Friday, December 17, 2010

The Lover and the Beloved

Today my heart is full. I am the Beloved. I have a very dear friend who performed a huge service for me and I paid her for this service. Actually, I hadn't paid her in full but was sending her monthly payments and we were both happy with this arrangement. This morning I received a letter from her that said: "Sweet Melissa, I am following my heart (and God's direction on this). In the spirit of the season, and with full knowlege (and God's grace), the slate is wiped clean. Hoping for lots of opportunities to be in your presence in the New Year. Merry Christmas! Pay it forward when you are able." I stood there holding that letter feeling like George Bailey.

I am a mother, a manager, a therapist, and a wife. All of the primary roles in my life make me the Lover. I am traditionally the one that gives. I am the one who performs acts of love for others, and I am content with this. I know how to care for myself and keep myself replenished so that I am able to give from a place of abundance rather than compulsion. This has not always been the case for me. I would actually say that for the majority of my life, I was parched. I had nothing to give, yet I worked myself to the bone trying to keep everyone happy. I gave from my own limited emotional and mental resources until I was completely spent. It has taken many years of healing and years of good self-care (what one friend of mine calls EXTREME SELF CARE) that I began to come back to myself. I am now more quickly able to determine when I am giving from compulsion and an empty Love Account rather than from an overflowing Love Account.

I am realizing today that, although I am content in being a Lover in this world, I cannot live this way perpetually or I will go spiritually and emotionally bankrupt. Not only do I need to keep my Love Account full through conscious daily contact with my Higher Power but I also need to stand still and allow myself to be loved on by other people. I am loved by many people and it is good to let them love on me from their own abundance. It is their spiritual service to love me and I should never rob others of their own spiritual acts of service. In the last 6 months, perhaps more than ever in my life, I have felt so loved, appreciated, and honored. Almost every day of my life I have someone encouraging me, appreciating me, and supporting me. It has become almost excessive and makes me laugh with God as I continue to experience this outpouring of love from friends and family! This friend's recent act made my heart swell. She re-filled my Love Account today. That's it! I get my Love Account replenished not only through direct contact with my Higher Power but also through His working through other people. In order to be a good Lover I have to respect my place as the Beloved as well.

Song of Solomon speaks to this problem, "Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned" (ch.8, v.7). A person who gives all they have will go bankrupt and be useless! George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life filled the Love Accounts of many people through his kindness, intelligence, and charisma. He gave until there was nothing left and he reached a point of despair. He reached a place where he had no other choice but to stand quietly in his own home while friends and family came in and gave of their abundance to rescue him. George Bailey had to respect his place as the Beloved in order to continue being a good Lover. Even God adores the praises of his children. The Lover and the Beloved are ying and yang to each other and I am really just seeing the right-ness of this for myself.

Today I am the Beloved and it feels good.