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“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

In the past several weeks I have traveled many places. I’ve spent some time in the house where I grew up. I walked the streets of my boyhood and revisited the sacred sites of my childhood. The houses in the neighborhood seem so small. I’ve had the opportunity to revisit memories, to stand in spots where life seemed to bring overwhelming experiences; these, like the houses, now seem so small. I’ve chuckled more than once at monsters that I used to tote and how, from this vantage point, they seem like stuffed animals, cuddly toys. That is the power of memory, our great capacity to re-member our lives with every visit to the past.

In my walk-about I am consciously pulling down the barriers. I am surrounded by people who love me and whom I love. I am astounded by a generosity of spirit that greets me everywhere I go. I am learning to receive and the curious thing about receiving is that you need do nothing but open or perhaps surrender. The only requirement to receive love is that you show up. Who knew!

During this period of wandering I’ve been working again with the Parcival story and thinking about the moment in the story when Parcival removes his armor. Armor protects but it also restricts. Armor is a great way to not be seen. In order to want to take off your armor you must first put down your sword; you must change your idea of the world and your place in it. Carrying a sword is a great way to keep love away. After dropping your sword, you must be lost for a while and break your rules. Parcival’s sword shatters and he weeps. He removes his armor and follows a hermit into the woods. He stops seeking, stops trying to prove, suspends the fight and starts living moment to moment. And, when he’s forgotten about roles and knights and proving, the Grail castle reappears. He steps inside unprotected and claims his inheritance. He becomes the Grail. Love finds him when he stops looking for love.

Sometimes we wear our past like armor. We hang onto injustice, we identify ourselves by the trauma, and we claim our limitations as if we were born to bear them. I’m learning that these are the barriers we erect against love. To drop the armor all that is required is to let go of the past and re-member. The love, like the Grail castle, is waiting for us. As the hermit says to Parcival when he turns and discovers the castle, “Boy, it’s been there all along.”

2 Responses

  1. with your armor removed you even write “light”-er…feels GOOD

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