I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. Not the When Harry Met Sally sort, or the infatuation/lust/heartbreak/revenge tedium on the radio that makes my 10-year-old daughter ask, with a look of pure nausea and disgust on her face, “Why are all the songs about love?” (To which I answer, “Because love is what it’s all about, baby.”) No, I’m talking about the love that is pure, vibratory energy, the essence that created the cosmos. THAT love. BIG love.
I have a habit of going into bookstores and seeing what leaps out at me. I pay attention when something grabs me, even if I’m surprised or dismayed by it. For instance, the other day at Barnes & Noble I am perusing books on a table which include titles on psychology and spirituality. I’m leafing through a psychology book when my eye is drawn to another book lying just to my right. It calls to me. I demur. I return to reading what’s in my hand. The other book gets a little more insistent. I look again at the cover, which features a big, toothy-smiley pastor. “No, there’s no way. I won’t do it,” I say (not out loud, mind you. I do crazy quietly, in my head). This is a preacher who has a mega church in Texas. I don’t cotton to such things. It insists.
“Come on,” I protest. “Really?”
“Yep,” it says. “THIS book, not that one.”
I hide the cover as I take it to the counter. I’m like a 15-year-old boy trying to discreetly buy some condoms. I try to hide the book with a calendar and candy bar I purchase. I feel compelled to explain myself to the clerk, but resist the urge and slip outside, walking to my car. I ditch the dustjacket before I get home so as to avoid spousal suspicion.
And I read the book. All of it. And since Spirit made me get it, I pay attention to the content. It’s all about love. Preacher Man doesn’t mention Jesus, nor does he indicate that I am going to Hell. In fact, Hell isn’t even mentioned. It’s all about positivity and love: for self, for others, for the Divine. It’s about being in a state of gratitude and trust that you are not alone, and that you are loved. It’s a very uplifting, encompassing, kind and joyful message. I feel good after I read it. I even admit to my husband that I read it.
And then, a few days later, another book literally foists itself upon me. An author I never heard of posts a truly beautiful blog on a site from which I had unsubscribed, or so I thought. His message goes right to my heart. It’s what I needed to hear that particular day. So I bought the book and I read it. It’s about love. Again. Of course. I then bought another book of his, even better, also about love, and read that.
You ARE love. This is the message. I am listening. I cry. Clearly, it’s a message I need to hear. It’s reminding me of a truth that I seem to forget on a bi-weekly basis. It’s showing me places I need to heal, places that I tend to say, “Oh yes, that’s true,” and move on without really taking it in. I usually go right back into brain hyperdrive, leaving love in the dust.
You are love even if you live in your head and forget about love. You are love even if you don’t feel loving, even if you feel lonely, even if you said something judgy yesterday, even if you are sad, ill, or scared out of your mind; your true essence, your true self, is LOVE. You are not the three-dimensional person you think you are: this ego we think of as “self” is a costume, a vehicle for playing out the role of “human being having an experience on Earth.” You’re not that. You are a soul. You are Love. You are God.
Yes, I said that.
The idea that I am not really human, but a divine being in a really interesting and weird and challenging community theater production, somehow makes everything okay. Even the really hard stuff: anxiety, chronic illness, depression, money worries. Those things are not me. Me is love.
These lessons on love bring to mind the Argentine tango. I used to dance the Argentine tango. I loved it. In that dance, the follower mirrors or leans into the lead’s chest. The chest, the heart, is what directs the dance; it dictates all movement. His heart is a beacon. If I closed my eyes, I could feel this beacon and follow with a modicum of grace. But when I would try to think about what I was doing, it would all fall apart. You cannot think your way through this dance.
Let love lead.
This phrase keeps repeating in my head. This is the message I’ve been receiving through books that talk to me from tables and messages I get that I shouldn’t have received.
Only love is real. Fear is just a big mind-game, perpetrated by the ego. Fear happens when you forget who you are, when you begin to think you are really this human being, doubtful and secretly scared, bumbling along busily cobbling together a life of work and kids and making money and trying to keep it all together. You are not that. You are more — much more.
The message is abundantly clear, and I am listening. I am paying attention. Lead with your heart. Follow your heart. Whether the dance is painful or delicious, steamy or anguished, follow the beacon of your heart. Close your eyes and feel it. Let go of thinking so hard and trying so hard. Just let go. Lean in and let love lead.
It’s what it’s all about, baby.