Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love is not loving

(A few thoughts on love after a difficult night with my spirited children)

Feeling love is not loving. Loving is every day. Every minute. Every time our eyes meet or not, every time our forces clash, every single every we experience together. Loving is getting to know someone well enough to help them become who they are with as little impediment and as much encouragement as possible in this dangerous, dastardly world. 

Love, as a feeling, is unconditional and possibly uncontrollable. Love, as an action, is a deliberate choice every moment I have the strength, presence of mind, time and will to make it. I have more loving moments now in a widening variety of ways. I also have many hurried, disconnected, impatient, unwilling, irritated, dark, despairing moments. I try not to beat myself up about it. 

Love, as a feeling, is compelling, strength-giving, patience building. It can be a well to draw from.

Love, as an action, is demanding, often difficult, and requires skill and practice. It draws on the well.

My life of practice aims to increase my focus on the love I feel in order to strengthen and grow it, while deliberately choosing to overcome myself to act lovingly more often. I've been consciously in practice for about two years. I'm sometimes proud of how far I've come, and often ashamed to find myself so unskilled, so lacking in staying power.

Ah, child, soldier on. There's naught but muck from here one way or t'other. 

Musical accompaniment by David Bowie Soul Love http://tinysong.com/fozG