This is NOT about that singular day a year (a month away) when commercial interests shove ‘love’ down our throats, this is about the infinite love that spans time, dimensions, multiple lives, crosses gender and age – this is the love, that everyone, E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, knows in one form or another.
Small children love unconditionally, without restraint, and their tiny hearts have more than enough room in there for every person that comes in contact with them. Any of you old enough to be reading this have witnessed the purity of toddlers and tiny babies eyeing each other across any public space, how they instinctively make eye contact, and one, if not both of them, will move toward one another in this recognition of self – the same essence, so recently part of a larger whole, reunited in the space of a breath, the most perfect love mirroring back at them, and reconnected. They hug and kiss easily, they smile brightly and laugh, share toys and food or drinks without a second thought. Parents usually let this happen but I can see, you can very likely see as well, that something in the adult psyche has forgotten how to live with this much authenticity and their body language often becomes rigid and an invisible wall seems to spring up around them and their aura just before they drag their kids off. In the United States we’ve gotten so crazy about this personal space that little kids (preschool, kindergarten, elementary school) get accused of “sexual harassment” – parents, educators and administrators you really need get your heads out of the trash and/or take a chill pill!
The Dalai Lama, in his infinite wisdom and compassion and love, maintains that we could completely eliminate violence (and likely war) in a generation if we taught each and every child to meditate. I honestly concur, even though I can’t say that I am a practitioner of meditation myself – my alignment coming with my hands deep in the soil or cutting through salt water.
I have loved you for A Thousand Years, Christina Perri’s gorgeous song might speak to a romantic love but, is it? The lyrics –
“And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more”
suggest so much more than that (at least I think so). At our most perfect state of being all we are is love, a potent vibrational energy that doesn’t simply disappear when our physical bodies die. That we, fragile, imperfect human beings will get one thing really right when we actually cease to analyze the dynamic between us and everyone else and simply let our consciousness (in the metaphysical sense) guide the connections to the people we are most safe with, who can be protective and receptive of the singular thing that unites all of us – love. I am not remotely suggesting that every human being you are in the presence of over the course of your lifetime will be a harmonic match to you, discernment can be cognitive or intuitive (and yes, I have made mistakes in jumping fully into new friendships – not that I would change a thing about my behavior as I have always learned something while being burned). But the sense that we have known someone for a thousand years, or more, that resonance and recognition only comes when we simply allow ourselves to ‘feel’.
These connections can manifest in astonishing ways – most perfectly between strangers who give everything and expect nothing (this collection of our humanity will make your throat clench and eyes fill), but ensure that we will ‘pay it forward’ because to not do so would seem somehow sacrilegious or make us immoral.
This sculpture Entitled A Helping Hand by Gustav Vigeland in Oslo, Norway seems to me to be the perfect representation of this particular type of love. Carved in granite, and set among 200 hundred other works spanning the human condition, the powerful sentiment of lifting up our fellow man who has fallen is only missing the commentary, “come on, let me help you get back on your feet”. Any of our failures to recognise ourselves in those around us suffering becomes all of our collective failure. In truth it takes so little to raise all of us up in an act of compassion and empathy – what will you do?
Dr. Paul Zak as a neuroeconomist (yea, I know, I was like ‘a what’?) goes a long (brilliant) way in explaining the link between oxytocin, morality, empathy and love. Watch the whole Ted Talk – it really is fascinating, and (I can almost promise) you will be really glad you did. Essentially when we connect to other people our oxytocin levels spike – a good thing – because when we do we perpetuate empathy and we are happier and the world will vibrate at that higher frequency known as love too! He is a firm proponent of hugging – which releases even more oxytocin – I wonder if simply thinking about hugging someone accomplishes the same bio-chemical reactions?
There is also the romantic love to consider. I was the recent guest blogger and guest for Last Minute Travel’s #TravelTweetChat, I see no point in quoting someone else when my own brief words sufficiently convey so much relevant to this genre of love.
I know, you are reading this and asking yourself – “all this talk about love, but no sex?” – as the song goes, save best for last
I admit that the sharing of physical intimacy has not been part of my reality for a long time, taking a lover for the sake of having one or for ensuring physical release in the most casual sense (risking STDs and professional reputation alike), or to offset a fear of sleeping alone has never seemed a trophy worth having. What is worth having is something precious and meaningful, something which becomes an extension of self, that is sustainable because the idea of letting it slip through your fingers or recklessly discarding it is abhorrent as well as inconceivable. No relationship comes with a guarantee of satisfaction, and in our disposable society those romantic relationships that start out as the passion captured at left demand something more than the physical pleasure that comes with coupling to be sustained. If we return for a moment to Dr. Zak’s commentary on oxytocin and hugging, just imagine the cosmic resonance ramifications of making love! Notwithstanding the incredible pleasure which can be realised from a rollicking orgasm there is a spiritual dimension that is often lost in the context of our dialogue about human sexuality. Let’s be honest here, there are people we meet (or see on a movie or television screen or performing in concert or at the theatre) whose sheer physical beauty of their body is flesh as art. I am sure there is a high percentage of the world’s population which wouldn’t hesitate of having sex with these people regardless of gender or preference. But a physical love, regardless of whether it makes you sigh, laugh, cry or scream out, one that makes you vulnerable emotionally, that carries you to your ‘greatness capacity’ as a spiritual being is what we should all aspire not only to offer but be capable of receiving.
Time and space of the inner and outer realities are indistinguishable. The language of touch carries all the nuance, depth and meaning that words convey, more clearly. This expression of gratitude without words changes how you look at each other.
~ Wendy Strgar
There is, someplace, for each of us a soul capable of seeing ours as clearly as their own, whose beginning and end can be found at the end of both sentences and fingertips, the realisation of an unwillingness to compromise as manifest in human flesh that protects and nurtures and transcends dimensions. This love, no more perfect than any other, is perhaps the most illusive. Maybe because it is so rare is why we value it so highly when the universe opens up and places it squarely in front of us. And perhaps also because we recognise its rarity and somehow doubt its authenticity or our worthiness of it, or the very real possibility that this love ‘may not’ stand the test of time, we withdraw from it as did the fictitious heroine of La Princesse de Clèves from the Duc de Nemours:
What I fear is the certainty that one day the love you feel for me now will die… I shall remove myself from your sight, however painful the separation. I implore you, by all the power I have over you, not to seek any opportunity to see me.
Love, in all its forms, is sweet ecstasy and because of that heightened pleasure the cause of our greatest pain. Why would you live any other way?
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