Love is the symbol most often associated with perfection – the power of love, the power of truth …. It’s the stuff of poets.
Poets are all who love, who feel great truths,
And tell them; and the truth of truths is love. ~ Philip Bailey
It may be innate – I think so. But early gratification, when we’re defenseless and being cared for is surely a time to feel the give and take of love. When we present at birth, we begin taking from others straight away in lovely, greedy, gulping neediness – and that creates a miracle. It may feel at times like the most under-appreciated part of the human experience, but taking enables giving. It’s good and right and makes possible that feeling we associate with perfection.
When the baby looks around him
It’s such a sight to see
He shares a simple secret
With the wise man ~ Leon Russel
Completing the cycle is the consciousness of giving. Heart-felt giving, generosity, is the true and ultimate form of greed. The pay-off, of course, is love – what we truly crave and what makes us healthy. Our desire for love is as wonderfully selfish and greedy as every breath we ever take, or more so. In that respect, our survival simply depends on the needy taking and the greedy giving.
I believe the harmony and balance that enables that cycle is available all the time; that our numbers, personalities, strengths and weaknesses are complimentary. But when we separate people into takers and givers, making one group bad and one group good, it depletes our source of power – the love we create when we help one another. In providing for each other we thrive. Love is plenty, and plenty divides into more plenty.
When we can’t count on each other, our sense of community is destroyed and we feel isolated. I think that’s when our quest for love is bastardized into a feeling of worth that’s disconnected from the truth. We collect and hoard and mood-alter in a million ways, chasing one vanishing point after another, but it’s loveless. That’s why we know health and happiness as fleeting or temporary states, and why we don’t get along, live in peace, feel safe or feel saved. Give and take are separated on our balance sheets.
Do you recognize the bells of truth
When you hear them ring
Won’t you stop and listen
To the children sing ~ Leon Russell
Asking if your butt looks big is a test you probably shouldn’t give to a three-year-old. Truth is their reality, their community, a universe of boundless energy where the freedom to create is the freedom to fail, where trial and error are perfect partners. In loving innocence, children understand the harmony that allows everybody to be a work in progress as givers and takers at the same time. They accept and encourage others regardless of imperfection or weakness, and they need the same in return.
And so … we’re wonderfully thoughtful, creative, needy and generous until we learn to distrust, and then we try to live among people who might not help us if we fail, if we’re needy, or if we have a big butt. We learn to criticize and fear criticism, and it smothers our natural inclination to create and offer our gifts. That fear sickens us and weakens humankind as surely as the lack of touch and human kindness kills an infant. Our resistance to helping each other is so sad and irrational. Love provides. Deviating from our source of love weakens us individually, and as a society.
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. ~Leonard Cohen
The enlightened and the creative among us have always given rise to the light of truth. It’s a bright light, though, and we tend to prefer seeing it through a veil, filtering its purity, its essence. But truth is not a choice between casual and formal wear. We can’t see the light or feel the power of our love during a weekly visit to the museum.
It’s true we live and die within the margins of our experience, but I believe our best thoughts and deeds ripple out over time and space to touch others. And those who defeat resistance and unleash themselves to change the world and experience mankind’s greatest gifts are with us. We raise them up to feel the glory of truth and love around us. What makes them adorable, though, is what they did when they had the chance. Here on earth, they showed us how to care for each other. It’s what gave them the strength and power that has made them eternal.
I love this analogy: When a fearful puppy rolls over to expose its belly, it’s a correction, an offering of trust, a submission to the highest power – love. Trust is the door love comes in through.
Love is the only miracle we know; unfailing, undying, available and waiting for us in every thought and every deed. Evidence of love’s power to transform anything into good is everywhere we choose to see it and honor it with the truth.
Our symbols are often so inadequate that it’s difficult to assign mere words to a feeling of such power and importance, but it’s been done. It’s around the world in every language known to man: God is love. Love is perfection. Truth, Love, Power.
Whatever that means to you, I hope you feel the best of it. I hope you feel love.
Stranger in a Strange Land – Leon Russell and Don Preston