Three years ago I came to Breitenbush to learn about love. My heart had just been broken open by the sudden cessation of a six-year relationship, and its reverberations left me hungry to live in love’s center, with or without a partner.
I came to Breitenbush to learn about love and I have. I’ve learned that love can feel like strong hugs and bright smiles and campfire harmonies. I expected this.
What I didn’t expect is that love also feels like the fibers around my heart ripping open, tearing to reveal the pink pulsing center within. I didn’t expect to feel the breeziness that comes with such vulnerability. I didn’t expect that love would ask me so often to find my own sturdy core so as not to get knocked around by other people’s storms.
Love has asked me to stand humbly in my own mistakes, my own breaches in integrity, and to claim them. Love has asked me to say, Yes, I messed up. Please forgive me. I commit to acting differently in the future.
I’ve learned here that love embraces messy, it welcomes realness, it passes the tissue when tears and snot flow.
Love wants me to know that I am imperfect, and that’s okay. Love wants me to know that everybody else is imperfect and that’s okay, too.
Love wants me to say no at least as much as yes, for love knows that saying no to others can be the ultimate yes to myself. Love has shown me that only when I give myself the things I need to shine most brightly, can I be of service to this community, our guests, and the world.
Love is the gravitational force that holds us all together here at Breitenbush. We love the land, our guests, our lives, and one another, and we love experimenting with a different model of modern living. We fold love into every galette, press it into each massage, and circulate it through every pool.
Love is sitting in a room with 40+ member-owners making decisions for a large-scale cooperative business in the middle of the wilderness. Love is wrestling with differences of opinions that get to the underbelly of our values and sharing laughter through it all. Love is having the same conversation year after year because it’s important every time.
Love is telling truths that are hard to hear but important to share. Love is not afraid of conflict, but welcomes it in service of intimacy and connection.
Love wants to be known by its other names: Forgiveness. Gratitude. Honesty. Trust. Compassion. Vulnerability. Beauty. Bravery. Love is a choice that wants to be made every day, in every moment.
Three months ago, a new-to-me sort of love showed up at my door carrying an axe in one hand and a magic wand in the other. Love arrived to teach me that destruction and manifestation are inextricable partners that allow Love, itself, to carve a path wide enough for us all.