Choose Love (Even When It Sucks)

24 Comments »

Love is worth it. Even if it breaks your heart. Anything that makes more space inside is worth the risk. 

I was reading journalist Laurie Penny this morning. She spent the night at a friend’s apartment because of a bomb threat. Not a bomb threat to her building, but to herself, personally. I watched last night on Twitter as this went down. Many people want to shut her up. All the time. She writes of her need to keep writing, even in the midst of the exhaustion of constant bullying.

I would posit this: writing, for her, is like love. She needs it. It fills her. It feeds her and is part of her. What she writes is also larger than her, and that is important too. What she writes is a message sent out into the world.  And the consequences of writing, it seems, can sometimes break her heart.

Love is – or can be – in everything we do. Love is with us in the midst of the onslaught of misogyny and hatred. Love is with us in the midst of racism, injustice, and murder. Love is with us if we let it. Love is what helps us to keep choosing our lives. 

When you feel worn out, or pummeled, or sad, or angry, or not heard, I hope that you remember to keep choosing for the sake of love. When you feel inspired, or filled up, or well seen, or joyous, I hope that you remember to keep choosing for the sake of love.

When we choose for love (not pats on the head, not cookies, not gold stars) we are strengthened for a future we can’t know. When we choose for love, we can choose rightly, even if we turn out to be “wrong”. When we choose for love, the choice is always worth the risk. We learn something. We open. We are connected. We are changed.

We can kindle hope when all else fails us, for we have chosen for love’s sake, and for our own. And what we do then, we are choosing for the world.

24 Responses to “Choose Love (Even When It Sucks)”

  1. Cathie Rayes

    I’ve lived by that for a long time, “Love is always worth the risk.” It hurts sometimes, and when I know in advance it’s going to hurt I drag my feet for sure… but in the end I always choose love because it’s always worth the risk.

    Reply
      • Cathie Rayes

        Experience. *rueful grin*

        There have been plenty of times my heart’s been broken and a couple times I almost died, several more times I surely wanted to die… but each and every time I ended up with a greater capacity to love, as if in the breaking my heart somehow grew so that it always came back together larger than before. What helps me be brave enough to love when I know it’s a risk is that I HAVE healed every time my heart’s been broken, even when it’s been shattered so badly I no longer wanted to live–I HAVE healed even from that. So no matter what happens now, I know that I will heal. It might take a while, but I am strong and resourceful; I can find Allies and friends who will help me.

        I dragged my feet pretty hard on loving this last time and with good reason. My love was great enough to have me doing some intense healing work. The consequences included a couple months’ worth of severe psychic attacks (that part was completely unexpected! the attacks were from someone else) as well as the loss from my life of the person I loved, and if I had known just how risky it was to love in that instance, believe me, I would have run for the hills. But I didn’t know, so I forged bravely forward… let us invoke fools and angels, yes? *wry smile*

        I have to say that in the process of doing the healing work and then enduring the psychic attacks, I learned an enormous amount, developed my own psychic skills much faster than I otherwise could have, got rid of a psychic drain, and dealt with the consequences of a couple past lives that ended badly. And while I wasn’t able to say this before the psychic attacks ended, I can honestly say it now: love was worth the risk, even this time. I have my grieving to do, but it was worth the risk.

        Love is always worth the risk.

        Reply
        • Fourge

          Cathie, you sound a lot like me. My mother once got a reading done by a very talented Tarot reader who told my mother that I would suffer a lot of heartache in my life because I love so strongly and so deeply. I’ll tell you this much: futures may not be written in stone, but that reader was dead on!
          I do tend to love strongly and deeply, wearing my heart on my sleeve and being hurt quite often, by lovers and others alike. It’s even built some separation-anxiety complex within me due to it. Or maybe it happened the other way around. Feeling abandoned, heart stabbed, and down with depression, yes even I don’t feel like living anymore. And yet with some grace, I keep making it through, and yes, every time I always heal and am stronger than before. And the flow of love becomes a stronger current within me, love and compassion, the deep understanding. Every time. Love is worth it. Every time. Not indifference. Love. I’m learning this.
          Love is a great healer and connector. Love may break us down, but it always builds us up. I shouldn’t say “us”, though; this is something I’ve noticed personally. Separation for the sake of (re)union.

          Reply
          • Cathie Rayes

            Fourge, I think that wasn’t so much a reading about your future as about the kind of person you are–Empath. You described an Empath’s life to a T. I wonder if maybe you are very much like me, an Empath Healer? Does the loving always seem to serve a purpose, do the people you love walk on free and healed no matter what happens to you?

            Reply
            • Thorn

              This is such a great conversation. Thank you both for sharing so deeply.

              Yes, empaths often find themselves in these sorts of situations. Figuring that out, and training, really helps!

              I’m glad you both think Love is worth the risk even with the pain involved.

              I’m also glad to hear both of you talk about gaining strength. May you continue to be blessed with strength, resilience, and flow.

              Reply
            • Fourge

              Thank you, Thorn. And thank you for providing the material for this conversation and the sharing to be had.

