Friday, May 31, 2013

Returning a more real you to yourself

“We were each other’s big, real hope and luckily recognized it fast. When good fortune pulls up in front of you too quickly, it can make you suspicious. You hesitate before getting in. But both of us had been through enough lonely times to know there were only so many chances at contentment with another person. In other words, don’t think too long before acting.

In his ‘Letters to a Young Poet,’ Rilke copies down one of his correspondent Kappus’s poems and sends it back to the young man, saying, ‘And now I am giving you this copy because I know that it is important and full of new experience to rediscover a work of one’s own in someone else’s handwriting. Read the poem as if you had never seen it before, and you will feel in your innermost being how very much it is your own.

For some reason, the idea of this great man hand-copying a fan’s poem and sending it to him has always touched me deeply. What generosity! Who would ever think of doing that?

But then I met her, and she took much of what I was or believed and, putting her own stamp on it, handed it back to me as if I had never seen it before. Perhaps that is what love is—another’s desire to return you to yourself enhanced by their vision, graced by their handwriting."


This is true of the love I have experienced in my own life. Specifically, my mother comes to mind. No one I have known has helped me to see my "innermost being" in the light that she has. But... even more completely than that, is who I see through the love I experience from God. Because isn't this what He asks of us? To give ourselves to Him -- and then to have ourselves returned enhanced by His vision, enlarged by His perspective, seeing ourselves through His eyes and love?

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