Love? Yes, Love.
Love is a flame that consumes me. I am a live wire, with the electricity of love flowing through my veins. Every ounce of resistance to love that I feel within myself generates a burning heat and a blinding light. In the past, I responded by flipping off the switch, turning off the love, saving the energy for a later date. But now, I’m turning up the dimmer as high as it can go and letting my love BURN…
Love is a fire that flows smokeless, heatless, lightless, through every square inch of the universe… as it flows through us, we sometimes feel a tremendous suffering, but only because there is a part of us that offers resistance to love… when the resistance clears, we simply shine with its brilliance… until, of course, the next pocket of resistance arises, and once again we find ourselves consumed by flames…
For years now, I’ve been on a journey to rediscover my love.
First, I turned away from the brink of death… even though a part of me still truly wanted to die, another part wanted to live, and turned away from the brink of self-destruction before it was too late.
Then, at about the same time, my heart opened to the world… I started to empathize deeply with the suffering of others, and I felt myself light up like a Christmas tree as I empathized with tremendous amounts of suffering in the world that I had no real power to resist.
This released some of my love. This is when I first started opening up to my spiritual path, and when I came upon my new name. But all of this heartache still left me very shielded, especially on a personal level.
Then came raw foods… this flooded my life with a burst of fresh energy, but something was still missing.
Then, came my healing studies… I came to understand healing much better and to take the first real steps on my own healing journey.
Then, came my Coven studies… I came to deepen this pursuit of a healing path and to live it rather than simply thinking about it. This culminated in an experience where I revisited my previous choice to pursue self-destruction and tossed that part of myself off into the Abyss to meet its death on the rocks below.
And now… now, what comes next?
I think that going back to a cooked diet has helped me to descend even deeper into the shadows in the hopes of liberating more love than I had ever even knew existed. It’s putting on the weight I’m looking for, and therefore it’s filling my energy field with more manifest energy than it’s had in a long time — possibly ever.
BUT… cooked food is still poison! And animal products are still the embodiment of unnecessary violence. I love the taste of these foods, and I can feel them rapidly adding fat and even muscle tissue to my body… but I can also feel them disturbing my pH balance, triggering my immune defenses, filling my body with a "heat" that is very different from the raw body warmth, and generally making me moody and groggy and not quite well. I will have my 145 pounds of flesh, to be sure… but only by taking back in some of the negative consciousness that I thought I’d expelled years ago.
That’s just it, though… did I really expel it? To some degree, yes… but to some degree, I just denied it. With the force of my will, I suppressed what I did not approve of in the hopes of transforming it later.
Well, Later has arrived… hence, my return to the Underworld.
I think that my biggest source of angst, now and always, is my difficulty living in the presence of anything short of profound and uninhibited Love. Really, as an adolescent, my unfortunate decision to bind my emotions was a response to the full awakening of my Love — love of myself, love of friends, love of family, love of lovers, love of the world. As I felt this incredible love awaken inside of me, I looked into the outside world for confirmation…
…and found none.
Sure, there were those who loved me, otherwise I would have almost certainly killed myself during that dark period in my life. My family loved me, a few of my school friends and teachers loved me, and my friends on the Internet loved me. But really, in spite of their love, I could feel the world beyond our doorstep… and it was not a world ruled by Love. And with the dawn of adolescence, as I started falling in love with others, I could feel what was in their hearts… and though their hearts were beautiful, they didn’t share the same love for me that I was holding for them.
There are no words for the sense of loss I encountered… I didn’t even know a name for her at that point, but I could only even sleep at night by imagining myself in the arms of the Goddess, the Earth Mother, held in a deep and unquestioning love that seemed impossible in my surroundings. During the rest of my waking hours, I felt alone in my love… and so, starting with my self-binding spell, I pulled a rather classic Rigid defense, denying the reality of my inner world of love and accepting (though bemoaning!) the reality of the outer loveless world.
But then… something unexpected happened.
In the end, my Love was stronger than my Will!
You have no idea how incredible it has been for me to discover this… to experience firsthand the victory of my own Love over a foolish choice I made so many years ago, and still feel the echoes of today.
