The Zealot

39This reading’s title comes from a rash and intense response to the actions of another. But in defense of zealotry (not this story) I want to make the case:

We’ve all made mistakes in love. Whether we fell utterly and irrevocably with a zappy crush, manifested or unrequited, or simply said yes to the wrong person because they felt that way about us, most of us have made mistakes of the heart. And for at least a while, we thought we could pull it off without bad consequences. We fueled ourselves with desire and felt invulnerable, lucky, and chosen.

But what if we embraced our healing that way. With that same unabashed abandon, screaming Yes Yes Yes all the way, instead of maybe, sure, some day, or if and after? What if we embraced our healing with lust. If we chose ourselves? Fell in love with us?
With a hot zap the payoff is obvious. Smooching. Afterglow. The lovely joyrides of discovering and being discovered.

What if healing felt like that?

I saw a movie recently about magic. And realized I don’t want the illusions deconstructed. I like believing the impossible can happen. Like knowing that we’re all just one blink away from completely changing our realities, or at least our perception of them.

I understand the true goal should be clarity, not illusion. Embracing the raw truth, the whole truth, the so-help-me-God-to-tell-the-truth truth. But wouldn’t it be grand if the truth tasted just occasionally like falling in love, like something warm and sweet, or sultry and savory.

In many healing traditions it’s considered an important and necessary step of healing to embrace the bitter as deeply and often as the sweet. To develop the same craving, the lick your lips anticipation about things like exercise, discipline, and cleansing. That’s the kind of magic I wanna believe is possible.

So how do you choose a path that you feel passionate about? The path that can lead to a new honey, new body, new job, new outlook, whatever you’re aiming for.

The movie btw was so-so. Too few of the characters were honest. In life it’s good to know who to trust, to know whom we’re relating to, and how to get to where we want to go. The core of that honesty has to be knowing yourself.

So I’m proposing an exercise. First list all your zealot moments. The times you: leapt into lust; acted in self-righteous glory; took some death defying leap; lived by instinct instead of being moderate, rational, and deliberate. The “just do it” moments of your life. As you write, visualize yourself. Feel, taste, and touch those memories with all your senses.

On the next sheet, describe the person you want to become. The one who’s made it to goal, wherever and whatever that is for you. Sit with your future self for a while and let that feeling in. Soak it up. Then commit yourself to getting there by falling in love with both yous.

If you can harness your inner zealot, you’ll realize you’re lots closer to goal than you sometimes give yourself credit for being.

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