              To answer your questions, Cathie, yes; I had an inkling in my younger years of my Craft study that I might be Empathic. I consciously dropped the idea, though it’s always stayed in the back of my mind. Then a couple weeks ago, I was listening to an older Elemental Castings podcast on Water and you, Thorn, and a certain young man whose name I can’t remember at this moment were on. The conversation was about emotion and its ties to psychic abilities. There was something in the conversation that just dropped a notion in my mind, something that deep inside was making sense. And so, I did a little bit of online research, which lead me to believe that I may be Clairsentient, which some people believe is a looser or broader form of psychic Empathy, some believing it’s a less evolved form. And so, that’s the theory I’ve been trying out for these past couple weeks.
              In my teens, I wanted to do healing work with animals as a zoological veterinarian. But years later, I started being more disciplined in spiritual practice and grew a compassion for humankind, replacing the hatred and pity I had for it. (Again here, love entered where it wasn’t flowing before.) So now my goals are to work with humankind, to heal humankind back into a place of love instead of indifference. I used to help people whilst sacrificing my own needs. Then I became bitter in my arrogance, selective of whom I helped. Now I’m trying to come into a balance of doing service in the name of love.

              Another thing I want to add to this (in cahoots with Thorn’s last blog post, “To Honor Tailtiu, To Honor Life”) is that it seems as though sometimes love breaks us down so that not only do we come back together, but that we come back stronger, more integrated, and with more space in which to work with love. There’s a scientific theory in which the “Big Bang” has happened numerous times. If we think of the Universe, the Great Zero, the All, the Great Spirit, God Hirself in Hir sacred orgasm, perhaps for whatever reason, she keeps individualizing Hir own being (in my theory) for the sake of coming back together in a stronger form of love. So when we come into union with something, and things start coming down all around us, Hell having broken loose, complexes galore, when we feel we’re being ripped apart, and then miraculously we pull our self back together again . . . to me, that’s God Hirself at work through us, us as Hir. Love in the macrocosm, love in the microcosm, breaking down, then coming back together, stronger, braver, deeper, and more integrated.

              Reply
          • Cathie Rayes

            Thank you for reminding me how to reply when the buttons run out, Fourge. *sheepish smile*

            I remember very vividly from my childhood a Star trek episode where Jim was nearly dead, and the Empath managed to save him by taking on all his physical symptoms. Bones was horrified as she slowly and painfully died, but her teacher assured him she would live, that this was the way Empaths worked. It was the only info I had on Empaths for a couple decades and you can imagine the approach/avoidance dance I did around THAT idea! Sheesh. But by my forties I had finally come to understand that Empaths really *don’t* work that way. It’s not about healing physical wounds, it’s about emotions. What I heal, what I have always healed even when I didn’t know I was doing so, is broken hearts. And for me, it’s in the healing of broken hearts that I have come to understand that the Star Trek writers got it half-right. The Empath had to fall in love with Jim so that she could have the courage to heal him when he was dying. I always have to invest my heart in someone to have the courage to heal their broken hearts.

            But once they’re healed, they leave–and that’s when I break, every time; that’s when my own heart shatters, no matter what part they held in my life.

            I had thought I was done with this pattern. Once I recognized that people were being shepherded in so I could heal them, that they weren’t actually meant to be my romantic or life partners–that I was a tool being used to heal them–I put my foot down and said most emphatically, “No More!” It was then I found my true partner. But the need is so huge that I simply cannot stop working. People continue to come in and out of my life simply because they need what I give. I recognize now that I am being used as a tool to heal people and I know they aren’t going to stay in my life, not even as friends. My heart still breaks, because it still takes that investment, that love, to heal even friends… and they still don’t stay.

            I used to worry a LOT about this. I used to think there was something wrong with me psychologically because everyone else seemed to have friends who stayed from childhood all through their lives, and here I was, loving and loyal and utterly friendless. But I’ve come to understand that we each have our own roles in life, and they vary from lifetime to lifetime. In this lifetime, I asked most sincerely and unceasingly from childhood through adulthood to be a Healer of as many people as possible–and yanno, it’s logical that those who are healed have to go in order to leave space for those who will come. Their going is not by my doing, ever, and a few have stayed for several years now (how I cherish them!), but most have gone.

            I suspect that people’s Higher Selves or Gods or Guides or whatever simply scoop them on their way, as if I am a still pool in the heart of the river of life, and the current eventually catches them all and carries them back into the flow of their own lives. This is the life I asked for, although I had no clue it would be like this; it is still what I ask for despite the consequences to my heart. The more love I can send into the current, the healthier the river will be, and the easier for those who swim it toward their own destinies. May love and healing continue to spread through the flow, from all of us to each other so that someday we are all whole.

            Reply
            • Fourge

              “…as if I am a still pool in the heart of the river of life, and the current eventually catches them all and carries them back into the flow of their own lives.”
              Cathie, that picture is actually in the form of what I dedicated one of my Witch cups for: for giving abundantly, whilst also being given so that I can give more. I glass-etched my light-blue tinted drinking goblet with a rim pattern. Picture circles linked by semi-thick lines, representing pools of water flowing into one another by way of the rivers of liquid life-giving. Feeding into one another, a circle of replenishing life, nurtured by love, immortal cycle of give and be given, living up the ritual toast, “May you never thirst!”
              I fall in love every day. Often, that’s what keeps me going. When I’m in that “ripped-apart” end of the spectrum of the separation, the breakdown of love, it’s the simple things around me that are like Love whispering sweetly to me, “Hey, I’m still here. So do not fear me abandoning you.”

