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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Out of the Chrysalis - The Hungry Heart

"A life filled with love must have some thorns; but a life empty of love will have no roses."- Unknown

"If we discovered that we had only five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them." - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

It is strange, but no longer unexpected, how something as simple as a walk in my garden can lead to a whole new train of thought. My routine was a little different this morning as my son is unwell, an early morning client was a no-show and I allowed myself to let work displace my usual after the school run exploration. Then as I sat at my desk lost in researching a new client’s condition, the music of the birds seemed to enter my body. I could feel each note rippling through me and in that moment, the softness of the morning garden called to me. That song created a hunger in my heart for the peace and beauty of nature; my curiosity was ignited by the thought of what I would discover today.

I breathed in the beauty of the big showy crimson peonies, the stunning architectural shapes of the yew trees which follow the little stream, the soft pink froths of apple blossoms, the pure white clematis scrambling to the sky, an intoxication of the soul. Then I glanced down to see what was growing in my little alpine bed which mirrors the main house border but in miniature.

My rampant strawberry plants have spilled down from their containers into this bed andin the exuberance of their leaves and the lush berry promiseof their white flowers, I almost missed a little gem. Peeping out from underneath was the tiniest deep purple alpine primula.

I bent down and plucked a few leaves from the strawberry plant to give this shy gift a chance to see the sun and to be admired by the world. As I looked at it, a thought came to me. How many flowers grow unnoticed, denied the sun, radiant in a beauty that no one ever sees, no one ever appreciates, and no one ever loves.

Then I knew that I was no longer thinking about flowers; I was thinking about all the children of this world, the little ones and the ones with greying hair, for we are all still children deep inside. A wave of painpassed through me at the thought that in this world of ours, there were people who went to bed at night without anyone having loved them, cherished them, hugged or held them. It made me so sad to think of all the unnourished lives being dragged out throughout the world, because we do not need only food to live, we need to be loved. We need to have someone look at us and know that they love us, that we are so very important in their lives, that we are accepted just the way we are.

We talk of people living hollow lives and that is what happens when there is not enough love to fill them, when that hunger for belonging, for being important in someone’s life, is not filled. I was a very hungry little girl, the second oldest of a tribe of ten children. My mind knew that my parents loved me but my heart struggled to feel it.

When you are a little five year old who still wants to sit on mummy’s lap but there are already three other smaller ones with priority, then you quickly learn that there is no room for you. When you come home from school jumping up and down with excitement about what you learned that day, you want to be heard, to be acknowledged, to be praised; when there are too many voices shouting out loudly, you quickly learn to be silent about your own needs. When your father is always too busy working to watch you in your starring roles in school plays and concerts, you quickly become a sensible little girl who understands that food must be put on the table and that the hunger in your heart for something more than a full stomach is a selfish desire to be put away with all the other selfish desires and dreams.

At what point does a child start to believe that they are unlovable, not that they are not loved enough, but that there is something about them which is fundamentally undeserving? I did not love myself and I filled my hollowness with giving others the love and attention that I hungered for myself. For a very long time I could not accept that another human being would love me just for who I am. I burned to give love but did not feel that I feared that I was not worthy of receiving it, all an illusion of course but it was my perception that created my reality, a very lonely one.

When we believe that we are unlovable for whatever reason, we become adept at turning away those who try to break through those self-protective barriers. We hide our hunger and our fear of rejection by allowing no one to come close. Looking back from the perspective of a life time of experience, I understand now but it took a large part of my adult life to truly internalise that to really give love, requires that you love yourself.

When you love yourself, you send out a signal to the world that there is an abundance of love, that there is not only the possibility of being loved but that it is a reality.

When you love yourself you do not only fill your own emptiness, you become an overflowing vessel of love which spills out to feed the world's hungry hearts.

When you love yourself, you find that there is infinite healing of the wounds of the past and when you heal, you spread that healing balm to others.

When you love yourself, you allow others to love you and that is an awesome gift for you and for them.

All of this sprang from the observation of that beautiful little flower, almost invisible, hidden from the world by others more rampant, more insistent on taking their place in the sun. Be observant both of yourself and others. Are you a hidden blossom.? What will it take to claim your place in the world of light? What work needs to be done for you to love yourself enough to shine that love out into our world which needs every blessed beautiful loving soul to be fully the magnificent loving beings they were born to be?

Look around you. Who are the hidden flowers in your life? What can you do to help them find their way out into the light? What can you do to help them to love themselves? Love is always the key that unlocks the shuttered doors of the hungry heart.

So please take a little time to consider this today. Perhaps you might think about one or two little things that could create profound change in your lives and the lives of those around you.
Think about whether those you love actually feel that love rather than intellectually know that it is there.
How often do you say the words “I love you”? How often do you touch, hug, kiss or hold? Is it enough?
Ask them if you are not sure. It is never too late to start filling that hollowness with love. It is never too late to heal.
Think about whether you feel loved. What more is needed in your life to fill your hollow spaces.
Who needs to be spoken with?
What requests need to be made?
How much hugging and kissing and holding will it take to fill you up to the point where you really, really feel the love flowing through you?

How many times a day do you need to be wrapped up in those wonderful releasing words “I love you”.
Don't make the mistake of holding back. Ask for what you need and if it isn't available then look to where it is.
The price of a life without love is far too high.
Don't hide away in the shadows of life for want of a quiet request for more light. You cannot ever overfill the hungry heart. It will not explode if you give it too much.
What is guaranteed is that when you do not give it enough, it shrinks and the world has lost another rich source of joy.
Ask for what you need to fill the hunger of your heart.
There can never be a day when we do not need to be loved.
Please do not hold back in giving that love to those around us. It is unlimited in its supply; it is not rationed or restricted.
There are no rules, no laws which tell us who we should love or how much we should love them, yet we behave as though there are.Love yourself today and allow others to feel loved by you.

Teach the children of the world to love themselves by filling them with your love.

Go on, I dare you. Let me know what doors it opens.

Some Thoughts to Ponder

"Loving can cost a lot but not loving always costs more, and those who fear to love often find that want of love is an emptiness that robs the joy from life."- Merle Shan

"You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back."- Barbara De Angelis

"The greatest happiness of life it the conviction that we are loved."- Victor Hugo
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