The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn…

Art by Kelly Louise Judd
Art by Kelly Louise Judd

Last Words

It is the last day of 2014.

Last day, last hours, last thoughts, last dreams.

What roads open before me? What burdens can I release? What have I learned during this harrowing, difficult, heart-wrenching, expansive, transformative year?

I woke up with Nat King Cole’s voice running through my head, singing “Nature Boy.”

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far
Very far, over land and sea

A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he…

And then one day, a magic day
He passed my way, and while we spoke
Of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return” (Words and Music by Eden Ahbez)

My dog slept peacefully near me, tucked in between the pillows at the head of the bed. My little black beast-cat, Elvis, snuggled next to my chest, purring in my left ear. Like a mantra from a distant shore, I awakened awash in those words: “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Trial by Fire

Love. Seems like such a simple word/concept/emotion, right?

Yet, we expect it to be difficult. We expect it will rub us raw; and it does, it often does. But it also gifts us by showing us the ephemeral nature of life. Showing us what we lose by not embracing it, in all its messy glory.

How do we become willing to risk real love? How do we learn to navigate the tender, candid, rank, frightening hollows of the human heart?

We spend our lives learning its curves and fast balls. We aim to unravel its mysteries.

Sometimes we have a slight hint of what it extracts from us. Sometimes not.

Turns out, the purpose of our lives isn’t to make money or scale mountains. In fact, if we don’t bother to stretch our soul skins by risking love, all that material stuff is, basically, worthless. Worthless in the face of not truly seeing another person, and being seen in return. Worthless because love is the only energetic currency we carry from life to life.

No amount of money can rescue you from the empty, lovelessness of your life. No amount of accomplishment will assuage your fears or wipe away your tears as you languish in your deathbed, if you haven’t learned to give your heart.

Love is why we are here.

New Beginnings

So. We are closing out this year, and ringing in the next. On the ledger of life, have we written more love or more loss on the books?

If our lives aren’t balancing out, then perhaps we need to reconsider our priorities.

Perhaps we need to cross off anything that leaves us heart sick, or gives us heartburn, or results in heart break.

Perhaps what we take to heart should be worthy of our affection and attention.

Perhaps what we focus on should enlarge us, expand us, enliven us.

As for me, I’m done with anyone and anything that doesn’t love me in return; be it a relationship, a job, or a location.

It’s time to hang my hat in the luminous halls of worthiness and joy. It’s time to kick back and bask in some juicy love and affection. I know my spirit family. They’ve been by my side for a while now. So I don’t need to search for those I love or those who love me. We’re already gathered. We’re already close.

May we bake around a heart fire so bright it burns our eyes. May we love ourselves enough to let anything that no longer serves our highest good, go. May we risk it all to love this life we are given, no matter how hard that may be.

May we love as though we’ve never been hurt.

Happy New Year

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.

~ T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

Wishing you all a joyous and unforgettable 2015.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and liking my posts this past year. I appreciate every single one of you (and all 132 countries where my work is read). XOXOX


© 2014  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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