Love is Wholeness

(Thanks to Trish at Creating Reciprocity for the inspiration for this message. The poem, “Mad Girl’s Love Song,” by Sylvia Plath is featured on her blog and you should check it out. )

One of the most important reasons to express the way we feel about everything that happens to us in our lives is to come to terms with it ourselves. Writers throughout history have inspired many other people to become writers themselves, and untold millions of others who only read the work of those writers, come away with insights and perspectives that might otherwise have been impossible to acquire by other means.

The modern day celebration of love on this day, and all the hoopla surrounding romantic love, which is wonderful and joyful and essential in every life, almost completely misses the full spectrum of the experience of love, and pretends somehow that any other experience of romantic feelings for another, other than the one we see in commercials and in advertising, doesn’t even exist.

Sylvia Plath by magnetic-eye Traditional Art / Drawings / Portraits & Figures ©2009-2012 ~magnetic-eye

Sylvia Plath was an extraordinary wordsmith, who was profoundly affected by the loss of romantic love, but more importantly, was unable to overcome the tragic loss emotionally.

The experience of being human includes a variety of potential emotional events, of which the fulfilling and joyful experience of romantic love represents only a portion, and to single out one aspect of that full range of emotion to the exclusion of all others can tip the balance of wholeness to the point where we are irretrievable as a whole person.

Self Portrait and Muse, 1911 by Khalil Gibran

In his most famous work, “The Prophet,” Kahlil Gibran writes comprehensively about love, including this passage:

“When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you–yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you–believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you–so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth–so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots, and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; for love is sufficient unto love…And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”

Sylvia may have been mentally disabled due to some pathology of the brain or because she was suffering from clinical depression, but the world in which she lived, very much like the world in which WE live, was lacking in an emphasis on wholeness and balance, and there is ALWAYS an alternative to giving up on life.

We all need to know love in its many manifestations, and to see beyond the emotional response to the source of love, in the spirit of life. True love is spiritual at its core, and includes every variety of love, and THAT is what we should be celebrating every single day.

John H.

5 thoughts on “Love is Wholeness

  1. This is really beautiful, and so true. At the core of all love is unconditional love and acceptance, which comes from the God Source, or Christ in us. When we accept that Love as our core Beingness, we can radiate Love and Light to All.

    1. Lynn Lee,

      “Radiating Love and Light to All” is one of the highest goals to which human beings can aspire, and while I personally know of many such individuals who aspire to this goal, so much more needs to be done to INSPIRE such love and light in this world.

      Perhaps I will revisit this topic in the coming months. Love should never take a holiday to be shared or expressed, and your generous comment is one such expression.

      Thanks so much for sharing it…….John H.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful, pointed, intellectual and spiritually sound reflection. Sylvia’s poem “Mad Girl’s Love Song” is tragic in its beauty — as it captures the essence of a very painful human experience of loss and (as you so wonderfully point out): imbalance. I appreciate how you have crafted this post to bring about both an appreciation of her poetic ‘madness’ along with insights that help readers consider how a false or imbalanced sense of seeking only one sense of love – which may not even be love at all – (as illustrated by her poem and your discussion) can keep us from finding wholeness in our lives. I really appreciated this line: “We all need to know love in its many manifestations, and to see beyond the emotional response to the source of love, in the spirit of life.” So true. Thank you!

  3. AngelaMarie,

    Your kindness in expressing your thoughts about my post is one of the best affirmations I could have hoped for about the thoughts expressed within it, and it is reassuring in a very important way that you appreciated that particular line. Sometimes, we don’t look deeply enough into our experiences and feelings to detect some sense of where they come from. You are clearly someone who has given serious attention to your own thoughts, and your thoughts are most welcome here.

    It can be very difficult to express loss and to deal with it in productive ways, particularly when we are so frequently undone emotionally when the loss is so deeply personal as Sylvia’s was in her circumstances. We cannot truly know what it is like for someone ELSE to experience their own loss, but I think we can at least empathize with the feeling, once we know loss ourselves.

    No one really wants to talk about personal loss, and even just facing it squarely can seem like one of the most challenging acts we can attempt, but wholeness is what makes it possible, and it is terribly sad that Sylvia was not able to overcome her sense of loss.

    Her poem should inspire us all to seek wholeness and balance in our lives, and I am still striving to do so myself. Thanks so much for your visit and kind words……..John H.

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