So I’m listening to the CBC as I’m driving back from my dog walk, listening to an Islamic scholar (of the Sufi tradition) talking about “radical love.”
And inside me there is this flower blooming, opening up – unfurling from a tight, curled bud – and part of me is screaming – but if you open up and bloom, you can be sliced down! You will surely be hurt.
And the word, “vulnerability” pops us – my most hated “Angel Card.” After all, my mind says, if you are vulnerable, you will be hurt. Vulnerable means, “Being willing to be hurt.”
Who earth would want that? Another part of my brain (or is it my heart?) says, “Yes – but if you do not open up and bloom and if you are not wiling to be vulnerable, you cannot experience the fullness of love – either in the giving or the receiving.
And I find myself in a place of resistance and anger. I experience loving as a sign of weakness – of being taken advantage of, of giving up all control over myself.
And at the same time knowing that this master is correct: radical love.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
To listen to your heart: that is the secret. In our world, not always such an easy thing to do – to listen over, under and around the noise of our busy, frantic minds – to let go of our cravings and needs and simply listen to what is right and true inside.
Listening to this lovely scholar, Omid Safi, speaking about radical love, I was gifted with one of these all too brief flashes of insight – it disappeared too soon. It was a shooting star, speeding across the nighttime blackness of my mind. But for a brief moment, there it was. And I loved my mountains, the sun lighting the golden leaves of the maples, the warmth of the afternoon, turning my pup’s fur to tinges of gold – and it lit up a love of my man and what we have together – this fragile, beautiful family and this unknown future we are building tentatively step by step and day by day.
Listening to the heart – working hard at listening. Because what it say is true – this I know.