Now comes the point where i offer some unsolicited advice on how to become a catalyst for intimacy. I am offering my opinions about what I'm journeying through. Not a twelve-step formula.
Journey towards the authentic: One of the most frightening components of love that we must overcome is that authentic love is surrendered power. It's giving another person, or in some cases a community of people, the power to reject us or accept us. We expose ourselves by letting them into our thoughts and fears and hopes and dreams. The best opportunity to build meaningful relationships is being real about our imperfections and admitting we have issues just like everyone else.
Journey towards character: Becoming a person of character is the framework for being a person for love. Becoming marked by selflessness, humility, integrity, faith, courage, gratitude, generosity, and the like, changes us inwardly to raise our potential to embody love.
Journey of our spirit: I realize everyone has different beliefs about the Divine. My belief is that by yielding ourselves to Divine love, the natural result is valuing ourselves. When we live in intimacy with God, we are able to fully love ourselves and become passionate about loving others. When we are disconnected from our Source, we find ourselves increasingly empty of love. Essentially, the outpouring of love we give is a response to the quality of love we have received.
Journey towards togetherness: Community is a great vessel for personal growth and health. A healthy community of people embraces us as we are, with no manipulative agendas, unrealistic expectations, or pretenses. It's an environment where people can find acceptance, love, and forgiveness as well as push us forward by providing encouragement and support.
Is this an unattainable standard to strive toward? Probably. However I'm willing to bank on it being quite a heroic and rewarding adventure. Imagine for just a moment, what would happen in your relationship circles if you walked fully the way of love.
Robert Frost so beautifully said, "Love is an insatiable desire to be insatiably desired." I'd like to close with a few probing questions for your personal meditation and reflection.
Do you feel, taste, and experience intimacy with others? What if you asked a friend, who knows you well, that same question? Do they see you the same way you see yourself? Pause and consider this for a moment because there is often a gap between our picture of what we would like to be and how we really are.
Are your eyes open to see opportunities to love? Are your ears open to hear where love is needed? Are your hands and feet open to tangibly show love to another? Is your mouth open to speak lovingly? Is your heart open to growing in love towards others, and not just the people that are easy to love, but the difficult and unlovely?
~ Damian Ludwig