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.