The year I went to Nine Gates Mystery School (1990) was the only time Angeles Arrien taught a piece and I have always been so grateful I got to experience her. One of her teaching stories touched me deeply and I’ve pulled it out of my memory bank to reconsider many times.
She told of sitting in a rose garden when a mother and her little boy came by. The little boy pointed to a rose and said, “Mommy you’re just as pretty as this flower.” The mother looked pained and replied, “Why can’t you ever tell me you love me?” Of course he just had, but like many of us, she couldn’t receive his gift because she could only perceive love expressed her way.
More and more through the years I’ve realized how very many people in many ways fail to hear the messages of love that come to them because they’re focused on some exact phrasing or method (or too focused on looking for unhappiness to notice anything good) that no other phrase or form is perceived. Sadly, a lot of people only know how to express love through criticism or controlling and those are very hard messages to hear. But if you know who people are and what they do, as discussed in the last post, you can start to see the loving intent behind even those otherwise inappropriate forms of expression.
During the holidays it seems to me that among many heightened expectations of magic, people want to feel the love of their families and friends. The huge let-down so many feel often comes from the failure of those loved ones to provide love in the expected or desired way. What if you go through the holidays trying to understand how the people around you show their love instead of looking for love to arrive the way you want it?
Do you know how to recognize love when it’s offered?