People who love you invite you to spend time with them, but you spend it talking to them about things that make you sad. People invite you out to do activities you love, but you say no because you are exhausted from spending all of your time thinking about the love you believe you don’t have. Artists pour love into their works and litter them about the world for you to love, but you cannot take the time to truly see them because you are too busy defining your lack of love to someone.
A little old lady was dying in a hospital near me. My dad and I used to take our dogs over to visit people there sometimes. She told me that she spent her whole life believing people didn’t care. Yet, when she looked back in hindsight, she realized that they did offer love in various ways and forms, but she had rejected it because it didn’t come to her precisely the way she expected it to appear.
First she thought love would look like a certain man, acting a certain way. But after surrendering the idea that she could find that man, she married one that disappointed her by not meeting her expectations. That was one of her biggest barriers to love.
She didn’t accept what he gave because he didn’t give what she expected. Then she had children. And they too were individuals with their own dreams and aspirations (just like hers for love), and so they were disappointing as well. They did not appreciate her enough. The fact that they lived with her miserableness and didn’t rebel against her wasn’t recognized as an act of love, so again she ignored love while she searched for love.
By the time that woman was dying she was a hag. Angry, judgmental and spiteful. Neither my dog or I liked visiting her. But one day Mo (the dog) acted strange around her and I noticed that her demeanour was different. I sat on her bed and she started to talk. Over the next several days she accepted that she would be dying sooner than she thought, and the clarity of her limited time allowed her to see her mistake.
For her entire life she had been surrounded by love. She was virtually never away from its influence in her life. And yet she wore a cloak of disappointment stitched from a narrative of words. That veil of thought was what prevented her from experiencing the love all around her. Anyone that brought any love to her was met with ideas regarding how real the borders of her disappointment were. And now, laying there dying, she realized that the love she had been seeking was in every direction that she looked. So there never had been anything wrong with the world. There had only been a blind spot in her perception. She had defined love to narrowly.
Stop using your stories as barriers to love. If you’re walking through the supermarket thinking about an old love, maybe you’re not noticing the attractive person trying to get your attention in the produce section. Get out of your past and start believing that some of your best days are ahead of you.
Wake up to the world and recognize that its fabric is made of love. So don’t fall into the trap of trying to create it when what you really have to do is realize it—mine it from the ore of your own existence. It will always be there, you can be sure, because it is the very bedrock upon which we build everything we do.
I love you. I really do.
peace and hugs. s
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.