One year ago, I started this blog. I thought that “choosing love” seemed important and possible. I was inspired by nature, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, and an idea conveyed by Rumi and A Course in Miracles that said I was not to seek love but instead find all the barriers within myself that I had built against it. Cool. I knew that choosing love was a better choice than picking apart my body’s flaws; judging my past; or being fearful to trust a partner…all of which I admit to having done from time to time. I knew that the world could be a better place if it chose love more, that’s for sure.
Little did I know when I put a “Down the Rabbit Hole” button on the homepage of this site, how accurate that statement would be. You could gather from the way I wrote the original About section (which has since been updated) that I had thought this choice might be easy. Or at least, I did not believe that it might drive me to the places I most did not want to go.
Quite honestly, 365 days ago, I thought that by Valentine’s Day 2012, I would happily be in a relationship with an amazing guy and pretty solid in my new-found purpose and career. I would have learned to put my past behind me only to find a place of enlightened self-love. I would be blogging everyday, or at least, every week, while running a business and changing the world.
Right? Sort of.
One thing that this journey has taught me is that I must follow my heart. Apparently, this heart is on a mission that it so desperately wants to fulfill that if it gets stifled or veered off course, it will make me miserable, sick, or something in between until I listen. So, I have learned to listen.
Upon my return from a dream-come-true trip of working with youth in tropical island chain last March, my heart was hit by a desire…to go to church. WHAT? Church? Really? Me? I had been before, and there were just parts of it I didn’t agree with. In fact, I had even lived with a Christian family for a bit after college, and while they were some of the sweetest people I have ever known, that religious stuff didn’t jive with my need to be free.
For starters, I grew up in the San Francisco area and am the daughter of an attorney. I have justice in my blood! I believed that it was not my place to tell someone who they could marry, what to do with their unborn child, or how they should spend their Sundays.
I was certainly a not a sinner for having done a number of things that break the 10 Commandments because so was everyone else around me. Why should I have to repent? And I did not want to make myself small…or worse…surrender. The world was a much too dangerous place to do such a thing. Admit weakness? I thought not.
But alas, the heart wanted to go to church, so I listened. And to my surprise, it wanted to go back. While I was at times rather uncomfortable, I had in the past few years developed a maturity where I could distinguish the difference between the discomfort of real danger and “I just plain don’t want to go there because it might be painful”…if you know what I mean. The discomfort I was feeling was unfortunately the latter, which I had come to understand meant, “Face your fear. What you are seeking is on the other side.”
While I went in armed with my battle gear, I watched the artillery start to fall as my heart heard more and more what it wanted to hear. When questions came up, I asked them. And oddly, the answers I received began to remove the barriers I had built up. I began to understand that in our humanness, we judge; but God never intended us to do so. Our job is to love and leave the judgment up to Him. This made sense.
I stopped lying to myself and using “our culture” or “my past” as an excuse and began to see the truth about my own sin and the real impact that has had on my life, my character, and the person I want to be. Talk about an unveiling. The perfectionist in me hates to admit these truths, but perhaps, that was exactly what she needed. The perfectionist can only judge; in Truth, I am asked to be humble and love.
I have spent hours wracked with fear about what others might think about this new place in the journey of my exciting life. I, myself, have even doubted its validity.
~ But now, I wonder if this is what I was looking for all along. ~
I have always had a great hunger in my heart. I have tried to quell it with many things – relationships, a career, success, an eating disorder, substances, designer clothes, you name it. This hunger has led me to pain, but it’s also been part of my full-on zest for life that inspires me to love people deeply, travel adventurously, and take on new challenges.
In fact, I wrote my college admissions essay about my belly button. It’s big. I made the analogy that I have always had an appetite for life – even since I was in my mother’s womb. I have tried to quell the hunger and make it wrong; deny it; deal with it; contain it; control it. I did all those things with all my might to no avail.
Today, I choose to accept that hunger and call it passion instead. I know there is no other way. To kill off that desire is to kill off me…an undeniable part of who God made me to be.
I choose love; God is Love; and I choose God. That is what I have learned this year, and I am keeping to my commitment. As God shows me the road that He wants for me, life will turn out differently than the one I had planned. This is a good thing because He says He wants to provide so much more than that. What I know now is to keep small so the Love that He is can be big. And to surrender…
So, yes, year one of choosing love is complete. It seemed to go by in the blink of an eye, but perhaps in the blink, I am able to see more clearly. I choose to see that which keeps me from love and the ways I express it fully. I believe that no one tries to choose otherwise, but we do. It is only with willingness and awareness that we can begin to change our crazy ways – by being courageous, feeling the fear, and moving through it only to realize it was never true in the first place.
Down the Rabbit Hole I went, and I seem to be finding my way down here – or is it up there? I’m not yet sure.
With Love, friends. Thank you for being on this journey with me ~
Thank you to Cynthia for helping me seed ichooselove. May trUe be a blessing experienced by many.
Thank you to all of my teachers over this past year – you know who you are.
Photo Credit from Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/pin/155726099584759766/