yes or no
Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.
– Dr. King
I was showing
I had learned
a long time
ago and we
and asking to
what love is and
wanting to know
highest good is
and I said,
“our highest good
is to trust
that we are
and to let
is all you
that what is deep
in our own hearts
is all that we
there was silence,
our eyes met,
and I saw
and I saw
ritual life is one of constant choices. One of the most important choices is the choice of people with whom we develop close intimate relationships. We have only a limited amount of time in our lives. With whom do we spend it and how?…
As people who trust in God’s love, we must have the courage and the confidence to say to someone through whom God’s love becomes visible to us: ‘I would like to get to know you, I would like to spend time with you, I would like to develop a friendship with you. What about you?’
There will be no’s, there will be pain of rejection. But when we determine to avoid all no’s and all rejections, we will never create the mileau where we can grow stronger and deepen in love. God became human for us to make divine love tangible. That is what incarnation is all about. That incarnation not only happened long ago, but it continues to happen for those who trust that God will give us the friends we need. But the choice is ours!”
#HenriNouwen HERE AND NOW
love is the invisible, dream-like land-fall where we never fully come ashore. Unconditional love is a central human aspiration exactly because it is almost impossible to fulfill. We are mortal creatures of living and dying and how we love and what we love is conditional upon where we stand in the drama and the seasonality of that living and dying.
Love may be sanctified and ennobled by its commitment to the unconditional horizon of perfection, but what makes love real in the human world seems to be our moving, struggling conversation with that wanted horizon rather than the actual arrival. The hope for, or the declaration of a purely spiritual, unconditional love is more often a coded desire for immunity and safety, an attempt to forgo the trials of vulnerability, powerlessness and the exquisite pain to which we apprentice ourselves in a relationship, a marriage, in raising children, in a work we love and desire.
The hope for unconditional love is the hope for a different life than the one we have been given. Love is the conversation between possible, searing disappointment and a profoundly imagined sense of arrival and fulfillment; how we shape that conversation is the touchstone of our ability to love in the real inhabited world. The true signature and perhaps even the miracle of human love is helplessness, and all the more miraculous because it is a helplessness which we wittingly or unwittingly choose; in our love of a child, a partner, a work, or a road we have to take against all the odds.
Our roads and journeys of love are always lived through beautiful humiliations, through disappointments, and through forms of imprisonment: of our own or another’s strange behavior or simply subject to the seasonality of the world; the arriving weather of existence always blowing through once stable lives and many times, blowing us apart.
Unconditional love is the beautiful hoped for impossibility, and yet we could not fully understand the nature of our helplessness without looking through the lens of that hoped -for perfection. We are creatures who do not get to choose between what we want and what is wanted of us, and we seem to embody the full vulnerabilities of love only when we dwell at the moving frontier between this wanting and being wanted.
The invitation is made to us every day whether we desire it or no, to enter a deeply human world of robust vulnerability, shot through with a sometimes joyful, more often difficult helplessness; to risk ourselves in the conditional world in which we live and to accept that there is no possible path we can follow where we will be untouched by the heartbreak, the difficulties and the joys that move us and move through us. Conditional or unconditional, the only path possible seems to be in giving our self unconditionally to the conditionality of each overwhelming, disturbing and rewarding, guise of love
The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
© David Whyte & Many Rivers Press 2015
There will come moments where you will have the choice to say yes or say no to love. There will be moments where you hesitate and even wrestle with choosing love. Love is not easy. Vulnerability is not easy. Love will always be risky. I pray you and I will choose love. Over and over and over. Keep softening. Keep opening our hearts. Keep choosing love.
– Amy Lloyd