In the midst of our noisy urban lives, we navigate through intricate and sometimes baffling human relationships. We love, we fall in love, we endure, forgive, feel jealous, strive, depart, get offended, and try to reconcile. Psychologists caution us against letting our relationships—with loved ones, family, spouses, children, and friends—obstruct what they refer to as our own lives. They encourage us to maintain our dignity and independence in separations and not lose ourselves in our interactions. "To love unconditionally!" argue the romantics—this is the most valuable thing we have in this heartless, hectic life. Without regard for what? Perhaps they mean without regard for oneself. To give without expecting anything in return. In this confusion of notions about love without consideration and preserving oneself in integrity, there is one overlooked aspect. Very often, we start our service to others with the zeal of the imprudent, or as they say, "irrational." We say: "Lord! You said we should love our neighbor, and through this love, they will know that we are Yours." So, I love head over heels—my children, husband, mother, friend... Yet, why do I sometimes feel that relationships start to crumble and break at the very peak of self-sacrifice, where I seem to become completely selfless? Why does the burden of my immense love sometimes become heavy for my beloved husband, son, or friend? And how do you measure the weight of love—so that it's just right?
Once, my friends and I decided to travel through the Sahara Desert in Tunisia and then stay overnight at the hotel where the cult series "Star Wars" was filmed. It was a wonderful, memorable trip. On the way, we visited the underground dwellings of quite touristy but still real Bedouins, and we gained many impressions—especially from the silent, scorched expanses we traveled across on two SUVs, occasionally stopping to freeze and listen to the silence. This silence was so deafening that by the middle of the journey, we fell silent too. It was getting dark in the desert. When we stopped and got out of the car, you could hear how the sand slowly poured, grain by grain, under the light breeze, changing the outlines of the dunes. This is where the meaning of the word "hermit" becomes clear. Hermits, prayerful individuals who have turned their lives into silent prayer. It is precisely in this lonely expanse, in ideal silence, that the most crucial thought for prayer becomes apparent. Between you and God—there is no one. Again. No one—between you. And God.
The night is calm. The desert listens to God... We returned to the city, to our usual life, with the same whirlwind of human relationships and relationships with God. Taking with us this very quiet and very vivid picture. In any setting, in any cities, in individual houses, families, couples, and groups. The simplest measure of love is not to place anyone between you and God. Simply because between us and God—there is no one. All other neighbors—are nearby. This thought is so vast that I suggest each of you to contemplate it further, privately, about yourself and your relationships. I am somehow confident that this can help me and you very, very much—not only in our relationship with God but also with our loved ones. I am convinced that this is the measure of love that will not be burdensome to those around us.
Original article: https://radiovera.ru/pustynya