Learning to Love

“Learn to Love”. This was the message that gently pulled me into consciousness this morning. I was dreaming; yet I was also waking. I could hear it and see it in my sleepy transition. I opened my eyes, realizing these three little words perfectly answered my recent prayer: “God, please show me the way”. Answer: “Learn to Love”.

Indeed; these three words sum up answered prayers and new years Resolutions. They are the formula for addressing pain, anxiety, grief, sadness, violence, hate, war, hunger and poverty. They are the answer to existential questions. They call forth our potential. They provide a map for the future, and reconciliation for the past. They probably even answer the question of what we’re seeking when we open the refrigerator door, only to stare at its contents.

If Love is the answer (and it is), then learning to Love is the formula. Learning to Love is a practice of trying, failing, and trying again; gleaning just enough wisdom with each attempt to restore hope and keep us going. Learning to Love is a daily train ride with Curiosity as the Engineer. Rocking back and forth, we pass sights and sounds that display our imperfections; formidable to witness or experience, let alone address. Yet, when we learn to replace judgment and fear with Love, Curiosity takes us to new and meaningful places, which make so much more sense than our childish temper tantrums in futile attempts toward self-importance.

Learning to Love problems and challenges shrinks them, and makes room for the answers. Learning to Love when things go “wrong”, we find the elusive life lesson. Learning to Love when there is “not enough”, we discover profound peace in appreciating what we already have. Learning to Love instead of stress, we find enlightenment in the present moment. Even traffic jams and long lines provide the spaces between the notes that make the music. There is no such thing as “wasted time” when we slow down and notice what speed would otherwise blur into oblivion.

Learning to Love what we do, no matter what it is, leads us to Mastery, which is one stop before Joy on Curiosity’s train ride.
When we learn to Love that hamster spinning on the wheel in our brain, we slow the little guy down until he looks a lot like Buddha.
Learning to pour Love into the space between us and our perceived enemies, we discover there are no real enemies; only scared people. Fear is the enemy, hatred is its weapon; Love is the answer.

Learn to Love those who drive us nuts, push our buttons and get on our last nerve, because these are our esteemed teachers of patience. Curiosity is there to help.

Aging or sickness teach us to Love our body unconditionally. And unconditional love is what heals.

Learn to Love is often the advice of the dying person, who gets that learning to Love each other helps us grow up and find our place closer to God.

In 2015, I have one New Year’s resolution: Learn to Love. That should do it.
Happy New Year, with lots of Love!

Jeannie Ingram specializes in Couples and Marriage Counseling, Imago Relationship Therapy, Individual Therapy, and Coaching. 

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