If you seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, then it is better that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all your laughter, and weep, but not all your tears. Kahil Gibran
It’s the new year and, on cue, the new start, create-an-abundant-life gurus are proliferating our consciousness with the all-it-takes four steps, ten principles, to manifesting a life of unbridled happiness. “Engage the innate law of attraction and you will claim your birthright to unmitigated joy!” they say. It makes me smile for I do so get it! Those of you who know me have heard my long history of producing with the law of attraction – from the money for my daughter’s last semester in college to finding my little green Subaru, no more than $200 a month please, to discovering my it-just-doesn’t-exist office on the Oval leading me to Dick the barber and the subsequent series of miraculous events with the Mother Teresa Rosary.
Still, none of the fun and satisfaction that naturally comes with such manifesting can compare with the ever-deeper joy, yes joy, found in the seldom visited, largely unknown, dark, still and quiet, caverns of the heart. For the only guide there, indeed, the only one capable enough, is death, tragedy and deep sorrow. And, on top of that, we know we’re going to be unceremoniously carved and hollowed out and left bare on love’s threshing-floor. It is the ultimate answer not to, “What do you want?” the abundance gurus would have us ask, but, rather to, “What is it you most do not want?” Yet, it is here, right here, on love’s threshing-floor that I have found the most unspeakable blessing and tasted the deepest love I’ve ever known.
The requisite unforeseen events of 2018 brought me here where each season is indeed, completely, a perfect blend of laughter and weeping for in the deep caverns of the heart, on love’s threshing-floor, they become one and the same. Inseparable. Weeping weighted heavily on my oh-please-help-me-to-survive-this journey to my TED talk and yet laughter infused the final delivery. Weeping came with sitting, over and over again, on a hospital bed with my beautiful daughter, Lexie, who was trying to heal from Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension disease. And, still, as if weeping were not quite done with me yet, there came the suicide of my stepson, Ross, in November.
Yet, laid bare right here on love’s threshing-floor, I notice, ever more clearly, that tender picture I took of my beautiful daughter, with that sweet smile, sitting at the piano with my granddaughter Luna at Thanksgiving. It is all, no, so much more than I could ever need. Seeing her bouncing back into life stirs a place so deep in my heart I can hardly breathe, not wanting to miss one precious moment for, now, the fear of so-called death has become infused with love. No separation.
Looking at my sweet husband, so full of sorrow remembering Ross, I find myself grateful to just sit close, each moment, for one more day. Sometimes, I wake in the night, close my eyes, and just listen to him breathe. During the day, I can cry in some not so very convenient places just remembering a sweet time we’ve had. It’s okay. Those who’ve been on love’s threshing-floor will immediately recognize and understand. And, when it all becomes too much, I yearn to rest my head against his scratchy wool shirt, my most favorite place. Right there, I can feel his warmth, hear his heartbeat, and with his arms around me know my only home. This man I have loved forever. So-called death may claim his spirit for a while, but my love asks for nothing more than to be his refuge. It’s all I could ever want. No, so much more.
On love’s threshing-floor, all of what or whom I may have thought myself or life to be is broken open. The veil has dropped. The shutters have been flung open and I have found myself no longer able, much less desiring, to see past this very moment, these very people right here in front me, these very never-to-come-again-moments-filled-with-all-the-love-I-could-ever-imagine. The moments that, in the end, make up our lives – and are, in the end, all our lives are made of. And each one is more than enough. So much more.
Manifesting my little green Subaru – just a fun-filled moment.
Being laid bare on love’s threshing-floor – each moment an eternity.
6 responses to “Love’s Threshing-Floor”
Stephanie, your writing is so pure and intentional. I almost threw myself to the floor on reading this latest blog. Your gift is to capture the flavor of the heart, mix it with love and share the sweetness of it with the rest of us.
Thank you for your kind words Fran…I very much appreciate them…looking forward to connecting soon…
A teacher of mine in the past (you) laid open the idea of equanimity. My teacher stood with her hands open and receptive in the middle of her body. She then proceeded to turn away from the center saying to this effect, “if you turn to face only the good in life, then you don’t acknowledge the pain.” Turning in the other direction, “If you look only to the bad, you turn your back on all the good.” In equanimity, or in each centered moment which you so passionately speak of, lies the bittersweet lesson I was taught long ago. In each moment is it All. It is another heartening lesson to walk beside you through pain and grief and still feel the touch of Light and Love.
And how I cherish your walking beside me my dearest Ahjan as you have for so many years now…I love you…
Thank you for this very tender, and beautiful piece. Your wonderful writing is a balm to my soul and an inspiration to continue my daily walk, step by step, on the path of life.
You are a blessing.
Dearest Carolyn, you are a true blessing as well and I know I speak for all when I say we are so very grateful to have you a part of our Tree of Life community…best love to you:)