Endless Love

Love is a gift.  Not a promise.

The only promise is this:  that love will never end.  It may change forms.  It may not appear in the way you expect.  It may surprise you, challenge you, change you.  But it will not end.  All it asks is that you say yes to the gift, without clinging to it.  Clinging to it denies what it is–ceaseless, bottomless, endless–and kills what it might become.

Be grateful for all of the love in your life, whether it comes from a cherished partner, a new friend, or the breeze of a summer day.  The more love you are willing to accept into your heart, the more love will appear.  Cherish whatever form love takes, and whatever ways it grows and changes.  Surrender to the love you already have, and you will never find yourself without it.

We cannot capture time, cannot stop the world.  Savor what is here and now.  Open your heart to what is before you and within you.  Learn to listen and to wait.

Nothing belongs to you.  Why would you want to own anything?  You would only become a slave, rather than a lover.

Everything Begins Within

Years ago, alone on a long car trip, I mused about my ideal partner.  I saw someone compassionate and kind, easy with himself and able to put others at ease as well.  I saw someone gentle, open to new ideas, able to enjoy the simple moments of life and to help others do the same.  And then, in a flash, I realized–I wasn’t fantasizing about a love affair.  I was seeing a vision of who I wanted to be.

In both our daydreams and our waking lives, we often project onto others both our hopes and our fears.  We are annoyed by qualities we fear we possess; we long for people who embody the type of person we want to be.  But because no relationship can ever replace the one you have with yourself, you cannot find without what you have not found within.

Once we realize that, and learn to cultivate within ourselves the qualities we admire in others, we find that we are the ones we have been waiting for.  And that others who have those same qualities are drawn to us effortlessly, naturally, reflecting back to us the person we are, the person we have become.

You don’t need anyone to complete you; you are already complete.  Everything you long for, everything you long to be, is already a part of you, waiting for you to realize it.  I once played a game with family and friends, asking each one what quality they most wished they possessed.  Without exception, every single person answered with something that they not only already had, but had in abundance.  One, the soul of kindness and patience, wanted to be more kind and patient.  Another, always organized to the last detail, wanted to be more organized.  The life of the party wanted to be friendlier.  I said I wanted to be calmer, serene no matter the circumstances; everyone laughed.

Let your friends and partners be your playmates, sources of joy and strength in your life, but remember that everything you long for already exists within your own soul.  Once you do, you cannot help but find it everywhere you look.

Kindness

Joy, kindness & love–my mother & me, 1979.

For my mother–my muse and inspiration for joy, kindness and love, and for all the mothers who see and nurture the beauty of their children.

Magic lives in the most simple acts of kindness. When we are kind, when we notice the kindness of others, we invite more beauty and grace into the world.

Kind people are more beautiful to us. We trust them, we cherish them, even if their gifts are not always trumpeted. True kindness requires intelligence and courage. It is a quiet power, but one that is unique and formidable. We love kind people; we want to be around them. We love ourselves when we act from a place of compassion. When we act from a place of love, we understand the divinity in all things, feel the oneness that mystics and sages sing about.

Acts of kindness do not ignore the self–after all, the way we treat ourselves mirrors the way we treat others. We cannot deal with ourselves cruelly and still be good to others, or the other way around.

But kindness can often go unnoticed, simply because we forget to look for it. We notice when others neglect us, when a careless word causes us pain. Why not look instead for the ways in which we are loved, the ways in which our love is reflected back to us? Assume that others are good and kind; assume always that others are doing the best they can as they walk their own paths. Trust the beauty and goodness in yourself, and don’t be afraid to share it.

“My religion is kindness.” ~Dalai Lama

Quiet

Wisdom creeps near when it finds one who is sitting, listening, opening.  It is like a small creature of the forest, frightened away by loud noises, by loud thoughts; drawn only to the beauty that dares to visit alone.  It trusts only those who are still, patient and open, those who will greet vulnerability with love.

Our thoughts are a field of butterflies:  numerous, fragile, impossible to contain.  But some are worth catching.  The ones nearest our own souls will slow down their flight, wait for us to catch up and wrap a net of pen and paper around them.  They will not fly away, not if we sing them our stories.  Not if we promise to listen well.

What song do they sing?

Live now.  Be here now.  Be radiant now.

Can you see that this is Heaven?

All our transformations begin within.  The external world follows the soul, not the other way around.  Some say our world is an illusion; I believe it is a mirror, a reflection offering us the chance to learn, to grow, to explore.  As our souls grow and expand, our worlds grow with them, for we are one.

Be open to change.  Say yes, and give thanks.  Then keep listening to the quiet voice of wisdom that lives within your heart.

