have the courage to love
Life is a beautiful mess. Things are constantly in motion from one form to another with seeming chaos in-between.
A friend died a few days ago (a dear friend’s father who I’ve known half my life.) I was with him a few weeks ago kissing his fingers and reminding him that love and gratitude are the doors to freedom, for him it was being able to let go of the body. I’m happy he is free now.
Those doors of love and gratitude for me, or for you, most likely look different today than letting go of the body, but letting go of the identities that we’ve outgrown perhaps is a version of the same thing. There is a heaviness that comes with holding on too long. There’s is a Zen saying that I love, “Let go or be dragged.”
Having the courage to love means, to me, to be willing to let go. To let go of knowing what will happen when I open my heart or when it breaks as things inevitably change and the wild animal of grief arrives. The courageous act is to love anyway.
As many of you know, I am in the beautiful and uncomfortable process of saying goodbye to my father…very slowly. Over the past 5 years things have been changing, first slowly and now it seems, with a greater velocity and momentum. To let my love lead me in this letting go, and not my fear, is a great teaching. It is actually beautiful to witness the change in me and in him as odd as that might seem.
This practice of being present to what is happening, the very practice of life, is amplified through this as the words and the sentences from his mouth are less frequently about anything I can see or track. So I’m practicing the improvisational tool of, “yes and.” Instead of saying no or correcting him (or any of the many sweet beings who share this strange journey of losing one’s mind) I say “yes and”…to engage and to love.
Love is all that remains at the end, that’s what I see in my Dad. All the identities crumble with nothing to keep them together - no past or future to stretch across and make some facade or pretense of.
I have cried a lot over these past weeks and months and years. Those tears soften me, help me be more resilient and ready for the unknown. I’m grateful for being an emotional creature riding my intuition where it leads.
I pray for the courage to love even more and to let go of the identities that keep me heavy and separate from life. These full moons are full of so much. Enjoy it all, the whole beautiful mess.