Love is the Answer

So, I was walking around my neighbourhood the other day and happened to come across Einstein with his sign: “Love is the Answer”. As I was pondering on what to write about, noticing that for the first time I felt like I was overloaded with ideas and had trouble choosing which one to go with, I kept seeing that sign in my mind’s eye. Hmm, a sign, perhaps?

Ah, love. What a beautiful thing, er, feeling or something like that… Okay, so that’s where I’m going to start. It probably goes without saying that love isn’t a thing. It can’t be contained and it’s intangible, sort of (more on this later). So, it’s a feeling, right? Well, this blog is about my insights and opinions; I’m not an expert on the matter, but my opinion and insight you shall receive. To say that love is merely a feeling diminishes it. Yes, we feel love, but it’s so much more than that. At its core, I would say that love is what connects us all together and it is the breath of life that drives us and colours our world. Minus love, we are somewhat like robots operating mechanically with no intrinsic drive to aspire to anything more than just to get through life.

Love is our gift to the world. The world benefits from our gift and we benefit from the gifts of the world for our own sustenance. When a baby is born, she has nothing to offer the world, nothing but love and the child requires the love of family and others to grow and develop. As a side note, evidence of this is reflected in the The Budapest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) that studied infants in Romanian orphanages. The study found that the growth of babies and children who were starved of love was stunted. We do not come into the world with a tangible, material gift to offer. You see, love is something that is born out of connection. As humans, we have the ability to connect and we can live our entire lives in that state of being fully and lovingly connected.  One of my favourite Buddhist teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh says:

“It is possible to live twenty-four hours a day in a state of love. Every movement, every glance, every thought, and every word can be infused with love.”

Love is a state of being; it’s a state of reciprocal, mutually uplifting beingness.  Ram Dass says:

“The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it’s in the being. When I need love from others, or need to give love to others, I’m caught in an unstable situation. Being in love, rather than giving or taking love, is the only thing that provides stability. Being in love means seeing the Beloved all around me.”

Now, if love is a reciprocated force alive only through connectivity, then how do we “be” love? We become love when we realize that we are channels through which love flows. This is an amazing concept. You see, as a species we are rising beyond material consciousness. Those who are lagging a bit might be wishing our essence was something that could be grasped, pinned down and claimed. But, the beauty of our essence in being channels is that we are able to share the love and the light and expand it. (To demystify the concept of light, light is knowledge in the greatest sense, which quite literally enlightens us to the true nature of who we are; whereas, the dark, clouds us from seeing our true natures and traps us in fear, jealousy and other low vibrational states of being; light always lightens). And by virtue of our ability to channel love, that love can potentially manifest itself through us into something tangible. Now, I should say that there may be more to our essence than just being channels, but for now, as I am on the topic of love, I am just focusing on this aspect of our beings.

So there you have it: You are a conduit for love. You become love by being it. You be love by allowing your every breath, your every sentiment, and your every action to be infused with that sense of intimacy and connectivity and by seeing love all around you. Love is our fuel. See the world through love and give it love through your thoughts, actions and meditations. That is your gift and your gift may manifest itself in the most wondrous and mysterious ways.

I leave you with a video, Occupy Wall St- The Revolution is Love. I know many of you have probably come across it when it came out at the end of 2011, but even if you’ve seen it, I suggest re-watching it. Charles Eisenstein speaks to the fact that we are here to give and that other modes of living ultimately are not working and will not sustain us. As he says, “the lover knows that more for you is more for me, too.” Love is the answer. Now go; be love.

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A Date With Time

Admittedly, I have little authority to speak on the topic of time considering my track record. I’m slow and despite my anxiety when it comes to keeping on top of things when life gets busy, time management is still not my strong point. But, my situation is just an example of one aspect of our oftentimes failed relationship with time.

Alice in Wonderland White Rabbit

"I'm late, I'm late! For a very important date!" -White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland

Here’s the thing, even for the most on top of it people, time tends to consume us. Our lives go by, we do what we do, we work, we socialize, we waste time, we rush, we wait, but ultimately time takes our days away and we look back to something that no longer exists.

There are moments in our lives we wish could go on infinitely, others that feel like they’d substitute a great definition for infinity in the dictionary. But, ultimately much of life in our human experience in our modern society, is a life in which we spend many moments in a rocky relationship with time.

While we’re here, we’re essentially on a date with time. But, those moments that we want to hold onto forever and the moments that we wish would end immediately represent us failing to meet up for our date with Chronos. You’ve heard it before and I’m not intending to preach to the choir, but we only have the present moment. Live in the now, fully and completely, and your date with time in this human body will unveil all its secrets and beautiful things to you. Live in the future and in the past and you miss this life.

So what about those moments that suck? Those agonizingly painful moments we’d all like to never have to experience. I’d like to think that, much like I alluded to in my previous blog post Rising Above the Struggle, we encounter these challenges to help our soul grow. The quest is to get to that place where the present moment can gift us with its presents of self-growth. However, we can only receive such gifts when we meet the present moment with our full presence and awareness.

When we are hoping and wishing for something different, or to be near loved ones, we aren’t fully engaged with the present moment. While we’re in that state of longing, we’re allowing life to pass us by. Sometimes, if we aren’t happy with the present, we can take action in the present to change the course of our direction to invite more happiness into our lives. However, sometimes we are faced with challenges or simply moments in our lives when we are apart from those we love and we must learn the gift born out of acceptance. You see, longing is a form of resistance. Once you accept the situation, you either find yourself creating a new blueprint to change directions or you begin to see the gift that your challenge presents you with.

Pain can force us into the “now” moment more than almost anything else. It also forces us into intense internal cleansing. Pain often brings us down to our knees; bad habits temporarily swept aside and prayers made with promises of never doing this or that wrongdoing again. Even if it’s not always heeded, pain is a signal that can bring us to the point of letting go of all the unnecessary and holding close the truly essential. Love and support become our mainstays. Frivolous things and less than ideal states of mind like jealousy, reach so far to the periphery of our consciousness that in a moment of agony their existence becomes irrelevant. Pain does this all and makes us dig deep and get in touch with the essential within and around us, if we let it. And, to let it we must accept it and breathe the moment in its fullness. As an aside, breathing deeply allows one to more easily cope with pain and other difficulties.

On that note of breathing, doing it deeply and intentionally is a key to opening up the gifts of the present moment and living fully. It’s also at the core of meditation which can aid in bringing one into the present moment. Meditation doesn’t mean you have to sit cross legged like a yogi. While some meditation techniques do require that one sit, certain forms of meditation can be done while one is active. For instance, you could be in a meditative state as you’re washing the dishes. Meditation is relaxing the mind and coming into full awareness. The type of meditation that I am referring to here is called mindfulness meditation. If you would like to learn more about mindfulness and living fully in the present, I urge you to check out anything by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk who has written many books on the topic and advocates living a fully present and mindful life.

On that note of being on a date with time, here’s a cute collaboration called Destino that was done in the 1940s by Salvador Dali and Walt Disney (but produced and released only in the past decade). In Dali’s own words it’s “A magical display of the problem of life in the labyrinth of time.” It beautifully depicts the ever changing nature of reality and how we can’t grasp at anything, including time. Enjoy!

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