It doesn’t matter who you love or how you love, but that you love. -Rod McKuen
At the end of a school day, my four and a half year old daughter, Lisa, hurriedly got off the little school bus from country day school and excitedly ran towards me with her long dark curls bouncing, talking a mile a minute, announcing she had her Mother’s Day present for me. Inside the house she took everything out of her school satchel – crayons, pencils, drawings, papers, until she looked inside, then smiled with shining eyes and pulled out a red-wrapped present. She proudly handed it to me with a knowing smile that this was the best present ever. To my surprise, I gasped as I saw the most beautiful work of art on a long wooden clothespin. She had painted it hot pink as a base colour with dark blue perfect polka dots and at the base, where a hole had been drilled to make it a key ring, she had painted three beautiful white perfect little flowers, each with a yellow accent and blue tiny leaves. It was a truly a work of pure love from her heart expressed through her little hands and her wide open heart. I felt the love emanating from every brush stroke and design. The love was palpable and alive. My eyes welled up, and in that moment I experienced the pureness of her soul’s love piercing my heart, filling it with waves of love. This gift of pureness remains inside me to this day, 39 years later. I learned how precious the open heart of love was, and I prayed that Lisa would keep her heart open so her spirit, her soul, could continue to express its fullness in life. And I, who at that time opened and closed my heart to many degrees depending on the situations throughout a day, declared to learn to reopen my heart as innocently as she, to express the love of my spirit, my soul, openly at all times.
There is no end to the pure gifts of love we have given and received in everyday life. The simple, unique gifts imparted with love daily, whether we are aware of it or now, enrich our lives in every way. When the light and beauty of this love is imparted to another, it unites, inspires life, heals, and brings a sweetness of happiness, comfort, contentment and joy.
This love given and received in everyday life, in everyday circumstances, remains with us imprinted in a sacred place within our hearts. We can access it at will and find ourselves back in the spirit and experience of the given love, as well as the full impact the specific love expression had on us. Love is imparted to us in so many hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of moments of our lives. These moments of love, when imparted from deep inside the heart, and received with an open heart, remain in our lives for always. How rich our life has been, and how rich the possibility of our life in the future can be as we open our hearts to give and receive the love in all action as we live our lives.
On November 25, 1997, my son John, then 26, a quadriplegic, living in San Diego, attending college at San Diego State, came to pick me up at my hotel to celebrate my birthday. In his prone wheelchair, with his loyal attendant pushing him, he knocked on my door and when I opened it there he sat with a big smile, his heart bursting with love, with beautiful flowers beside him. He said, “Hi Mom, Happy Birthday.” I reached down, gently took the beautiful bouquet of roses, smelled them, and proceeded to put them in a vase, while he let me know he was taking me to dinner and then we were going to a musical theatre afterwards. I noticed he was overflowing with happiness. He said, the girl he had a crush on was joining us. He was so excited and bursting with pride that he was taking his mom out with his young friend. What a special night for both of us! We picked her up at her home. She came into the van dressed very nicely and chatted away all during the drive to the restaurant. John was in his glory and so was I. At the restaurant, they sat us so John’s wheelchair would fit comfortably, as he proudly insisted we order anything we wanted. He was unable to join us in dining because of his physical situation – all his food had to be blended so that he didn’t have problems with possibly aspirating. He ordered a Diet Coke for himself which he drank with a straw, and he joined in the conversation as we ate. He was very much the man in charge as he asked his attendant to take his wallet out and pay for our dinner. We then went to the theatre, where he had arranged special seating so the wheelchair was situated next to us. It was a wonderful musical evening, but running quite long. A bit after the intermission I looked over at John and he didn’t look well. I asked in his ear if he was okay. He said he was feeling ill, since he didn’t realise it would take so long and he needed to eat. I knew he didn’t want to look bad in front of his ‘crush’; so I feigned not feeling good, blaming the food at the restaurant, and we all got up and left the theatre. Once at John’s apartment as he comfortably ate his food, after having dropped off his friend, we shared about the evening and what a beautiful, wonderful birthday it was for me. His love was pure, alive, vibrant, radiating straight from his heart as we talked – and yes, it pierced my open heart. His soul was light-filled with love and happiness. It was a very, very special birthday I will never forget.
John, passed away two years ago, April 9, 2008, at almost 37 years old. He was a beautiful soul, with a heart filled with love and courage as he fulfilled a standing commitment to bring to life a message of love that would touch and open the hearts of many. I feel he accomplished this in his life. What he did for me went way beyond that.
Through John, I had my very first direct experience of soul, bursting through those beautiful big brown eyes. When he was five years of age I experienced him as soul, whole, complete and beautiful, living in a human body that needed assistance. I experienced him reaching out to me beyond his body, through his eyes, and I got him. We connected. I got the wholeness of his beautiful soul and his deep desire to be recognised and to express the creative love through life that lived within his heart. From that moment I was his partner, his advocate, to have that happen in his life – and, it did.
John was the catalyst that opened me to the recognition of who I was, a spirited soul. This in turn had me recognise it in everyone I connected with. It brought me to who I am and what I do today. John’s love pierced my soul’s heart and there it remains treasured, in gratitude for always. My greatest joy now is to express my soul’s love to you, speaking to you in the language of your soul, which is love.
What a gift of life it would be if we all consciously began to speak the language of our soul in all circumstances and with all people we meet in the course of our daily lives. What a gift it would be if, with gratitude, we graciously embrace, imbue, and hold precious the gifts and lessons imparted with love and we in turn would reach out to share the love of our soul every day and it would then germinate and grow. May there be a global connection of love in you, in your family, in your friends, in your work environment, in your town, in your state, in your country, that unites the world with love.
Take some time and go back to note special moments of the past where love pierced your heart, and it has stayed with you all these years. Discover the gifts and lessons from each special moment imparted in the profound love given to you. Then take those gifts and lessons and return them back to life with love.
Remember that love is the language of soul’s heart. This is all we truly want to express. Let us all speak the language of love.
Diana Vela is founder and director of Programs of the Heart in the United States bringing the heart and love to people’s lives for 25 years.
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