Do you agree? Love at the centre, surrounded by vanity, selfishness, sentimentality and superficiality, with some good sense thrown in.
I wondered if the ‘love’ depicted on the map is spiritual love, the Universal Love that encompasses all that is, that which is embodied in every particle of the Universe, the energy that gives expression to the Beauty we see each day, the essence that glimmers and shines within each of us if we but to know it in our hearts. Sadly I doubt it, given its ‘companions’ on the map. Not a flattering representation, don’t you agree?
Did I interpret the map correctly? Do you have another interpretation?
Is the ‘love’ then an egoic expression of our desires, our needs for attachment, validation and completeness. Attachment to what, I ask. To a personality we believe we lack? To a reflection of a self we lost? To a fulfillment of a dream? To seek confirmation of our worth because somehow we do not truly believe we are worthy? To reclaim a lost self? To reach out for an anticipated self? As real as these desires and needs are in our human experience, they are also illusions.
Being worthy is not premised on perfection, the standards for which are externally defined. Being worthy is to see our self for all that we are in our humanness – the beautiful and the ugly and everything in between. And as we accept our whole-ness (not perfection), then the desires and needs for attachment, validation and completeness cease. What is left is the purity of Universal Love – which we give and receive freely, no attachment, no expectation.
In my vision, my heart holds paths to purpose, to connection, to compassion, to acceptance, to humility, to grace; and all these paths are inextricably linked to create the essence, this energy called Universal Love. तथैव अस्तु (‘Tathaiva astu’ – let it be so).
Have you a different map? Will you explore this terrain of your heart?
PS. A Map of the Open Country of a Woman’s Heart was created by D. W. Kellogg circa 1833–1842. Image from BrainPickings.
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