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"God is Funny": Remembering how to Love

From the depths of the grief in which I've spent much of this year, I've emerged reminded again, of the power that pain has to wake us up. To clarify what really matters, and break out of the narrow confines, the restrictive conditions that I place on love, and my own capacity to be IN love in any given moment. I'm reminded of the incredible humans that I met during my work in the context of civil wars and reconciliation and how they stretched my definitions of love and shaped me irrevocably (even though I can forget). I've included below an except that I wrote upon my return from South Africa, I hope you'll take the time to drink in the wisdom of these incredible teachers.

What's new for me is a deeper understanding of necessity to embed this expanded state in a PRACTICE. The discipline of practicing staying awake to the auto-pilot that keeps me in self-protection, judgement, worry...(the list goes on).

I'm not offering an answer here but rather a commitment, to my practice of embodiment. My intention in this practice to stay open to the potential that my full humanity could be experienced in each moment. That intention fuels my dance, my teaching, my mothering. And I voice that aloud to be accountable to myself

At the end of the second day at the Conference on the Healing of Memories in Cape Town, I watched a community theater group perform a play about the atrocities that their communities were having to work with in order to reconcile their country. Each scene was a song, and each song told about another massacre, bomb, burning of a township, disappearance of family members.

I stood in a circle of people from all over Africa. Grasping tightly my right hand was Pedro, the Afro-Colombian ex-guerilla solider who I am accompanying at this conference. Pedro is overwhelmed with joy at meeting his brothers all over Africa. He won't let me out of his sight so that he can understand their every word, and so I can translate to each person exactly how happy he is to be back in the land of his ancestors.

I was thinking, as I looked around the circle, what unites each one of us in this circle in some way is violence, and now our paths of healing from it.

In this circle, I am learning the most important thing, or perhaps I already knew, but I forget. I am being reminded how to love, but really to love. To love like Madukele who holds workshops with people infected with HIV/AIDS in Kwa Zulu Natal. "We must restore their sense of their own humanity" he says, "and our own. We must create a sacred space, where they understand that I love them with AIDS, where they do not have to change anything about themselves to be worthy of loving."