I was in a spiritual conversation with a Buddhist friend of mine recently when they asked me the question, “What is love?”
I have blogged about love before this, and of course it is something I think about often.
My friend offered me an answer that I have not heard before: “Love is the desire for happiness in another. “
I have thought quite a bit about that statement. It is absolutely true, and conversely, if you do not love someone you do not desire happiness for them. We all know that that’s not how we’re supposed to live our lives.
So I started thinking of what makes us love one and not love another. I think it comes down to gratitude. When we have gratitude for one or find gratitude in another, it opens our hearts and in turn we desire happiness for those people, things or animals. It might apply to anything.
I think gratitude is the surest way to find God in a sense. When I stopped to think about all of the things that I have been taking for granted, I then started to be grateful for all of the things that I had forgotten existed.
Most of us get caught up in our heads about the things that we don’t have. We forget to be grateful for all of the many, many things that we do have. I really started to look for all of the many many things that I have to be grateful for, and it’s incredible how many things there really are.
Here’s an example: Open your fridge. So I pondered my lack of gratitude as I opened my own fridge. For my meal today I have fresh mangoes, a mixture of Brazilian, almond, filbert and walnuts with peanuts and some dried blueberries, cranberries, kiwi and banana chips. In addition, I had a beautiful Laramar bar (natural ingredients like dates, coconut, almond and peanuts) dipped into some amazing sunflower butter. In my refrigerator (what a blessing), I have canisters of ready made organic hummus guacamole, with fresh green snap peas and organic whole grain chips to dip. In my freezer I have organic ice cream made from coconut, almond, and even cashew milk.
I live in Spokane, Washington in the Pacific Northwest; there’s certainly no mango crops nearby, and I have never yet been able to grow a tomato plant that survives the season.
Looking at what I do have within my grasp and at my fingertips with very, very little effort on my part, and then I think back to those from only 100 years ago to 1918 and the difference it was then, or 150 years ago in 1868; I consider that being blessed.
Then I think deeper, and about where my mangoes (and other contents of my refrigerator and pantry) come from, and the men and women who are involved in providing these things. I think about the beautiful plants drawing the water for their juicy fruit from our gorgeous planet. Sweetening the water, while cleansing it from all of our pollutions. I think about how this same plant that filters the water and provides me succulent fruit also helps to provide us the oxygen we breathe. I think about the men and women (and their families) who tend to these crops, and the men and women (and their families) who transport, package/process, stock, sell, reorder the products. Then I appreciate the fact that I can even taste and that I can experience and even remember those flavors.
So you see, gratitude brings you to love. Gratitude, I also truly believe, brings you to God. It is nothing that we haven’t all heard before: We need to find gratitude in all things. As we remember to do so, it allows the love to develop in our hearts. As our hearts fill with love, we make this world a better place for those around us.
Take a moment to find gratitude. It will make your day much better!
Live Without Fear, search for Your truth, Namaste, and God bless
~ Jack Talcott