3-minute read – I wish I could permanently feel love. Like dogs and children playing early in the morning, happy to see each other after the night apart. They don’t care about the world that worries me in the mornings. It means nothing to them.
The dogs and the children run off, and get dirty in red-sand flowerbeds, scratched by the bushes lining the secret tunnel on the garden edge, and itchy on the grass.
Their happiness seems to come from frolicking in joy, not caring about the stuff that comes to hang heavily on adults. Stuff that gets heavier the longer we live in these costumes we wear.
These costumes we wear
Our adult costumes stifle us with habitual thoughts and emotions. Worries stuffed in the pockets stir up anxiety to the pits of our stomachs. Mistakes, old and new, lurk behind a waistcoat of regret, guilt and remorse. Goals that we can’t stop obsessing over swirl around inside our hats. Failures that we should have gotten over already slosh around in shoes that confine our feet. Belts of old thought patterns and emotional programs bind us around the waist.
While I sip my coffee, surveying my lifetime of worldly concerns that hide the simple love I once felt, the children and the dogs carry on without any costumes – happy to be unclothed.
Lest we waste time
Most of us seldom, if ever, roll in the grass with a child or a dog. We think such things are a waste of time. Our pervasive first-world mind-set has us deluded into thinking simple love is not enough. We have these false images of, and strivings for, some grander destiny – when in fact there is no greater purpose than simple love.
We have expectations of who we are supposed to be. Parents, teachers, friends, peers, social media, TV programs and movies have us bamboozled into believing we must be like that. Or we must achieve that. We have a constant aching to amount to more… to be more. To get more likes and smiley face icons. We measure our lives and our children against others. And against standards and scores. Things and specifications define our worth.
The size of my engine. The number of TVs in your house. Her pretty face, his mucho-man charisma. These ratings occupy our minds and our hearts. We seek gratification… and NOW!
But it’s all nonsense. Children and dogs know, it’s all nonsense.
They live for a different now – The Now – the present moment. They can’t remember what happened five minutes ago and they couldn’t care what tomorrow holds. Unless an adult makes them aware of it, they couldn’t care less that their secret tunnel is really just a two-foot warn path, or that their flowerbed is smaller than the neighbour’s. They don’t seek gratification because they already have it.
Children and dogs aren’t stuck in their heads. They aren’t stuck in a non-real, simulated world of firing neurons, remembering, wishing, imagining and analysing. Their cells haven’t become conditioned into emotional responses to a pre-occupation with the non-existent – the past and the future.
They live in the only thing that’s real – The Now. In timelessness where they disappear into the reality of the true self – the naked self – free of the costumes we adults come to wear.
Some clothes are required… but you need not leave your hat on.
Unfortunately, adults can’t always be there in The Now like children and dogs. We’d lose our jobs, break our commitments, or be arrested, if we frolicked around without concern – without our costumes. We’d not survive a day in our environment without our programmed thoughts and emotions.
But we can re-balance our lives. We can shout out against parents, teachers, friends, peers, social media, TV programs and movies: That’s Nonsense!
We can take off our waistcoats and our hats sometimes, and let the Earth touch our skins so we can be who we are – spiritual beings in a transient physical state.
Let us get out of our illusory mind-spaces and spend more time with children and dogs. And with sunsets and mountains, and lovers and basic pleasures by firesides and bedsides. Let us spend more time in love – simple love.