This month has unfolded with it many surprises and unexpected turns in the road...goodbyes and hellos, lows and highs, sorrow and joy. All of it has shown me the many faces of love.
Love isn't simple. It's a kaleidoscope that's always changing and morphing into something new. Right when I think I know it, it shows me a new face and it asks me to stretch beyond my previous way of seeing.
The first six months of my travels were not connected with friends and family. This month has been just the opposite. Now my movements are revolving around visits with both and the experience has opened up much new terrain both outside and within my psyche. The mirroring has given me many gifts in that I'm able to see how far I've come and how far I have to go. Specifically, I'm paying attention to how often I respond to what's happening around me with love and how often with fear or resistance. My overall reactivity to the world around me has truly lessened and I'm finding I'm more often in my center than I used to be, but I also see which wounds can still be triggered, what buttons can still be pushed.
Love has many faces. It's not always warm and cuddly. Sometimes the most loving thing to do is to move away from someone or speak your truth. Sometimes love requires difficult decisions, sometimes it asks us to put ourselves last, other times, it tells us to do the opposite.
Love moves like a river and it responds based on the twists and turns and obstacles of the moment. It's doesn't fight or resist or struggle, it simply flows onward. Love blesses us when we move with that flow--it cuts and burns us when we don't.
With family and friends we have a history, a past and a story that is hooked onto those relationships. Sometimes the story no longer meshes with the present and we need to adjust and make ourselves available for what is rather than the way it used to be. I prefer not to be anchored by my past. Instead, I want to be seen anew with fresh eyes, rather than with the filer of my story. I enjoy the unencumbered aliveness of new encounters. With people who have been in our lives for years, there can be a density as everyone's stories collide and there is a rush to fill in the gaps in those stories. When the initial rush subsides, there's an opportunity to make space for the present as it really is without the story.
Love is full of surprises I recently had an encounter with domestic violence that erupted so suddenly and unexpectedly that I didn't even realize what was happening until it was over. I had never witnessed this type of unprovoked violence and I was at a loss over how to respond. I went through all my options and ultimately realized that I needed to make sure that I was physically safe first (the perpetrator threatened to kill me and my traveling companion if we called the police) and following that I could take steps to help the friend who was living with the abuser. I could do nothing if he attacked me. So in this instance, I removed myself from the house and then made some phone calls and sent some emails to rally the troops around my friend and initiate the process of healing.
The river of love said to move to safety and then act. I heeded this call in spite of my desire to try and resolve the conflict myself or talk with the abuser about getting help or even move the victim to safety (she wouldn't go). I was out of my league without the proper tools or training so Instead I reached out to the experts once I was out of harm's way.
This is why I never second-guess love. It always knows what's needed in the moment. We only need to heed its call and follow the whisperings of our heart.