26 Jul

Where’s the Love?


“We need more love in the world.” I’ve heard it said time and time again but what does it mean? Is the government hiding vast quantities of love in a warehouse somewhere in Area 51? Are wealthy people buying up all the love and storing it in offshore bank accounts? No, love is a state of mind and, as such, is subject to our will and our choice. This means I have some good news and some bad news about love. I always like to get the bad news out of the way first so, let’s have it.

The bad news about love is that there simply isn’t any more to be found. That’s right, there’s no new love out there to be found and there will never be more love in the world than there is today. The love we have now is all the love that will ever be available. “What about the condition of the world today?” you ask, “If there’s no more love to be found, we’re doomed!” Yes, it would seem so, but wait, I haven’t gotten to the good news yet.

The good news is that our current supply of love is infinite and inexhaustible. Our problem with love is not of supply but of demand. When our conditions for love are met, we demand that the gates to our heart be opened and the order is obeyed without exception. When we love someone or something, the feeling is so powerful and all-consuming that we are fooled into thinking that it’s automatic and involuntary but this isn’t so. As powerful as the experience of love is, we only feel it after a certain set of conditions is met. Over time, we identify and choose which conditions meet our love criteria, like becoming a parent or adopting a puppy. What is the love criteria? It’s different for everyone depending on our experience but rest assured, we ALL have conditions for love. Love appears to be in short supply because our criteria has become so narrow. We only love those in our family, or religious group. We only love those in our city, town or country. Some people love animals but hate other people.

If we want to bring more love into the world, all we as individuals need to do is broaden our criteria for love to include more people and more conditions. Start small by replacing indifference with love. If you’re walking down the street and you see someone walking in the opposite direction, regardless of their appearance, say to your self “I love you.” You can do this anywhere. As you’re driving. At a party. At work. It’s virtually painless and requires no physical action on your part. You’re simply acknowledging a love that’s always been there, waiting for your command.

08 Jul

My Beloved…


Today, I said a final good bye to my beloved…well, I don’t exactly know what to call her. For the past 20 years, she was my father’s closest friend, confidant and companion. Both widowed after long, loving marriages, neither wanted to get married but yet, they spent every day together. They took vacations together and loved each others company. She accepted and loved my wife and I as son and daughter. My children as her grandchildren, indeed, they are the only grandma they have ever really known. She was in every sense that mattered, a mother to me. To say that she was my dad’s “girlfriend” seemed to minimize the immense role she played in our lives. They weren’t married but they spent more time together and shared more with each other than many “official” marriages I’ve seen. So, in this, the time of her passing, I struggle to name the role of a person who’s place was vital in my life but undefined in our culture. Why do I find a need to name her place at all?

Names, containers, boundaries and limitations. It’s seems to be human nature to classify everything and it’s a good practice for objects but, as time goes on, I find it rather limiting when it comes to people. As I look back on the beginnings of our relationship, I waisted time closing my feelings off to her because I placed her in the role of intruder. I simply didn’t know where she would fit in my life so, I went with my default love setting: off. Of course, this didn’t stop her from loving me. Eventually, her love proved to be stronger than my resistance and I was freed to experience one of the most wonderful relationships of my life.

So, Virgia Currin, as I say good bye to your vessel and you live on in my heart, what title should you hold? Since there is no familial designation that fits everything you are to me, I shall simply remember you as my beloved.

Rest in peace and love, Virgia. You will be missed.