Driving up to the airport, I see my friend Laurie waving at me with a big smile at the end of the platform. I pull up, and she jumps in my car and gives me a hug.
“Hello, my dear,” she says. Her warmth and big energy fill my entire car.
“I had the best flight here,” she tells me. “I sat next to a woman who was so lovely, and we talked about life, family, and why we are here on this earth. It was such a blessing! I told her that I saw her on the plane and thought, ‘That’s who I am meant to sit next to.’ And I did.”
She and her seatmate are now friends on Facebook. I’m not surprised, given that Laurie connects with nearly everyone she comes in contact with.
Later that afternoon, she and I go for a walk on a path around a local lake. Again Laurie is smiling, talking to every dog that passes by, and greeting many people. I marvel at how she is so open and accepting of everyone and beams light and love everywhere she goes. Laurie’s love of humans and animals is like none other that I have witnessed before. Though she may encounter a difficult person who is not open to her, she will bless them in her mind and move on. She has an uncanny way of not taking anything personally, in addition to a gift of sharing love.
The next day it’s raining, so we decide to go shopping. Again, I witness her openness and ability to share love with just about everyone she encounters. She compliments the clothes people are holding up in the aisles and trying on in front of the dressing room mirrors. She always has a smile and a warm, supportive comment.
I think, “This is what I do for a living, helping people on their path, and here Laurie is doing it all day, every day. She does not need a private practice.”
Love is a state of being, a way of living in the world. “And as you become more and more the statement of love, you fall into love with everyone,” Ram Dass says. To me, Laurie is a living statement of love. She is in love with life and everyone around her.
Her part-time work as an actress in a community theater in the West Chicago Suburbs, I believe, has helped her let go of inhibitions and open to people. She has had her share of love and loss that has informed who she is and what is important to her in life.
“We are all connected, no one is a stranger to me. I like to connect with people on a soul level, and honor and validate their essence” Laurie has shared with me.
Her ability to love teaches me on a deeper level what love looks like. My heart expands and grows whenever we spend time together.
The belief that we are called to love everyone is one that I continually go back to. God, the universe, is endless, unconditional love, and love is who we are called to be on earth. I also believe the more you love yourself, the more you can love others. And, yet, we all know people in our lives who are closed, bitter, judgmental, and not open to others, let alone themselves. Sometimes we ourselves are this way.
Do we, like Laurie, choose to embody love and share it with others daily? Or, do we hold on to the negative, our fear, and judgments, and live from this space?
The choice is one we make every day.