Whakatupu - Love

In order for a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction. - Cynthia Occelli

When we are faced with tragedy, suffering, loss or heartache, it can be messy. In these moments we can feel like we have become completely undone, yet it’s when we find ourselves in such a state of being, we can completely overlook what could be available to us. The opportunity to grow.

I found myself in such a state three years ago, where I believed my life was heading toward my youthful dream of marrying the woman I loved. I had invested a lot of myself in that event happening, as I had impatiently watched my friends and family find love, or at the very least, someone to grow old with. Three years ago I had just turned 31, was newly engaged and on my way to fulfilling my marital aspirations. Till it was called off, and my dreams of marrying the woman I loved came to a sudden end. Now with my plans and world in rubble, I looked around to sooth the ache and find some direction. 

Thankfully for me, my calamity happened around the best environment, my church - Edge Kingsland. With good people around me, propping me up with encouragement, guidance and prayer, I began to look for ways to regather and rebuild my life.

I listened to many a Robcast podcast and felt a strong connection to the teachings of Alexandra Shaia, Peter Rollins, Brene Brown and especially Father Richard Rohr. I found this excerpt helpful:

“Death is not just physical dying, but going to the full depth of things, hitting the bottom, beyond where you are in control. And in that sense, we all probably go through many deaths in our lifetime. These deaths to the small self are tipping points, opportunities to choose transformation. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people turn bitter and look for someone to blame. So their death is indeed death for them, because they close down to growth and new life. But if you do choose to walk through the depths—even the depths of your own sin and mistakes—you will come out the other side, knowing you’ve been taken there by a Source larger than yourself. Surely this is what it means to be saved. Being saved doesn’t mean that you are any better than anyone else. It means you’ve allowed and accepted the mystery of transformation, which is always pure gift.”

So I decided to trust that Love, that God was moving through my necessary season, I decided to trust that God was indeed with me and all that love that I wanted to give, was now being turned toward myself. That season helped me to become more open to love, that focus was not sole on romantic notions of love, but that there was love all around me. I felt lead to bury particular scriptures into my wound. Scriptures like Psalm 23 that speaks of the journey of the soul and Gods unwavering commitment to us and 1 Corinthians 13, commonly heard at weddings but I believed this was outlining a modality of being.

I wrote a poem that sums up my journey and my thoughts on Love. 

A Love poem to Love

 You are the epitome of humility

Always ready to apologise first

Passion wishes to arrive where you reside

That’s why it has all this energy laced with excitement

All to carry and hurry whomever passion embodies

To loves’ abode

A place of wanting or needing for nothing

You are how I want to see the world

Though sometimes my eyes gush pregnant with caring too much

A space of continual nurturing and birthing,

And dying

From what I’ve observed in movies

Labour looks painful

But so does death and

Yet you make space for it all

Laughter, silent weeping, passion, stillness

And sometime to happen all at the same time,

I sometimes hate how uncomfortable you are,

You never seem satisfied to leave me as I am

But to connect the trickle of myself to the bigger, broader, wider me-ness, us-ness, that is just outside of my static, lonely island existence

somehow I get caught up in your flow

I hear your enticing whisper and grab a hold of your thread and follow

Through the dark woods

Where shadow and haunting

Seem to be no where and feel everywhere

Following the thread past rage

And blame

through incessant bargaining and if only’s

Following the thread

You are that thread

Love, you are what it means to be alive.

Dietrich

Clint Gibson