It has been nine months since I sat in that café in Nepal and realized that I was walking The Love Less Travelled-–trying to live a life of love without the usual anchors of partner or kids to bring that feeling to me every day.
Now, as then, some days I rock it, some days I don’t.
Some days I really struggle to even find the spark inside myself, let alone fan it into a full flame of joy, appreciation and love. But, being a bit of a pedantic perfectionist, I keep on trying. Because I said I would!
I keep reminding myself that love is a verb. It needs to be something I do, not just something I wait to appear.
Love is the most magical state we can be in—an immeasurable, indescribable, unquantifiable energy that drives our bodies, minds and souls to the most divine places possible.
Some days I am really struggling to hold on to my lovely fuzzy ‘love is in everything’ state, so I go searching. I look around inside myself, outside of myself for where I might find a smile, beauty, a reminder, a prompt.
Even if only for a moment, I can usually sink back into love, remembering that my true core is love.
If I can’t access even that, I try to have a moment of gratitude for where I am at—the grumpy or the frustrated or the sad—because that too is valuable, that too is worth appreciating as part of my amazing human experience.
But love has to be more than a feeling. The ex-partner of one of my best friends and teacher declared to her once that he loves his child more than anything and is the most devoted father ever.
This is the same man who hassles her every time she allows him to visit. This reminded me of a quote I found a year or so ago…
“Love is a commitment to a position, not a condition.” ~ (Unknown)
I first saw this quote last year and it rocked me.
You know when you read something and it reaches up and grabs you by the throat, the heart, the mind, the soul. It happens every so often—it might be a simple quote or a phrase, often on Facebook, sometimes even something I have seen before. It might only stay in your mind for a minute before you move on to the next story, the next post, the next moment, but, now, in this moment, those words speak.
The idea of love being a commitment to a position (I read this to mean that love is a commitment to a feeling, a behavior, a way of being, not a given or permanent state) reminds me—love is more than just a feeling I can access, it is a choice to be made over and over and over and I have to be dedicated to choosing love.
There are so many ways of living our imperfectly perfect lives. We can think we are human beings having a spiritual experience, or that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We can focus on our bodies, our minds, our hearts, or we can ‘leave that all behind’ and focus on our souls.
I think we are equally all of these things—bodies and souls inseparably intertwined to create this unique thing we call a life.
I can choose to get caught up in any part of the spectrum. I can choose to try to be perfect, and I don’t just mean humanly perfect. I think some of us (and yes, I thoroughly include myself in this observation) can get caught up in trying to be ‘spiritually perfect’. Trying to meditate perfectly, clear our minds completely, to sit in our hearts at all times, no matter what.
What if any split second of love or gratitude was enough? What if just trying was enough? What if we committed to our humanness with the same love as we commit to our spirituality?
What if the ‘monkey mind’ was not to be overcome or calmed, but is a very treasured component of our incarnation? What if our bodies are not to be transcended but to be truly lived in and loved? And yes, that includes food, and sex, and thinking, and lying in the sunshine, and chocolate, and, and, and…
Yes, I believe we are here to learn, to grow, to evolve. But perhaps, rather than attempting to reject or even outgrow our humanity, what if we embrace it. Love it.
Kind of like “loving the one you are with”—is it possible the path to more is through fully accepting and enjoying Who You Are.
A commitment to your Loving your position of Self- body and soul.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Michael Patterson at Flickr