Naming by David Whyte

NAMING

love too early is a beautiful but harrowing human difficulty. Most of our heartbreak comes from attempting to name who or what we love and the way we love, too early in the vulnerable journey of discovery.

We can never know in the beginning, in giving ourselves to a person, to a work, to a marriage or to a cause, exactly what kind of love we are involved with. When we demand a certain specific kind of reciprocation before the revelation has flowered completely we find our selves disappointed and bereaved and in that grief may miss the particular form of love that is actually possible but that did not meet our initial and too specific expectations. Feeling bereft we take our identity as one who is disappointed in love, our almost proud disappointment preventing us from seeing the lack of reciprocation from the person or the situation as simply a difficult invitation into a deeper and as yet unrecognizable form of affection.

The act of loving itself, always becomes a path of humble apprenticeship, not only in following its difficult way and discovering its different forms of humility and beautiful abasement but strangely, through its fierce introduction to all its many astonishing and different forms, where we are asked continually and against our will, to give in so many different ways, without knowing exactly, or in what way, when or how, the mysterious gift will be returned.

We name mostly in order to control, but what is worth loving does not want to be held within the bounds of too narrow a calling. In many ways love has already named us and called us before we can even begin to speak back to it, before we can utter the right words or understand what has happened or is continuing to happen to us: an invitation to the most difficult art of all, to love without naming at all.

© David Whyte 2015
Excerpted from ‘NAMING’ From ‘CONSOLATIONS’: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
© David Whyte & Many Rivers Press. 2015
Available
http://davidwhyte.stores.yahoo.net/cop.html

 

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