How to love in the world


“There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, the touch of spirit on the body.

Seawater begs the pearl to break its shell” ~ Rumi

They say we are supposed to somehow transcend our earthly wants and needs so as to be free. Free for what? Freedom can only be connection. If it thinks differently, then obviously the soul doesn’t know what it’s supposed to do in this world.

Because we live in the world, and if we should be so lucky so as to find, even once, even for a moment, something which we want with our whole life…that is a worthy wanting. Then love can enter…that “trade” where nothing is measured or counted…where everything is measureless and counts.

When my older son asked me what makes relationships last and if at his age, he’s too young to know what love is, I laughed.

“You know exactly what love is…just don’t you dare forget it”.

When he is sad, his girlfriend makes him a card…offers affection and tenderness. When she is sad, he is gentle and lets her know he is there if she needs him. They pay attention to each other, taking care not to interrupt…or if they do, to laugh and apologize. They take interest in each other’s interests…tease and cuddle. I find them drawing together, I see them sharing foods and wanting the other to try different dishes when we go out to eat. They know each other’s habits and quirks and there is joy in their differences. I see them being silent and reassuring each other with a look. And I wonder how on earth do these kids know so well what we adults forget…how to be, how to flow, how to simply love.

And no, they don’t have bills and jobs and years of routines. But when we talk about relationships and responsibilities, about how to love in the world…and the “solid” advice they hear from unhappily married elders clueless to romance and tenderness, yet who seem to think they have so much valuable experience to impart (about how to get unhappy?), I tell them the only thing I’ve learned about love is to be grateful for love. If we could all somehow manage never to forget what a blessing it is to be loved, and shown love, it will be impossible to not give love. Gratitude opens the heart.

“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look what happens with love like that.

It lights up the sky.” ~ Rumi

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