Creating Significant Relationships
Recently, I read an article by Diana Duffner, in it she writes about how she enjoys cards and flowers and presents, but what she treasures most is her lover’s presence. She enjoys the physical nearness but what is even more satisfying is to be truly seen and heard by those we love. It reminded me of a time I had pneumonia and was hospitalized; a doctor I did not know came in to speak with me. We probably spent no more than twenty minutes together but at the end of the meeting I felt totally listen to. I mentioned this to the doctor and thanked her; she said “I listen because I care.” That is love.
Mother Teresa was tending to children at a home for spastic children many years ago during the war in Lebanon. Someone asked her why she bothered when there was so little hope of recovery. She replied, “My job is simply to love them. That is enough.” Isn’t that all of our jobs to simply love one another, not just those that are easy to love but everyone. Sometimes our best teachers are those who push our buttons the most.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all our hearts and mind and soul. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as our self. That means to see God in everything and to include everyone in our divine unity. We are all one along this journey we call life. We grow in spiritual wisdom when we open ourselves to love and be loved. If we don’t love we are missing the basic spiritual lesson.
David Kessler writes that we find peace and happiness in love when we give up the conditions we place on our love. Most of us have been taught to love conditionally, we need to move beyond that belief and love with open unconditional hearts. Some of us fear loving unconditionally because it may not be returned. We forget that the feeling we are seeking lies in the giving not the receiving. As Alan Cohen reminds us, “The noble challenge of our lives is to reach out, to act, and to live for what we know is real, even if that reality is not apparent to our senses. This is the only real faith… When we find the hearts of our sisters and brothers, we discover our own.”