I'm was sitting at the Olympic Grill on Court Street, reading about the true essence of love. The quote from Ram Dass above moved me, challenged me as it stretched my understanding of my own identity. What is more talked about, sung about, written about - longed for - than love? It seems to lie within the very core of every being.
Yet we know so very little of what it is - how to capture it, make last, find it, let it go. It seems never far from our thoughts, our actions, our ponderings.
While considering how often my own attempts at love are thwarted by ego, I suddenly became very aware of the number of times I was called "Sweetie" from the waitresses who greeted me at the door, who filled my endless cup of coffee, who wanted to make sure my every desire was fulfilled - at least in terms of my appetite. Every pass by my table included some warm and endearing term that each time warmed my heart. Even the owner stops by to greet me and call me "Beautiful."
I saw them that morning.
Each time our eyes met and I responded with a how-could-I-not smile, I felt something unlock or connect or melt. And I thought how could it be that while pondering this stretched idea of love, that I find myself on this playground of unmerited affection and love? While it was true that I was a customer, it is equally true that not all businesses have such common approach to treating those they serve with such affection.
Thinking of those souls at Olympic the other day, I told Isi and Janelle how I wished I could be so free as to call everyone I met "Sweetie" or "Beautiful." And I remember my friend once telling me that her brother treated every single woman he ever met like she was the most wonderful person in the world.
Indiscriminate. Unmerited. Free-flowing.
Ram Dass and other spiritual teachers write often of an unconditional love that goes far beyond our human abilities. It comes from something far greater than ourselves, far more graceful than our too-often injured egos. And while we think others bring it to us - or take it from us - love is actually within us, deposited there by a God who designed us to experience love with one another. If another unlocks our love, we too often confuse them as the source rather than merely a key to finding the love that resides inside us - and all around us.