Thursday, August 31, 2017

To learn that they cannot make anyone love them…

A friend sent me the link to this video earlier this week. It is breathtaking in its natural scenery but the accompanying script is well worth considering as well.

My greatest task at Living School was learning to let G_d love me, to be able to be embraced by that loving energy without withdrawing in shame or fear that I was not good enough as I have done most of my life. 

I was challenged to recognize that I was needed in the wide network of loving-energy synapses beginning with G-d to insure that the love of G-d would be felt throughout creation.

I had to learn that I am but one link, but I am a link. Without all the links, the loving-energy becomes bottled up and is thwarted from its mission: to fill all of the Cosmos with the loving-energy of G-d. 

But I have also learned that I am more than that. I am G-d’s child. I was created very good and loved by G-d from the moment of my creation. And despite anything I might have done to besmirch it, I have always borne the image of G_d. For most of my life I have had difficulty recognizing it on my own face even as I have worked hard to locate it in the face of all creatures I encounter with moderate success. 

But both are necessary.

“To learn that they cannot make anyone love them…What they can do is let themselves be loved.”

This particular line speaks so much to me. I spent much of my life trying to get people to love me. I simply could not love myself. I felt myself to be patently unlovable so I sought it outside of myself. Worse yet, I led a driven life of overachievement to prove to myself and others that I was lovable.

But that was a losing gambit. And I think about how many people I treated unfairly and demanded too much of along the way trying to receive from them what could only have come from within myself. For that I am sorry and hope they can find the way to forgive me.

That life of striving and codependency was clearly predicated on the conditional love I felt as a kid growing up in a redneck, football and hunting town. I never fit in there. And I never felt okay about that. But I do not blame them. I simply recognize the context for what it was.

Once I recognized I was not just different, that I could never be other than who I was, my only choice was to love myself or kill myself. It was a toss-up for far too long and my behavior sometimes pointed in the direction of an extended systematic suicide through self-abusive behaviors. My body and my soul bear the scars of those struggles. But my life bears witness to the ultimate victory of love.

In the end, love won the day. Thanks be to G_d!  By virtue of all the many human sources of love, all the little affirmations, all the encouragements, all those who allowed themselves to believe in me even as I did not believe in myself, love won the day. And now I seek to be the conduit of loving-energy that allows that divine dance to course through my being, loving all of who I am, and then to spread out across the good Creation.

As we Franciscans say, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” 

I am indebted to those who never gave up on me. I am indebted to the Living School who gave me the tools to be present with G-d and simply let G-d love me. And I thank you for this video which ignited these words I felt compelled to utter in response, this day before my 64th birthday.


Harry Scott Coverston
Orlando, Florida

If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief system, be it religious or political, is not worth holding.

Most things worth considering do not come in sound bites.

For what does G-d require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your G-d? (Micah 6:8, Hebrew Scriptures)

 © Harry Coverston 2017

No comments: