Surprised By Joy

It’s 12:36 in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m sitting at my desktop computer typing this because it’s been too long since I’ve worked on this blog and my restless legs syndrome is keeping me awake. In the room here with me, watching a video on his laptop computer, is John, my new friend and lover.

It has been so long since I had been able to open my heart to any kind of intimacy that when I met John it was like a bolt from the blue. Only a week before we met, I told an acquaintance quite seriously that I knew for a fact that I would never have a partner again in this life. I was too screwed up, too fat, too old, and too arthritic for any gay man to find me attractive. Tonight, here is John, broad shouldered and hairy with a child’s huge eyes and the beard of a conquistador, smart, funny, sweet John, who finds me beautiful and makes my skin sing when he touches me.

beautiful_coupleSome spiritual experiences not too long ago gave me visions of divine Love and made me realize that only this eternal Love is enough to fill the holes in my heart, the holes I have been attempting to fill for years with food, religion, overwork, and counseling. So I decided to make seeking connection with this Love my focus from now on. I asked my Greater Self to open my heart fully to all the love available, and now here is John, astonishingly, improbably, fond of me and I of him.

Of course I know nothing lasts forever in physical reality. Forms change, constantly and inevitably. But divine Love does not. No matter whom you have loved and lost, no matter how empty your heart feels due to past pain and loss, no matter how many loved ones have been swept from your embrace by time or illness or disaffection or death, divine Love will always be there, ready to fill the open heart again. Openheartedness is not for sissies. It can hurt a lot. But it also makes joy possible. Ask for it. Call it up from within you. Take the risk. For no matter what happens, ultimately you and I and everyone is safe.

The ex-wife of a friend of mine came up with this variation on a familiar nursery song. I often imagine my Greater Self, my divine Lover, singing it to me when I am scared and sad:

Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock;

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,

And I’ll be there to catch you, cradle and all.

— Copyright 2014 Rand B. Lee.

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