Time and Love

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Time. For many years I thought I would have enough time to do all the things I wanted to do. Hike the Continental Divide. Sail to the Galapagos. Explore pre-Mayan ruins.

For most of those years I literally avoided those things. I put myself in situations that made achieving them impossible.

Today, I want none of them. Sure, it would be great to take 6 months to hike the CDT, but it’s no longer at the top of my list. Something far more important and meaningful is; Love.

At the same time that I was avoiding those physical accomplishments I was also largely avoiding the spiritual as well and there is nothing more spiritual than Love.

For the last several years I have focused entirely on those spiritual needs. Learning who I was, who I am, and who I am meant to be. Learning how to love and be loved. How to embrace compassion. To forgive. To be grateful. All of these are forms of Love.

I’m not saying none of those things existed before, they do in all of us to some extent, only that I learned how to do them right. With purpose. Intention. It’s one thing to love, it’s an entirely different thing to Love with intention.

Loving intentionally means to love beyond the constraints of emotion. It is a deep, spiritual love that affects everything I do from the moment I wake to the last second of my waking day. It is something I share with everyone I encounter. Everyone.

It is a good way to live. Love is it’s own reward.

I won’t regret that it’s taken so long for me to discover these things because I have discovered and learned them  Many people do not.

I do, however, wish I had taken the time to learn them sooner because they have made my life better. Made other people’s lives better.

If there is one lesson above all others that I would share it is this: You do not have enough time. Not for everything.

Nor is it ever too late.

Choose well the things you want in life and from life and to give to life.

And put Love on the top of the list.

Why I write love letters to myself

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“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.“
– Buddha

I love someone. Deeply. With all that I am and all that I will ever be.

I do not know this person. I have never met her. I have no idea what she looks like or how she speaks or walks or where she works or what her favorite color is, but I love her. Deeply.

I sometimes write her letters to express the love and passion and desire that I have for her.

I do this for several reasons;

  1. It helps me to learn how to love her better:
    Writing allows me the opportunity to “review” my intentions. I can look over what I’ve written and see both my strengths and weaknesses.
  2. It helps clarify those things I need to do for myself:
    In reviewing them I see, in black and white, not only those things that I need to do for her, but, since our partners serve as mirrors for ourselves, those things that I should be doing for myself in order to be more prepared to love her unconditionally by loving myself first.
  3. Because the desire to “be loved” is as important as the desire “to love”:
    Desire, though detrimental to living, is a requirement of love. It is only through embracing my desire “for love” that I learn “to love” completely and unconditionally.
  4. Because passion requires an outlet or it will whither and die:
    Passion like any other emotion, is not just something we feel, it is something we express. In writing these letters I learn how to more fully express my passion and that passion, one of intimate love, carries into everything I do.
  5. How I love the person I am with, love being an action and not a feeling, affects all of my relationships from friends to family to the cashier at the coffee shop.

We have all been around people who exude that glow of fresh love. We have all basked in the heat of their passion. Been lifted by the energy of their desire. We have all basked in it.

I love that feeling and I want others to feel it. To benefit from it. I want people to smile without knowing why they are smiling when I am near.

Does it make me a little insane that I want to feel this way even though I am alone? Maybe.

One thing we can all agree on is that love, at least according to my interpretation of mental illness as defined by the Canadian Mental Health Association  as those things “…that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with the world around us”, is madness.

I accept said madness because it is my hope that in writing these letters, like messages in bottles, to my unknown beloved that she will hear my call, and that in preparing myself I will be ready when she arrives.

 

 


 

Note: I decided against submitting this article for publication several months ago because, honestly, I don’t believe I’m qualified to write self-help articles, especially when they focus on the unusual sort of help I offer myself, but mostly because I lost faith that “she” would ever hear my call. I post it now because it turns out she may have been listening for me all along.