Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The One I Love

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Lao Tzu

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever.”

Alfred Tennyson

Take someone, anyone, in your life, someone you love dearly.  Someone you like and love just a little more than everyone else.  For the sake of this argument, let’s assume it’s someone you love romantically, though it could be a child, a friend, or a family member. It could be someone you don’t know very well or even someone you’ve never met, but it’s more likely someone you know or at least want to know. Now…how do you behave, or at least want to behave, towards that person?  Do you treat him or her like royalty?  Do you listen?  Do you give your full attention to this person?  Are you just a little kinder, a little more patient and a little more understanding?  Is it easier to forgive this person’s faults without ignoring or overlooking them? 
How do you feel around this person?  Do you feel lighter and more relaxed?  Do you seek his or her company?  Would you prefer to spend most of, if not all your time with him or her?
Do you consider your words before you speak?  Are your words, and even your humorous comments, kind and loving?   If you correct, do you do it cautiously and only after much thought and prayer? 
Do you show this person respect in word, thought and deed?  If someone speaks ill of this person, do you protect him or her?  Are you careful to protect his reputation?  Do you say the same things to her and of her?
Do you try to make sure this person is comfortable and protected while still allowing for his or her personal growth? 
Do you share your life with him at the appropriate level?   Do you allow her into your thoughts?  Are you honest?  Do you share your hopes and fears?
Do you make this person your priority?  Do you put his or her needs first?
Who is this person?
It’s many people.
First, it’s the person you’re thinking about.  It’s the person you are doing all of the above for, or at least want to do.  It’s most likely a spouse or a lover, but again, it could be anyone.
This person can also be the people you interact with on a daily basis.  The purpose of the questions above is to point out that we can treat everyone the way we treat the one we love most.  Obviously, some of the actions may be different, and the levels of trust and intimacy will be different, but I can still treat everyone I meet as if they were each the most valuable person in the world.   I can still treat every individual I meet as the one I love.
Finally, this person can be me.  Can I treat myself as the most valuable person in the world?  Can I trust myself?  Can I listen to myself?  Can I honor myself?   Can I take care of myself?  Can I meet my needs?   If I had been able to answer yes to these questions years ago, I would have had a different life.  This may be true of many of us.  But the past doesn’t matter.
All that matters now is that I treat myself as someone who deserves love, because I am someone who deserves love. 
We all are.
My Muse taught me this.  She helped me to learn how to love others as I love myself and how to love myself as I love others.   She taught me how to Get Started and Keep Going…and that’s why she’s the one I love.