Now is where love breathes.
What does this mean?
First, we are to learn that love breathes because love cannot be held too closely; it’s a living thing. For love to be love, it must be given away, just as lilacs—living and breathing things too—release their sweet perfume into the air. A sweet perfume that we can breathe in and enjoy. We cannot trap the lovely fragrance, we cannot inhale and save it for later. Alan Watts wrote, “to hold your breath is to lose your breath.” So it is with love.
Next, we are reminded that breath is life for without breath we physically die. Love is like breath too. Without love, we also wither and die. And just as we breathe in and out, you might also for a moment, imagine love–like a giant unseen lung–breathing us in and out of existence; because we are loved. We don’t have to try to breathe or be breathed, it just happens.
We may not always feel loved, or even love ourselves. In those moments, pause takes a deep breath and allow yourself to be loved, to feel it even for a moment so you can begin to break open your heart to love.
And lastly, the moment is all we have. To choose to love or not to love, to look up at the sky, to hug a child, to laugh or cry, or to tie our shoelace, to breathe. Our life happens in this moment, in fact, it is the moment. So when else would love breathe, if not in the “now,” along with us?
Love is a living thing, to be generated and expressed, in myriad different ways. Feelings of love may be captured in a poem and aspirations of love may gild your longings. But be cautious, because these expressions of love are not love itself. They cannot let us off the hook. We’ll be loving later, we say, when we have time, when we’re in a better mood, when we’re out of the traffic jam, when we are with the person of our dreams. There is no “when.” There is only “now” as Rumi writes.
So love now. Whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re seeing, bring love to it now. Bite your tongue if you have to, take a deep breath, tell someone you love them, forgive, give a compliment, say nothing, whisper blessings, smile, be generous. Whatever feels true and real and honest and loving, do it. For now is where love breathes.
To get these dispatches in your inbox please sign up for our mailing list.