golden heartLove brings many gifts – it is profound what can happen when we surrender to it. And it can be terrifying.

Love is a direct doorway to God, because it exposes in us every place love is not. Love unravels all the ways we are fortified against love – ego, pride, defensiveness, false strength, loneliness, selfishness.

Love is a sacred undoing of everything in us that is not love. It pries us open, exposes our vulnerability with its gently piercing gaze. It devours the blocks we have built against it.

It is common in spiritual circles to talk about “going within” – of looking inside for answers, of finding strength from our own source.

The problem is that we often do this from a place of isolation – with the notion of the journey within as being a solo journey. We hear tales of monks going up on a mountain for years to find truth, and we imagine this is the path we must take, some modern version of this.

I think we have a cultural aversion to interdependence. We pride ourselves on what we can do alone, independent of others.

But the very essence of spirituality is the dissolution of the illusion of separation. And nothing does this more powerfully than love.

If we are blessed to have love find us when we are mature enough to confront its demands, we get the opportunity to become more than we ever knew by the very fact that love will demolish, will strip away, every barrier we have inside against it.

Real love will shove our face in our weakness. It will make us look into the gaping maw of our aloneness and stare in the face of the great loneliness we all carry, that we all run from in various ways.

Love will not allow isolation.

And few of us realize how isolated we are because we spend out entire lives building up structures to hide it from ourselves.

The truth is that real love is a microcosmic manifestation of the greatest spiritual truths. Through love we transcend ego and illusion. Through love we confront the demons and the angels. Through love we must become more than we ever thought possible.

Love makes us mighty – if it doesn’t kill us first. And this is its great secret, its great gift, that through love we are undone and built anew.

Loving another and being loved is like being witnessed by God itself – love sees everything and accepts what it finds. Love embraces the flaws we hide from ourselves, and in doing so creates a way for our aversions and judgments to melt away.

In bringing us to our knees, love removes our weakness. Because love demands our wholeness, it demands that the ideals of independence, the myth of separation, come crashing down.

It is separation that makes us weak. The great spiritual truth is that all-is-one. And no where do we confront this more intensely than in love.

The sacred undoing that love brings, if we allow it, is that it dissolves the identity we have created, exposing us to our truth, if we have the strength and the courage to surrender to having everything we thought we were torn from us.

We cling tightly to the notion of being in control. We cling tightly to ideas we have about who and what we are. And love has a way of washing away the dirt and silt of our souls and revealing our true shine.

It is easy to take a path that reifies our ego-identity. But I think what so many on a spiritual path are seeking is not comfort, not power, but to find themselves, to find the truth of their non-separation, to dissolve the great loneliness inside. And this is something that is not given, but earned.

Love is gnarly. As beautiful and gentle as it can be, it can also be a path to God. Like the monk up on the mountain, love is as legitimate a spiritual endeavor as any if we choose to engage it this way.

Love will expose every lie inside. It will dissolve, through its great capacity, every weakness we cannot bear to see, every shame we hide. Every thing in us that is not love will crumble under love’s gaze.

Love is the great initiation. It is the rite of passage. It is both the underworld and the paradise. It is what makes us undone and builds us anew.

Love is the great adventure – the great path – the great revealer.

And while love is something that happens between two people, it has a life of its own. For two people to be exposed to each other through love’s prying tendrils requires that each person not only confront their own weakness and power, but stand in the face of another seeing it.

Love tears down our longings about love – longings that arise from ego or fear. When love takes hold, it makes us see the beauty in another, even when they are being ugly. Love makes us forgive and accept and show compassion where ego would have us blame and reject and manipulate. Love makes us bigger than we ever knew we could be and this threatens every place we have played small.

It is humbling to have our limitations revealed to us through love. But in this revelation is also the invitation to become unlimited, to be free.

To live, to truly live, from love is to live in the full expression of our greatness. It is to be more than we are – to have the ego give way to the spirit, and to shine this light fearlessly in the world.

There is a saying “wide is the path and narrow is the gate”.  Many of us walk a spiritual path, claim to seek spiritual truth, and this is not insincere. But when confronted with the truth of what is required to actually pass through the gate, few can dare move forward.

This is the nature of truth. It is not a fluffy bunny we discover that gives us a key to happiness. It is an initiatory rite that threatens to destroy us.

We must actually earn every drop of truth and we pay for it through the sweat and blood of our own dismantling.  

The sacred undoing of love brings the gift of being whole, transcending our concepts of self to become what we truly are. We just need to be willing to be unraveled and to be witnessed in our unraveling, in our transformation. And so few of us really are.  It is much easier to make our way in private.

 “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” ~ Mother Theresa