Tired of Speaking Sweetly
Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.
If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.
Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth
That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,
Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.
God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.
The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.
But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.
–Hafiz, Sufi poet (translation by Daniel Ladinsky)
I feel sometimes like I am a pickaxe of the Gods. I have been out and about and doing the Gods’ work (either consciously or unconsciously) long enough to know that I have two main uses to which They like to put me. Two main patterns have emerged, regardless of group or situation or locale. If I come cannonballing into your life–sailing with seemingly no effort over barriers you’ve long held , slipping into places no one has been to in decades–know that it can go one of two ways. Either I am a gift of supreme love, or I am a wrecking ball. And, a lot of the times, I don’t know which one it is until after the Rubicon has been crossed.
If I am a gift of love, you will receive from me complete acceptance. Understanding. Support. Lack of any criticism or judgement. I hold space for you as you cry, but I never tell you where to go or what to do next. I act as the voice of a God, and as His or Her witness. I verify that you are indeed human; are accepted and loved; have a valid voice, message, and place in this world; and, above all, are not crazy.
If I am a wrecking ball–honestly, I do the same thing. I just do it with a reeeally big flashlight at my side and with a lot less patience. (Lokeans, I know you feel me here.) This approach is sometimes needful and necessary. It is the fire the kills the undergrowth but leaves the strongest trees still standing, and makes the now-cleared earth ripe for new growth. And it sucks, and is painful for all concerned, and is not necessarily beneficial in the long run.
But I do it, because sometimes, the Gods are sick of speaking sweetly.