Thursday, August 11, 2011

Epiphany ...

I had an epiphany some years ago when I was young and trying to figure out what my place in the world was.

At some point, I realized that the only thing that was truly being asked of me on a soul level during this life time was to learn how to love.  It was a HUGE earth-shaking revelation to me, which was followed by the realization that I didn't really know how to love, and that I'd have to learn.  Oh, I was certainly capable of love.  I think that all beings are capable.  It's the gift of the divinity that surrounds us and permeates us, or perhaps it's just the gift with purchase of our humanity.

But to really love?  I didn't know if I had it in me.  I was selfish and self-protective and my armor was 10 feet thick because I didn't think I deserved to have anybody love me, so why should I love them?  They'd just ricidule me and then leave  I sometimes still don't think I deserve it, but I've gotten much better.  It's especially difficult when one is being bombarded by hateful messages from politicians, church-leaders, neighbors and media outlets.

To really be able to love doesn't just mean to feel wonderful in the presence of family or friends or lovers.  The character of Lao Ma on the television series, Xena, says to Xena that it's easy to love somebody who loves you back, it's kind of a good business arrangement, it's more difficult to love somebody who doesn't love you.  (Forgive me, Xena fans, I know I'm paraphrasing.)

I'm learning, very slowly at times, what it means to be able to extend that benevolence, understanding, compassion, and forgiveness against those people who hate you, who actively preach against you and demonstrate and call you horrible, horrible names and accuse you of unspeakable acts, and what it means to get past one's own fears about rejected and loneliness and just love without expecting anything in return.

I must admit that it's difficult for me.  I sometimes feel like I'm seen as the enemy by a great deal of society, feel rejected, less than, hopeless and scared.  When somebody like Fred Phelps, Ruben Diaz in the New York state senate, Michelle Bachman, and the Pope spout off their anti-gay rhetoric or somebody calls me a "faggot," I get angry.  Worse, I get scared.  Anger and fear will get in the way of love, and it takes an extraordinary act of calmness, trust and forgiveness for me to get past it and get to love.

Some years ago, there was a television show called Touched by an Angel.  Many of you will remember it, as it was very popular.

There was one episode with Wynona Judd that touched me deeply, and she peformed a song in the climactic scene that speaks of how I feel about love.  In a world where hatred and fear is spoken of constantly, and talks about love and compassion are few and far between, it behooves me to Testify to Love.  This song reminds me that I am not alone in this journey to learn how to love.

Here is the clip from the show, and the lyrics follow:

All the colors of the rainbow.
All the voices of the wind.
Every dream that reaches out.
That reaches out to find where love begins.
Every word of every story.
Every star and every sky.
Every corner of creation.
Lives to testify.

For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love.
I’ll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough.
With every breath I take, I will give thanks to God above.
For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love.

From the mountains to the valley.
From the rivers to the sea.
Every hand that reaches out.
Every hand that reaches out to offer peace.
Every simple act of mercy.
Every step to Kingdom Come.
All the hope in every heart will speak what love has done.

For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love.
I’ll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough.
With every breath I take, I will give thanks to God above.
For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love.

That clip still makes me cry.

So, do me a favor today, take the time to hold the hand of your closest friend, your lover, your wife, your husband, your son, your daughter, your pet, your neighbor, tell them that you love them, and then both of you together turn to love somebody else.

I'm pretty sure that the world will be a better place for it, and even if it isn't, you'll feel better.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing that clip! *sitting at my desk in tears*
    I can only understand to what I believe is a great extent; I have full compassion for the extent to which you feel anger and rejection.
    It ain't right, and we need to fight... somehow.