A note on love

Hands linked

As we enter this month of February, which for some is the month of love, let me leave you with a note on love.

Whether you are single, in a relationship or married, there are still so many that are seeking love; that touch, that look, that feeling, that taste and those words.

If you are on a journey for love in the world, it will be long and weary.
For love, it is within.

So what does this mean?

It means that you love yourself first before you offer it as a gift to someone else. For you cannot give someone something that you yourself do not have.

To love yourself means nourishing yourself and making your own well-being and happiness a priority.

To love yourself means accepting yourself and recognizing your worthiness.

To love yourself means having compassion for yourself and speaking to yourself with gentleness and care.

Self-love is a practice, it is a skill and it takes work.

If you are on a journey for love within, it will be long and it will be rewarding.
For love, that is within, is unconditional and freeing.

…….

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto to you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart” but rather “I am in the heart of God”.
And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. (Kahlil Gibran)

…….

Sending love to you my friends,
LML

Is That So?

Sign saying happy holidays with gift wrap and presents laying next to it

Surprise, surprise, here’s a story for you.

The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a village in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. One day the teenage daughter of his neighbour became pregnant.

When she was questioned by her angry parents, she said that Hakuin, the Zen Master was the father.

Cue the screaming, shouting, accusations, bottle throwing etc. No that didn’t really happen but you get the idea? There was lots of drama.

When the parents said he must confess that he is the father, all he replied was, “Is that so?”

Of course news of the scandal spread throughout the village and beyond. The Zen Master lost his reputation and his clients. This did not trouble him, he remained unmoved.

When the child was born the parents of the girl brought the child to him and said, “You are the father, you must look after him.”

The Zen Master took loving care of the child.

A year later, the young girl remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the boy that worked at the butcher shop.

Embarrassed and in great distress they went to Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. “We are really sorry, we have to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.”

“Is that so?” is all he would say as he handed the baby back to them.

What is the moral of this story?

The Zen Master did not become a participant in the drama. It did not affect him.

How did he do this?

To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalized and he is nobody’s victim. He did not resist what happened because if you do, you are at the mercy of what happens and the world will determine your happiness or unhappiness.

By only responding to what the present moment requires, the baby is well looked after and bad turns in to good. He lets go of the baby when it is time to do so.

So why on earth am I telling you this story?

Because friends, for some, the festive season is stressful and full of drama. It causes great anxiety. Perhaps it’s because extended family is together and there are triggers and old hurts that come to the fore, perhaps it’s because there’s too much alcohol and loose lips start lashing or perhaps it’s because someone got irritated in the moment and exploded.

Whatever it is, let us proceed in peace and harmony. Let us be at ease. Let us relax and let us have fun.

Let us reply with, “Is that so?”

On that note let me say that I’m unplugging for the month of December and “Is that so?” will be my mantra.

I will be celebrating my birthday, celebrating Christmas and also celebrating the New Year.

I will be slowing down and resting and rejuvenating.

I will also be playing and creating and writing.

There will be plenty of stuff cooking in the kitchen.

Don’t worry, come January I’ll be back with so much more.

As always, I wish you and your families plenty of relaxation, laughter and fun. May you all be at peace and experience much joy.

May love and blessings hug you

Your friend and wellbeing bestie,

LML