Our human life occupies a very small space in this vast universe. Sometimes we think we need to do or be something special to make our lives meaningful - achieve success, have lots of unique experiences, identify with a specific religion...it’s not true. It’s the little things in life that give it meaning. Laughter, good conversation, delicious food, great sex, a beautiful sunset, a good movie, a cold beer on a hot day, watching your children play, or that feeling you get when you have helped another human being in need.
The world is so incredibly rich, complex, and far-reaching - sometimes it is overwhelming, and without realizing it, we retreat into this semi-conscious state of sleep-walking through our life. Getting caught up in work, roles, identities, habits, judgments and defensiveness.
According to a philosopher I know, there are two things we know for sure. Nature and Love. The former being all powerful and the latter being all good. The God I was raised with was defined as all powerful AND all good. It never made much sense to me because it didn’t explain the horrible suffering in this world. But nature, which is clearly not loving, is power that cannot be reckoned with. It does what it does and there is nothing we can do about it.
Love is what makes it bearable. Life can be really hard, So hard, that we sometimes learn to close our hearts. We develop an internal armor, as the psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich described. We shut down when we feel unhappy, attempting to deny feelings of sadness, anxiety, and fear. We think we can only be happy when things are just so. When we do this, we inadvertently shut ourselves down to the little things in life that are so precious.
Opening our hearts to love in every moment will help us to better see the little things. They are all around us, and are the real meaning of life. And the good news is...we’re not alone. We share a collective consciousness that is evident when we are connected to other human beings. Such as: getting lost in a kiss and merging with your partner, playing a team sport, practicing yoga in a group, playing with your children, seeing the world through another’s eyes for a moment.
Love is realizing that we aren’t completely separate from each other. Perhaps if we let go of some of our complex belief systems, the possibility for even more connection and love will abound. I really felt these things this year during Mardi Gras. The energy in the city was palpable, the celebration immense. Total strangers dancing together in the streets. Expressing love and connecting. Truly embracing and savoring the moments. Those little moments.
I write about human behavior, meditation, body awareness, and a variety of other things that pique my interest.