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Moments of Love

Mar 17, 2012

How dreadful and painful are the words, “I do not feel loved.”

With these words, our breath seems to stop. Our life implodes, and hope dies. Some people feel that way all the time, and have felt unloved for so long that they have become brittle and old, in spirit and in heart.

I would wager that everyone has felt unloved at least once in their life. I know that I have. In fact, I used to say that when I was growing up I was convinced that no one loved me, and everyone disliked me. I would retreat to my room and read book after book, experiencing joy through the lives of the heroes and heroines of the past. I retreated into what I now call “my turtle shell”.

I’m quite sure that love was far more present than I realized. I want to acknowledge all those who did love me, even if I didn’t notice.

I’ve begun to realize that for me, the operative word is “notice”.

I believe that we are frequently unaware that we are surrounded by moments of love. Yes, it is true that human life is also filled with suffering, some of it extreme and hellish. It is not for nothing that our lives have been described as “the vale of tears” and “the bitter sea”. We cannot ignore the suffering of others, just as we find it difficult to escape from our own suffering.

Conversely, isn’t it possible to feel miserable in the midst of plenty and privilege and blessings? If you’re not sure if this true, ask a teenager. Unhappiness and misery come in many forms, and yet, the experience of feeling loved can lift us from the mud in an instant.

The operative word is “notice”.

If we don’t notice love when it is given, then to us, love was not expressed. If we not only notice moments of love, but remember those moments, our lives become weighted with storehouses of treasure that can bring us an overwhelming feeling of joy.

Expressions of love can take many forms, and therein lies the rub. Love is attractive to us because it means that the other person feels love for us. We feel appreciated and valued because we received and noticed their expression of love.

An expression of genuine love is a free gift to us. Thus, one could say that noticing moments of love in our lives expands as we increase our awareness of the gifts that are given to us on a daily basis. We are given gifts by people, sometimes very small gifts that we don’t consider important.

I once met a group of missionaries in a parking lot, and was surprised when an older gentlemen wrapped his little finger around mine, and just held it for a moment. I didn’t know him, and haven’t seen him since, but I shall never forget the warmth of his kindness that I felt that day.

I believe that beauty is an expression of love, whether it’s beauty created by humans, or by God. I love nature, not only because it is beautiful, but because I believe it is an expression of God’s love for me, and for every human being.

Every day, I go outside and touch the bark of the tree in our front yard, and whisper a greeting to “King Alfred the Oak”. Yes, I named him. Why not? I love that oak tree, standing handsome and straight and dignified. I think he’s a very kingly oak. When I touch his bark, I feel his love, and most of all, I feel God’s love, since it was God, after all, that designed such glorious things as trees. At least, that’s what I believe.

When I touch his bark, and breathe, with him, I experience a moment of love. I notice it, and I receive it, and I shall indeed remember it. Edith Sitwell, the 20th century British poet, wrote in her poem, “How Many Heavens ...”, from her volume, The Canticle of the Rose:

The emeralds are singing on the grasses
And in the trees the bells of the long cold are ringing,--
My blood seems changed to emeralds like the spears
Of grass beneath the earth piercing and singing.

The flame of the first blade
Is an angel piercing through the earth to sing
“God is everything!
The grass within the grass, the angel in the angel, flame
Within the flame, and He is the green shade that came
To be the heart of shade.”

In the text, the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, from the Apocryphal New Testament, it was attributed to Christ that he said, “Lift up the stone and there shalt thou find me: cleave the wood, and I am there.”

I certainly believe that God can be found in that stone, and wood; and in the grass, the trees, and in the shy little birds hopping down a Manhattan street where I greeted them one morning on the way to work. There were three of them, exploring the gutter for crumbs, ignoring the crush of people that were too busy to notice them.

Noticing things, and picking the wheat from the chaff of our daily experience, will increase our delight and enthusiasm with our lives. Do we wake up and feel enthusiastic, the word that means “inspired by God”? One way to become more inspired is to notice the moments of love and beauty that we find in unexpected places.

One day I sat down to read a book about money. Yes, that subject. To my great surprise, deep in the pages of The Trick to Money is Having Some!, by Stuart Wilde, was the paragraph:

To make every little thing special is to grant a magical quality to your life. Once your life becomes charmed in such a way, whatever blocks you may have experienced in the past melt in the light of that inner energy pouring from your heart.

To make every little thing special, and to receive every moment of beauty as an expression and moment of love, seems to me to be a very good idea indeed.

Moments of love are very powerful, because they are not lost. Pete A. Sanders wrote, in his book You are Psychic! The Free Soul Method:

Science tells us that every ray of light that has ever shone is still shining somewhere in the universe. The same is true of all types of vibration. ... Every event, thought, interaction, or desire radiates a complex series of energies and frequencies that are still resonating somewhere.

We may not have noticed many instances of love in our lives, as I did not when I was growing up, lonely and isolated in my room. One day, when I was seventeen, as I looked out of my window, I realized that I had no friends because I hadn’t cared for people when they needed friendship. It was a humbling wake up call for me, one that I’m still trying to answer, many years later.

We may not have noticed the love and beauty that surrounds us. We may be living in a hellish environment. We may not feel love from anyone at all. Yet, is there a sunset that we can see? A tree that we can breathe under? A tiny bird that we can say hello to?

We may have to look very, very hard, at first, to notice the smallest, briefest moment of love. When we do, we can know, absolutely know, that where there was one moment, there will be two, and then three, until we feel as if our life is an extended moment that never, ever ends.

It is a mathematical certainty that numbers are infinite. There is always one more moment of love. Always.

Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”

~ Deus est auctor amoris et decoris. ~

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Peter Falkenberg Brown
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