Ask For What You Want

We are divine.  We are spiritual beings.  We are powerful.  But we are not mind-readers.  That is why we must ask for what we want.

No matter how much someone loves you, how long they’ve known you, or how deeply they care, they cannot read your mind.  We often fall into the trap of expecting others to figure out what we want.  We say things like “if you really knew me” or “if you really loved me” you would know what it is I want.  We make it a test of love, a test of faith.  And yet–don’t we usually demand that others figure out what we want because we ourselves aren’t sure?  Or, worse yet, because we are afraid to speak up and be honest about our true desires?

Instead of taking the time to ask ourselves what it is we really desire, we focus on all the things we don’t want, and blame others for not solving our problems.  But who could?  Who could ever know what it is we truly desire better than we do?  No one sees the world quite the same way you do.  No one else has your unique heart, mind and soul.  No one is better equipped than you to determine what you want out of life.

Don’t expect others to be mind-readers; don’t pretend you are one.  Take the time to investigate your true and deep desires, and then ask for what you want.

Cracked

There was once a crack in the mirror of a powerful and beautiful queen.  When she looked into the glass, seeking confirmation of her beauty, she saw instead the image of another:  Snow White.  Because of the crack in the mirror–a crack in her own soul–she did not understand what she saw.  She did not realize that what we see in others is a reflection of ourselves.

We doubt our power when we forget to use it.  We doubt our beauty when we look for it outside of ourselves.  And so the queen believed that her youth and beauty were gone to another, and determined to kill the young Snow White.  But Snow White was the image the queen saw when she looked into the glass–how could she kill Snow White without killing a part of herself?

As for Snow White, the queen’s pursuit sent her on a journey of discovery.  She began as a victim, alone and hunted through a dark forest, and emerged a queen in her own right, sure of her own strength and power.  Two faces in the glass; two journeys of discovery.  Both are two sides of the same coin.  We all have power and beauty within us.  When we see the gifts of others as a part of our own light, our power and beauty grow.  When we see others as separate, as a threat, an enemy to be destroyed, we can only destroy ourselves.

We are surrounded by mirrors, constantly reminded of who we are and what we have within us.  The beauty you see in others is a reflection of the beauty that is within you.  The power you see in others is a reflection of the power that lies within you.  The whole world is your mirror.  Instead of asking who is the fairest of them all, ask instead to understand that the fairest is the one who sees beauty in others as well as in his or herself.

What Women Want

There is a story that answers the oldest of questions:  what do women want?

A young and handsome knight of Camelot, named Gawain, set out to find the answer to save King Arthur from losing his throne.  It sounds perilous–an entire kingdom dependent on determining what women want.  But for a true knight, all things are possible.  Answers always present themselves to those who honestly seek them.

For Sir Gawain, the answer presented itself in the guise of an old woman.  She appeared in the forest, withered by age and sickness, and asked him for food.  Being a kind as well as noble knight, Gawain made a place for her by the warm fire and gave her his food and drink.  In gratitude, she told Gawain that she knew of his quest and would give him the answer he sought, if he would take her back to Camelot and make her his wife.

This was a harsh fate for a strong, handsome young man, the prize of the court and the favorite of all the beautiful young ladies.  But Arthur’s kingdom was at stake, and so Gawain could do nothing but agree.

Upon his promise to marry her, she told him the secret of what all women want–to have their own way.  But the story does not end there.

Gawain and his promised bride returned to Camelot, and the entire court grieved at seeing the young man bound to a haggard old woman, wise though she might be.  But the wedding was duly planned and celebrated in lavish style, and that night Gawain joined his new bride in their wedding chamber.

When the court had retired and the couple were alone, a miraculous thing occurred–the wise woman was surrounded by glowing light, and then her form shifted and changed into that of a stunning young beauty with flowing blonde hair and cornflower blue eyes.

“I was cursed by an evil magician,” the lady said, “and forced to walk the world as an old woman before my time, until and unless a knight of Arthur’s court would make me his wife.  But I am afraid the curse is not completely broken, and a choice is before you, my husband.  You must choose–would you have me be beautiful by day, when all the court could see me, or at night, when we are alone together in our bedchamber?  What, my husband, would you desire?”

“I cannot decide,” Gawain declared, after a moment’s thought.  “You must choose what is more pleasing to you.”

“And now,” cried his lady, “the curse is well and truly broken, and I am free to appear as my true self at all hours of the day, for you have given me what all women wish for–the ability to have my own way.”

It is not only women, of course, who long to have their own way.  For what does it mean, to have one’s own way, but to be one’s true and authentic self, at all times and in all places?  This is the gift of love that breaks all curses, and sets us free.

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 154 other followers

%d bloggers like this: