According to our wish and willingness to give our love to another, there returns to us -- in greater measure than given -- the love we have given. It is, quite simply, the secret of the ages: Love rewards the lover.
Isn't it true? The more we love someone, the more love we come upon in our own being; and the more we experience these elevated states in ourselves, the higher we long to go! But as we all know, visiting such heavens has proven itself perilous; for even while we hope that love will lift us up and into the highest regions of our heart, we also fear the invariable "fall" when love departs and drops us back into a world left twice as dark for her withdrawal.
So keen to us are these recurring cycles of love won and lost, and their sense of loss so unwanted, that when love does come calling again, our desire to possess that which we love has become all the greater. In some instances this longing can be overwhelming, and past painful experience prods us on to find some way to "own" this new love of ours. But, even if this feat were possible, we already have good reason to suspect that merely possessing what we love is impossibly incomplete. For what else have we been gradually learning through our relationships of the heart other than this one fact: we are held ever apart from what we love by the very fact that we would clutch it to our breast.
In our gradual discovery of what love would have us learn, we are gently directed to consider another kind of relationship with love; now we no longer yearn to be its possessor, but rather to be possessed by it. And so emerges, like a newborn infant within us, our first true notion of the idea of a Divine Love. Our earlier inclination to abandon ourselves to Love now becomes our need, for in the light of Love's revelations we can see, for the first time, how our own hungering identity -- once viewed as being essential to our experience of love -- is secretly Love's only impediment.
The often tragic stories woven around the classical and great historical lovers of all ages attest to this essential stage of self-discovery, and anyone who has known such a consuming relationship knows something of the paradoxical relationship that Divine Love requires of her lovers. She requires that we must lose ourselves within the secret wellspring of her supernal Love if we hope to find the true source of our own heart. And so, gradually, in overlapping but well-defined stages, Love prepares the heart it wants, and the heart it takes is taught Love. The apprenticeship begins.
Love's teaching tames the wild heart; not leashing it, but releasing it; not restricting it, but refining it to receive the freedom of fulfillment; a new kind of Freedom this heart is created to bear and contain in its agreement to be conquered.
The heart without the mastery of Love is unbridled. Dry and empty, coarse and crazy with thirst it runs. It hurts without knowing why, driven to consume without caring whatever it may in the hope of a momentary respite from its own relentless stirring.
The heart subdued by Love surrenders itself and becomes storehouse, pump-house, and storage line. It stands between perfect fullness and complete emptiness, filling and being filled by what has made it. Such hearts touch and are touched by the unimaginable miracle of Love. Hearts such as these have no need for hope of tomorrow because each has become the willing subject and domain of Forever.