For some reason, I woke up with the idea of “devotion” on my mind. According to the dictionary, it is defined as “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause” and stems from the Latin word devovere, “to consecrate.”
It seems devotion ranges from simple appreciation to arduous worship, depending on where you look. A band can be devoted to their fans, and somewhat conversely, an individual can be devoutly devoted to the Virgin Mary. It is much like the word “love” in that there are worlds and worlds to be lived inside of when it comes to the full spectrum of “devotion.” But I would argue that “love” is the accumulated product from the constant process of connecting with another, whereas “devotion” does not necessarily accompany connection. Or does it become something else at that point entirely? A corrupted devotion? A perversion? Again, we have a full spectrum between quietly harboring love and stalking or harassment—but is not the harasser dedicated to their object, if in a misdirected way? I guess every human emotion has a dark underbelly we must be brave and lie prepared to continuously face.
It’s not every day someone walks into your life and hits you right in the devotion. No prelude, no preamble, no sorcery necessary—just an individual who, for some reason, you unequivocally find yourself loving. What a beautiful, delicious, ancient thing, to let that breathe in the air with you. To accept it in whatever length of ephemerality it may come to possess in your being, to be grateful for it, to be inspired by it, to use it as fodder and energy and find the process of unlayering the absolute truth-ness of it.
I’ve also been thinking about the process of maturing, and maturing my concepts of love, affection, connection, and devotion along with me. Are devotion and faith synonymous? Will everything always circle back around to faith?
Devotion begets devotion, though. That much I have concluded. Providing, of course, one or both parties aren’t wholeheartedly selfish, or self-absorbed, or self-involved. I have a lot of growing up to do on that front. I assume we all have room for improvement in this arena.
Brains are strange. Emotions are even stranger. Love is the thing which makes us grow, but we can only grow if we can receive. Devotion to an idea of someone is one thing, but receiving the wholeness of that person in every messy, frightening detail is another. There is so much work for me to do; and to do it, I must have faith in myself, beginning, middle, and end. And then double that faith in the perceived “other” as I receive them.
I can speculate, ruminate, verbosely gesticulate all day long, but the proof is in the doing. Every day is an opportunity to expand devotion towards light, to reach a shining consecration of human feeling which may end up occurring in a shadowy valley of the hellish subconscious…to be open to the twists and turns of the heart, rather than trying to map them before taking a step…to be truly devoted…