This is the third of a series of posts with a soon to come final summation. The first two posts dealt with Law and Truth. This post is about Love. I should say that I am no expert on Love. In fact, Love is the principle of what people are supposed to learn from this earthly experience. Again though, it’s not mine to own but I have some things to share.
I have three ideas of Love to share here.
First Part. I’ve read a book called “The Art Of Loving”, by the renowned psychologist Erich Fromm(http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Loving-Erich-Fromm/dp/0061129739/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336741193&sr=1-1).
As I pondered this great book by Erich Fromm I realized that love as we commonly understand it has primary and secondary meanings. Usually we imagine Love as a couples romantic Love or family Love. In Mr. Fromms book he highlights other loves of Brotherly Love, Motherly Love, Self-Love, and Love of God. Even two of these are Family love.
I pondered his ideas and realized that there was in fact an infinite or near infinite variety of ways to Love. I realized that Love should be practiced in any interconnectable capacity. I realized that there are different degrees and levels of Love to be practiced and used by all of us.
Sticking with the idea of family love I could see that we should strive to be good and loving Mothers and Fathers.
I could see that we should be good and loving Daughters and Sons.
We should strive to be good Aunts and Uncles, Nieces and Nephews.
We should strive to be good and loving Grandmas and Grandpas, Grandchildren and Cousins.
While we all know of blood ties and relationships to various family members, I don’t think we understood the opportunities and responsibilities of loving all within the family(In certain ethnic families this is automatic but here in America we often have far flung and separated family ties that inhibit our love instinct) .
If we expand the Universal Net Of Love we can see that we can be loving individuals in all of our relationships.
Are we good Neighbors?
Are we good Co-workers?
Are we good Teachers and/or Students?
Are we good Citizens?
These last four examples are other ways in which we wouldn’t ordinarily think of these relationships as Love situations. But, if handled deftly and with awareness instead of mechanical and arbitrary motions, a greater understanding of the world can be known.
Part of the point here is that we tend to think of love as high and mighty, big and important without realizing the true Love opportunity unfolds around us everyday and in every way.
Second Part. My friend Ed and I were talking one day and he shared with me the true nature of the love for our respective children. He explained to me that, “the kids and teenagers don’t even know how much we love them. They think that love is birthday parties and teen age infatuation.” Being a new parent at the time I just nodded my head, “Yea, you’re right.” He continued on, “If you think of the love that we have for our kids you can see that it’s a pure Love…..it’s not romantic, it’s not sexual….it’s not driven. It flows and falls off of us to our kids. There is nothing we wouldn’t do for our kids. Nothing.” I sat up now and realized exactly what he was talking about, “Yea, that’s absolutely true. I’ve never really loved in this way before.” When Ed left later I pondered his message for a long, long time because I realized that it was true. The Love that my wife and I have for our kids is totally different from anything I had ever experienced. It is in fact one of the most pure and selfless loves we can give.
Third Part. In my late twenties, my mother and I were talking one day and the subject was about a local boy who had made a big mistake in his life and everyone knew it. His actions made him the local pariah. He was being scorned very much by our local village. Unfortunately, no one wanted to know him or even be around him. I felt sorry for him(bleeding heart liberal) but understood the hatred of the community. The amazing part of this whole story was that the Mother of this boy was absolutely certain that he didn’t do these things. She was absolutely defending him to the bitter end. This was even more confounding in the community because all the facts indicted and convicted him. It appeared to be a tragedy upon a tragedy. Soon the local people couldn’t stand to be around her either. It was a loyalty and love I couldn’t understand.
It wasn’t until I became a parent and I reflected on my friend Ed and his story that I finally understood. The mothers love was absolutely Unconditional. I realized too that this must be how God loves me! More and more I realized the absolute vehicle of motherhood confers a certain love that is magnified a hundredfold over our other understandings.
When I think of the function of Motherhood and how pre-life decisions are made I wonder how we could ever do what we do?
I have this image of God speaking to a soul/spirit and conferring with them of their spiritual curriculum this time around, “Angel #99, I have a special mission for you this time to fulfill one of my main objectives. This time I want you to be Steve’s mother.”
Angel #99 says, “But why? What’s in it for me?” God gives an infinite love and sternful expression all at the same time and says, “Your job this time is to give absolute, unconditional love to Steve. You’ll care for him, cloth him, feed him, and defend him no matter what. You’ll love him the same way I love you, with your whole heart, your whole mind, and your whole soul. Any questions?”
“Yea,” Angel #99 says, “why do I have to do it. I don’t even like him. How can I do this? Isn’t this asking a lot of me? Maybe someone else can do it.”
God laughs and says, “You and Steve are perfectly suited for one another. Your respective life lessons go hand in glove. You needn’t worry, the chemical, biological and instinctual feelings will take over. Soon….very soon…you will see what I see in Steve and you will also see more clearly exactly what I see in YOU. I’m not asking you to do anything different or even asking the impossible. I’m just asking you to love someone like I love you.”
Angel #99 shuffles the feet, flaps the wings, and says, “In God we trust, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Happy Mothers Day,
– Abraham Lincoln