Thursday, October 1, 2015

surrender the dress

To dedicate oneself as a Victim of Love is not to be dedicated to sweetness and consolations; it is to offer oneself to all that is painful and bitter, because Love lives only by sacrifice and the more we would surrender ourselves to Love, the more we must surrender ourselves to suffering
 ― Thérèse de Lisieux, Story of a Soul

It's the strange little things we hold onto that are hardest to let go of.

It seems easy to make large and grand sacrifices. They give one a sense of importance and magnificence that is appeasing to the ego, which is wounded from being snubbed so easily.
But the small sacrifices, insignificant though they may be to the world at large, are where so much joy is gained.
If there is no reason that you have to offer up that one small annoyance other than love, then you find your love grows. Not love for yourself, but love for Love Himself. If there is no pressing reason to endure the small slight other than for the sake of Him who had to endure great sorrow for you, then what joy is yours.

I am not good at bearing these small annoyances joyfully. I am very good at complaining about them loudly.

As I do, I see them passing by me, like drops of fresh, pure water dripping past the throat of a parched man. I can sense that I am turning my nose up at precisely the thing that will slake my thirst. I am letting the cure flow by me, and, by my stubbornness, perpetuating my own illness.

It is the small, meaningless, humble sacrifices, the curable, absurd injustices, and the ridiculous, insignificant slights that we bear that are, as Mother Teresa (another great Therese, on this feast of a great Thérèse,) would say, the kiss of the Cross. Perhaps we would wish to not be so loved. We would rather be loved in a way much more comfortable and less challenging. But if there is a love that allows us to drift on, without challenging our self all replete with self, then it is not love.

Letting go: of self, of a dress you liked to wear, of a job you were good at, of a title that you earned, of a reputation you cultivated, of an unfairness being done against you, of a friendship you had longed for, of the grudge against your neighbor, of your excuse for why you were late, of a home that is comfortable, is not easy. And no one will often see the sacrifice or reward you for it. Except for One Person: who sees you before you see yourself, who knows you more deeply than you ever will, and is closer to you than your own heartbeat.


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