Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. - Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
Last week I sat in a chair, sipping a glass of cool water while a man asked me, "What is the difference in loving somebody and being in love with somebody?"
I thought about what I'm in love with and of course there is my family. But there is more, because I am in love with the stormy ocean when I have on a thick wool scarf and rainboots and a proper umbrella. I am in love with the idea of Narwhals and dark bears walking against a wall of white. I am in love with the kind of thunder that shakes the whole Earth and you don't know if you'll survive as time and space are ripped open in the sky above.
I am in love with a Nepalese woman who scales a cliff with a taut belt across her head, wrapping the huge bails of greenery to feed her goats. I am in love with her knees, that bear this burden and with her heart, that bears it just as well. I am in love with the working American mother, who wrangles a schedule of four so complex that it creates a band around her head. I am in love with her shoulders, that bear this burden and with her heart, that bears it just as well.
I am in love with random acts of kindness and with the planned acts of compassion that I see everyday. I am in love with the new clinic that the Acupuncture Relief Project just built in Nepal and everything that it means for the community there and for the health care providers that will volunteer their time. I am in love with the new clinic space that I've been blessed with here in Portland, and everything that it means for me in following the work that I love to do.
What does it mean to be in love?
To be in love is to see the divine in something: human or not human. It is to be inspired to do the work of the soul. It means that within me, the core desires that guide my work in the world are activated. It means that all the barriers against my own unfolding, my own divinity and my own vulnerability slowly move away so that the deepest self can be seen.
Today, I want to be in love with as much of the world around me as I can possibly manage. I wish the same for you.