This is the fifth in a series from Making Love To God, my memoir of Divine Union and contemporary spiritual relationship. The series began on July 29, 2008, with the Introduction and Chapter One, and will continue through completion. You may resonate with the material more powerfully if you follow it in order; all posts are categorized in the Making Love To God category in the sidebar to your right. May we all find the courage to strip away anything that separates ourselves from our own Divinity.
Author’s Note: I have relied on the words God, Goddess, Creation, Divine, Jesus, and Beloved to represent energy that is inherently indefinable. Interpretation lies with the reader.
The images in this post are by fantasy artist Timothy Lantz, whose amazing work can be found here at www.stygiandarkness.com.
from Making Love To God
by Rachel Snyder
Something to know about deep spiritual love is this: As high as your bliss takes you, you will be plunged into the depths in equal measure. It will not be a permanent state, although it may seem interminable. You will be hurled from pole to pole until you wash yourself clean of any residual belief that you are unworthy of entering into holy partnership with God and another human who, like you, is the perfect reflection of Creation.
Do not expect to wake up one day and find that while you slept, you were joined in a holy matrimonial triad. It can happen that quickly, yet you must first awaken. You must break the spell of enchantment that has convinced you that your beloved is not God, never could be, and in fact is no more than a monster sent to torture your bleeding heart.
Of course, you believe the same hypnotic suggestion about yourself.
As is true in all awakenings, you must first traverse the treacherous ground within. This journey is not for the faint-at-heart, yet it is worth every step.
If ecstatic Divine Union is what you seek, you will rail with all your might against any suggestion that you are to settle for less. You will storm and rage and conjure up every imaginable beast to thwart the sentence you feel has been thrust upon you. On a true path toward spiritual marriage, you will meet and master these inner demons one after another, emboldened by the unceasing beating of a shared heart. Spring will follow winter, as it has for all time.
If, however, you are playing relationship games destined to end in stalemate, your ranting will cycle endlessly as the beasts circle about and tap you on the shoulder again and again. God may watch from afar, yet Divinity does not wait for you at the altar.
“There are no good men out there,” you wail. “There are no good women.”
Of course, you are wrong.
Your task is to recognize the nature of the beast. To decide for yourself what is the battle and what is the war. Which risks you will take in the name of love and which you will turn from in fear. Your most effective weapon is always the truth that you carry within.
Before I could acknowledge my beloved as a pure reflection of God, I had to obliterate the possibility that he was anything but Holy Creation. I had to call up every possible facet of his unholiness, real or imagined, face it head-on without flinching, allow myself to be horrified by the shadow and darkness I saw before me, and curse Creation for the whole wretched mess.
I invited every beast known and unknown to the party. On more than one occasion, I fancied myself hanging from the cross, burning flesh dripping onto the ground below. I took seriously my walk through the valley of darkness — certain that it would lead to final and complete extermination of this unending nightmare.
From my perspective, there was not enough room in Hell for the failings of this man.
I did not yet know that my own failings more than filled every nook and crevice.
Finally empty, I sent him on his way once and for all. I had no more to give, no more perspectives to share, no more dances to dance. Enough! I had reached my end and found no argument from him. Our tears silently fell; our aching for peace howled.
Interior shadows and demons have the power to bring down love that rests on shaky ground; love rooted in Creation will hold fast through the most violent storms. Neither your intellect nor your sheer will can carry you through. Here, love is won only when you demonstrate the raw courage to give up the very love you so long to attain. The sole path to victory is through surrender.
Find a tree and gently lash your love to it. There, in the arms of the Goddess, love will remain safe and whole, while you joust and spar until the bloody battleground is cleared of the remains of human frailty and fear.
When you return, the astonishing force and resiliency of the opening heart will bring you to your knees.
(next installment: The Dark Night)