In our pursuit of the need to be loved, we have a parallel need: the need to love and care for others. This healthy desire is just as strong as the need to be loved and nurtured in return.
We know that the desire to love and care for others is hardwired and intensely seated within us. And when we manage to let it flow through us and bypass all temporary blockages and preferences, we get happy much more easily!
The manifest love experiences that we get through loving also enhances our happiness levels. It’s a double win situation. Because happiness, in turn, sets all kinds of positive endorphins and circumstances in motion. Therefore, expressing love, care, and compassion for others benefits not just the recipient of our affection but also ourselves as the person who delivers it.
We need to expand that capability of loving-kindness, like I wrote about in my last blog post, “Go To Hell,” as well. Not through forcing change but by expanding our circles of love and compassion, extending that feeling of love and affection that we naturally have to include more and more beings and nature.
When we feel alone and miserable in our lives and our practice, we benefit from remembering that we live in an interconnected web with all there is on a bigger scale.
Our hearts open when we are relaxed and allow ourselves to be at ease with ourselves as we are. That is where we need to start since our natural openness may be covered up by many layers of doubt, fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem due to habitual patterns.
The good news is that we don’t need to go through all these layers one by one to get to the healing rawness of our open hearts. Instead, we can put on our mindfulness glasses and start small by observing when our hearts spontaneously opens. Maybe it’s by seeing a puppy or baby or any other being in a vulnerable position that makes our heart tick. Stay awake to the ongoing moments of spontaneous heart opening, and you will see what ticks yours.
The need to nourish and reach out to others that comes spontaneously before we even have time to think is a good reference point to remind us of this hardwired system of loving kindness that is in us. Use these moments of spontaneous awakening of the heart’s desire to love and be loved, and put them into action in wider and wider circles as part of your mission to live and let live.
Because, with a strong and patient motivation in the right direction, an intention that is allowed to grow organically, we will get to where we want to go; love and be loved, as slow and steady accomplishes the task.
While by solely remaining in the intellect, the knots and doubts around what we can do may instead become tighter and tighter. I can’t stress enough how crucial it is that we set the wheel of loving-kindness into motion.
Love and being loved is a prerequisite for us as human beings to survive. Love and affection is something we cannot live without. We can give material gifts, protection and knowledge, and so on, but there is nothing as important as the gift of love and affection. Without it, we feel unhappy, lonely, and unloved. We forget that geographical distance and physical locations can’t keep us apart and that we are all together in the greater web of existence.
Today is the first day of the Tibetan New Year of the Iron-Ox. This year offers us the feminine qualities of loyalty, nurturing, and keeping a slow pace. We can tap into those qualities, ride the force of love, and create a reasonable ground for nurturing each other throughout the rest of 2021 and cultivating this innate drive even more within us.
After creating a proper ground by observing our spontaneous moments of extending our care and training our mind to cultivate it, it is natural to develop care and consideration for others further outside our immediate sphere. Start with yourself and let the circles grow from there.
May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be at ease.
Tashi Delek! Happy New Year!