Lessons Only Love Can Teach

by Guy Finley -

Surely we have all gone through those dreaded times when it feels like we are dying because our heart is emotionally starved for life. Perhaps we have reached the end of our hope for some pivotal relationship, or come to the close of another goal that again proves itself to be empty. Whatever the cause, our passion faints and, with our wings suddenly clipped, we fall back to earth. 

We have all felt this fear but few have seen its dark face up close. Its shadow taunts and haunts us in every fire we race to build or by which we hope to warm ourselves. For life has taught us -- over and over again -- that even the most carefully maintained of these fires eventually loses its warmth and light.

These moments are typified in the experience of finding ourselves having grown cold to a former close companion, or in seeing the light in their eyes wane in its warmth toward us. Or perhaps we have lost interest in our once-cherished career or lifestyle, so that no passion remains in us for what had been our sole and guiding purpose in life. 

We must not (as we so often do) confuse this growing chill in our heart as the death of Love's fire. Love never dies. She cannot. She is life itself. The cooling passion we feel toward what once enflamed us is not the end of Love's fire, but only signals that we have now consumed all of the stuff of self available at that level of ourselves.

It may help to see this new idea by visualizing the action of actual physical flames as they move about in a fireplace. See how all open flames reach ever upward. See how they rise to ignite what they are created to consume.

Now, see that Love works in this exact same way. 

But the difference is that Love burns her way up and through, the stuff of self. First, as an unwelcome visitor, she burns through our vanities. Where before we were warmed by glowing images of ourselves, Love shows us all that glitters isn't gold.

As her fires move through this lower soul region, they take with them -- in their purifying path -- our self-fascination. But in the very act of first enticing us with this ego-centered love, and then through expiring this same stuff of self in her compassionate flames, she accomplishes two feats at once:

First, her fires remove an interior section of our self's sub-flooring once felt by us as being our entire foundation -- an act whose gradual consummation feels to us to be the loss of our life itself. And it is in this moment of our heart's cold confusion that our part in this eternal play is called onto the stage now set within us. For here, time and time again, we must choose whether to close ourselves off from Love's internal action -- or offer ourselves over to it.

We have all seen the effects of shutting out Love: 

A hopeless frost clings to the heart, choking off higher emotion until only a shrunken shell of its former self sits there in place of the heart, its own beating a punishment.

We have all had some level of experience with Love's successful passage through our various life stages -- how the seeming loss of one love (or passion) first creates a sense of emptiness that is followed by the hope and promise of yet a deeper or wiser one, and then -- although impossible to glean in the moment of such a sense of loss, and yet through this very loss -- how Love reveals a new place within us for her next and higher incarnation.

This is how Love works her magic. This is her timeless motions and miracle. 

We must agree to move with her according to her secret ways. We must each learn what it means to open the hearth of our hearts to her mystical fires and not to fear the stages through which she will take us.

If we consent, then ever on and upward will her flames work their way through our passions and take with them, into the air of their origin, our hopes in self, our hopes for things seen, and sometimes, in dark nights, even our hope for Love herself.

If we agree to stay the course of Love's action in us through the passage of time, even though it may be often hidden in the residue of ash and smoke created by the upward passage of these living fires, the next level of Love is revealed to us. 

Herein we stand in amazement upon a whole new floor of what we now realize is our own self -- a floor previously hidden by the self below it in a nature that could only be burned away through experience. Like the phoenix we rise again, ready to live out Love anew… and, hopefully, enriched by wisdom, ready to die again for the sake of Love.

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