During my first trip to the big island of Hawaii, I had a powerful and mystical experience at the volcano. The Big Island has an active volcano, and is one of the few places on Earth where new land is being created moment to moment. I am often very sensitive to energies of land and people, and this place turned out to be one of the most magical places I have ever visited.
When we drove up to visit the volcano I decided to walk around by myself for a while, and within a few minutes I started to become very aware of the energy beneath my feet. It felt as though I were literally walking on the body of a goddess, the Earth Mother, and could deeply and palpably feel her presence with me. I could sense a deep feeling of love from Her to all of her children, which I consider every single thing alive on this earth.
The sensation became stronger and stronger, and finally I had to sit down and allow the energy to take me. As I did so, I felt this force pull me deep into the earth, further and further, until I could feel the lava flow beneath the ground, and the feeling of this Goddess birthing land. I could feel the precious infant earth right here and right now, being born.
All of a sudden, a strong vision flashed before me:
I was suddenly in the womb of Mother Earth, held by a loving energy completely beyond description. This message of love began to travel through all the cells of my body, and then made their way into my heart. For a while I felt like this energy would explode within me, and I felt like this love in the heart was just ‘too much.’ As I was coming back to the scene around me and the blue sky, I wondered to myself why this love felt like ‘too much.’ At once, the inspired thought hit me- Yes, of course this love is too much, it is way too big for one little body to hold. This love is too big and too powerful to ever be contained or owned, it has no other choice but to flow freely, always.
I left the experience feeling curious, though, as to why I would feel afraid or overwhelmed by a love that big. It was as if that love were so pure, so huge, that it somehow reached in and touched a pain in me. A pain so ancient and so buried that I didn’t know it was there until a force that great had reached it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it would take me another three years to find an answer to that pondering.
Some time passed and I continued to grow and mature spiritually. Each year it seemed I would grow wiser, vaster, and reach further into the realms of Divine spaciousness. No matter how far and how big my spirit would expand, though, it would always seem to collapse back into the formless depths of feeling in the human heart.
Through my journey of spiritually growing, deepening and maturing, I began to discover a deep-seated fear within me. This fear haunted me over and over, relentlessly. It was the fear of loss, and specifically, the fear of losing love. After the sudden death of a dear friend, this realization had moved in front and center, and I was presented with an opportunity to dive into what this fear was really all about. I knew that avoiding the feelings of loss and grief were no longer an option, so I dove deeply into the heartbreak, sorrow and loss. This pain seemed never-ending; I delved deeper and deeper, unwilling to hide from it or shrink back from it, determined to see what was at the bottom. After what seemed like an eternity, I reached a place inside that I knew was actually beyond all time, all space, and prior to all form. It was a place of pure frequency; I was actually aligning to the frequency of original pain, the pain of separation.
In time I began to realize that by facing this fear of loss, by aligning to pain as a frequency, I was finally allowing it to really be felt and honored. I realized how much beauty there is in honoring pain as it is, instead of trying to push it away because of fear, resistance, or simply lack of understanding. I could now give pain the freedom to exist as it is, and to teach me its ancient knowledge.
This pain did indeed have a message of deep and ancient wisdom to share. Pain showed me how to hold sadness and grief like you would hold a beloved child. This practice of holding pain with love, led me to develop the strength and courage needed to let Divine Love reach new layers of the human heart. Like a cave of endless potential, my heart began to expand to levels I never before thought possible.
This ancient wisdom also showed me how to hold both love and pain, without containing it or owning it personally. This formless teacher demonstrated that if I tried to contain this love, and hold it as a personal possession, it would be like trying to force a powerful river stream to stop its flow, and to fit into a space that is simply too small. Likewise, this sense of owning love would also make the fear of losing it unbearable. I was shown how the attempt inside me to contain this love had been creating a fork in that powerful river, causing the flow to split into two directional pathways. I had developed a misunderstanding that love was flowing in two separate directions: ‘having it’ and ‘losing it.’ I had also misunderstood that taking love in, and giving love, were two different things.
Yesterday I was having a conversation with a dear friend, and I shared my feelings of spiritual growth being like an expansion and then contraction, and how it felt like I was always taking two steps forward and three steps back. My friend’s comment floored me: “Yes, it is two steps forward and three steps back. The backward step is to pick up the human parts and bring them along.” I was immediately taken back to my vision on the volcano, and being touched by that enormous maternal presence and love. Yes, that’s it, I thought, that’s totally it. This love is too great to leave anything behind, or to leave anything out. It will always come back for even our deepest, darkest and most hidden places of pain and fear; nothing could ever be left behind.
It is through compassion that this love reaches down into our deepest wounds, our deepest pain, in order to bring it forward and into the light of freedom. This maternal compassionate love will always go back for everyone and everything. Something in me came to rest in that moment, very deeply, in knowing this to be true. And I began to see that this force of love is not a two-way flow at all; it is a complete circle, one circle that flows always without a beginning or an end. Finally my message from that day on the volcano made complete sense. Divine Love encompasses and includes everything, it cannot be restricted or contained; and love freely given and love freely received are actually one and the same.
Beyond all borders, all boundaries, and even beyond all planets, is a feminine force of love so powerful, so huge, that it cannot possibly be contained or owned. It cannot be limited or labelled in any way by any religion or belief system, it’s simply too big for that. But most importantly, it has the power and the stamina to always go back, to find its way to any place, any depth, any level of darkness or pain, and return all children to the formless arms of love.