Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Feeling Love

I remember the first time I felt Love.

I mean, I had felt loved by individual people all my life. Here and there would be a particular person who reflected Love to me in a way that made me feel special. A Sunday School teacher, a best friend, a camp counselor. These moments always comforted me.

But there came a time where this wasn’t enough. Things weren't going so well, although it should have been the happiest time of my life. I had just had my first baby, a perfect little girl, and supposedly had a happy marriage -- but that was an illusion put on to impress friends and family. Nothing could fill the hollowness I felt inside.

When my daughter was about a week old, I still hadn't recovered fully from the delivery, but I allowed myself to believe my husband when he said I should be up and running again already. And, we were out of milk. So I made the walk down a steep hill to buy a gallon, and trudged with it back up to our condo. It was heavier than I expected.

Shortly thereafter I began to feel an intense tearing sensation in my abdomen. The pain was unlike anything I'd ever felt. I endured it for a time, then called the Christian Science practitioner who had been praying for me throughout my pregnancy. She talked with me for a few moments, and I whimpered my replies. Finally she said, "Dear, are you in pain right now?" "Yes!" I sobbed. She said, "Let's hang up, and you call me again in a half hour."

I hung up the phone, which was in my lap as I sat rocking in our big rocking chair -- the one my mother had used to rock us when we were small. I remember clutching the phone and still crying and rocking… then something changed.

Like water pouring into a glass, something else started to fill me up. It was like light breaking through clouds, like a warm bath, like fresh flowers. It was a hug that didn't stop at my skin, but permeated my whole being. I was infused with warmth and joy.

A calm settled over me, and I basked in this new feeling. Gradually my mind focused and I was able to put a word on it: Love. I was feeling Love for the first time in my life as a presence, as a being, conscious of me, present with me, delighted with me.

Need I say that the pain went away, never to return? I never found out what it was, but I believe it was healed completely. When I came back down to earth and called the practitioner, I had so much more than freedom from pain to report. I had felt Love, and it had transformed me.

Although it took some more time and events to gain a deeper sense of happiness, I think this was the start of that journey. The marriage ended, and I followed my own path. Now, as this same daughter readies for college in the fall, I can look back on that rocking-chair moment and see it as the first of a series of transforming encounters with Love. I'll write about the others eventually.

My wish for you today is that you feel that Love as well in your moments of need, and indeed every day!

Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee.


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