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Respond With Love

I have a beautiful friend who has inspired me to write this article. I have known her for 23 years. Throughout the time that we have been friends, I have learned many simple, yet powerful lessons through her reflection. One of which I’m going to share with you. 
Recently we planned to meet for lunch as usual and talk about what’s been going on. I typically speak of my latest challenges, then search my mind and allow spirit to speak through me for enlightened answers while I secretly hope that it will stick.  With her I become drawn to the present through her demeanor and her actions. It becomes easy to enjoy food and the atmosphere and just Be-ing there. I settle in, forget searching my mind and spirit, and begin to relax into the moment. Then, it just becomes, “Hey, here’s the reflection of my kind and loving friend who reminds me how kind and loving I am too.” It is always a pleasure to see her.
Driving up to meet her, I spotted the restaurant she was waiting at and parked behind her car. I noticed a new bumper sticker on her car that read, “Respond with Love”. I immediately thought, “Yes, a great one, as great as the one she had many years ago, “Be Kind.”  I remember back then thinking how hard that was. It took me years wondering if I really was kind at all. Now she’s got me again, wondering how long my Guru friend’s new bumper statement would twist my mind.
We had a nice lunch then went to the nearest grocery store to pick up a few things.  A man nearby jumped into our conversation and started to randomly go from one subject to another. I did my best to follow, but I quickly thought the more attention I give this man the more he kept talking! I felt confused, so I slowly looked away and browsed the shelves as I inched away.  My mind wandered to a question about tomato sauce, then my focus was drawn back to the man. My friend was faced toward him listening intently with a sweet half smile on her face and then it happened. He stopped talking. He was complete. My friend gave him just what he needed. She listened. He got the connection and attention he needed and he felt satisfied and complete.  I believe she heard  what he was saying, made connections herself, stayed present until the man was complete. Her heart remained open and her eyes were on his eyes. My heart was warmed and full by this lovely demonstration of how to Respond with Love! 
By maintaining awareness of ourselves spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, egoically and soulfully, we can glean so many jewels from each person, situation, circumstance and event. And Responding with Love will add soulful warmth to it all. 
Wendy  Chaffin
March 2016

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