Seed a Harvest of Love in the Bitter Fields of Lovelessness.
“It’s a mighty mean and a dreadful sorrow. It’s crossed the evil line today.” ~ John Prine, Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
Your best kept secret? Your desire for love!
And by the way, as an adult, this desire most often shows up in the form of your natural yearning for the love of a life partner.
Now, it isn’t that you do not talk about this with your friends or that you aren’t aware that you need love. Hell, you probably talk about and focus on your desire for a partner more than anything else. In fact, your parched palate is burning with the unmet need for the emotional water of love. Very obviously, you thirst for love with the fierce urgency of a dying soul lost in the desert for too long.
True Confession: You are actually living in a state of atrophy without it.
Your desperate, now dangerous, thirst for this passion water called Love is in the sunken lines of your drained expression. It is blatantly obvious in your increasingly flat affect, papered over by a paper tiger smile. The sad depth of your eyes tells all!
Your unmet need is longstanding. It hails from your childhood; has haunted you from crib to luxury mattress. You have chased its remedy, succumbing over and over to the wily temptations of the seducer’s lair. You have hunted for its resolution in the wild gyrations of many a nameless, faceless night.
You have even tried to lock down forever more than a time or two or five.
This pattern is now also visible for all to see in the long line of discarded, unsatisfactory, anguished, failed relationships that litter the dry, broken ground of your yesterdays. And of the ones you are sure you see in all of your tomorrows. You are now hopeless about the prospect of being loved at all.
This bitter disappointment has infected the once fertile soil of your mind. It has overtaken the power of your tongue. It has left you whimpering and waling instead of professing your dream with some serious gusto.
This need is so ancient, so entrenched, so terribly, habitually unmet, that it has worn a groove through your brain. Your neurons now fire in the pattern of your unquenched yearning over and over again, ironically, taking you further and further from the abundant oasis your poorly trained eyes can’t even see.
Anyhow, like I said, you are not suffering because you do not know about or disclose your desire for love in general terms. You disclose it compulsively whether you mean to or not. How do you think all those Don Juans marked you so easily for martyrdom?
You face a far more insidious challenge. Your real problem is a fugitive secret you do not know you are harboring. You may not even be aware of how you carry it or of how it burns inside your heart like a thorn buried deep and sharp, just like your secret.
But enough of that melancholy mess. I have kept you waiting long enough for the revelation of this treacherous secret, this epic blind spot. Anticipation does have a way of heightening the desire to know though, doesn’t it?
And I want you good and hungry for this knowledge.
So look lively! Here it comes:
Every time someone hesitates in the face of your passion for their company, you pack it away and start trying to look all nonchalant. You try to shrink it down to an acceptable size, shrink-wrap it to make sure it doesn’t escape its newly constrained circumstances, and try to match the ridiculously reduced capacity for engagement being casually pawned off as your fault by the cool, distant person in front of you.
Or you start a personal protest of epic proportions somehow managing to hide your glorious desire beneath an unholy display of distress.
Distress is desire poisoned by misunderstanding.
Hence, your best-kept secret isn’t your desire for love. It is the face of your intense, glorious passion currently masked beneath a make-believe drought.
Your best-kept secret is the gift that your overflowing, abundant desire represents and the truth of what would really saturate your thirsty heart: Mutual thirst quenched in a thousand kisses and at least as many adoring gazes.
But would you even recognize where mutual thirst resides if it came marching by marked with a blinking neon sign?
If you have made it this far, I am guessing you couldn’t pull it out of a one-man lineup!
Don’t worry. Together we will shift your vision. We will water your desperately dry countenance. We will prepare the soil of your mind for a new tomorrow. Together we will seed love in the dry, bitter, killing fields of lovelessness. Soon we will harvest a love so powerful, so enduring, so unshakable, that you will forget all about this tired old life of begging for scraps and receiving none.
Shortly, I am going to prep you for the planting process and for the harvest. But first I want you to conjure a loveless altar and sacrifice something upon its ravenous surface. Put this inverted prayer in some tangible form and destroy it:
I want too much.
My needs are too extreme, invalid, overwhelming.
God, make me less.
Take away my thirst.
Make me quiet like a church mouse, an invisible good girl asking for nothing.
Okay with receiving less.
Burn it as the unholy rhetoric of people who didn’t know how to love.
Incinerate it as the lies you bought and buried in your soul as gospel truth.
Now prepare yourself to make a new promise. Get ready to plant a new seed.
Upon its surface, sketch a new picture and write a new prayer.
In vivid watercolors or quiet pastels, paint inside the lines and out. Oh yes, definitely out.
Here is your new landscape:
You thirst for love and your lover hands you a pitcher overflowing with passion water. You seem anxious about your relationship. Reassurance drips from lip to lip with no hesitation. You reach out with your beautiful love overflowing from your magic fingertips. Your beloved suckles those rich fingers with delight aiming to ingest every shimmering drop of your preciousness.
Now scribble down this new prayer, being sure to shout it out loud:
God, show me that my needs are normal.
Quench my thirst as heaven’s marker for my natural desire.
Give me the voice to speak my desires, to own my needs, to make a demand on the promise of love.
Make my comfort with crumbs a sin so craven I cannot abide it.
Teach me that I am ample, rich, abundant with goodness and love.
Show me that my love is a gift to be cherished.
God, give me someone who appreciates the overflowing grace of my heart.
Introduce me to the joy and the hope of spilling over.
Now I know this next part is going to take some faith. It is going to press you to the edge of your capacity for change. This is going to feel like believing in pixies and fairies when all you have ever seen are sullen demons cursing your name. You are going to look upon the lines of your own longing etched upon your face and see nothing but hopelessness.
How can this land, this seemingly arid, fallow ground, play host to an abundant harvest of love? You will panic if you rely only on what you can see with your natural eyes.
All I can tell you is that you must turn the earth with the power of the promise held in your prayer. You must plow through the dust. You must create a little earthen mound of wishfulness in the folds of your desert-like mind and place the seed of this new image. You must speak the prayer as an incantation calling for water and believe in the rains even when you cannot see them. Thus the harvest will come.
And what does this faith look like?
Lay down your phone. Don’t text another precious word into the empty neverland of a love seemingly grown cold. Do not cast a single net more in the dry riverbeds of a heart that does not thirst for you, even if it is obviously dying for what you offer.
And from this stillness, walk resolutely, with tears streaming (as they surely will), into the heart-promise of this harvest we have called forth today. Do the work of ripping up weeds from your inner garden. Check your pockets for a multiplication of that original seed. Cast every last morsel of promise upon the bone-dry ground. Prepare the storehouse for more than you think it can hold.
Water the land of your inner world as best you can.
Remember, your tears are more powerful for coaxing forth the first fruits of this harvest than you can even imagine. But a smile brings torrents of rain and bright, brilliant sunrises in your eyes.
Smile as often as you can. This is your proof of the faith you are choosing to retain and of the goodness of the seeds we have planted.
Keep your basket by the door. Be ready to take the riches as they spring up in row after row of desire unleashed and delight returned in blossoming flowers (for the center of your dinner table, of course) and nourishment to fill every plate.
Love comes in bushels, they say. Or I say. Or hopeful pilgrims know.
Blessings, dearest, as you make love your reality.
You are blessed.
Keep no more secrets. Tell fabulous stories about exactly what you want. Let everything that shrinks from those tall tales fade into the hopelessness of a dead yesterday.
Tomorrow is alive, teeming with ecstasy. Go there Now!