Prepare to love
Author: Staff | Source: Catholic.net
Christine is a past-lap girl who is sad with everything and especially with her lovers who never come to boyfriends. In these circumstances it is easy to let yourself be affected by feelings and it is difficult to think in a mature way, putting distance to emotions. We say yes to the first person to notice us. That's why she's sad, she's in a hurry to find her orange and get married, because she's old enough. One day she finds Joe, a well-planted boy who goes on a Harley, dares to talk to him in a music bar. He's not like the other kids in his environment, he has something special: his eyes are like a mirror for her. Glimpse something... Those eyes make her see Jesus. She did not sleep that night, because of Joe's gaze, he led her to think of old wounds, hidden by fear. She prayed to God for the first time in a long time: "I want to know why you left so many of my prayers unanswered. I want to know why you've made so many people's lives so difficult, you know, hunger, sickness and all that. And even more, why did you establish a lot of rules that there is no way to go on 90 percent of the cases and then sell us the story of guilt when we break those rules?... Those commandments were pretty strict, don't you think? They gave no room for human frailty or extenuating circumstances..." (I take quotes from "God on a Harley" by Joan Brady, adding other considerations of mine).
She seemed to hear inside her that someone was talking to her: "It's simple. I'm preparing you to live. I mean live for real, without reservation... " She had so far understood only the negative commandments, the father who says to the child "do not touch the fire", because it is bad. She had understood that happiness actually goes through the effort to fulfill the commandments. The one who fulfills them is happy, but she had revealed herself to this, she did not know that this meant "to feel loved", and now she seemed to hear: "I am the God who thinks judges you and punishes you. But you don't know me... But you must believe me, Christine: I am the God who saw you grow and fall into despair. I tried to help you many times, but instead of trusting me and accepting my help, you chose to get angry, put yourself on the defensive. I can understand it, but I hope that you in your turn understand that I have never stopped loving you or forsaken you... I know your opinions about religion... People also pretty much messed up the subject. They misinterpreted almost everything I said and then even waged wars to see who was right..."
Christine felt a special peace, those days she was reading and found in the books just what she needed, as if after a lesson learned the book was opened in the next; she understood that the church is a mother who loves us and adapts the mandates to the everyday reality of men, but if we cannot fulfill them, forgives us (sacrament of "reconciliation", precious word) and hosts us. The mother loves us very much, she wants the best for us, but she also understands our debilities.
When she spoke with people, found others as angels who suggested to her those points that hit the nail, an answer to what she had in her head, to doubts, she saw what she needed. Christine understood new things, a friend told her that "the day we live in the first person all this, you realize that He has always been by your side, that he loves you with madness, exclusively, you understand that the strength of love, forgive everything, everything ... the words of Saint Paul come alive and find meaning ... and it is at this moment that you learn not to torture yourself for sin. It is then when you want to do the best possible things, only for love to the one who has shown you an infinite tenderness ". This friend said to her: "With regard to the silence of the Lord, I have confirmed in my person that He speaks to us continually, I do not believe in coincidences. What usually happens is that we do not want to listen, too immersed in our concerns (which is a total absurdity, the worry does not lead anywhere, it is "a self-destructive feeling", when things come and we will take care of them , the Lord gives us the means to face every moment ... "
She trusted Joe, the boy with the look of Jesus. Every day she discovered new things in him, they talked about what they talked about, she read something deeper than words, she understood love; it was as if her prayer had been answered, as if God had said to her, "I am going to give you your list of customary commandments to follow". Commandments that will make sense to you and guide you to the greatest peace you have ever known. ready for each person, there are people who need more and another less, everything depends on the extent to which they have complicated their existence". The idea of something wonderful opens the doors of Christine's heart to hope, and to a new image of God that is what she sought without knowing, a God who was not for perfect people, but who accepted and loved her with all her limitations; seemed to hear: "Christine, your mind can come to understand many wonderful things, do not waste your ability concentrating on old resentments or negative thoughts, there's a lot of good out there that you can learn, trust me, believe me, we have a lot to do but not It will be an effort, I promise, it will be absolutely wonderful".
