Loving Bigger, Burning Brighter, and Making More Room
Last week, during our intensive in England, I dreamed that Hillary and I arrived at a large old house. Several other people were there, and it was clear that we were all moving into the house to live as a community. We are pretty much hermits most of the time, so at first I was worried whether we’d have enough privacy, breathing room, and space to rest.
As Hillary unpacked and chatted with others, I climbed the stairs to what would be our space in the upper room on the highest floor. There a former student of mine, Stephen, was waiting to talk to me. I hadn’t seen him in years – he had become a Himalayan monk and teacher of a school of yoga. Stephen had dropped by that day to have a conversation and catch up on our lives.
As soon as I began talking, I felt a strong emotion swell up inside me. Rather than discuss the details of my life, I simply said, “All I can say is that I feel like an empty bucket that was placed underneath a waterfall.” I then went on to say that I was referring to the love that God and I have for each other, especially the love I share with Jesus. I didn’t say “my love” or “his love.” I spoke of this love as “our love.” The love I feel for the divine and the love I feel from the divine are mutual.
This love is our love and it is big enough to include everyone inside its embrace.
What made the conversation surprising was that the moment I uttered the words “our love,” Stephen was immediately stricken by divine power, the lightning that sets your soul on fire and cracks your heart wide open, enough to feel the biggest and most blissful love imaginable. When I saw this take place, I simply said, “Yes, this love—our love—makes me feel like an empty bucket placed underneath a waterfall, constantly overflowing.”
We are most fully alive when we become nothing more than an empty bucket, ready to sit underneath a waterfall of holy love. There we find our love – the deeply felt connection, the two-way street, the highway, the telephone cord, and the rope that connects our heart to the heart of the Big Holy.
We all live in-community with one another (whether we like it or not, and whether that community is intentional or accidental). And we all know on some level that the horizon grows vaster and the light shines brighter when there is less MY and more OUR.
Our home, our neighborhood, our planet. Our water, our food, our very existence. We all worry sometimes if there will be enough room, forgetting that the house is big enough for everyone.
Sometimes this shift from my to our feels good, simple, and easy. Other times, it feels impossible. Human beings are impossible, after all. Impossible to love and impossible not to love, all at the same time.
On a good day it’s easier to forgive, mend, and reach higher ground. Other days, not even close.
Trying to love everyone without first drinking from the Big Love Waterfall is too difficult. Though our intention to love others — even our enemies — might be sound, this kind of purposeful love is too small and weak. Its light does not burn bright enough to reach the darkest corners. It’s a trickle of water that cannot quench any thirst. That love is trickster love — it thinks it’s big but it’s really small. It thinks it’s welcoming and vast but it comes with a lot of conditional fine print that even we can’t see.
Before we get to the our that includes others, we need to first find the our we share with the divine. Only when the love we feel for the creator is overflowing can our love for others flow freely and with enough power to truly transform.
Edgar Cayce said that Jesus had a secret prayer: “Others, Lord. Others.” So how do we make room for others?
Head straight to the upper room. First and foremost, attend to your rope, the vertical cord that goes straight from your heart to the heart of God. Make yourself an empty bucket capable of receiving the Big Love from the highest source and force. This love is so big that just speaking of it can set you and everyone near you on fire.
Through our love, our love becomes possible. We then truly discover that there is enough space in this house for everyone.
And remember, OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY.
– The Keeneys June 16, 2017