I’m Not Loving Enough!
When we hear stories about the abundant compassion of Jesus or other saintly figures it’s easy for us to harshly judge ourselves or doubt our own hearts. We may come to believe that we’re not loving enough.
We might start asking, what would a loving person do, or what would Jesus do, as a way of compensating for the perceived deficiency of our own love.
My own tendency was to angle for the distant second prize of fairness: “I can’t trust myself to love, but at least I can try to be fair.” The mind loves “fairness” or questions like “what would Jesus do?” because they invite the weighing of different interpretations and ongoing analyses of our justifications. It’s like we can’t find or don’t trust the lover so we play lawyer instead.
Unfortunately, this is a very poor substitution. It might have us thinking we’re almost justified some of the time, but it leaves us a long way from the rich tenderness of love. There is simply no good substitute for loving. Love is our calling, our purpose, our passion. It is our only true satisfaction. And this is precisely because love is alive and well, yearning to be felt and manifest, no matter how much we’ve hardened over our sensitivity and ignored the cries of the heart.
We find our way back to the love that we are by simply opening to what is being felt now even if it feels the farthest thing from love. Instead of condemning what is here, running away from it, or asking the mind to somehow get rid of it already, we can meet what is here with infinite patience and acceptance.
We turn with love toward our experience even when the mind condemns it as unloving, unacceptable, or unworthy. We turn with love to our own repeated failure to love. We turn with love to our defenses, our numbing, our pulling away. We turn with love even toward the inner voice that condemns us so mercilessly.
Any such opening at once reveals the true vastness of our love and its endless capacity to redeem us.
In pointing to the movement of love I’m not suggesting that this is something that the mind can manage, that there is strategy or plan of action here. The mind is not competent to teach love. When its efforts and judgments drop away, we immediately become more available to the movement of love through us.