Poem: Loving Fiercely

Loving Fiercely

There was a Master once
Who taught me how to love

Love fully, love completely
Love yourself, love others, love God
She left me here to finish what she started

Some people love gently
Caressing the thing that they love
Spreading their love out wide
Others love fiercely
Holding and protecting

Love can be strong
all-consuming and encompassing
Deep and piercing
It can wound you
It can make you bleed

Mastery of fierce love
cuts just deep enough
So you know who you belong to
And you know that you are loved
It’s the kind of love that leaves a scar
It claims a piece of your heart,
A medal of honor.

She left me here to finish what she started
A deep searing pain, a burning scar.
Now holding fiercely to so much love.
How do you say goodbye?
I hear the words: Remember what I taught you.
Only with the gift of time,
I let go of love fully, I let go completely
Love yourself, love others, love God

How does it feel to be the target of that kind of love?
Almost possessive, held so tight,
But just loose enough that you are free to breathe.
Free to run, free to love.
It is a love that loves you anyway,
A love that loves you anyhow,
A love that loves you
Whether you love or not.
It is the love of a mother for her child,
A mentor for her charge,
An angel for her guard.

It is the kind of love that you pick up and take into battle.
The kind of love that fights for you even when
You might not think you need fighting for.

Fierce love comes from a deep love of the self
When you are touched, you know it.
It claims you and consumes you.
That kind of love leaves a mark.

Feeling the depth of that love,
You can’t help but love yourself.
That kind of love is a gift.

How do you return that kind of love?
A heart so full has no choice but to overflow.
Love fully, love completely
Love yourself, love others, love God
Just love.

by Joel Ying, ©2011


Everyone has a different quality of love—and some are blessed to love and be loved fiercely. How do you say goodbye to this kind of love? Grief is an emotion that we all face in different ways. In the paradox of life, letting go of love means loving more.

This poem was written in 2011 after the passing of a special teacher, mentor, second-mother, and friend—Melva Taylor Chennault.

Listen to my personal story about “The Teacher,” from a prior post, which will be featured in my upcoming storytelling performance.

Upcoming Storytelling Performance: “Legacy of Love”

Join me to explore love in all its forms in my upcoming debut SOLO storytelling performance “Legacy of Love.” Friday, August 25th, 2017, 7pm-8:30pm. “The Teacher” will be featured in this signature collection of personal stories and folk tales to touch the heart, speak to the soul, and tickle the funny bone.

Tickets available at LegacyofLove.eventbrite.com.

Dr. Joel Ying, MD

Physician, Educator, Storyteller. He hosts this website for "Living the Present Moment" as a conscious journey of Body, Mind & Spirit. Holistic and integrative, his practice includes Tai Chi and Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Healing From the Core, Meditation. Always exploring his edges, he shares them in the blog, newsletter, courses, and online study group.

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