It’s a human condition to feel we have to do something in order to deserve good things. That’s what inhabiting the apex of the current evolutionary totem pole does for us, living in a constant state of “I am undeserving” or “I am unworthy,” creates the self-destructive drive to prove otherwise. It’s beyond our ken to accept that just being is deserving. We constantly “out”-think ourselves—out of boredom, out of harm’s way and out of stupidity. But also out of joy, out of fun, out of spontaneity, out of love.

From our exit from the womb, we’re taught “control” of our actions and our emotions as control is, after all, another thing that defines us as humans. And we love with control because anything that’s wild and free must be dangerous to the human condition. It must be fettered and chained in order to be acceptable. It must look like this, and feel like that, it must do the following, it must be bottled and poured on demand. It cannot just be… it cannot. We have stereotyped something that demands unboundedness, and made prisoners of ourselves. We have put love in a box and told it to behave. But behave according to what? According to whose standards, whose ethics, whose sensibilities? “Wipe your feet before coming in,” we tell love, and it pauses at the door. And slowly but surely we attempt to tame something that should run free.

We treat love the way we would not allow ourselves to be treated, yet we proclaim, “I am love.” How contrary we are. We attempt to harness and hold it and order it around. How would we react if or when someone does that to us? Yet that’s exactly what happens.

Love long ago decided it had had enough of being controlled and browbeaten, so it moved out, went and built its own home. Somewhere else. Somewhere on an island. And it sent out an invitation to all, come as you are. House rules—only one—you must love. And the masses come, and knock, and love opens the door and they… yes, what do they do?

We walk around emotionally beggared, hungry and homeless. Our heart in tatters, emotions starving. Our soul, longing to depart, knowing it must stay to complete the learning it set out to do in this body, screams at us to “get a life!” Yet when love says “come in, I’ve been waiting for you,” we shuffle our feet unsure of ourselves—”just need to go change, make sure I am ready”—and when we return, love no longer recognizes us.

What is love? Which part of us falls in love? Which part of us loves? Love in all its guises and conditions. Is it the body? The body certainly likes to think so and makes all the right noises and movements. Is it the mind that finally gives in and gives the body permission to go for it? Is one a slave to the other and which to which?

Then there is the soul. The ever-stretching, learning-hungry, always on a mission soul. And those who truly love realize the soul is the part that falls “in love.” The part that carries them around and protects them, the part that cries, the part that laughs. This is who they are—this beautiful soul—the rest is simply a conduit for expressing what the soul longs to but cannot. Worth and deserving are concepts of the body, and let’s consider anything not the soul as being the body, thus the mind is included. The soul doesn’t know them, the soul doesn’t see them.

When the soul is set free to do what it does best—love—there is a peace, a tranquillity, that even while the heart wants to burst with emotions and needs strict control, and the mind sometimes goes crazy and the body does all sorts of forgotten things, there’s a quiet, an equanimity—a “knowing.” The soul does not discriminate, does not choose to love this one or that one, it simply loves… all… regardless.

Love is an infinite sometimes deserted island, “entire of itself.” It’s the “go to” place in times of heartache, turmoil, indecision, distress and deep sadness. It’s in a place of love that we can find peace and healing, joy and wonder, and it’s from a place of love that come actions which are mindful, compassionate and kind. Of these we all are worthy, all deserving.

image:  heart island via Shutterstock