March 4, 2010

Love is the reason…

Posted in Between Us column, Relationships, Spirituality at 4:58 am by dinaheng

My friend sat at the bar, talking about reaching the next milestone year of his life.

“I’m going to be 60, and I don’t know why I’m still here,” he says. “I guess my spirit guides want me alive for a reason, but I don’t know what it is.”

It’s never easy figuring out what our purpose in life is, but as long as we’re alive, our soul clearly hasn’t fulfilled its mission in this realm. We’re each born for a reason, yet regardless of our individual talents, I believe we’re all here for one reason only… to experience love and to share love.

Loving someone sounds like such an easy skill to learn, but it isn’t. We put all kinds of price tags on our love, asking others to prove that their hearts really belong to us. The problem, of course, is that a heart can’t be owned. It can’t even be given away, for if we give the core of ourselves to someone else, who we are doesn’t really exist anymore.

So the heart can only be shared. And that’s the greatest fear we face. For if we truly share our emotions, our thoughts, and our fears, there’s nothing left to hide behind.

You can’t fool the people who have seen into your soul, and accept you for who you are.

“I give to people all the time,” says my friend, who is generous in sharing things with others. “But I’m not that good at receiving. Whenever someone gives me something, I feel obligated to give something in return.”

I know what he means. It’s important to maintain an equal sense of giving in relationships, but love is not a tit-for-tat kind of balance. If you get hung up on who gave last, or who gave more, all you’re really doing is keeping score, not sharing love.

It’s not easy to believe that love will always be there for us, especially if we’ve not found the love of our lives. Loneliness has a way of creeping into our hearts, whispering that maybe we’re not really meant to find love. Don’t believe it.

Every moment in life is an act of faith. Whether we fill that moment with longing and despair, boredom, or trust in the unseen side of life — the choice is always ours. We have the power to create magic, and as Paulo Coelho, one of my favorite authors, wrote, “I have to be my own Teacher, and that isn’t what I was expecting!”

No one can imbue our lives with meaning, except ourselves. Sure, it’s nice to have someone next to you, cheering you up when you’re depressed, and warming the bed on a cold winter’s night. But unless we know in the center of our being that we really are worth loving, all the outside comforts we can imagine will be just that — outside of ourselves.

Most people measure life’s milestones in years. I prefer to measure them by love. If we’re doing it right, each passing year brings more and more love into our lives. Our capacity for friendship grows. Our ability to love unconditionally grows. Our fear of losing love lessens.

Love is the gift that waits for us to give it life. Whether we’re six, 16 or 60, its presence is always around us. All we have to do is open our hearts, and let it be.


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