LOVE MONTH: DAY 5: “Love the whole world as a mother loves her only child.” – Buddha
I am always reluctant to use an analogy of “motherly love,” only because there are some pretty awful crimes committed in the name of “motherly love.”
Let us assume, then, that this is the kind of love that is nurturing and kind. Let us assume, then, that we know how to do this. Without conditions, without rules, without those toxic strings attached that so many of us need a machete to cut.
What if we could do this? What if we could set out to love every animal to begin with? As much of an animal lover as I am, I would have a terrible time with some animals. I don’t like all of them, and love all of them is a tall order. Even snakes? Yuk! I REALLY don’t want to love a snake, any snake; and some snakes are way past my consideration. Yuk!
And I am not fond of rats or possums; they look alike anyway. I can handle most other animals, but there are still a few I am not sure I can love. I accept them, tolerate them on the planet, but LOVE? Yikes!
So, I will start out with loving all the trees in the world. There are some I really, really love, and others that I just like. Not crazy about palm trees, but they need love too. So, I am good with trees.
Now I can go on to flowers. I really, really love almost all the flowers I have ever met. But, I saw a new report about one that blooms every 50 years or something and smells like something very nasty. I don’t think I could LOVE that one. More work to do here too.
So, we move on to lakes and mountains and beaches. No problem there. I can easily say I love them all. Even volcanoes and things of that kind.
But then we get to people. Eventually, it has to come back to people. I don’t know if I can love them all. That is really tough. I don’t even like a few, maybe more than a few, of them. What about that? Well, I am becoming more and more like that “motherly love” thing we started with. Uhoh!
I really don’t want to go there. So, this is the practice. To do the best I can with those people who are right in front of me every day. So, I don’t have to love them all today. I just have to be willing to do it. That is how this thing works.
I will practice on rats and snakes and palm trees and a few folks that come to mind. They will be the place where I focus as much love as I can for as long as I can. That is all that is required. I am willing to learn to love them. Ok. Let’s do it!