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Radical Courageous Love

I was in a training this past weekend, learning how to facilitate Family Constellations. {That’s not the subject of this week’s contemplation, but since we’re here, a Family Constellation is a group process that uncovers underlying family bonds that have been carried unconsciously through generations, in order to shift patterns of suffering and dissatisfaction. It’s a profoundly beautiful and mysterious work that I’ve loved for years, and I’m excited to weave it into my retreats.}

In our training, we shared with one another about fractures in our family systems, painful patterns in our lives, and the desires we hold dear.

I love circling with other humans in this way. I had the opportunity to bear witness to people’s family stories of triumph and trauma, and what I kept being reminded of throughout the weekend is that…

Even in the most fractured and pain-filled family system, there is such profound love.  

To me, this represented the Great Big Human Family we are all part of, fumbling and fighting on the surface, but all holding the deep desire to love and feel loved – to belong.  It reminds me of a conversation I had with someone online the other day, where I said “Facebook is like one big bickering family.”  And then I realized, it’s not like that, it is that.

We can’t avoid the pain of human relating, without avoiding people.

We can’t avoid heartbreak, without avoiding love. {tweet it}

People have pasts, and our pasts hold our unresolved conscious and unconscious wounds. So it’s unavoidable that sometimes, hurt, pain, anger, and frustration happen in relationships, whether those relationships are close (family) or distant (people on the internet):

People saying horrible things about you
Girlfriends triggering each other
Partner annoying the $#!t out of you
Children testing your last nerve

So with all of this opportunity for hurt, pain, anger, and frustration to happen…

How do we heal?
How do we forgive and be free?
How do we create in the face of pain?
How do we move forward?

Radical courageous love.

Radical courageous love asks that we commit to opening our hearts, even in the face of pain. This can be incredibly difficult, but of course, we’re not just here for the easy stuff.

So when we’re hurting, when we’re feeling lost and confused, when we’re feeling misunderstood or unloved… We pry our hearts open with a deep breath and a willingness to remain open.

This is NOT about taking-in and taking-on someone else’s pain, projection, fear, or judgments.  This is NOT about sticking around for more abuse (though it’s important to discern abuse from other expressions of hurt or anger; abuse seeks to cause harm)

This is about seeking a return to wholeness.  This is about finding our way through the muck to what’s true: Love.

Radical courageous love looks like…

Sitting with the pain we feel; being honest with ourselves about it
Being curious and willing to see things from another’s perspective
Saying no to behavior that seeks to harm
Cultivating compassion for the pain that behavior comes from
Sharing the thing we’re afraid to share
Trusting ourselves to rise through any challenge, in our time
Trusting others to find their way, in their time
Holding it as true that we are all doing our best within our current capacity
Releasing the standard of perfection for ourselves and others
Recognizing that underneath it all, every soul wants to be seen and loved

To love in the face of pain is a radical, courageous act.  And it’s the only way we’ll find our peace. {tweet it}

 

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1 Comment

  1. This article is breathtaking and comes at a time that I can deeply relate. As you know, I have had to make peace in my own way with a past client in my life (who was a friend as well). She recently sent me a voice memo apologizing and my heart melted. It was the feeling of radical, courageous love. This human experience can be so messy and yet so marvelous. We just need to be willing to sit still with the mess and let it make us more whole, rather than more bitter. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

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