Once upon a time I was in a relationship with a nice, young man. I was at the time, a nice, young woman. And so naturally, we were a nice, young couple.
One evening after a nice date, we sat on a park bench discussing our nice relationship. It was he who summed up very succinctly the state of our love when he said, “I believe when you find true love, there are fireworks, and, well, I guess I want fireworks, Cat.”
He and I looked into each other’s eyes, and well, neither of us felt or saw any fireworks. End of story.
He was right, of course, to want to pass up good for great. In love, I believe as he stated, that if it’s really true love, there will be fireworks.
This summer I was able to enjoy great love from a Divine Soul known as Amma. Amma is a living saint from India who loves everyone unconditionally. She is known as the ‘hugging saint’ for she has taken into her loving embrace millions of people. She was born in this blissful state of grace, able to love completely and unconditionally everyone and everything.
The first time I saw Amma, was in Seattle around the time of my 35th birthday. When I was celebrating my 40th birthday in Santa Fe, turns out she was there the same weekend and I was able to enjoy her loving presence again. And this year, for my 45th, she was in Iowa City the same week I was visiting family there.
Amma received me as she does everyone, with great warmth and compassion. I was in my mind wishing to know unconditional love for all, as she does. That was my birthday wish and it was on my mind as she loved me.
I was kneeling before her, as everyone does who receive her love. She was holding me close in her bosom, rocking me to and fro, when suddenly she pulled my head away from her body, and turned my face up to look into her face. I had never before dared to look directly into her eyes at such a close distance. I had always felt great respect and awe for her enlightened state. The idea of looking into her eyes seemed disrespectful. Or maybe I was a bit intimidated and afraid. I had never been able to look that enlightened being directly in the eye.
Well, this time Amma made me. Just as I had been making my wish, to know unconditional love for everyone, she pulled me away from her chest. She held my face close to hers and looked deep into my eyes. Then she did the most unexpected thing, she laughed! Merrily and strong, she laughed in my face.
Then she hugged me some more and I whispered to her “I love you, Amma.” She was still chuckling as I walked away.
For the next few weeks I contemplated the state of unconditional love. I felt it for most everyone I met. I felt it with my clients, with my friends and with my family. I felt I was becoming more accepting of any and all circumstances in my life and in my loved one’s lives. It really seemed almost easy, a place I have always known, to love others. I give my love quite liberally to clients, to friends, to strangers I pass as I pray for them and bless them. I love people I have never met.
There were challenges along the way, of course. And always will be. I could have someone do something that angered me, but I would inside say to them, “I love you.” So in all circumstances, I practiced loving.
But something else was happening that was quite unexpected. While I was so focused on loving what is around me, a new love was developing.
This was a love I had not considered in my request to love everyone unconditionally. I had not considered this one particular person. They popped up unexpectedly.
This one particular person was beginning to receive more of my love each day. This person was looking better and better to me each day. And this person I suddenly realized deserved my love, needed my love, and wanted my love. I wondered why I had denied this love for so long.
This someone was me.
I was so surprised when the sparks flew. There were fireworks. Literally. While driving between Cincinnati and Memphis, I began to realize what was happening. And I spoke to Amma as I drove my car, laughing, getting the joke finally.
Amma was, of course, in the car with me. She was one of the guides that showed up on this particular night. My usual guides were all there, enjoying the music with me and as always enjoying our deep discusssions. But my love for each of them was getting turned around. I always felt love and gratitude for their presence in my life, but tonight they were loving and appreciating me. There was an unbelievable amount of love streaming directly to me.
They would not let me out of the hot seat. I felt this love moving through my heart and they told me to recieve it. They instructed me on allowing this love into my life. They showed me how much I am able to love everyone BUT me. And this night, they opened me up. I almost felt as if I had been tricked. Amma knew. She knew when she looked at me. The joke was on me.
I wanted to love EVERYONE. Everyone ELSE, that is. I never knew the greatest love of all that needed to be expressed was unconditional love for me, from me. Tonight it was coming from my own Self, to me.
