As I sat still and silent with my beating, beating heart, the wisdom poet Mark Nepo spoke to comfort me today.
In the December 3 meditation from his Book of Awakening, entitled “Hospitality,” he wrote: “Often the purpose of love is for others to guide us, without expectation or interference, as far as they can go, so that we might begin.”
The person who loves us in this way cares for us and fosters our wellbeing, until we can continue to grow and thrive in our lives by ourselves. She walks along our path with us, holding our hands, as long and as far as she can. Then she lets us go gently. The farewell may be sad, even painful, but it is still loving.
This is an agapic way to love. Agape is cherishing love that values the freedom of the beloved person and nurtures her growth towards her own ends and purposes.
I have been loved this way. Have I loved so? I have tried. Most often I have failed. But I continue to try.