Seeking to Love

I noticed his back up lights as I meander slowly through the parking lot behind him.   The truck is as big as mine, a rumbling diesel.    Two women, a mom perhaps in her 50’s and her daughter, stop mid-stride in his path.

Suddenly, I stop and breathe in quickly as I realize he doesn’t know they are behind him.    In a split second, his parking lights come on and the women hurry across the street.    But then, the mother begins to make her way deliberately towards the driver, as he pulls forward into a spot.   Her body language is on fire, finger waggling and gait tense.  She is mouthing words to him as she heads right up to his window, chastising him.

I know how she feels;  I’ve been there with that racing adrenaline.  But I also know how he feels;  I’ve been there gasping and biting my fingernails.  We’ve all been there;  made a split second decision that unknowingly scared someone.    Assuming 99% of people don’t attempt to run over someone, it seems fruitless to chew out a driver for a momentary, albeit careless, mistake that harmed no one.

And that’s when it hit me:

Every moment is an opportunity for love.

In every situation, we have a choice:  to act with love or not.

And acting with love doesn’t mean blowing things off, or being a door-mat, or turning magically into Pollyanna.

Acting with love is to make a conscious decision n to first exhale and then to speak.    To honor the spirit and heart of another person, the momentary energetic coming together that binds us all.   To recognize the humanity in another.

While that woman couldn’t have controlled her primal surge of adrenaline and catecholamines, she could have controlled her emotional reaction afterwards.  Easy? Nope.  We are all students.

Me? I have climbed the ladder of failing and excelling and everything in between.  Currently, my grade is about a C+.    Maybe a star for extra effort.

****************************************************

Every moment is an opportunity for love.

It runs through my head as I witness Indigo throw a bowl of cereal on the floor because I won’t give into her screaming request for a third cupcake of the day.
The mantra sings in my bones – a shrill sound, but a song nonetheless – while I lay between my girls at night, gritting my teeth because it’s already 9 o’clock and they haven’t fallen asleep yet.  Without me.  Again.

The opportunity is there.  For love.  For lovingkindness.  For patience.    And that knowledge alone gives me comfort.

I don’t always grasp the opportunity.  Sometimes, my hands grab them too swiftly or tightly as my anger wraps itself around me like a snake.    Other times, I send them away from me – to their rooms – because I refuse to let the love enter instead of choosing to lower myself to the floor and collect them in my lap.

But the faces of my children remind me.

****************************************************
My shoulders are knotted because I just want 30 minutes to myself and because Indigo peed on the kitchen floor and I forgot to clean it up so I stepped in it.  Not once, but twice.   I’m tired but refuse to give in to sleep when I’ve barely been able to sit down to finish an email without the girls literally on top of me.   The last of my organization (see: nesting)  projects just need a few hours of dedicated time to be totally finished but alas, those hours don’t exist.

Every light in the house is off and I lumber atop my bed and stuff a pillow between my knees.  “Girls! Come get in NOW”, I groan to them as they pour juice into sippy cups in the kitchen.  I envision a sticky, grape juice mess.

“Just ONE more minute”,
Kaia responds and I hear the fridge close.  The sound of little feet follow and they are now squished beside me, each carrying a sippy cup.

So, while Indigo hums herself to sleep to my right, Kaia whispers sweetly to my left:  “Mama, we  are a sandwich.  You are the cheese and me and Indigo are the bread!”.

My jaw relaxes.  I let my shoulders fall.

Every moment is an opportunity for love.

And I think “Who could be luckier?” I have all THREE of my babies with me, right here in this bed.   Two beside me, warm and small.  One within me, floating and magical.  My hand rests of my belly, right on a round lump that I’ve come to know as my baby’s back.   Kaia lets out a dreamy sigh as sleep becomes her.    I hear the sound of Indigo’s tiny grunting, a sign she is entering healing sleep.

Part of me wants to leap out of bed and DO SOMETHING.  Anything but be wedged here in this bed.  I begin to lift my big belly up and pause.

My head back on the pillow, I take in their sounds, their smell, the heat emanating from the soles of their feet.

This is where I belong.   In this moment.

This moment of love.


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9 thoughts on “Seeking to Love

  1. Amen. Whether it’s the complete stranger who cut you off in traffic, the screaming 3 year old, or the cranky husband at the end of the day. Every blessed moment, every breath of our lives is an opportunity for love. It’s the hardest thing in the world. But really, the more you practice, the easier it gets, and closer you are to freedom and peace.

    Love you!

  2. so hard to remember..
    so hard to center yourself again.
    so hard to remember to breathe evenly… exhaling that heat and raging red..

    and so. fecking worth it…
    so much more rewarding to just stop…
    filling the rest of the day with so much more light, more relaxed… more peaceful vibes coming and going..

    constantly in practice being flawed.
    xo
    thanks for the reminder tonight..

  3. Motherhood shows us to our deepest love and our quickest reactions, our unconditional acceptance and our spitting, snarling shadow. That is why it is so beautiful. And how it can be a vehicle for the work of the soul. What a gift. Even when we have to look ourselves in the mirror and know we’ve lost it. But I trust they came to us as teachers just for this, don’t you?

  4. I LOVE this post.
    Thank you for this. It was beautiful and took my breath away.

    Indeed, every moment is the opportunity for love.
    Life is but many moments strung up.

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