As those who truly know me can attest, the strength of my Will is incredible… casting aside all humility for a moment, I must truly say that I have a very uncommon, very Rigid, capacity for self-control that arises out of a remarkable power of Will. This is why temptations are so meaningless to me… why I was able to stay on raw foods for almost five years without even a moment’s thought of eating cooked foods… why I was able to travel thousands of miles to Idaho to meet with strangers in defense of another ecosystem when I was terrified simply to walk out my door in the morning. I was able to do all of these things, and then some, simply because my Will served my Reason without question, without hesitation, without delay. Only confusion or uncertainty in my mind could cause the same in my actions. Once I made my choice, there was no dissuading me from it short of physical death or an argument that could win over my Reason to a different perspective.
When I started my spiritual healing studies, I didn’t understand just how strong my Will was at first, because my physical body has always been weaker than average, and physical health is also a product of strong Will. But there are different layers of Will… Will of the physical body, Will of the emotional body, Will of the mental body, Will of the Heart, Will of the spiritual bodies… I have a very specific sort of Will — namely, the Will to do as my Reason instructs me, regardless of any Emotion to the contrary.
So, when I found my Emotions exploding into turmoil in response to difficulties within me and around me, I simply exercised my Will to control my Emotions. Even though a part of me still wailed and writhed in incredible emotional torment, I learned to project the energy of peace, love, understanding, and healing into my life and out into the lives of those around me. Without fully understanding what I was doing, I bound those aching energies inside of myself to be worked out later…
Well, Later has finally arrived! And it’s been a long time coming…
The more that I think about it, the more that I see my life over the past ten years as a victory of Love over my stubborn Will to hold myself in alienation.
First, I was Willing myself to leave the flesh entirely… then, my Love of the world fought back, burning inside of me with a passion for social and ecological justice.
Then, as I pursued my social and ecological causes, the alienation simply shifted, and I felt a burning hatred for the people I saw as oppressors, dominators, destroyers of the planet. But my Heart was never really fooled by this simmering anger… September 11 taught me that I didn’t really hate anyone, be they Emperor, Terrorist, or Appeaser of any sort. I felt anger, yes, but anger held in the presence of Love… and my Love tore down the walls of alienation that I had built up to prevent myself from empathizing with people who I see as unthinking destroyers. Without empathizing with them, how could I ever hope to understand them, or to create a better world?
Then, even as my Heart continued to open, I was Willing myself to wait until "after the Revolution" to find personal happiness… but my Love was strong again, and I found myself exploring the most personal dimensions of Love.
Throughout all of these stages, there has been another dimension of Love that has always burned… another lesson that I kept revisiting, but never fully learned… and that’s the lesson of romantic love.
In my fear, I held back my feelings of love… I felt so vulnerable in my love that I held it back, waiting for external love to validate what I was feeling internally… I withheld this inner love so fully that people who I shared my love with would simply be taken by surprise because they hadn’t felt it coming from me before.
How could they feel it when *I* wasn’t even feeling it?
My first attempts at romantic love were utter disasters. Then, I met Shelby online… that turned out to be a short-lived relationship in the end, but at least it was an adventure of the heart, and at least it finally gave me the opportunity to express some of my love freely, if only for a short while.
Then, there were a few others along the way… all rejecting me, but getting progressively more considerate about it. I started feeling safer in my heart and in my love in light of their relative understanding. A few of them even stayed in my life for a while as friends rather than simply disappearing to hide from the same feelings that I was hiding from.
And then, there was… somoene. From the moment I met her, she had my attention… the more time I spent with her, the deeper I fell in love… we connected so deeply, from the heart, in a way that I had only dreamed of in the past… but even with this sense of being "soulmates," it apparently was not meant to be. She already had her "soulmate"… and yet, finally, in spite of this lack of opportunity for a "relationship," I had someone in my life who wasn’t afraid of my love, who cherished it as much as I was coming to cherish it, who shared herself with me fully, who I could share myself with fully, without holding back anything.
