As we look back on our lives, we realize that the harvest of youth is achievement, the harvest of middle age is perspective, and the harvest of old age is wisdom. Wisdom grows with trust, clarity, and curiosity, and dwindles with control or attachments. Nonattachment, befriending our mortality, calling upon our ancestors, and attending to our spirituality indicate ways we are cultivating wisdom. Nonattachment opens the door to unconditional love. It implies deep faith and trust in life that allows relationships and events to unfold without interference or control. It is the practice of compassionate acceptance, even in the face of strong desire or strong aversion. Nothing suffocates the life force more thoroughly than trying to control what is happening. As we release critical judgments, we can honestly accept our circumstances rather than merely resign ourselves to them. This surrender into our own lives allows us to release our beliefs about what we think our lives should be……Angeles Arrien
Glorious God, give me grace to amend my life, and to have an eye to my end without begrudging death, which to those who die in you is the gate of a wealthy life.
And give me lowly, quiet, peaceable, patient, charitable, kind, tender, and pitiful mind, in all my works and all my words and all my thoughts, to have a taste of your holy, blessed, Spirit.
Give me a full faith, a firm hope, and a fervent charity, a love of you incomparably above the love of myself.
Give me a longing to be with you, not to avoid the calamities of this world, nor so much to attain the joys of heaven, as simply for love of you.
And give me, good Lord, your love and favour, which my love of you, however great it might be, could not deserve were it not for your great goodness.
These things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me your grace to labour for.
…Sir Thomas More
pseudo-love and wanting and craving and the immensity of the well of true tenderness….can we ever know the difference?……it’s something about aliveness, something about the deep pit of emptiness, something about the intense aesthetics of soul, something about the way we hold each others’ hands…..
Kabir, the 15th century Sufi poet, writes, ‘The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love.’ This love is what we long for. When we bring Radical Acceptance to the enormity of desire, allowing it to be as it is, neither resisting it nor grasping after it, the light of awareness dissolves the wanting self into its source. We find we are naturally and entirely in love. Nothing is apart or excluded from this living awareness. Rumi writes-
A strange passion is moving in my head.
My heart has become a bird
Which searches in the sky.
Every part of me goes in different directions.
Is it really so
That the one I love is everywhere?
The ‘one I love’ is everywhere, including within me. When we don’t fixate on a single, limited object of love, we discover that the wanting self dissolves into the awareness that is love loving itself. If I remain awake to this communion, desires might energize and guide my attention, but they wouldn’t blind me to the fullness and beauty that are already here. Radical Acceptance dissolves the glue that binds us as a small self and frees us to live from the vibrant fullness of our being. Longing, felt fully, carries us to belonging. The more times we traverse this path- feeling the loneliness or craving, and inhabiting its immensity- the more the longing for love becomes a gateway into love itself. By opening into the well of desire- again and again- we come to trust the boundless love that is its source…..Tara Brach