Last night, as I was about to call it a night and take to my bed,I heard my daughter's voice calling for me.She must be thirsty,I thought,so I walked over to her with a glass of cool water.She drank it thirstily.Instead of turning around to fall right back asleep though, this time she pulled me to her with her little arms and held me to her chest.Initially I felt surprise.But as I lay there,my ear pressed against her chest,listening to her heart beating in the still of the night,it felt like the most natural thing to do.We lay there for an eternity it seems,just holding each other.I could feel her rhythmic breath,the warmth of her skin.For any mother,myself included,that is heaven.The moment when you truly feel the divine being present.I felt overwhelming joy,love,love for everyone on the planet.I felt loved myself,not only by this little human I get to call my child and which I was blessed to bring to this Earth, but by God as well.
Later,when she was asleep once again with that little mischievous smile on her face,and I had retired to bed myself,various thoughts started playing around in my head.So here I am,sharing them with you.Many of you will believe that I am just overreacting.I'll attempt to relate to you those thoughts,hoping you will find common ground with them.
As humans, during our brief stay on the planet our actions and thought are mainly driven by one basic need:the need to be loved and accepted unconditionally.Our other quest is to seek out the Divine,God,Allah,the Tao,the Universe,Mother Nature or however else we choose to call this omnipresent force that drives all and unite with it.These are our basic needs or quests and no matter what we end up doing in our lives,this is what truly keeps us going.As I see it,the void we oftentimes feel in our hearts,in our very soul is the absence of love,the absence of feeling united with our soul,of being united with the Divine.
We are taught at school that we should attend church and listen to endless sermons,not sin,read the Bible and various other rules that I have discarded a long time ago.I did try.I read the Bible.I did not find God there.I did go to Church,no matter how much it bored me and angered me by the hypocrisy of the golden-clad priests telling us to exercise self-restraint in everything,to fast and what not. If God is somewhere he is not in a building.Why should he limit Himself/Herself so?So, I read extensively.I educated myself on the principles of various religions,dogmas and heresies.There were many examples of enlightened people there.But let's face it,not all of us who came on this planet are here to become enlightened,gurus,priests,spiritual leaders.We are here to experience love,learn to give as well as to receive it.
In my limited time here on this planet,I have not witnessed the Divine often.But I did feel it in some very painful moments of my life,supporting me.I felt it when my daughter was born,oh so strong.I felt it while teaching,flowing through me and inspiring me.I see it in eyes of my students.I felt it last night when my daughter hugged me,half-asleep.It was the most powerful feeling or Divinity I felt.Just a hug,we say.Is it,really?Or is it a means, a conduit for love or the Divine to flow more freely? Many will say it's the oxytocin that was released from the hug that made me feel so elevated.I can assure you, it was not.I am old enough to know the difference.I have been hugged many times.Not many times did I feel so uplifted,so full of overwhelming love,like a warm wave of air coursing through me.I can't really describe it,words don't do it justice. And somehow,I don;t think that's the point.I just wanted to convey that what we are looking for so frantically on the outside,from various enlightened people,from teachings of others,from holy places and temples,is not that far away from us.I do not mean to understimate the significance of the above nor do I wish to disregard them completely.I just meant to say that it is and has always been closer to home.Look around you.The warm smile of a neighbour.A helping gesture from a stranger.A kind word from a shop assistant.The expectancy and curiosity on a child's face.A warm,loving hug.Meditation.Whatever you are looking for is not far away.It's within you already.It's that little voice whispering,urging you on or preventing you from an action.The Divine is in you,in everything you do.
For me this was a very personal experience and one I was not really sure whether I should share or not.I feeI really vulnerable putting myself out there like this.I felt the need though.To speak my mind,to tell of my feelings.I know many of you will be able to associate with my story.The power of a child's hug,the love it holds,The fact that you can feel the Divine in your everyday life,every single smile,touch,action is an expression of it.All we have to do is to let it flow freely and unhindered through us.Do go to church if you feel the need.There's nothing wrong with it.Listen to sermons and read the Bible if that feels right to you.It's your expression,your way of connecting.Just,from time to time,allow yourself to look for the small signs in your daily life.Look inside,You won't fail to see it if your heart is open and willing.
I do hope my little confession will not insult anyone,as it certainly was not written with that intent.I write,inspired by every day experiences.It's no secret I adore this little tornado that came through me to beautify and rock my world.All of you who are parents will certainly nod their heads in understanding.But feeling the Divine is not a privilege for the few enlightened as they had us believe for centuries.Like I said before,it is there,in you.Around you.It is in everything.Be open and you shall receive.Simple as thatAs simple as breathing.
With love and light,
Belinda Carlisle says it so eloquently and more musically than me.Heaven is a place on Earth should we choose it so....