Healing: Redemptive Love
We have been brought into the inner wine cellar and sealed with His seal, which is to suffer out of love. The ardor of this love greatly outweighs any suffering we may undergo, for suffering comes to an end, but love is forever. ~ Tessa Bielecki
Love heals. When we are wounded in the place where we would know love, it is difficult to imagine that love really has the power to change everything. No matter what has happened in our past, when we open our hearts to love we can live as if born again, not forgetting the past but seeing it in a new way, letting it live inside us in a new way. We go forward with the fresh insight that the past can no longer hurt us. Or if our past was one in which we were loved, we know that no matter the occasional presence of suffering in our lives we will return always to remembered calm and bliss. Mindful remembering lets us put the broken bits and pieces of our hearts together again. This is the way healing begins.
Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands. In his collection of essays The First Next Time, James Baldwin writes about suffering in the healing process, stating: “I do not mean to be sentimental about suffering – but people who cannot suffer can never grow up, can never discover who they are.” Growing up is, at heart, the process of learning to take responsibility for whatever happens in your life. To chose growth is to embrace a love that heals….pp, 209
After we have made the choice to be healed in love, faith that transformation will come gives us the peace of mind and heart that is necessary when the soul seeks revolution. IT IS DIFFICULT TO WAIT. No doubt that is why biblical scripture urge the seeker to learn how to wait, for waiting renews our strength. When we surrender to the “wait” we allow changes to emerge within us without anticipation or struggle. When we do this we are stepping out, on faith. In Buddhist terms this practice of surrender, of letting go, makes it possible for us to enter a space of compassion where we can feel sympathy for ourselves and others. That compassion awakens us to the healing power of service.
Love in action is always about service, what we do to enhance spiritual growth. A focus on individual reflection, contemplation, and therapeutic dialogue is vital to healing. But it is not the only way to recover ourselves. Serving others is as fruitful a path to the heart as any other therapeutic practice. To truly serve, we must always empty the ego so that space can exist for us to recognise the needs of others and be capable for fulfilling them. The greater our compassion the more aware we are of ways to extend ourselves to others that make healing possible.
To know compassion fully is to engage in a process of forgiveness and recognition that enables us to release all the baggage we carry that serves as a barrier to healing. Compassion opens the way for individuals to feel empathy for others without judgement. Judging others increases our alienation. When we judge we are less able to forgive. The absence of forgiveness keeps us mired in shame. Often, our spirits have been broken again and again through rituals of disregard in which we were shamed by others or shamed ourselves. Shame breaks and weakens us, keeping away from the wholeness healing offers. Embedded in our shame is always a sense of being unworthy. It separates. Compassion and forgiveness reconnects us.
hooks, bell. (2000). All about love: New visions. HaperCollins, New York, pp. 216-217.