              The way you put it was very beautiful to read. As Healer’s, we do our service to the world. We do our service to humans in that world, and like any service, people come to us for the help needed in their lives, then go on their merry little ways. I’m more accepting of people I don’t know leaving me. I remain thankful that we had a short time to share lives and move on myself. It’s when I so desire these people whom I’ve fallen in love with that I want to stay, and having to fall in love with the people we help heal, cherishing them and all their being, it’s so much harder to let them go. Like you, I know it’s necessary. But necessary doesn’t mean easy or even simple. I quote myself from a year ago to a former lover: “Love isn’t to be caged; it is wild and should roam free.”

              Reply
            • Cathie Rayes

              Ah. You truly are like me, then. You truly do understand. May you be blessed; may you never thirst.

              Reply
  2. Dee

    Thank you for putting it so beautifully. When the world feels too much, too dark, too hopeless, this is what keeps me going – choosing to live with love and hope.

    Reply
  3. Cathie Rayes

    You’re welcome Thorn. (We seem to have run out of reply buttons on the above thread. *smiling*) Thank you for the blessing.

    Reply
  4. Pagan Radio Network Pagan Voices: T. Thorn Coyle, Liz Williams, Gus DiZerega, and More! | Pagan Radio Network

    […] “Love is – or can be – in everything we do. Love is with us in the midst of the onslaught of misogyny and hatred. Love is with us in the midst of racism, injustice, and murder. Love is with us if we let it. Love is what helps us to keep choosing our lives. When you feel worn out, or pummeled, or sad, or angry, or not heard, I hope that you remember to keep choosing for the sake of love. When you feel inspired, or filled up, or well seen, or joyous, I hope that you remember to keep choosing for the sake of love. When we choose for love (not pats on the head, not cookies, not gold stars) we are strengthened for a future we can’t know. When we choose for love, we can choose rightly, even if we turn out to be “wrong”. When we choose for love, the choice is always worth the risk. We learn something. We open. We are connected. We are changed. We can kindle hope when all else fails us, for we have chosen for love’s sake, and for our own. And what we do then, we are choosing for the world.” – T. Thorn Coyle, on choosing love, even when it sucks. […]

    Reply
  5. Moira

    Hi,

    thank you for this thread and your deep thoughts.

    I have conciously dedicated my life to the path of love eighteen years ago.

    Some of the lessons that I’ve learned so far:

    Decisions that are made in a condition of love lead to a very different kind of life than decisions made from a condition of competition, insecurity and fear.

    My capacity to love grows if I strive to make space in my life for ‘all I love’ instead of choosing one thing I love at put it above the other.

    Hearbreaks happen when egoism becomes stronger than love – it destroys relationships, families and communities.

    Our Western societies are based on hierarchies and egoism, therefore it is so difficult to walk the path of love.

    Under these circumstances heartbreaks are not the ‘personal human error’ of those who love. They are caused by insecure people who provide a space in themselves, where egoism can ‘pop in’.

    To fall, get up and start again is the only way to heal individually and collectively.

    Meanwhile I can trust my intuition. It knows from the beginning of a relationship if this person accompanies my life for a certain time or the rest of it.

    Of course there are ups and downs in these relationships, but there is a deep care and support for eachother – even if they change from lover to friend or vice versa.

    These people work together for larger goals than their current likes and dislikes.

    We are connected through love and – no matter how hard the circumstances might be – it will always prevail.

    Blessed be!

    With love, * Moira

    Reply
    • Moira

      And on yours too **************************

      By the way: Do you know Bell Hooks ‘All about love’? She describes ‘ultimate love’ as care for the spiritual well-being of others…

      Moira

      Reply
  6. Moira

    Dear Fourge, Cathy and all,

    the works of Elaine Aron (e.g. ‘The highly sensitive Person’) might be interesting for you.

    This concept has helped me a lot to understand what is going on with me and my close friends. It has also become a treasurebox concerning the work with my clients.

    Love, * Moira

    Reply
    • Fourge

      Thank you for that link, Moira. It never dawned upon me that science may have had a lead on emotionally-inclined Psychic abilities. I think I’ve been on her site once before, probably when I was a teenager and had an inkling about my ability. The section on Highly Sensitive People in love relationships is very interesting. It actually relates very closely to how most of my relationships of all kinds has been like. Or rather, how I’ve worked within them. I like looking at my sesnsiticity, especially towards love, through a scientific perspective. Again, thank you for this very much, Moira!

      Reply
    • Cathie Rayes

      Hi Moira,
      I’ve read a couple of her books and found them truly supportive. her book about HSP in the workplace really opened my eyes by showing me that it wasn’t *me* who was always wrong, but the job and the other people’s expectations of me. I found different work and things are much better now.

      Reply

Leave a Reply