Story 4 - Self-Love.
I nodded and closed my eyes momentarily as if this would keep the mental vision alive and engrave her lovely smile into my mind. I wanted to keep that vision alive.
"Isn't it amazing in how many ways it is possible to treat oneself with all those wonderful aspects of our humanity?" said the woman when I opened my eyes again. Her smile had become a gin. "It is also amazing how much we need this, and how easily this need is satisfied. It appears to me that it took you a great deal of courage when you approached me against all those voices crying within that would hold you back right to the very last moment. But you overruled their crying. Do you remember what you said? 'Would you kindly allow me to invite you for a cup of coffee?' That was as much a request to yourself than to me. Your face lit up like a sun when I said yes. Those small things are sometimes the most beautiful treats that we give to ourselves."
"And to one another," I added.
"How could I have possibly said no," she replied, "if my part in this is such a small one? The impetus for it was all your own. It came out of the great heart of our humanity in which all love is rooted; that we all share, and are able to acknowledge with such joy. Isn't life beautiful?"
"I agree. It is beautiful if we aren't too scared to embrace it," I replied. "You must have had beautiful experiences then, treating your friend," I said a while later while embracing her in my thoughts and her smile that was so honest and so penetrating to the very heart of the love within that she had talked about so freely.
"I was never really indulging myself," she said moments later. "I was treating myself with the same love and consideration with which I would have gladly treated the dearest friend. I also realized right from the beginning that I didn't step into a fairy tale world by doing this. I am convinced that all people are naturally generous and loving. They just don't give themselves a chance to experience that."
"What caused you to realize that?" I asked when she almost blushed, for whatever reason.
"I learned this from a businessman," she said quietly and then really blushed as if she said something that is hard to believe. "He isn't a stock broker or something like that," she added. "He is a small scale manufacturer. His experience in selling his product has been that people are more than willing to be helpful. 'Just go into a store,' he said, 'and ask for direction, and people will help you. They may even draw you a map.' He found this process to be a two way street. He found that no high pressure sales pitches are needed. He told me that he also endeavors to always give back to humanity a portion of his success, in order to keep the process alive on which his business is built. I merely adopted this process towards myself. If people are naturally loving and generous, so can
I be, to myself. And you know, that means a great deal to me. So you see my friend, what I did wasn't done out of pity as it might have been done, but out of love. I am always careful not to waste my emotions on pity; not for myself, nor for anyone else. Life is too precious for it to be wasted like that. The result that came from this alertness has always been amazing. I can recommend this to anyone. I have never looked back to the olden days once I began to love in this fashion. The dark ages have ended. Of course, it doesn't make any sense looking back, because I have pulled myself up onto a higher level of living by which the old world is no longer relevant."
She told me that she never felt lonely again after her healing that day in the Everglades. Much to the contrary. She told me that loving oneself is contagious, as it makes it so easy to love others, too. She said that one always needs to share with the universe the substance of ones riches, as the businessman has discovered. She told me that this single sublime experience of that one day in the Everglades totally changed her life. She said, it brought into focus what she had somehow always believed, but had never lived up to, and she added with a smile that this process of living up to the wider reality is still unfolding. She urged me to be alert of the fact that there is always something new to be discovered in the wide world of loving oneself and embracing the whole world in that love.