look for the specific design of another. We begin to look for strength and complimentary components in each other instead of ways in which we do not jive. Our being is worth so much more than the role another might have chosen for us, If you want to be recognized as someone’s person, you have to be yourself. 

So how did I know that my Love was my Love? Because he chose to know me. Like the Love that is All in All, there was a deliberate choice to look into my soul, and see me. An unearthing began, where before there had only been requests to bury that which did not accommodate another’s insecurities. There was no request for perfection, just honesty and authenticity. There was an undeniable rejoicing in the truth of me. And no fear. Being vulnerable in this context was a relief. We found the connection of Christ and our specific parts of the whole weaving together and making Oneness both apparent and strong. All of those things that were offensive and “corrected” by everyone else found a home in our reciprocal relationship. Is it perfect? In that it drives out fear, yes, it is perfect Love. Some days, Love has her work cut out for her. But when she is allowed free flow over wounds and circumstances too difficult to bear, her strength is revealed in perfect, flawless beauty, and how privileged we are to stare at one another in the light of her presence. How healing, how fuelling, how supportive of the dreams intrinsic to our personal existence. True Love in secure identity and endless possibility. Individuals woven into the tapestry of a beautiful “us.” He knows my flowers, my eggs, my coffee, my moods, my dreams, my fears. And I know his. And when we stumble on something that causes tension, we sit and and find out why. There is such a release in the knowing. I love that the tears come from a place of knowing, now, not a place of longing. Every strata of my being has been encompassed in Love, and I am home. Love that stays, is Knowing Love.

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