November 05, 2007

The real dream, and more about love

I had a weird dream last night: I was a cab-driver, and I pulled my cab over to the curb in front of my youngest daughter's school. I stepped out into the rain and walked over to where the kids were playing and found her -- preschool aged in my dream. I had my pillow under my arm and lay down in the street, snuggled against the curb and laying in a puddle. It then occured to me that T probably wouldn't like my putting our freshly washed pillows on the dirty ground in the rain, so I got up and walked over to where MA was playing. She was splashing in a puddle with a tamborine and she handed me a small inflated bat and I began to splash with her. Then I woke up. Interpretations welcome.

This planting of seeds is more subtle than it first appears
its not just about a dollar to the homeless man
it's about perceiving what's happening in this very moment
and then deliberately choosing to extend love...

— The Gardener, Rebecca Riots

I'm still not sure what it was that I was meaning to write about love being a choice — accept to say that I do believe that it often is. I try to choose for love to be what motivates me, particularly when lesser emotions seem to be taking the helm. This conscious act has changed many things in my life. My activism that was once motivated by disgust and anger at our political system (and a certain chimpy in charge) is now motivated by my love of peace and the promise that positive action results in positive growth, both personally and collectively. I only made that connection when I stopped hanging out with anger-driven activists and started attending Pax Christi meetings.
Jesus commanded us to love our enemies. I've always snickered when I've heard that line of scripture in church, because honestly, I've had enough trouble loving the people I'm supposed to love. I have to fight passive-agressive urges, resentment, irritation, and cognitive distortions. I have to stay open and communicative and humbly be able to admit when I've hurt someone and ask for forgiveness, as well as openly talk about what hurts me. It's hard work, but I believe that we are created to live in relationship with each other. If you can continue to do that with the people you are supposed to love — your friends and family — the trick is making the larger world (and even your enemies) a part of your family — if only by meditating on the fact that we're all human and all stuck in this together.

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