Life lessons seem to be hitting me in the gut left, right and center lately. Just when I think I’m due for a lesson-lull…Bam!…I get hit with a doozie! Do I have a sign on my back that says, ‘please rattle my view of the world and humanity’?…it’s totally possible. Ok, let’s see how I can describe how I’m feeling in words. ‘Overwhelmed’ doesn’t seem right… I feel that word sort of has a negative connotation, and what I’m feeling is anything but negative. ‘Mesmerized’?…partially. ‘Gob-smacked’?…I don’t really know what that means, but it sort of sounds appropriate. ‘In-awe’?…yes, but it’s still not right. ‘Awakened’! Yes, that’s it…last night’s life-lesson has awakened my knowledge of a topic I admit has baffled me for years; LOVE.

I had this awakening when I joined my sister-in-law for an hour and a half at a Buddhist Centre last night. Upon arriving, all I knew was that the topic of discussion and teaching was ‘love’ (gulp), and that meditation would be involved, but I didn’t know what else to expect at all. I was thrilled to be invited as I have been practicing meditation at night to help me fall asleep sans prescriptions drugs and I love it. But the mediation I participated in last night was much more challenging than the ‘count David Beckham’s…I mean sheep!’ technique I am use to. More challenging as in it took what felt like a small eternity to complete. (I’m use to only reaching sheep 32’ish). However, I muscled my way through it and sat as still as possible because the analogy of the guided meditation spoke volumes to me.

The Buddhist teacher told us to close our eyes and envision a lotus seed in the murky, muddy water. This seed represented our potential to find the purest of love. We then envisioned the lotus growing out of the dark water and blooming into its breath-taking colour. With a little more patience the beautiful flower revealed its jewel inside. This jewel represented a love that would have been hidden for eternity if the seed had not been brave enough to make its journey through the darkness. It wasn’t always easy for the lotus to grow in its dark conditions, but none-the-less it did…and was beautiful.

After the meditation we were told that the ideal meaning of love is found in the phrase, ‘may you be happy, may you be well’. Love simply wishes someone happiness and wellness….that’s it…that’s all…no hidden clauses or fine print…no expiry dates or restrictions applied. Love is pure and simple. Love doesn’t say ‘may you make me happy and well’, love is selfless and giving, and comes from a special home in our heart.

We as a society are so use to thinking that someone’s love for us ‘completes us’, but it doesn’t; only we can complete ourselves. We think that love from another person is what is necessary to make us happy. We can also unknowingly attach ourselves to someone who we feel happy around, who we think ‘fills a void’, because we’ve mistaken that happiness for love. We don’t want to lose that feeling for fear of being not-whole again, and the attachment this fear causes puts a lot of strain on a relationship. Furthermore, we often idealize the way a person treats us at first through that glorious ‘honeymoon’ phase, and make no room in our head or heart for natural evolution of the relationship. Sadly we believe that any change in the relationship, means a change in the love we have for one another.

This miraculous journey of awakening I’ve been on has made me come to realize there is no such thing as coincidences. I now believe that each and every event in our lives happens for a very specific reason, and they are all part of a bigger picture. And last night as I pondered the emotion, rational and wisdom of love, and where it comes from in me, I believe that not coincidentally, a very dear person sent me this clip from the Wizard of Oz and the message, “Despite our adventures, we have always been able to go home”.

I also found a ladybug in my windowsill this morning.

No one ‘completes us’ or is the key to our happiness. Pure happiness comes from accepting ourselves with all of our faults and blunders, and in the ability to give love to another human without hidden resentment, ill feelings or expectations. Love simply says “may you be happy, may you be well”.