Monday, August 6, 2012

The intimate exchange of love-essence


Have we ever truly felt the rain? Allowed it to enter us in a completely unprotected way? Given permission for it to intermingle with the cells of our heart, touching us intimately as the lover that it is? How much actual contact can we bear? How exposed are we willing to be, really? It is common, in my experience, for spiritually-oriented people – at least at times – to use their spiritual lives, rituals, beliefs, superstitions, and practices as a buffer from the raw, ever-unguarded and vulnerable heart, and the terror of intimacy. Yes, we can have a great meditation or construct some sort of fabulous “very high” state of “divine” consciousness, when alone, when sitting at our prayer altars, when worshipping a dead guru or spiritual teacher who is not so available for any truly intimate encounter – or when participating in some sort of pre-conditioned group process. 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with these things, of course. They all come with their own beauty and possibility, like any life-experience. But after speaking with so many people now about what is truly important to them – many of them deeply devoted or otherwise committed to “awakening” or “enlightenment” or whatever spiritual goal they’ve been told is the right one – I can’t help but notice how our spirituality so often is actually serving a defensive function. The deep, dark waters of intimacy are scary. As little ones, our developing nervous systems were not able to digest and metabolize the overwhelming flood of feeling, sensation, and emotion arising out of challenging encounters within our families of origin. This defensive organization arose out of grace as a response – a very intelligent and creative one – to help us survive. 

It’s all part of the sweet mystery of it all, of course, and so precious, really, in so many ways... When I look into the eyes – and feel deeply into the sweetness of the hearts of those I meet – there is that same presence, that same vulnerable call that is beheld in each of these unique falling rain drops, that same once-in-a-lifetime invitation for contact: Will you see me? Will you let me in? Please meet me, friend. Hold me, love me, contain me, validate me, allow my sweet yummy nectar to fully penetrate every cell, every strand of your being. Please don’t close down. Will you feel whatever pain is inside you, whatever undigested shame, grief, anger, sadness, or scary feelings that are there… would you really do this for me, so that I can finally touch you, commune with you, so that we might intimately exchange our essences? We want to love, and be loved; to see and be seen, to hold and be held, as a raindrop given to each of us by Love itself, that we may find our way home – fully receiving the mystery, grace, and endless gifts of the unprotected heart. How sweet. I can’t imagine how this life could be any more precious.