Sunday, December 20, 2015

What if love never feels safe?

What if love never feels safe? What if it was never meant to provide you with consistent feelings of comfort, certainty, and security? What if it comes spinning out of the stars offering something much more radical, creative, and transformative than ‘safety’ could ever deliver?

Perhaps it wasn't safety you were seeking after all, but wholeness and an untamed, erupting sort of aliveness?

No matter how many profound insights you have, how many amazingly powerful awakening experiences you collect, or how convinced you become that you have it all together, you will always be at risk for the beloved to step in and pull the rug out from underneath you. He or she will do whatever it takes to reveal your true nature as open, naked, and outside the realm of the conceptual altogether.

No, it will likely never turn out quite like you thought it would. You can be grateful for that. Perhaps the creative and destructive activity of love will never ask that you ‘transcend’ your vulnerability, cover over your sensitivity, ‘heal’ your tenderness, or wiggle into some pre-conditioned, second-hand ‘state’ of ‘high’ vibration. But rather to give everything in service of the most radical vow of all: to remain embodied to and intimate with the full-spectrum explosion of what it means to be an alive human being in a world that has forgotten.

Perhaps love will always seed your world with the emissaries of reorganizing deflation, come to scatter its sacred nectar and fragrances throughout the four directions. Before you turn from this activity and abandon it as an ‘obstacle’ to your path, renew your vow to stay close and to no longer abandon the wildness within you. For this deflation is holy, unbearably creative, and is forming the crystalline substance of the path in every moment.

When you are totally unclothed – of all of your spiritual concepts and certain, safe knowing – love will show you what you are. When the known crumbles away, all that remains is your burning heart. There is nothing more alive than that. There is nothing more sacred than that.

Art by Eleni Tsami


  1. I really like this piece. I may copy and keep it. But when I got to the end I was prompted to wonder what makes it more potent or illustrative of "a warm, attuned, and provocative space for the mysteries of your heart" to be combined with an image of what is clearly a shadowy form of a shapely young woman. I'm 72, wrinkled and chunky. My love is also on fire.

    1. Love to your heart on fire, wren. As a woman of 38, you give me hope for the future.

  2. “The Force Awakens…”

    Love’s insistent imperative is calling me by name.

    Consider the soft, deep roar of our Earth trembling, crumbling from love’s power within, no longer tolerant of containment.
    An earthquake is coming. There is a reflexive urge to run and take cover. However, now I know better.
    There is nowhere to run. There is no place to hide.
    Love’s gluttony is on the prowl--coming to rip me to shreds and unapologetically consume me.

    I’m reminded of a time years ago--the summer and fall of 2001. Still traumatized from my divorce two years prior, I ached to thaw--to feel my loving tender heart again. And so it was that a man called “Earth Angel Jovial” was called into my life.

    Apparently, he had been given that name by a Native American medicine man who appeared to him at a truck stop. EA Jovial spoke of how this man taught him about being “naked and bonded” during their times at the sweat lodge. Being “naked and bonded” meant dropping all defenses, all personas, and being together authentically. He said no one could lie while being naked and bonded like that.

    For our meeting, he suggested a sacred ritual. My soul’s yearning to cast away my armour resonated with his request. I gathered the requisite items, and awaited his arrival. Blindfolded, and heart pounding, I opened the door. I could feel his presence, his hot breath on my face, as he cut all clothing from my body. Once both naked, we sat on my living room rug and he removed my blindfold. We lit candles and prayed.

    Any fantasies of my Prince Charming having finally arrived were immediately dashed.
    Who was this strange porcine, man with some questionable dental hygiene? He was crass, irreverent, blunt. But, refreshingly and starkly him, in all his glory. HELL. If he could be comfortable like THAT, what did I have to worry about? I was pretty hot back then…

    In our meetings, I finally experienced the freedom to show up being authentically me. He challenged my defenses, my judgments, my emotional stinginess.
    Nothing was sacred. Everything was sacred.
    I opened to him.
    I grew to love him.

    Not long after, I learned that EA Jovial had had a heart attack. He made it through, but was due to have a cardiac cath done. I was due back at school. He insisted I go. There, I was suddenly gripped with intense and overwhelming anxiety. I called the hospital--EAJ was in cardiac arrest.

    I drove all night through torrential rains and flooded roads to reach my beloved. Upon arrival, I was met with his mother, son, and another woman. EA told me that he was scared and insisted that I leave and forget about him. In the present circumstances, he retreated to the arms of a different beloved, of whom I had not know.

    There is more to be said of this story. However, that was the day that I first learned of Love’s simultaneously horrendous and exquisite nature -- which will burn us alive for the sake of a greater opening. A more urgent presence. A more vibrant aliveness.

    I whole-heartedly asked for this.

    Never before had I known of the powerful love, courage and commitment which had lain dormant within me. What a precious gift of self-discovery!

    I wish I could say that it was all cleared up in that moment, and that I forevermore knew and embraced love with the entirety of my being. But, I can honestly say that there were moments of deep knowing of the essence of God and life, and love itself, mixed in with the absolute rage of stunning betrayal.

    In these years since, I have quietly been preparing for my next great opening. Taking small, calculated risks. Dangling my toes in from time to time. Gathering my sangha of loving trusted friends. And now, again, Love has come calling my name.
    “Wake up! Wake up! The time is NOW!”

    I am opening to the love living me. It has always ever been that way, anyway.
    I just didn’t know.
    Today I embrace Love’s mystery.
    I trust that somehow, in all its whirlwind messiness and chaos, it is all going to work out….

    Okay, Love. Breakfast is served.