Lessons in love are hiding in almost every moment and situation of our life. The question is whether we are ready to take an opportunity to live that moment fully and whether we are going to stay open to receiving a lesson in love that this moment and situation have the potential to teach us.
I've had one of these situations earlier this week. I woke up feeling a bit heavy, sluggish and not quite alert. One of those mornings when coffee becomes a basic and essential need rather than just a strategy to meeting some of my needs, such as, for example: awareness, being present and energy. As I went to the kitchen to make coffee, my partner, Jerry, offered to make that coffee for me. I accepted it gladly and went out to the terrace to enjoy the tranquility of the early morning sun and the many summer smells. I allowed birds to awaken me with their singing.
When Jerry brought me the coffee I started sipping with pleasure and decided to read some inspirational text to contribute to my need for inner peace and self-connection. Most of the short stories I was reading were about living kindness through action, living from your heart, making ordinary moments extraordinary through sharing our humanness and love – inspiring indeed!
A half hour after my first coffee, Jerry asked whether I would enjoy another one. Still not fully awakened I was grateful for the offer and accepted it with both hands. There came the second coffee served in my favourite cup. I looked at it and even before saying thank you judgmental thoughts such as ''oh the cup is too full'' and ''he has probably heated too much milk and poured it all in'', started racing through my mind.
Now those who know me well, probably even those who met me a few times only, have realised that coffee, especially in the morning is a sacred ritual for me. I am very particular (you can even read it as stuck-up and close minded ) about what kind of coffee I like, as well as how I like to take it. It has to be strong, but not bitter. I am not a fan of dark roast, I prefer beans from Latin and Central America rather than those from Africa or Asia. It should be served with hot milk, not just slightly warm, and there should be neither too much nor too little milk added...
Well, now, you probably just by reading the above are thinking that if you ever meet me, you'd never attempt to serve me a cup of coffee. However, Jerry has taken on that challenge many times and he has learned to make it just the way I want it. You see, my well-being, even when it takes a quirky form about coffee, has been important enough for him, so that when he gives me a gift of coffee, (or any other gift for that matter) he makes it in a way that I can truly experience it as a gift, the way I like it and enjoy in it fully.
So here we were with the second cup of coffee in front of me, my judgements flying through my head, and before I even stopped for a moment to look at those judgements, I heard myself blurting out ''you know, you do not have to put all the milk that you have heated in the coffee!'' Calmly, without any aggression or even offence in his voice Jerry replied ''before you judge, perhaps, you can hear what I did and what my intention was.'' He continued by saying he made a batch of coffee to which he added hot milk, only to realise that the coffee looked a bit too white, so he proceeded to make another batch of coffee, which he added to the original in order to make it just the colour I like and to taste exactly the way I like it. His intention was to ensure he made me a cup of coffee that would give me joy.
Hearing this I stopped for a moment, I was able to recognise and laugh at the irony of the situation. There I was getting inspiration from reading about love and human kindness, yet failing to recognise and receive it when it was right in front of me. This was a moment of awareness and I just allowed my heart to open in the now in this new moment and I allowed the truth of my humanness to penetrate me. Yes, I wish to live my life from my heart allowing flow of love and kindness to and from it. And yes, at the same time, sometimes, I still react from my conditioned and judgemental mind before I allow my heart to open and before I give myself the time to act in line with my heart and its desire to live from love and kindness.
So yes, I have missed the initial gift of love expressed through that cup of coffee, but I did not need to miss the lesson. By catching myself in the negativity of my reaction, I was at the point of choosing: On one side I could continue staying closed and reactive and on the other side I could choose to open myself to be touched by love and the intention of care and nurturing that my partner had put into making that cup of coffee. By choosing to open my heart I have also opened myself to learning from the situation and receiving a lesson in love.
Sometimes, actually most of the time, love is hidden in small things, in small gestures or in a few words, and sometimes like in my case, described above, it was hidden in a cup of coffee filled to the brim with love.
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