I’ve come to a stage in my life where I feel love is not so much a conscious decision, not on its own anyway, but also it is an involuntary act. It appears to me that I (we) have no choice but to love, and be led by love. But the real test (if there is one) comes when people can’t get along. When people become at odds with each other, when we construct artificial barriers of the ego, to protect oneself, and ultimately cause the other person harm or loss in some way.
For instance, on my return from a holiday abroad I discovered that whilst away my neighbour decided, in her wisdom, to cut down the trees in the back of our garden. Six trees totally ruined by her thoughtlessness, her reaching over the dividing fence and ripping the trunks in half with a blunt hack-saw. At first I was shocked, horrified, distraught at the callous act, to encroach on our small but lovingly tendered garden, and cause such carnage to the trees I have protected for years. I burning with rage over what happened, for days I became a monster possessed, then I realised something… her act came about through a lack of consciousness, respect and caring. She is possibly bi-polar and in her frantic hyperactivity did this with a lack control too. Then it hit me here I was doing the same, acting from the same place – rooted in ignorance.
It took me a short while to understand this and then to approach her with love and understanding. Sadly she still didn’t see that she had done anything wrong, her defences were going nowhere, but I was no longer in the clutches of ignorance and anger. I accepted her, her act and her suffering. We are all suffering in some way or another, and compassion, and forgiveness seems the only way out. I still have to sort the garden out and do something with the trees that got damaged, my spirit still hurts for the injury caused upon mother nature, but I’m not carrying the pain so much. I’ve put it down and given myself permission to leave it there. To let it go.
I think incident this teaches me to love in the most difficult of circumstances, to extend love to those, who are out of touch with themselves, others and common gardener decency. And I know that neighbours can be at war for much less. But I had no choice, with love somewhere in the midst of chaos, I had to lay down my weapons, and pick up the pipes of peace. I had to relearn fast that no-one is perfect, least of all me. I still have a long way to go. Who knows, the trees might even grow once more.