(Want to know a secret? This place is my haven. When you read, it delights me.)
Love is not reason.
Let me repeat that.
Love is not reason.
Love is the reason.
(Ooh, that sounds good.)
And I always act in love. Yet I am a very reasonable person. So how do these two things fit together?
Hell if I know! I’m just trying shit out!
Years ago, when I was at the precipice of a divorce and a slipping away of nearly everything that mattered to me, I took comfort in the words of Buddhists and yogis and other spiritual teachers. And one thing that stuck with me was something Pema Chodron, Buddhist monk, said: “Live your life like it’s an experiment.”
I remember telling this to my boyfriend at the time, because I had this deep desire to connect with him, even though connecting with him was very hard. He was business-focused. He loved me, and I loved him, but above all things, I think he loved money more.
Because for him, and for many of us, money represented security.
And when you have that mindset, that money will bring security, then no amount of money is enough. No matter how much you get, you never see money for what it is—a tool whose use reveals your priorities—and you keep striving to attain more and more of it.
What is it you really need? And who is it you serve? What is your purpose on this planet, my dear?
These are fundamental questions.
If you don’t know the answer to them, get out a notebook and pen and start waking up in the early morning and get to work. This is your test. And if you pass or don’t, there will be plenty more.
And if you choose not to engage with these questions, be on your way. I have no time for flimsy-hearted people anymore. No time. (I can love you, but I don’t have to hang out with you, you know?)
This post isn’t making sense!
So let’s focus. What is the word of the day? What did I call this l’il essay?
Oh yeah, we’re talking about Rationality.
Boy, Ms. Jana, you are weird.
(Yes, I know. What can you do? I’m just me!)
I was reading this morning about Mary and Joseph in the Bible, these special people who made a very big decision that threatened their security, but whose faith and ability to listen to higher callings was so strong that it changed the whole fucking world!
I mean, can you imagine if Mary was sitting on the edge of her bed that night when the angel came to her and said, Oh, I don’t know about this baby thing. My peers will shun me. I’m young, I have my whole life to live. I’m not sure if that’s what I want. And besides, giving birth really hurts! Can you just pick another person for this? Please and thank you. And then went to sleep.
I mean, maybe the angel would have shaken her head and sighed a bit and racked her brain and tried to find someone else to do the job, but, you know, we’re all chosen for something. Mary was faithful. That means she was strong. She took risks. She realized she had a role to play and a deeper purpose and maybe she wasn’t always clear on it, but once that angel appeared she recognized there was a gap that needed filling and she obeyed.
And let’s look at Joseph, who was similarly freaked out by this whole experience. This girlfriend who is now pregnant “with the Lord”? I mean, C’mon. Really. An angel came to you and told you God was going to come out of your vagina. Mmhmm. Okay. Sure.
But he went to sleep and had a dream, and Joseph trusted his dreams, because they were his, and they were an experience unlike any other. And when an angel came to him there and started directing him, he listened. And he protected this woman, because that was what God was leading him to do. Cause damn, can you imagine what would have happened to Jesus if there was no Joseph around to stand guard? Single mothers don’t fare so well, then and now. Not much has changed in a few thousand years, you know.
And so these faithful people did not listen to rationality, about what people would say about them, about what danger might come into their lives for listening to angels, about whether they had enough money to start this whole endeavor. They didn’t even have a frickin’ place to birth the Lord! But they found a way, and God provided. Yeah, maybe it was in a stable or something, and maybe their only doulas were the sheep. So be it. They managed. They got by. And Lordie, that was a good thing, too, wasn’t it? Sheesh.
Rationality. Faith. You know, don’t really go together?
And here’s another thing I want to throw in here, while we’re at it.
I was thinking a bit about Jesus last night, as I was talking to my kids at dinner about failure, about my own fears. And I realized, shit, what is failure anyway? Like, really? It’s not achieving your desired purpose, your desired goal.
So what if your desired goal is to love deeply, and be loved deeply in return, and fill the world with a whole lotta love? (Thanks, Robert Plant, for that one.)
And you’ve exorcised your demons on that front, so that you’re not looking at anyone with hatred or conditions or weighty expectations, but you’re doing your best to be in the moment, to honor whoever is in front of you, to serve the higher purpose which is love? And I’m not talking about an egoic frame of mind for this, where you have a doctrine of how one must love. A doctrine which says, Love looks this and this and this way and if it doesn’t fit into this little ditty I’m out. (I’m anti-doctrine, if you can’t already tell.) I’m talking about the real, tried and true kind of love that says: I’m here, I’m present, I honor you, I respect you, and I’m unattached to an outcome, because I have deep faith and trust that however I act here, and however you act, God will find a way to make what’s best reveal itself.
And I have so much love pouring out of me I sort of want a container for it, but maybe there are no containers? And so I’ll just continue to pour.
I mean, if you’re making progress in this “ability to love and be loved” regard, how can you fail?