For the last several months, I have been ending my yoga classes with– “…and on this journey, please, choose love.”
Just like many of the words I say, it takes a transition period for them to live, and I don’t believe it’s hypocritical. I believe that there is sometimes a gestation period between what we say and how we live and often this period of time is seen as passive. It’s a necessary time frame. It’s a place of reflection and, many times, fear.
Fear of the unknown, of beliefs and all to often a fear to take action. It often looks like and feels like a wavering, a slow rocking back and forth between the world where words and actions dance in a subtle and safe sway. It’s a space of knowing and doing, of feeling and questioning and of loving and fearing. Until that moment…
It’s a moment both David Whyte and Mary Oliver speak of. In Whyte’s poem ‘The True Love’ he writes:
Because finally after all this struggle and all these years you don’t want to anymore you’ve simply had enough of drowning and you want to live and you want to love and you will walk across any territory and any darkness however fluid and however dangerous to take the one hand you know belongs in yours. And, in the journey oliver writes about the courage it takes to love ourself– there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do — determined to save the only life you could save.
What does it mean to choose love? It means to be still enough, patient enough to listen to the voice of your heart. To heed its whispering words, to compassionately breathe through the uncomfortable moments of transition and fear. To walk across darkness and save ourselves with a fierce and actionable love we can only find from within.
To land in the knowing that love isn’t what we do- it’s who we are.