“Darling I am here for you.
Darling I know you are there
and I am so happy.
Darling I know you suffer,
that is why I am here for you.
Darling I suffer,
I am trying my best to practice,
please help me.”
Thich Nhat Hahn spoke these mantras on an episode of Oprah’s “Soul Series.” I was so touched by the love and compassion contained in this tiny little prayer, that I quickly hit the rewind button. I hit pause and play until I had transcribed his words into my iPad. If you have never heard Thay’s (Thich Nhat Hahn’s nickname) voice, watched him teach or read any of his books, you are truly missing one of the great spiritual teachers of our time. He, like the Dalai Lama, just exudes peace and love and compassion. When I listen to him teach there is no doubt in my mind that his words come from his divine nature. He speaks truth.
If you follow the link to the transcript of Oprah’s interview with Thay, you can read his thoughts behind these deeply spiritual and loving words. As I have reflected on these mantras and his words, I have looked to find the relevance in my life and in my interactions with those I encounter in the world. Afterall, is not my purpose to live a life of love and compassion? Isn’t this how I find meaning?
“Darling I am here for you.” To be there for another is to offer yourself in service, without expectation. This offering of yourself can only be authentic if it is rooted in love. Furthermore, to truly love and live a life of love, we must be available to all beings; we cannot just be there for our family, for our pets, the people we like or the people we think deserve it. We have to be there for all sentient beings.
Being of service to another will always bring us great benefit. However when we are motivated by our own joy or satisfaction, or anyother feeling, we are serving directly from the ego and our actions are absent of love. “Darling I am here for you, because it serves me.” This is from the ego and is motivated by self and not love.
So where is the love?
Love is our very nature, however we have experienced the hurt that comes from not being loved and so we have learned to protect ourselves. We protect ourselves by being stingy with our love. We ask ourselves, “Why should I love you if you don’t love me?” We think, “if I show you love and you don’t return it, I will be embarrassed.” Or “I don’t know you, so you’re going to have to earn my love.”
This stinginess is the result of the ego’s need to protect us from being hurt. Because of this, we walk around holding back our love, denying our very nature. Perhaps our ego goes so far as to bury these feelings of love so deep that we don’t even realize they are there. All out of some deep desire to protect us from being hurt again. The truth is that our ego cannot entirely prevent us from loving or getting hurt. We still love and we still hurt.
We can deny our nature all we want, but love is still who we are. And if we continue to deny our nature we cannot live happily and with inner peace. Inevitably we have to express our love; love will find an outlet.
We may direct our love toward our families and friends and think that’s enough. But our love is limitless. We can never run out of love, nor can we run away from love. Love is around us and within us. If I deny the ubiquitous nature of love, I cannot possibly live happily and peacefully for I will always be fighting the love that is all around me.
Thay’s words are so profound. “Darling I am here for you.” I am here to love and support you. I am here to give whatever i have to you so that you may be happy. I am here for you and I do not expect anything in return. That I love you is enough to satisfy my needs. Tell me what I can do to help you. Allow me to express the love in my heart to better serve you.
No matter who you are or where you are I love you. I am here for you.
Next Post: Darling I know you are there and I am so happy.