Spiritual practice can be used as a pathway of deepening into the present, felt-sense experience of being a human being in this vast and complex web of creation. It can strengthen our connection with the benevolent, seen and unseen dimensions of life, and ultimately guide us into an alignment to our most genuine service for this lifetime.
Spiritual practice can also be used as a pathway to avoid hardship by prematurely adopting “higher” values of empathy, forgiveness, peace, and love, feeding lethargic-induced and hostile-infused trauma-patterns that unhealthily protect us from the complex pain-shards that are needed to be integrated into the wholeness of our being. It can contribute to the denial of the cultural, societal, and collective issues of our time, and ultimately keep us perpetuating childhood wounding and conditioning. And, it can keep us distant from life, when life is in fact asking us to get our hands dirty.
Life has shown us repeatedly that love is not light, ease, harmony, and peace all of the time. Love has many faces, some that invoke warmth and others that unearth the gritty mess of being human.
Love lives within clear discernment and assertive boundaries, firm no’s and fierce roars, the power place of holding tension and facing confrontation, the immense human capacity to be present with loss, sorrow, and grief. Love is alive when Death approaches, it sings when solitude seems to be the only open door. Love is paradox, delicate as a moth’s wing, powerful as a Mountain being, profound and unfathomable in its essence, ordinary and simple in its action.
When spiritual practice and love unite, it is not always what it seems. It doesn’t always appear “unconditional”, as we’ve been taught to believe. This conventional, elevated spiritual concept is not the pinnacle. The spirit of love demands that we embody ever-more nuanced and complex ways of being, that we embrace the grace of love’s contradiction, that sometimes we choose love by withdrawing, and other times by generously leaning in.
Spirituality also doesn’t always ask for harmony or peace, but the willingness to allow Death to be a teacher, for the excruciating chaos of ego-dissolution to be welcomed, for the fires of purification and transformation to bring us to our knees, sometimes in utter lostness, and other times with ecstatic gratitude.
Spiritual practice nor love are safe places to dwell, friends.
But, if you’re reading this, you’re probably not seeking the safe road.
© Alyona Kobevka