As I mentioned the other day, in the previous blog post, I read Ransom by David Malouf. I found the book fascinating and sought to read some of his other books. I just finished reading An Imaginary Life. As a writer of both poetry and contemplative thought, I was very much inspired by Malouf’s keen sense of communication through a poetic and contemplative voice. I literally wrote pages of quotes in my journal, not so much for the content, but more for the style.
An Imaginary Life is a fictitious interpretation of Publius Ovidius Naso, a first century A.D. Roman poet who was banished to a small village away from his “kind” and allowed to exist in a barbarian community who showed him kindness. Let me quote the description: But then he becomes the guardian of a still more savage creature, a feral child who has grown up among deer. What ensues is a luminous encounter between civilization and nature, as enacted by a poet who once cataloged the treacheries of love and a boy who slowly learns how to give it.
I have been pondering this quote from Malouf: Kindness, I know, is the way – and time [speaking in regards to civilizing The Child]. To reveal to him first what our kindness is, what our kind is; and then to convince him that we belong to the same
kind. It is out of this that he must discover what he is. (77)
The latter part of that quote, “it is out of this that he must discover what he is” has been really challenging me. I think how often I do something for others out of kindness – give a hug, buy something, carry a burden for, or intercede in some way. Is it really kindness? Or is it easement of my own feelings? Is it enabling? Is it allowing her to discover for herself who or what she is?
Integrative thought: I do not wanting to negate kindness. I know it is one of the Fruits of the Spirit. I know we are to be clothed in kindness. I have to at times, though, do a self-check as to my motivation regarding my kindness. My desire is that my kindness is without strings and not for my feel-goods. Nor is it to stand in the way of someone discovering who/what she is.
Kindness is not so much about how I feel as it is as Maya Angelou says: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Go, be kind today, but let it overflow out of the kindness you honor you with in your own self care…and periodically check to see if your kindness is standing in the way of someone discovering who she is.
I recently heard Maya Angelou say “love liberates”. I have heard that statement before. I like it. Books have been written about it, scripture talks about it, many people have taught us those truths over the years, but stop and think about it. What does it mean? I value Ms. Angelou’s wisdom, her truths, and her teachings. I contemplate her truths, quote her at times, and integrate her teachings into my teachings. I have spent days thinking about the concept of “love liberates” and thought I would share some thoughts for you to integrate into your contemplations, life, and teachings.
Love liberates. Love releases, frees, sets free, unshackles, unfetters, unbinds, unchains, unties. Based on these verbs, one could conclude, love is about letting go. We know that, but do we really do that? I think we only let go and release others in love, to the extent that we are free, ourselves, in love. So once again, I think liberating love begins within. Are you living in liberated love? Are you really living in freedom? Freedom in love? Do you feel safe and know that you are love and are loved? Most of us have the intellect, teachings, or head knowledge to say, yes, of course, “I am living in freedom in love. I know I am loved.”
Honestly, though, I don’t always think our head and our heart, our soul, speak the same truths. Look at the patterns in our lives. If you are like me: sometimes you like justice; sometimes you do things in hope of hearing “Thank you”, “That was good”, “You are great”, “You are wonderful”; sometimes you get stuck on principle, “See, they did that again”, “See (noting the wrong in their behaviors)”…; sometimes you instigate, manipulate, are a hawk-eye just to prove a point, a difference in you, to find fault in others. These aren’t freedoms. These aren’t actions of love. Of course, I am not talking about perfection or arrival, you have heard me say that before. I am making the point that these patterns are about “not” believing/knowing that you are complete in your own love so that you are free to liberate others in love. These actions are about trying to secure position; trying to create focus or attention so out of that, we can reap a pseudo sense of love (which may be safer than true love). These actions are about controlling both the input and receptivity of love, because we don’t have our own freedoms in the truths of “love liberates”.
These patterns are that – patterns, not necessarily conscious actions. Patterns are old vibrations…quick “neurological go-to’s” in our data storage. Recognize that they are patterns. I say expose the patterns when they come to your knowing. Speak truths into the patterns: “These are old patterns. They don’t need to control my actions. It is ok for me to release these old patterns, to find freedom. The history of these patterns is old, over, and I have the freedom now to make different choices.” Patterns are really about not feeling safe; about needing to have control to feel safe; about not being able to trust love, be free in love, and rest in love. They are vibrations. They are information in our cells. They govern actions neurologically, vibrationally.
[A quick aside…I always laugh when people recall something and say I am dating myself, but I am going to join that crowd…and every time I do, I laugh at myself, because, one, I don’t remember many things, and two, I don’t feel older, or old enough to have experiences that are dated, but here goes…] I give my clients this visualization regarding the release of old patterns and information because I think the visualization helps. For those of you old enough to remember (it is ok to smile here), you might remember Olive Oil (from Popeye cartoons)…in some cartoons she was a switchboard operator (again it is ok to smile here as well, because you might not know what a switchboard operator is) and she sat at a desk/panel with all of these wires plugged into all of these holes in front of her. She would plug and unplug wire after wire as people requested a call to be connected. (The cartoon and laugh around the issue, showed her getting confused and ending in communication chaos.) The concept I want you to take with you is of being Olive Oil and unplugging the vibration, information, pattern connection so that love is liberated in you…so that you are able to trust…so that you can lessen the control and let love happen. See yourself like Olive Oil, reach up, pull the plug of “go-to information in your memory bank of vibrations, so that when a similar situation occurs again, it doesn’t automatically lead you into the pattern of control of “liberating” (I say that tongue-in-cheek) others in love or receiving liberated love in your own life.
There is so much to write about…and there will be more thoughts…there are more thoughts. I know that the concept of love liberating is about setting others free, but to borrow the gist of a familiar song, “Let there be [love] peace on earth, and let it begin with me”…love (nor peace) can liberate if it doesn’t come from a place of liberation…it must begin in us.
I invite you to join me in integrating these thoughts. I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to write comments, or send me an e-mail with your integrative contemplation so I can include it in this blog.
Integrative thought for the day: Live in grace as you liberate love in you…and as you do, other’s will be liberated in love too.