Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"broke wide open…"

"something changed inside me,
broke wide open, all spilled out,
till I had no doubt,
that something changed..."

I know that I have already used Sara Groves' beautiful song, "Something Changed." But it is the perfect song for this post. Actually, it is the perfect song for my life. So much has changed inside of me.

There have been so many seismic shifts in the way that I think about love. Yes, love.

Recently a friend, who has known me for most of my life, asked me what had happened to the old Kate. She said that I seemed less concerned with the way other people thought about me, and more concerned with how I thought about them. Wow, did she hit the nail on the head.

It's true. There is nothing like having a friend actually notice a conscious shift as it moves from exploring in abstract, to having it become an assimilated part of our being.

On the heels of her comment, I examined what had changed, and why. And time and time again I came back to something I wrote about in 2012 in a post titled, "to be truly debt free..."

The realization that day,  that I had held others indebted to me -- owing me respect, gratitude, reciprocated affection, consideration -- was like hitting my heart with a fire hose of self-awareness and self-questioning. What had been my motives for loving? Had I only loved to get something in return? Was I imprisoned in my sense of what I was owed by others? Did I keep a running accounting of who was in the red, and who was in the black?

It was eye-opening and heart-shifting. This wasn't about money, time, gifts, or experiences. This was about love -- plain and simple. But not so simple at all. Love had become complicated for me. I'd thought I was a generous person, but I was always wondering if the love was equal.

This stanza from a long-loved W.H. Auden poem began to come alive for me. He wrote:

"If equal affection cannot be,
let the more loving one be me."

This shift, from refusing to note who loved more -- me or the other person -- was almost immediate. The awareness was like having a light turned on in a dark room, and the picture in the mirror wasn't pretty. But as soon as I saw it, I began to change.  I started loving without reason, without the tit-for-tat reckoning that I'd been saddled with for decades, I felt free.

It didn't matter who gave more. It just didn't matter. I could love because it was my divine nature, and my divine right. No one could take that from me -- even me.

In Romans, Paul is recorded as having said:

"I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

Nothing could separate Paul from loving as God loved. Nothing could take from him, his right to love generously, honestly, fervently. I believe that Mary Baker Eddy defines this kind of love as the "doctrine of Christian Science, when in discussing the above statement by Paul, she writes:

"This is the doctrine of Christian Science:
that divine Love cannot be deprived
of its manifestation, or object..."

Nothing, not even our own sense of lack -- held as someone else's indebtedness to us -- can deprive us of our freedom to love without the imprisoning sense of how much they deserve, how much we have given, or how much we think we deserve in return.

These are the chains that bind our hearts. We have the right to be free. To love without measure, to give without reason, to share from the infinite well of infinite Love.

offered with Love,


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