The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island
Today is Valentines day, normally celebrated with a special meal and even chocolates. It is also Ash Wednesday in the Christian tradition, a day of fasting, the start of Lent – a season of simplification. They seem quite opposed as celebrations.
However, both are reminders that our lives are short, and that we should live them with passion and to the fullest, appreciating, and celebrating fully, beauty as it appears in each day .
In the school of mind
you learn a lot,
And become a true scholar for many to look up to.
In the school of love
you become a child
to learn again
Abu-Said Abil-Kheir, Sufi Poet, 967 – 1049
Birdsong brings relief to my longing.
I am just as ecstatic as they are, but with nothing to say!
Please, universal soul, practice some song, or something, through me!
Very foggy here in Ireland this morning. Autumn starts early – a “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness“
It is more about seeing the moments of joy that are already there rather than having to work hard at creating them.
We are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.
From the 17th to the 23rd of December a special sequence of invocations have been used since at least the 5th Century. Today’s one – “O Wisdom, Come to teach us the way of prudence” – reflects the age-old quest for a balanced way of being, that will lead to our hearts being fulfilled, faced with all the demands on our time.
Every day we bump into things that challenge us to keep our hearts soft when fears and disappointments try to convince us to harden and close down. The temptation is to say “What can we do? It is as it is” . However, this never-ending wisdom practice consists in keeping open to experience in all its changing forms – its joys and its sorrows – having the courage to meet whatever comes our way with a spacious heart. We dare to believe in the underlying mystery, behind the busyness of the day. Things may change, the attitude of the heart doesn’t:
The water in the stream may have changed many times,
but the reflection of the moon and the stars remains the same.
When we love and allow ourselves to be loved,
we begin more and more to inhabit the kingdom of the eternal.
Fear changes into courage, emptiness becomes plenitude, and distance becomes intimacy.
John O’Donohue, AnamCara