Saturday, April 05, 2014
A life lived according to love
A sense of life lived according to love. "
-- Philip Larkin
"Liberal spirituality" is the awakening of that sense of life lived according to love. "Liberal spirituality" wants to love as a way of life.
It feels like a yearning for a life of compassion, openness, reverence and awe, humility, generosity and appreciation. It's an instinct toward keeping an open heart.
But growing into a loving life from a yearning to love is a process. It is a learning process, learning about others, learning about the way the world really works, learning about oneself. It is a process of community, practicing and reflecting with others, being witnesses to each others attempts to live a life according to love, supporting each other when it's going well and when it's not. It's thinking about and sharing what makes you afraid to love. It's sharing inspiration.
Unitarian Universalism is religious tradition for whom this question of how to live a life according to love has come front and center.
Through our long history, we have come to some essential truths that guide us:
One is that humanity, indeed all of life, is connected, interdependent, related. None of us stand alone.
The second truth is that the way that we are all interconnected and interdependent is not fair and just. Humanity is joined together in interlocking systems of oppression and privilege.
Our third truth is that every single person is possessed of an inherent worthiness, and deserves to live with dignity. This truth is not a platitude because it contradicts the way that the world is.
And so we have a holy discontent.
So for us, the choice is life so often comes down to love or indifference. (Elie Wiesel defined indifference as the opposite of love.)
Indifference puts the concerns of others out of our thoughts, and lets the world continue on its unfair way.
To choose love is to honor that sense that sleeps within us all, and to honor the source of that love, however a person might define it. Currently, we call it to take a stand on the side of love.
How to turn a person's yearning of the heart into a habit of their heart? And then, to make a holy discontent effective in the world, and yet bearable for a lifetime, a source of joy and strength. And further, to make institutions that can contain both our comforts and discontents. These are the tasks of the institutions of liberal religion.