Seeking the Self | by Holly Hudley

Paul, my dear fried Paul: We need to talk about this one. Love, you say, is not self seeking. But it is exactly this. 

If I presuppose that love is the nature of the universe and of God, and that we are the physical manifestation of the universe becoming conscious of itself, then that nature of Love is also in us. And in fact, the only way to know this love that resides in the very core of our being is to seek it.

Richard Rohr writes that the nature of God is essentially good, and that our nature is essentially good if we are in fact made in that image. We’ve heard Bill and others make the claim that God is not this “out there” phenomenon that we have to get to. Rather, God is right here, among us and inside us. In an evolutionary view, human beings are evident of expanding consciousness which is in a state of co-evolution with the whole sacred universe. With each movement around the sun, the universe expands and lends some of that to us. We are not simply swimming around the same fishbowl year in and year out! There is, Rohr says, a little piece of God that wants to be known in all of us. 

Taking a cosmological view, it’s widely accepted and proven that we are made of the same elements as the stars. As stars die, turn to dust, and filter into the ether, that dust becomes part of us. They are our ancestors. Myths throughout human history speak of humans using the stars to navigate, to create stories, to place our bodies inside of a wider context. We use high powered telescopes to observe them, know them, understand them. It’s easy, I imagine, to feel small in the vastness of the star studded sky, and it is awe striking to let that also create in us a sense of belonging. As we look up into the heavens, we are, essentially, seeking ourselves and our origins. To love the stars, to discover them, is to love ourselves.

If we refuse to seek God in us, or Love in us, then we will never - not ever - be able to extend it wholly to or see it in others. Living without shared love is a lonely kind of deprivation. It starts by looking inside and being open to believing that we are not only a vessel for love, but a conduit for it as well. Stepping into our nature, and what I believe is the nature of the universe, can transform us on an individual and collective level. What I know for sure is that no social change has begun without relationship, without being willing to see the good in another, without being willing to fall in love just a little bit.  Most of us know that love is complex and often messy but It. Is. Worth it.

“Life,” Brian Swimme says, “is not possible without vast, mysterious, and ongoing transformation.” And this transformation is not possible without giving into the gravitational pull of the desire to know and be known. 

A meditation practice I have come to rely on is one in which I visualize the little girl parts of me that felt wounded, hurt, or alone. I imagine holding her, telling her she is loved, that she is worthy of love and just beautiful the way she is. Funny thing is that those little girl bits are still in me. They are part of me. As I seek them, I am seeking me. And at 42, when I sometimes still feel wounded, hurt, or alone, I imagine my older, wiser, time worn self placing her hand upon my cheek saying, “You’re going to be just fine.” She too is part of me. Calling upon her is seeking love within me to make itself known. 

So you see: Love is self seeking.