The search for enlightenment, fulfillment, happiness, even success- it is all inspired by one driving need: the longing for love. The most potent motivator of all is the longing for Divine Love, for this is the source of all other loves.
Love exists. She is never not present although her life-giving presence is rarely perceived, much in the same way as we breathe in air moment to moment barely noticing the gift of life it sustains.
Nothing exists without Love. She is the secret Heart of all. These are not just words. They are an introduction to an Invitation created when Time began. To what are we invited? To know that we are already a measure of Love’s Timeless Life . . . if we will only agree to learn the lessons she has prepared for us, beginning with this:
Love knows whom She will, and none may come to know her treasures without Her decision to divulge them. Yet, though Love may not be coerced to bestow her Grace upon a person – regardless of even the most dedicated efforts – She does have one secret faintness: Love longs to be loved, so She loves to be courted. And it is because of this most unique feature that the universe itself (that She alone unifies) literally lines up for anyone who will embrace it for Her sake, gently guiding this same person to the realm of Her timeless Life.
Now in everyone is sown – into the center of his or her soul – some love. Of this we may be certain, even though many people today seem counter-testimony to this Truth. Nevertheless, as obscured as Love’s presence may be in someone we know or – and more to the point – as dim as She may shine within us from time to time – Love is there.
Love is that latent interior “hunger” we have to know whatever it is that we long to know. Love understands that whatever we will agree to draw near to ensures – given time – that we will come to know it; and then, transformed by Her magic through a marriage of a sort, we become as one with what was once unknown to us.
Don’t think this too strange an idea. The hidden Principle of Love is that only through Her do we find in the object of our affection something of ourselves: that proverbial missing piece of the perennially empty heart.
The beauty of Love is that She is already within everything; which means that there is nothing that we are drawn to know by Love’s invitation that won’t grant us for our journey itself the gift of a greater relationship with Love. Now here is what these last few ideas have been leading up to:
If we want to receive love we have to give it. What this means is that we must journey to Her before She will consent to be known. This is the courtship Love requires of those who long to possess Her. Of course it’s mysterious, but who doesn’t love a mystery!
Now, in far more practical terms, here are some ideas how to begin this journey of the Heart:
First, give your love to something. Do something with your love. Find something you love and then set out to make it your own. Never mind if you don’t have any one love for any one thing in this life. Forget the whole idea of love for the moment and ask yourself: “To what am I drawn? What is it that interests me?”
Whatever impressions you may feel from this sincere inquiry are the invisible magnetic impulses of a secret Heart, a pulse of Love that has been buried in you beneath layers – perhaps lifetimes – of misdirection. That is why you must take the next few instructions to heart.
Never mind if you are attracted to something but feel unable to start because you are afraid of failing in your quest. Be assured of this: Whatever it may be that you are drawn to know – whether it is to learn a new skill, grow a flower garden, develop an artistic skill, to help others, design clothes or cars, or set out towards a deeper interior life whose center is Love Herself – I tell you the only thing that matters is that you just start!
You can’t know this yet, but it is Love that calls you to Her side for whatever is your eventual choosing, and it is Love within you that feels this drawing. So do you know what this means? Just consider: Love will not, cannot fail Herself. It is more likely the sun would fall from the sky than for Love not to begin to shine through your nascent efforts. Your first reward will be to feel the warmth of knowing you are nearing the beginning of a whole New Life.
Forget what others may think of you for your new aim to do your heart’s desire. Disregard those whose reality is a rut! Misery wants company. Do Love’s bidding instead. Persist with your working wish and Love will grant you the company of Herself. And as you gradually draw nearer to Her side you will know that nothing anyone thinks towards you could possibly add one cubit to your stature.
Brush aside any concerns you have (for whatever the reasons) of being unable to make a “big” beginning. Just start where you are and with what you have – even if this means taking a step so small that not one person on earth notices you have just left one world and entered another. Any beginning that you will make for the sake of answering the call of your heart is the same as a beginning whose happy ending already resides right within that same initial action.
Don’t be the least concerned if you can’t seem to find the time – or the energy – to get going because of life’s seemingly endless “duties” to family or friends. Drop these punishing (and false) ideas. Listen instead to this promise that Love makes to anyone willing to draw near enough to hear Her whisper Her secret:
Do what you must to make time and you will see that the energy you need to succeed will be given to you.
Love lends her force to the entire universe, so don’t you think that if you were to ask rightly for a bit of it – for Her sake – that She would give you the measure you need? Of course She will! All you need do is just make some time, give some moments to your intended journey. Even if all you can muster to get started with is two minutes a day, just place your attention on what you want to love, and it will love you back by giving you a bit of itself.
Persist with this new Work until you see – which you will if only you will stay the course – that the love you thought you had chosen was really Love choosing you. And when at last you realize that it has always been this way, then, for you, it will always be so . . . until the end of time.
How may you be assured that all of this is True?
It is Love that tells you so.
Excerpted from Apprentice of the Heart, © 2004 by Guy Finley, Published by White Cloud Press, Ashland, OR 97520.