I think everyone has an environment that makes them feel alive and joyous. I live in a place that makes my heart sing. I look out my windows and smile. Every day I walk in the woods. I look at the trees and I think “You are so beautiful.” Every tree my gaze falls upon I say the same thing “You are so beautiful.”
I don’t look at a tree and say Why are your branches the way they are? Why do your leaves flutter in the wind as they do? I don’t look at one tree standing next to another and say Why don’t you look the same? I don’t ask Why did you take root here and not over there? Why did you grow the way you did?
I simply look and marvel at the absolute perfection of each tree, each branch, each leaf and each movement and say yet again “You are so beautiful.”
But when I am with people, I don’t always feel and say the same thing. Why is that? What is it about a me that hinders my un-divided appreciation of life, no matter what form it takes?
What is it that stops me from feeling the same love and appreciation for every living being I encounter? I could spew all sorts of theories as to the whys of the matter, from a lack of self love to I am human and as such I am not perfect to (my personal favorite) it’s a tree, get over it. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter.
I know that when I am looking at a tree or flower or bird or cat or child and say “You are so beautiful” my heart recognizes the absolute truth in the words. It doesn’t matter who or what I am saying it to, when I say it and mean it, it is truth and every part of me feels better for lining up with that truth.
But when I don’t feel that way . . . No matter what the issue is, I don’t have to justify why I don’t feel good. And I don’t try to justify why I should feel differently. I don’t try to blame whatever it is I think the reason is that’s keeping me from feeling good. All of that, in my opinion, is wasted effort.
Instead, I remind myself “My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook.” And then I demonstrate it. I strive to be happy, no matter what anyone else is doing. I practice feeling good, no matter what. And before long I no longer give anyone else responsibility for the way I feel. Once that happens I can truly look at a person and say “You are so beautiful”. Because the only reason I don’t love them, is because I’m using them as my excuse to not feel good. Wanting someone to be different, for whatever reason, is the opposite of love.
Love is paying attention to who a person is and warmly accepting and appreciating that. There is a courage in feeling love. Have the courage to follow your heart. It already knows who you truly want to be.
with love and appreciation