And she understood that her "list" began like this: "This is the first of your personal commandments." Do not lift walls: learn to transfer them. And Christine prayed again, I guess maybe I've raised some pretty solid walls over the years. You know, walls that have left you out. Walls that prevent me from believing in you, even if you're right here in front of me. And I've also used those walls to keep a lot of other people in line... And I like my walls. I've been protected. They've also prevented me from being harmed. And she seemed to hear and they also kept a lot of fear locked inside. That's why they're so dangerous. They prevent you from seeing what is real.
"OK", I admitted, "but what is this to pass through?" Are you saying that I have to break down those walls that I have spent so many years with, until I build them to perfection?
"No", she again understood. That would be too hard. It's easier to jump over them. You know, run in spite of them. It's simple: ignore them. It's not as hard as you think. The hard part is learning not to build anymore. Concentrate on overcoming them by very scary that sometimes you find... I know it's not easy, she whispered, but it's the only chance you have if you want your life to make sense. And she, who "wanted with despair to believe in him but did not want to suffer a disappointment again" as so many times in life, said: "All right," I said. (55) she added: "I have always been so scared of the possibility that you did not exist", I admitted through tears.
-That's because I was scary and the most comfortable was not to believe.
-But painful things happened in my life and I always felt abandoned by you, I retorted. It seemed more logical to blame everything that went wrong...
-Make an effort to understand that when you blame me for things, you're actually blaming yourself. Remember, I am you and you are me. We are connected forever and I will never leave you, as much as you try to banish me from your life...
The faint wrinkles of old wounds and past disappointments had been erased and something indefinable and beautiful emanated from my eyes. I was speechless and he gave a choked laugh to see my astonishment.
"You'll get used to it -he smiled- It's called Peace". (56).
"Will I see you again?, I asked with no hint of shyness...
-See? You just did it!
-Cross your first wall, without even noticing. You asked if you'd see me again. I know that under normal circumstances, you wouldn't do that with any man, even if you were dying of desire. They are walls like those that have been killing you slowly" (57).
"Then there is hope for me", I said half-jokingly.
"There has always been", he answered seriously (58).
And he dedicates himself to putting into practice the commandment, and when he learns to live it, then he came, and -continues to count- recited commandment number two:
-Live every moment of your life, for they are all beautiful and you should not waste them.
I remained silent for a few moments. No doubt that was a very appropriate commandment for me. I had just wasted a lot of precious moments waiting for a call from Joe. I didn't want to think about the times I'd done that myself over the years... I had missed a lot of sunsets and summer breezes and had distracted my attention from a lot of beautiful things happening around me at all times. If those last two weeks became moments, he probably would have committed a deadly sin.
-Try not to think in terms of sins- I heard Joe saying sweetly in my ear. You are here to learn, not to re-connect with the past suffering. Forget the whole sin thing... Stick to live that precise moment, and try to love what you see (66). It is obvious that the reference to sin is a mistake based on the sentimentality of thinking that remorse for sin is a structure, we know that Jesus teaches us not to cover up remorse, which is inside and rots, but to transform it into repentance, for love to come to forgiveness.
"Exercising in the ability to live the moment was a very difficult task for someone like me who wants to know if they will ever get married or have children or lose five kilos or buy a house or at least an apartment. I admit, I think about the future. I always thought that was the right way to live. It was my idea of responsibility. But if he were to begin to live the moment, he would have to undertake a series of changes that seemed far from being produced (p. 66). It encourages you to think of "Things in the world you haven't been repairing before. There's no need for them to be important. Focus on the simple. You know, everyday phenomena that you have a tendency to take for granted and that you have stopped valuing. Then I want you to water the plants and think about the way they absorb water and how the water conserves them green and flexible.. " (67).
In her work as a nurse, she began to enjoy where she was bored before: "I was amazed that an abdomen was cut with the scalpel and one day and the next the skin had closed over the wound ... I began to contemplate these recoveries as small miracles instead of a boring and painful routine, and I felt privileged Above all, I began to appreciate and admire the good health and well-being that I enjoyed " (73).