This was a time of tremendous blossoming for me… and the very fact that she is unavailable in a romantic sense is certainly part of the synchronicity, part of the lesson I am here to learn. We love each other so much that I feel perfectly safe embracing my love for her and shining in her presence… and yet, the circumstances dictate that we can’t be together… and so, I must learn to find peace with that fact without denying the love that I feel.
It’s been a tremendous learning experience… but definitely a journey through the Underworld! Oh, only the Goddess knows the ferocity of the flames that have raged inside of me, consuming me alive in the presence of my resistance to Love… "surely," I would ask myself, "if a love is not destined to be manifest in the flesh, then it does no good to carry it in the heart, does it?" But the sheer depth and intensity of my love crashed through this wall of reasoning like the ocean crashes through the walls of a sand castle. I don’t Love for the sake of some end goal, some result in my life… I Love because life is beautiful, and because I’ve encountered another beautiful being who I resonate with deeply. What may come of that Love is another story… whatever it may be, I embrace my Love, and I shine with its light…
Now, with my heart open, I continue to feel more Love — and I continue to feel more resistance, because the circumstances of my life, my community, my society are not validating my Love. In fact, I feel less externally validated in this Love than I did just a few short months ago. But my Love is a Flame that burns regardless of independent validation… my Love is a Flame that burns regardless of a being buried under a mountain of ice. It may take a day, or it may take a millenium, or it may take an eternity… but the ice will melt… and my Love burns eternal, regardless of the ice around me.
I would say that I’m in love with two people right now, neither of whom is "available" for a "relationship" — or even any social time! There are others who I have an interest in, but it will take time for me to find someone to share my life in. And sometimes, when I feel the heat of this Love burning inside of me… the walls of resistance rise, telling me that I should give up on Love, accept that it has no place in this world, accept defeat and settle for a life without true Love.
But no… by all that I hold holy, I swear that the Flames of my Love will continue to burst through the walls that I’ve built around them. Maybe I will never have a romantic relationship with Person A… or Person B… or Person C… but that doesn’t mean that I can’t love them with a depth and passion that most people don’t even feel for their life partner. And just because A and B and C don’t always return the feeling doesn’t mean that I won’t eventually find Person X who does.
So, yes… my Love is a Flame, burning away all resistance that I still hold. I have made a new choice in life… the choice of Love… the choice to consign my petty ego to the Flames, to be consumed alive by their relentless Fire, to die and be reborn with Love as my flesh and bone… when the people I love the most don’t return that love, and don’t even choose to spend a moment of their day with me, my heart aches, and a little voice of alienation pleads with me to give up on Love… but this is a very foolish Demon indeed, because upon hearing its whining protests, I snatch it up by the horns and toss it into the flames, to be reborn into a creature of unrestrained Love and Passion and Vitality.
It’s pretty rough descending directly into the Flames… it’s pretty rough looking into my own Heart, and seeing in it the Heart of Humanity, and choosing to stay with my Love even when it seems rather inconvenient and uncomfortable to do so. It’s pretty rough facing all of this uncertainty and chaos when I don’t even know if I have another moment on this planet, much less another hundred years that I intend to live.
But hey… the only thing rougher than the Flames is the BURNING COLD… the cold of the Rigid… the sinking certainty that "this is all there is," and that Love has no place in this physical reality.
F*** that… no more of that life for me. I’m not afraid of Love anymore… I will walk in Love to the end of my days, and I will thank the Lady and the Lord for the scorching Flames that consume my last pockets of resistance and transform them into bursts of loving passion.
Love is its own reward… and if I choose to embrace Love, its Flames will burn away my chains, and I will find an unsurpassed freedom of the Heart that is more valuable than any external validation.
Of course… I still desire a relationship of great love with someone beyond the boundaries of my own heart… 🙂 That desire is clearer inside of me than it has ever been before in my entire life. But as the Flames burn away my resistance, I desire this relationship for the right reasons… not as a validation of what I feel, but as a means of sharing and deepening it.
On that note… Love to you all, and may you find your way through the Flames…