Accepting the path of love
I'd say for me some of my biggest transformations in consciousness have been as a result of 'going to the heart of the fire' in my relationships. If you're prepared to 'go there' - to allow yourself to melt right into the heart of the love you feel, into the rawness of the passion, into the tenderness and vulnerability... that is the centre of the fire. That is the point where the spirit is transformed and the alchemy takes place. And you've gotta be willing to go the centre of that fire over and over again - as many times as it takes for your being to be transformed (I'm reminded of Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran's passage on Love here)... And I suppose that is the path of love.Thirteenth-century Sufi poet and mystic Rumi knew a thing or two about this. It's certainly the path he chose (but whether he chose it or it chose him is another question) and it's evident in the poetry he writes: he seems to be constantly on fire with love for his lover and his God. This is one of my favourite Rumi poems (of course, translated from the Persian, so a diluted version of the real thing):I will never leave this house of light I will never leave this house of light,I will never leave this blessed townfor here I have found my loveand here I will stay for the rest of my life.If this world turns into a sea of troubleI will brave the waves and steer my mind's shipto the safe shore of love.If you are a seeker looking for profit go onand may God be with you,but I am not willing to exchange my truth,I have found the heart and will never leavethis house of light.And this simple poem by Rumi is beautiful too...In the waters of purity, I melted like saltNeither blasphemy, nor faith, nor conviction, nordoubt remained.In the center of my heart a star has appearedAnd all the seven heavens have become lost in it.And this one...The minute I heard my first love story,I started looking for you; not knowinghow blind that was.Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,they're in each other all along.And this:Your love lifts my soul from the body to the skyAnd you lift me up out of the two worlds.I want your sun to reach my raindrops,So your heat can raise my soul upward like a cloud.When you think of it, there's nothing to lose on the path of love (your heart maybe, but let's be honest, you never really lose that do you?) And everything to gain. If we're willing to give all to the fire, then it will burn away all that we do not need - and we'll rise like a phoenix from the ashes. But like everything that's worth something, it takes a bit of courage.And when you find someone who will walk to the heart of the fire with you, now that's when the fun really begins!If you're a trained co-counsellor, you might be interested in our annual Loving and Being Loved course. Now booking for next year's course: runs July 8th, 2017. Want to train in co-counselling? There are two spaces left on our next London course (starting December 3rd, 2016).