When I had made my wish, asking to love EVERYONE unconditionally, I did not think about the person who needed my love more than anyone else. I laughed as merrily as Amma did. As I received this love I understood why I always wanted to give love, more and more love everywhere I can. Because we give what we most want to receive.
Amma and I laughed. I got it. I received my love and it felt great.
And then in that moment, just over the Kentucky hills to my right, fireworks went off!
I laughed some more and gave Spirit credit for such incredible timing! Real fireworks. Just as I was giving myself a love I had been longing for, a love too great to begin to explain, there were fireworks in the sky.
I continued to meditate on this new revelation as the night began to fall around me on the highway. I thought about how this love I had before denied myself could be the last missing piece to realize a new state of grace.
I saw how this – this love – this is true power. I felt a greater clarity in my own power now that true love had arrived. As I accepted all of my gifts and my power, because I loved myself enough, more fireworks! To my left this time, just over another green Kentucky hill.
“Wow! This is great! I love this!” I said out loud to my car filled with Spriitual Wise Ones. In the back of my mind I wondered what obscure holiday it was in Kentucky…but anyway, the timing was perfect!
I felt as though I was loving myself completely and unconditionally for the first time ever. True love always feels like the first time. It was a wild ride. I felt at one with all of my Guides and Angels and I felt complete love for all of us. My love and gratitude for the guidance I receive daily, the love and gratitude I feel for my work, for the people I meet, all of it, was all falling back into my lap.
The night was growing dark and I was feeling light-headed. With the dizzying effects of love, the late hour and long day I decided to think about pulling over.
“Where should I go?” I wondered. I wondered if the next exit would have any hotels. And as I asked out loud, my guides answered with more fireworks, over the next exit.
“Thanks.” I turned off and at the end of the exit ramp and headed to the right. The road in front of me was dark and all I could see were warehouses.
I looked back over my shoulder in the other direction and said out loud, “Maybe I should have gone in the other direction?”
The answer – fireworks in the other direction.
A quick u-turn and I was overwhelmed with many hotel options. This was amazing. What love can do!
“I wonder which place…” fireworks went off directly over a local hotel. They only went off momentarily each time I asked, just enough for me to see them and get the message.
I turned in, checked in and got my room key.
After I got my bag from my car and turned to head into the hotel for the night, just me, myself and my entourage of unseen presences, I thanked Spirit for the fun night. I was feeling in love with life. I was in love with my life and in love with who I am.
“Thanks. This is fun. I really appreciate the fireworks.” And one last single firework went off right over the roof of the inn.
This summer I fell into love, for all that I am. Amma is probably somewhere having a good laugh. I know I am laughing more, appreciating myself more than ever and enjoying life more than ever. Everything looks better when you’re in love.
Back here in Orlando I have a reminder each night to keep that love alive, when at 9 o’clock p.m. fireworks go off in the sky. Every night. I can see them in the distance, and some nights my daughters and I are over at Disney enjoying them close up.
On those evenings the only thing I enjoy even more than watching the fireworks, is watching people watching the fireworks. It is such a great picture to see everyone’s faces filled with wonder, and love.
I stand there looking over the scenery, the fancy light show, the international crowd, and my family. To know that I have such a blessed life, being with my children and doing work in the world that I am passionate about, fills me with love for everyone and everything, including myself.
I hope that you will find this love for your own self as well. It helps to have loved ones around you to get that fire going, but then allow it to sink deep inside yourself. See yourself as they see you. Love yourself as others do.
If you don’t have a special other in your life, be that for yourself. Love yourself even more. You are your own love. You need to find fireworks and set them off in your own life. Find what makes you go ‘ahhh,’ what fills you with wonder and make it a regular part of your life.
I hope that you have fireworks in your own life. Great big loud beautiful fireworks. Make them a regular event.
It’s time for you to fall in love with yourself. For this is the greatest love of all.
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