I think I am improving; I did not suffer agony after posting the last blog, and by all rights, I should have. It was a rather revealing blog.
But I'm learning that I am free to be myself.
I wrestled with this a long time. I thought freedom must, eventually, equal chaos.
That's because I was discounting love as a force capable of informing decisions. It was too wishy-washy, I thought. It's too easily a guise for selfishness.
Now I am beginning to see how I am completely free and yet freely choose to behave in love.
I choose this because I have been loved.
I have received mercy and grace; I have been on the receiving end of delight and deep, soul shaking empathy.
It becomes more and more natural to simply live in it.
Also, and equally simple and wonderfully liberating, others are perfectly free to be themselves.
I was thinking about this, a couple nights ago- the decision between the agony of feeling responsible for everyone else's personhood, and the freedom of simply loving them as they are.
Then the world becomes full of interesting, almost boundless possibilities.
You're a gift, Jesus said, as I was thinking about this.
That's a very sweet thing for You to say, thank you, I replied.
Before, I would have been very uncomfortable, hearing Him state such a thing. I would have contradicted Him and then worried that if I actually took Him at His word, I'd become conceited.
Anyway, I knew what He meant. It's humility to recognize that everything one is, is a gift- a gift that is constantly being given away into the mystery of the rest of the world.
This is only tedious if one is convinced that their true self isn't up to the job, and so offer up something else instead.
Then it ceases to be a joyful falling into life, full of faith, hope and love, and becomes instead a chore and a role, full of rules, regulations and measurements.
Anyway, those are some things I have been living into, lately. It's surprises me, how simple it is, but I don't always manage to remember it. Lots of times I still choose fear.
As usual, after I post something like that, I remember how delicious the experience was, despite the pain. Writing about Him generally makes me want more of Him.
I felt that way last night, so called Him out by name.
Jesus! I cried in happy, urgent expectation, and waited.
I waited for that light, ineffable touch, the caress of spirit that so often lands on me, grounds me, lifts me.
One moment, two, and nothing. But this is old hat to me now, how sometimes He is coming toward me and sometimes I am seeking Him out and sometimes I'm just right where I am and that's just fine.
I want sensation, I requested firmly.
You want Me, Jesus replied, with His loving good humor.
Yes, I replied. I want You.
I'm here, He said simply.
Then I got distracted from Him simply by the wonder of what He'd just said, and I wanted more- no more of this shadowy veil, no more of this fairy tale set up, where my Lover comes to me in the dark, and I never see His face.
I felt the longing that lives aways just behind my heart uncurl and thump, like a deeper heartbeat, a thunderous one, but I tucked it away. It's too painful to let that longing pour through me, tossing me out like spray into something too bright to see yet.
Instead, I turned the longing into the present moment, into my daily life and my writing, like folding batter, like kneading dough.
He's there, too.