Then Joe tells her about the third commandment: "Take care of yourself first and foremost. Well, you're me and I'm you, and when you take care of yourself, you take care of me. Together, we take care of each other" (76). And he talks about "transplanting". She, who lived in a luxurious place to maintain a social status and fish boyfriend and for that worked many hours and "did not live". And I was very worried about the look that it offered and all this... went to live in a little house by the Sea, and worked less hours, and learned to live...
Joe told her that "self-esteem is the root of all your troubles. Renounce the ego and leave room only to happiness... And perhaps also to some of your garments, added jocular" (89). It makes her a "plunder" of the clothes that she does not wear, and much of her wardrobe went to the pile of waste, to achieve the poverty of spirit.
"When you know exactly who and what you are, with all your flaws and qualities, then you won't have to spend time and energy trying to be different. And the next step will be to accept your shortcomings and delve into your virtues, and love all that constitutes your person: just as I love You" (99-100). And the one who had wasted so much time on adventures with men, "I understood now. That was true love, the kind of love that I had always been looking for and that I had been in myself all that time. That revelation began to precipitate all over my body like a bolus of epinephrine injected through an intravenous tube. So many penalties! So much unrequited love in previous relationships! The absurdity of all that stretched to my sight with absolute clarity... What I counted was to allow myself to feel something authentic, to really want without having to receive something in return..." (101).
"You see, from the beginning it was your self-esteem that prevented you from loving. You didn't want to give anything unless you were guaranteed something in return. You still didn't know the real pleasure is in giving "and when she asks for" greedy people who take everything you have to offer but never return anything, "Joe says," They can't take advantage of something you don't give them, "he said. Give them your love but don't hand them your person. That only belongs to you "(101) and it happens to talk about marriage and the true meaning of love. He tells him that when she wants to "fish" someone, do not pretend but express her truth, and this in all other things: "You have to act heartily," he said. Just be yourself, no more. Use your true personality. Start with the things you really enjoy, do them every day, several times a day if you feel like it. Put on the clothes you feel most comfortable with, be more yourself. Listen to the kind of music that really moves you. Trust your body to tell you what to eat instead of following a crazy diet. Finally, a man of sympathetic spirit will capture all the vibrations emanating from your brimming spirit and BAM!... There you have it, you don't know how, at the door of your house. It's that simple "(104).
And when she discovers the "kind of love that... I asked for nothing in return... For the first time in my life, I experienced something genuine, without cheating or cardboard.... True love... Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed by my own identity. I was overwhelmed by a magnanimous love for myself. It didn't matter what he looked like or what he got in life, he LOVED ME! For the first time. At last "(115).
In the end, Joe lets him remember a list of commandments, a medallion in which there are 7, but only 6 writings: "
1. Do not lift walls, as they are dangerous. Learn to transfer them
2. Live the moment, for each one is precious and should not be wasted.
3. Take care of your person, first and foremost.
4. Ignores self-esteem. Show yourself just the way you are, giving your love but without giving up on yourself.
5. Everything is possible at all times.
6. Feel the universal flow (this I leave, but to serve must be understood as God is in us, and that is why we are all interconnection, all well United because Jesus has joined me). When someone gives, receiving is an act of generosity. Well, in that delivery, you always win something "(127).
And at the farewell Joe said to him, "You don't have to worry about anything-it reassured me as I wiped a tear for the last time." I'm not going to leave you empty-handed. There are so many good things that are going to happen to you that you can't even get an idea. All you have to do is promise me that you will always be receptive and you will never doubt me again or forget this time that we have been together "(128-129).
In the end, as in the fairy tales The story Ends Well: one day he hears a famous singer, who to her "crazy", and without her waiting start to go out together... When he goes with him on a motorbike he is astonished to see that he wears a medallion hanging around his neck, in which a list of commandments is also written; And the last is the one that she lacks; says, "
7. Be patient and trust that you will find her, but only when she is ready "(133). So that's when he says, "-ready? He asked sweetly.
"Prepared," I whispered, knowing that I had never felt so sure of anything in my Life "(133).