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Sunday
May182008

THE POWER OF LOVE

By Bonnie Starr Mandell-Rice

“And all this time, the river flowed
endlessly, to the sea….”
(from All This Time, by Sting)

When I look back upon my life, along with all of the love, joy and laughter, I recall times of great sorrow, loss, pain, shame, and abandonment. What time has done for me, however, is to burnish these times until they have come to glisten like jewels. It is as if time has worn away the encrustations of emotion and story that had been laid down over What Was and, in so doing, has revealed the core of each circumstance and event of my life. What is at the core of them? Love, for love is the core, the essence, of everything. Love that appears unlike love is love crying out, calling, for us to re-member, to re-embody, who we really are, which is love itself.

This Love has no needs, no requirements, no conditions, no expectations. It simply is. It flows and flows and flows because that is its nature; it flows unless we stop it, dam it up, with our fears and needs, our conditions and requirements. Where we have dammed it up, it will spill over, it will not be contained; it will not be content forever to be restricted in the narrows that we have allowed. The river of love will not be denied; it will flow, back to the vast sea of love that is Life, which is God. Love will work its magic through whatever channels are available to it. Sometimes, we will resent those channels, even curse them, because the force of the river of love moving through those narrow channels will scour and abrade away the walls we have built, and the force of the river will overflow and break the dams we have built. It cannot be contained. This scouring and abrading, this breaking and overflowing, creates change and upheaval in our lives. People and animals we love, things we cherish, may be swept away, lost to us in this Time/Space we inhabit with our physical bodies and our physical senses. Understandably, we will grieve our losses; we well may rage back at the river that has caused the losses. Yet, ultimately, it is our perception that makes us suffer, that throws us into the pit of shame or the agony of despair, when the walls fall down.

To end the suffering requires a shift in perception, a remembrance that love is at work and there is a gift to be found. When a river scours its banks, it creates beautiful canyons, like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison here in my home state of Colorado, and the Grand Canyon in Utah. When a river breaks down a damn, it reclaims the land for itself. While buildings may be lost, the wild river is restored and with it come the fish and the birds and the animals. The wild river is restored, and we – who are part of nature – are restored, for we need wild places and we need our own wildness, for it is freedom. When the river of love scours our lives, when it breaks the dams we have built around our hearts, we shift our perception by remembering Love is in action here and asking: what is being created, what is being restored, what is the gift?

It has been written: “Seek and ye shall find.” This is God’s promise to us. When you know that there is a treasure to be found in every event and every circumstance of your life – no matter how terrible they appear, you will find the treasure, for by your very decision to seek the treasure, you will begin to unveil it. Indeed, you will call it forth from the Realm of Infinite Possibilties, which is God, Who is Love. When you find the treasure, you will find Love.