Am I in love with me? Have I taken the gift of this life in and treasured it? I was reflecting on the ways I show love to my son, who is currently sharing space with me. How tender is my love, how it wants to place a soft blanket of protection and care about him. Do I treat myself with that same tenderness? What if I see myself as the very dearest person to me? How would that change things? Instantly I saw that our world would be born anew if all people did this. I saw energy fields expand in a flash and love explode its golden pink light across the earth.
I am the very dearest person to me. I am my own beloved. Oh, do you notice the shadow of old programming raise its spectral head at that statement? I do! I have been sitting with all that this brings up. It is quite a lot.
The ways that I have not loved my body…my back has been keeping my movements limited and I have watched my reactions, my frustration. Our bodies are these warm blooded elemental beings, dedicated to us, to our growth and mastery. They are so deserving of our love. Can I look upon my own body the way I look upon a newborn? Precious, delightful, a magical creature of soft hills and planes. My body has its own tender terrain, pathways plowed across my face by sunlight and strain, veins popped to the surface in answer to some need, weight sagging off the pole of my spine, spots, moles, bumps and scars telling a story of use and more than a little neglect as I used it as a tool. She birthed and suckled children, she was a shovel to a landscape, an open chasm to a lover, a cushion to a tiny head. She is my trusted friend. In her greater wisdom, she paces me. She allows the ebb and flow that is perfect for my growth. She has assisted me to leave toxic situations that my mind and will would not allow. She did the dirty work, took the brunt of the energy in order to say no more. I recall the endless well of tears that flowed that finally carried me from a job that was consuming me. I had no control over them, they streamed unbidden whether I was at my desk or in a meeting. Leaving the job allowed the space to look at the marriage that required leaving also. I was numb but this body carried on.
Now, I am guided to make a move to a new state, a new life that I know nothing about. My body has decided to relieve me off any decision making as to when this will happen. She is fully in charge and I am learning to honor her wisdom and guidance. She is teaching me to be gentle with her. To care for her with ice packs and walks. To lie down and watch the clouds drift by, allowing the inner spaces to be filled.
I am my beloved. The inner landscape, is it a battlefield or a peaceful plane? I have just finished reading, Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. It is a novel of a soldier’s experience in the Vietnam War. It took me deep inside the horrors, the exhaustion, the pain, the mind numbing fear, the senselessness, the death and destruction. Not my usual novel of choice yet I am glad my elder son recommended I read it. The young men face themselves in all their shadow and light. If they were fortunate to walk out alive, they left the jungle with weighter burdens than their one hundred pound packs. Shame and guilt sloped their shoulders, along with all those they were trained to hate and kill, and those they loved and watched die. That they stood at all, speaks of the courage of the human heart.
What am I carrying in my inner spaces? I look around to see the holes that have not been filled with love. I see all the spaces where I thought I did it wrong, I was not good enough, I did not deserve joy. I have been here, many a time, clearing out the overgrown brush, hacking away with a machete. I have learned to drop the machete, to take up streams of liquidlovelight, flowing it from my heart in a steady thread. I have closed many a gap, created a soft clearing to rest within. A peaceful abode where I sink into pink cushions of love. My spirit asks now for more room, a palatial expanse. This novel assisted me to go within to the remaining jungle and stare death in the face. To look upon the part in me that would kill and enjoy it. The ego that would sacrifice others to keep its shining visage. It is not as stark as these young men faced, yet their story is mine. In the end, we all have to stand on that battleground and make the choice to embrace our enemies with love. To drop the self imposed burdens that we have taken on over the years. To forgive everyone, and hardest of all, to forgive ourselves.
The love flame must be built to a mighty blaze to burn away the ropes with which we secured our burdens, hugging them close to our chests. To stand in this flame, to offer ourselves, in full view of ourselves and watch it all go up in flames. We cannot know what, if anything, will remain. One must wait until the smoke has cleared to see oneself. With the burning away of judgment of self, we are set free. A friend wrote on this, that the day of judgment that the Bible speaks of is not administered by some bearded god on a throne, rather it is our own selves who decide the timing of the day and whether we enter heaven or hell. We are our own judge and jury. We choose to walk in freedom or remain in chains of bondage.
In truth, only when our inner landscape is one of peace, will we witness peace in the world. It is time to witness all that is in the world as love. To take in the horrors and love it all without being plunged into a story of suffering. To trust in ourselves as creator gods who have had enough of the warring and death, separation and exile. Who seek peace with a full heart, knowing that cracking the whip on ourselves, brings it down on our brother’s back. Can I be the tender lover, whispering endearments to the raised voices of judgment and doom?
I am my beloved. I befriend every harsh thought with an embrace and show them room. There is space for all within me. The hidden mines are sought out and deactivated. The sunlight streams through as I grow in courage to step into the darkness that lies in wait. All aspects of my being are honored for their part. Everything in this world craves love, craves to be seen, to be acknowledged and valued. The darkest shadow seeks love’s caress. Can I offer this? Can I love my pettiness, my anger, my blackened rage? Can I sit with sorrow and grief, offering my presence without words? The lovelight seeks the trembling terrors to cloak them in its flame. Come, come, step into this transfiguring flame of love as I honor each for a part well played.
The wisdom of my body has allowed this opening. This space of stillness has invited me in, the shadowlands asking full exposure, to share the mountain tops’ glory.
This day, I take myself, Linda Marie, as my beloved, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, till death us do part. I will love, honor and cherish you, all the days of my life.
Perhaps we were not meant to pledge ourselves to another forever. Truly, that pledge belongs to us alone. Today I open myself to cradle the newborn of my being. As I cradle me, I cradle thee. All One. All love.