The love of severity is one of those oxymorons; we are attracted to that which limits us. It starts as children but reaches its full fruition as we mature. We may rail against these same restrictions, yet if we’re offered alternatives, we balk–especially when these relaxations of conduct apply to society as a whole.
We see it in our penal code and insanity of wanting retributions of all kinds. We imagine the this about our “god” as well, that “he” would measure us and find us wanting. We imagine that, like good little boys and girls, if we do everything exactly the way our Father” demands, we’ll earn his approval and–of course, love.
Further, we imagine that if we don’t do, say–be–exactly those “correct” things that we are damned and, ergo sum, lose the ultimate goal–the love of our “Father.” We paint these attributes and restrictions on each other, measuring through our own system of judgment whether God will approve of them. Even when the very Holy Books themselves admonish us from doing so–not judging others–we still do. Some of this is conscious and purposeful, while at other times, it is anything but.
God’s love does not operate according to our imaginations. There are restrictions, no rules, no judgments–as we understand those terms. “His” severity is in equal measures to “His” love. This is not the contradiction in terms that it may at first seem, since in the world of duality that we live in, both exist mostly in our own understanding of opposites. Without severity, love goes untempered; without love, severity is cruel and insensitive.
Finding balance and practicing patience, these are the attributes that make use human beings who all-too-often reject our own divinity. It is through our innate divinity that we can find the “love that surpasses human understanding” in a god who may at times seem cruel and uncaring when life shows up to us as overly severe.
How have you been treating yourself severely…unlovingly…for the sake of love?