Being Spiritual

"Being spiritual means allowing your heart to break."

"In America, religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. They've lost the Axial Age vision of concern for everybody."

"Allow the pain to break you open. Then you can begin your quest. Because that's when you can learn compassion. If you shield yourself from suffering as a lot of our society is set up to, then it's hard to relate to suffering in others. Once you discover what it is that gives you pain, then you must refuse under any circumstances to inflict that pain on others. It's quite easy to numb yourself instead of looking at it as a spiritual opportunity."

"Religion is hard. But then you begin to lose the hard edges of yourself and start to glimpse the other. All of the Axial Agers practiced what the Chinese called jian ai or concern for everybody. Not just for your own group, but for everybody. And if we don't do that, I don't see how we can save our planet."

Karen Armstrong, Washington Post, 29 March 2006

I Love You

I Love You.

I think that might just be the thing that most people don't understand about me.  I may be cynical, cutting and conceptual, but I don't do that because I want to take away your hope, slice you down to size, or dismiss your emotions.

I do it because I love you, and that's what I have to offer. I'm smart, with x-ray vision, and that's who I am.  That's what I do for love, so kiss today goodbye & point me towards tomorrow.

Give, giving, given.   I'm a femme, and I do it for love.  You can read whatever you want into this stuff, into my choices, and I can't do anything about that.  I know how dismissal works.  People assign a motive to my choices — "You only do it to show others up" or whatever — and then dismiss me because of that assigned motive.  Only problem is that my motive is simple.  It's love.

I was with my father at the urologist today.  The anti-androgens aren't working anymore, and his PSA levels are spiking.  Time for the oncologist & the chemotherapy, thinks the expert, because it's doubtful it's confined to the prostate anymore.  But it's a CT and bonescan first, just because my 81 year old father wanted to check.

The path of life, it seems to me, is getting to the point where you can do the whole uncondititional love thing.  I've never been good at judgements.   In the mid 1980s my therapist said that one big difference between me and most other clients is that they would say how other people were stupid, but after I did that, I would go on to explain my understanding of their choices, offering compassion and forgiveness.

Yeah.  My giving is about love.  The only problem is getting it back, feeling the bounce.   I give and people find it odd or overwhelming, assigning some odd motive and moving on.

But believe it or not, I love you.  I love people, I love humanity, even if my tolerance for their choices is kind of thin right now.  You are loveable, a child of God, beautiful as she made you.

And that love, well, that doesn't mean I do what you want.  "If you really loved me, you would do what I want, not making choices that make me uncomfortable."  Uhh, no.  The people who love you the most have the best and worst thing that anyone can hold for you, the scariest and the most potent thing: high expectations.  We know you can be more than comfortable.  We know you can be amazing.

You are loveable.  I know that. 

And for me, that's the problem.