Friday, December 28, 2012

Our Longing To Be Loved

"One of the deepest longings in the human heart is the desire to be loved for yourself alone. This longing awakens you completely. When you are touched by love, it reaches down into your deepest fibre. It is difficult to realize actually how desperately we need love. You inhabit your life, you seem to be in control. You live within an independent physical body. From the outside, you seem to be managing very well. Because you present this face to the world, no-one suspects that you have a different 'inner body' called the heart which can do nothing for itself if it is not loved. If our hearts were our outside bodies, we would see crippled bodies transform into ballet dancers under the gaze, and in the embrace, of love. It is difficult to love yourself, if you are not first loved. When you are loved, your heart rushes forth in the joy of the dance of life. Like someone who has been lost for years in a forgotten place, you rejoice in being found. When you are discovered, you then discover yourself. This infuses your whole life with new vigour and light. People notice a difference in you. It is nice to be around you. Love somehow transfigures the sad gravity of life. The gloom lifts and your soul is young and free. Love awakens the youthfulness of the heart. You discover your creative force. It is quite touching to see love bring someone home so swiftly to themselves. The Connemara poet Caitlin Maude writes:
"This little beak
 Under his wing
The thrush of our love"
Even without the outside lover, you can become the beloved. When you awaken in appreciation and love for your self, springtime awakens in your heart. Your soul longs to draw you into love for your self. When you enter your soul's affection the torment ceases in your life. St. Bonaventure says in The Journey of the Mind to God: 'Enter into yourself, therefore, and observe that  your soul loves itself most fervently.'
~ John O'Donohue, Eternal Echoes: Exploring Our Hunger To Belong