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Just Love

It’s a no-brainer

Cindy Gabriel
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Cindy Gabriel

THE GREATEST OF THESE Cindy Gabriel ponders love as some of it blankets Hunt, Texas, in the form of snow. (Photo: Stan Ehrenkranz)

Excuse me for troubling you, but I think I’ve lost my mind. Oh well, it will turn up like it always does, in the middle of the night when I can’t go back to sleep.

It’s funny how the mind can go off on its own. Stan-the-Man lost his keys for 24 hours. He looked everywhere until he found them where he always hangs them, just one rung higher. Then, after he found them, he kept looking for them, forgetting he found them.

Guess I’ll just write this column without mine: my mind, not my keys. It hasn’t been working in my best interest lately anyway. Sometimes it needs to be put in time out.  

It wants me to have opinions that separate me from people I care about. It tells me I’m right, while making them wrong. It loves its opinion and is proud of itself. It seeks out things on the internet that agree with everything it believes. When this happens, huge shots of confirmation endorphins go straight to it.

It’s bucking me now because it knows I’m onto it. The thing I need to realize is that my mind isn’t always working in my best interest. It wants me to worry about a future over which I have no control. Then, it reviews the past, over which I have no control. It gets fidgety if I just want to watch a sunset. It has a short attention span for such things.

What I really want to say is that there is a deeper kind of intelligence, that works in spite of surface thinking. It’s so deep and true that it can’t be talked about in any concrete way. We try to sum it up in words we can’t quite touch, like Love, God, and Infinity.

It’s the stuff of heartbeats, ocean waves, seagulls flying, and, come to think of it, a Texas snowfall, effortlessly appearing without being prompted. It hides just beneath the surface, like a spring, ready to well up through the muck and mud of life. Whatever love is, it is kin to whatever makes our eyes blink and our lungs breathe without us consciously thinking.

It’s like oxygen, that invisible nothing and yet something, that is behind us, before us, and always in us. It’s always there, yet it doesn’t seem to want any attention for itself. We can go all day without thinking about oxygen, but five minutes without it, and we’re goners.

I happen to believe that God is love. Not the God that makes us run into camps that separate us. The God of radical acceptance, who wants us to love our enemies, however we define them. Gee, I really have lost my mind.

Love is patient with those who “just don’t get it.” It doesn’t judge. It’s comfortable in mystery.

Love makes us happy and sad on behalf of each other. Love makes people understand that if something seems good for them but bad for others, it’s not good for anybody. It sees a oneness among us in the pulses and the rhythms of the universe.  

Last month, we shared that our grandson, Faires Lord Weber, was born with a serious liver condition. Your expressions of sadness, happiness, and hopefulness lined right up with ours. That’s love. 

I see my child, Julia, his mother, skillfully and dutifully giving him five syringes of life-saving vitamins and medicine twice a day, despite her baby’s squirms and objections. Sometimes love makes us take medicines we don’t want.

Here’s something about love. It heals. It’s vital. It’s something we can’t live without. To deny it is to deny ourselves.

It comes with us when we‘re born. It’s in the gaze and smile of a 3 month old. It’s in the mother who sacrifices sleep to nurse that child in the middle of the night.

We all come into this world knowing love, as the givers and the receivers. But then we layer thoughts over it that set us apart from others. Then we believe those thoughts. The body knows when the mind is out of place. It sends anxious signals. It knows the mind is a wonderful instrument. It’s just not the boss. The mind works best as a servant to the heart.

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