"Everybody hurts sometimes...
Sometimes everything is wrong...
When you think you've had too much..."
-- R. E. M.
"Everybody hurts"... isn't that the truth?
Are you aware of anyone who hasn't been crushed, in one way or another, by any or all of the happenings of life? Oh, certainly there are some folks who are very good at masking their hearts -- even from themselves... but always, always, life has a way of grabbing us by the scruff of our necks and throttling us this way and that... Sometimes, all of those crushing defeats become our self-definition: working on the Chinatown streets of Salinas for thirty years put me right in the middle of endless suffering and pain... I could tell you stories to bleach your bones -- and while you're still wearing your flesh! I, as well, was made to feel unworthy and repulsive... and lived with it for a lifetime... So these are my credentials! Now listen...
What is our great human desire? Isn't it to be happy? And following after that happiness, to dissolve into bliss? In Chinatown, most folks sort of gave up on happiness and bliss and settled for dissolving instead... But isn't happiness exactly the thing we most want? And, of course, most of us go searching for our happiness in either / both "God" and other humans: as lovers... isn't that so? In our "list" of things that induce degrees of happiness in us are beloved children, pets, favorite foods, nature, art, beauty, music, conversation, literature, and so on... But the sages and poets will boil everything down to "love"...
So how do we go about our pursuit of love? Did you catch the word "pursuit"? It is most likely that as long as we have it in our minds to "pursue" love, we're not really likely to find it -- except by happenchance -- and then that which is "found" is oftentimes likely to become a "hunkered down agreement" to rock the boat of togetherness as little as possible: existing under the same roof, but living separate lives, except insofar as maintaining the appearance of "relationship" might be required... again, this is something that I have lived... But here's the thing: we "pursue" love as an athlete pursues a victory, or an artist a painting, or a poet a poem, or any number of things... but the one thing that actually makes true loving possible is: becoming love-able!
Examine the word (with a hyphen so it can be read in different ways): love-able means "worthy" -- but everyone by the fact of being human is worthy of love -- so it is more than that... perhaps besides worthy it could mean an active intention to give and receive love? And then taking that thought just a little bit further, we can get into a radical new self-definition of "I am a lover -- worthy, able, and willing!" Now we are getting somewhere, so let's give examples of "I am a lover -- worthy, able, and willing": this "new" I automatically thinks of his lover first: this "new" I automatically thinks of her lover as worthy of frequent dates, flowers, and conversation: this "new" I automatically asks his lover, "What are your dreams?" and wants to know if he can help make them come true: this "new" I will accept no excuses and will lead her lover on a hand-holding walk, a surprise joke-a-thon, and a wild bedroom fantasy... You see, to find our bliss, none of it is really about that lonely crowd of "me, myself, and I": bliss is all about the "other"... and the wonderful thing about bliss is this: if I make myself "love-able" and give all my love away to my lover, all of it, and infinitely more, comes circling right back to the "me" who forgot about "myself"!
So, while it is true that "everybody hurts", it is even more true that "We have been created by Love, for Love, to become Love" (Simone Weil): all that we are lacking is our need to "forget" the right things, like: "me, myself, and I". And then to "remember" those simple, daily steps outside ourselves that will free us into who we really are, into who we really want to be, and into the bliss of becoming Love, with our lover and on into holy, holy, holy: the Universe is Radiant with Beauty and Consciousness: God is Alive, Magic is Afoot!
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.