I had a mentor for a long time, and one of the things she said to me that made the deepest impression was “Love your way through it.”
I was in the midst of a particularly difficult phase of my last initiation, and I was extraordinarily angry. I was angry at my situation, yes, but much more deeply at Life itself: at the seemingly endless array of difficulties, dramas, and traumas that kept train-wrecking through my life at the time, at the devastating catastrophe of industrial society, at humanity in general and everyone around me, at absolutely everything except for nature and my animal. It was that kind of boiling rage that can burn a city to the ground just by thinking of it, and I had been in that place for a while already when we had the conversation I’m remembering.
I scoffed and almost hung up the phone.
“Yeah, right,” I thought. ‘Love my way through it.’ What a bunch of bullshit.”
But it went in. It went deep into my consciousness and started to work on me, ringing with a sometimes infuriating regularity like the bell of a clock tower, every day drawing my awareness and courting my attention. Everyday insisting I consider it. I truly resented it.
And it is one of the most powerful gifts she ever gave to me.
Love had never been my thing. I cared about power, the wild, and the outer edges of experience in consciousness, the mystery, and my body. My path was about deepening into the mythology of life at the wild edges and keeping myself safe from the banality and dangers of humanity while I did it. Love wasn’t important to me.
But then this seed got planted in the garden of my Soul, and rested there quietly germinating beneath the surface, re-patterning the movement of life force all around it. Affecting me. Changing me.
It has changed me.
I am still learning how to live this teaching. I am still a child with it. But now it’s in the center of my Being and exists as a measure for how I engage in my life. It continues to be a learning curve: illuminating, humbling, transformative, and profoundly rewarding as I let it lead me more and more.
It's ringing loudly today, and I am wondering about how to apply it more deeply.
Where can I love more deeply now? How can I love my way through my challenges in this moment? How can I love my way through the chaos of this moment in the life of the world? How does that look in this time?
I am wondering how to meet everything that I judge, reject, deny, or lord over from the place of loving all as the One that is creation.
Truly, that is the natural expression of my beliefs when they are taken to their fulfillment, so that is the training I am now engaged in.
That’s one of the greatest invitations of the moment on the magical level: we are smack in the middle of an opportunity to come into full alignment with the truth of our Souls, and in that way to actualize a greater possibility of our human experience in the here-and-now, embodied as this self in this life in this madhouse moment of life with Earth.
This teaching, as I live into it, does not imply a life without boundaries. Far from it. I am an extensively boundaried person, and that actually refines and deepens the longer I live, getting more nuanced and sophisticated with, in so many ways, the support of this teaching. Love is one of the fundamental forces of creation: it is a power of wisdom so potent that it can literally transform matter. It is not what movies and stupid stories have conditioned us to think it is: it is a frequency that we can tap into that can guide us in how to live a life of integrity, beauty, and power in the most life-affirming way possible.
What I am wondering my way into is the deep art of embodying the self as inviolably sacred without polarizing against anything when the opportunity arises (and doesn’t the opportunity always arise?). And also beyond that, about maintaining this lens and approach when there is conditioning, encouragement, and support for regarding things beyond or within the self as “bad,” “wrong,” or “lesser” in some way.
I remember a recent conversation about the staggering phenomenon of homelessness in the northwestern cities. It’s truly overwhelming, alarming, and heartbreaking. The man was speaking to his disgust about it and I asked him “Do you feel any inclination to help them?” Without hesitation he said no, absolutely not, and the next thing he said implied that if they’re in that space it’s their own fault.
I understand this perspective. In many cases it’s true. And in many cases it’s not. I was able to share then about homeless people I had talked to who had spoken about trauma-induced drug addiction and mental health issues, about growing up upper-middle class but being leveled by something and losing everything in a way they couldn’t recover from, and more. I reminded him that that can happen to anyone. That anyone can become an “untouchable,” a “throw-away,” a “lesser.” Anyone.
Do we then become less deserving of love? Of life? Even if it's "our fault," do we cease to be worthy of love and life when certain conditions and circumstances take hold? If we turn away from each other and life in these spaces, if we remove our love from those places over ideas, trespasses, or other circumstances, aren’t we turning away from ourselves at the most fundamental level? Aren’t we turning away from the divine within and around us?
How would this world be if we leaned towards each other in a loving way instead of trying so hard to protect ourselves from the pain of living?
I believe that all manifest life is an expression of the totality of creation. From the gnostic perspective, they say that in the beginning there was the pleroma, a unified, harmonious totality, just existing. Then something within the pleroma got curious and differentiated, which brought all of delineated existence into being. Everything. From the grain of sand to the intergalactic dimensions, all of it suddenly was because something in the pleroma – the Sophia, specifically, the feminine element of divinity – got curious to experience things and struck out from the nest.
This belief, when followed into its fullness, means that everything that exists is an element of the fundamental divinity that is creation. All is an aspect of the pleroma on its journey from totality through differentiation and back into totality, just journeying to learn, to experience, to grow, to refine. Things can have a distorted expression or an integrated expression, be dangerous, neutral, or beneficent, be something to trust or something to flee from, but whatever it is, it is a part of the body of creation, and so is holy.
So if I am to embody this belief to its fullness with the guidance of this teaching to support it, it asks for very particular things from me.
To be clear, I'm no saint. I am an apprentice to this belief. It guides me through the sometimes embarrasingly rocky terrain of my own becoming. And what a blessing to be guided so.
It is a profound invitation.
The invitation is to learn the deep art of cultivating, embodying, and maintaining the sovereignty and sanctity of the self while embracing the whole of creation and experience as the divine that is All.
It’s an art. A martial art. And a profound life's work. It includes softening where the habit body hardens to protect. It includes asking questions and letting the answers matter instead of making assumptions and disregarding the rest. It includes being horribly uncertain, terribly vulnerable, delightfully surprised, and repeatedly stretched into new vistas of the Soul. It includes holding boundaries, sometimes aggressively, and (hopefully) gracefully. It involves opening in an attitude of curiosity to things that it would be easier to close to in an attitude of dismissal. It requires expanding beyond the reductionist, binary lens that society is rooted in and based on, and learning how to behold a profoundly subtle and nuanced view of life and creation and all of the various faces of them, then learning how to experience, perceive, respond, interact, and relate from that place. It involves staying with not knowing at some points when it is almost unbearable not to know instead of retreating into false certainties. It requires that we step fully into the practice of knowing ourselves with naked, compassionate, ruthless honesty and become responsible for and accountable to everything we discover in that endeavor in the most soulful, truthful, beautiful, life-affirming, and sophisticated way possible.
It is a new initiation.
I am deep in this initiation. For me this new initiation is the embodied practice of living what my last initiation taught me, activated in me, and cultivated in me. This is the next phase in my evolution as a soul on the way from totality to totality through the wilderness of experience. I believe that we are all sitting in this initiation together now, and this phrase, Love Your Way Through It, is an invitation and a guidance that shines a light on how to walk through it well.
So here is the seed for you : Love your way through it.
Love your way through it.
Love your way through it.
And watch how everything changes.