Wonderful human beings! Magical, mystical, and mysterious, we roam the planet searching for ourselves, searching for our tribe, searching for our home. We explore, we conquer, we discover, we design, we build. And, in the process, we also tend to inflict significant damage on our planet, our home, our tribe, and ourselves. It all begs the question—why? Why would such magical creatures as we make such seemingly bone-headed moves? With all our capacities, all our gifts, all our being, what is it that drives us and forms us? What is our rhythm and the pattern of our creation? Could it be the never-ending, sometimes desperate search for unconditional love?
We all have wounds, and the wounds we received at a very young age, when we didn’t have the mental or physical capacity to handle them, are the ones that form a large part of our patterns in life, especially our patterns of recognizing, giving, and receiving love. Under pressure, we tend to fall back on those conditional patterns. We are what we express, but long before we can express, we are what we feel, and if the love we receive is conditional in any way, that’s what we know of love. If we can learn to walk at a certain age, speak a certain way, make good grades, be good at sports or music, attract a mate, achieve some level of “success,” fit in, we will feel loved. But all those things are conditions and, by definition, bring only conditional love. So many of us end up with a bottomless pit of wanting—food, sex, activity, money, material possessions, success—and even if we “get” them, we still feel the pain of the void we were trying to fill, so we reinforce the culture of scarcity. We cover up the hurt with desire, and the judgement and arrogance that comes with that particular dance.
How do we learn a new dance, to a new rhythm? What could give us the “breath of fresh air” that will keep us from drowning? How can we get unconditional love? Books have been written, masterpieces created, and cultures created and destroyed around the answers to these questions. It seems likely that it’s neither simple nor absolute, but maybe a first step is recognizing that unconditional love isn’t for getting, it’s for giving. And it already IS. We can’t find it, build it, or get it, but we can give it. And, as a wise man once said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you.” Maybe the trick to feeling unconditionally loved is to give ourselves unconditional love. And maybe if we can learn to drop all our conditions to loving someone else, we will breathe that pure sweet breath of fresh air and recognize that feeling of home and connection that is unconditional love. Welcome to the dance.
Purple Passages to You
-a poem by Atom Terpening
Call to me!
The heart is such a drum, our artery tap dance, Fred and Ginger.
The ear an organ of blood, whispered over the collapse of silence, rich with the sounds of a sleeper’s breath.
Touch me there in the blood, lead me into the vapors of your ecstasy, heaved to heaven
Walking, dancing with my unconscious grace, your conscious grace, as we do as we do.
Rhythm is paramount, the drum must traipse the synapses strummed like a lover’s lute.
As the flow of mystery fills our open spaces
How do we move with this ALL?
We discover our steps, slower at this dance and trip up catching ourselves
Buoyed by laughter at our foibles and encouraged by the love history we have celebrated like architectural marvels.
Sing to me here in the mist of our connection, drenched in sweet tones of intimate agreement.
Carousing, but still, your marks on me as tiny raccoon footprint tattoos overlapped like dance moves in my day dreams
I look around for the sound of drums and the world washes over me. Leaving only a trace of my uniqueness in a shining grin
That is when I hear your call.
Heather Ryan has 30 years of experience as a technical writer and editor, most recently in the health care industry. She currently lives and works at Sunrise Ranch, and loves the opportunity to practice communion and unconditional love in all aspects of her living. Heather is passionate about learning, exploring/traveling, and spending time outdoors, and is extremely grateful for the opportunity to do all of that at Sunrise Ranch in her almost-home state of Colorado.