A patient recently asked me if I have an Ebola cure. I said, “sure but I’d have to eradicate world hunger first to do it.” He was serious. I was not. And although I love that I have earned enough respect from my patients to be considered a credible source for a hidden Ebola cure, I am as dismayed as they are that I have my limits too.
It got me thinking about all my limits. The hard stops where the wheels screech to a halt and you are jack-knifed into the dark corners of your world. Where is my cure for rising global temperatures and sea levels? Is recycling kitchen water into a cute pitcher from the Martha Stewart Collection going to make enough of a difference? Where is my remedy for the electromagnetic frequency pollution that is killing my backyard beehive and sickening kids the world over? I bought a fancy SAR-rated cell phone case and toluene-free nail polish and organic underoos, but it doesn’t seem to be making a dent. Somehow the news is getting worse and the problems multiplying. At this rate I’d need to make a dent the size of Colorado to have an impact on theses problems. I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter what I do. Gulp.
Then I saw a quote from Mother Theresa that really hit home for me. I can’t look it up right now because I’ve turned my wifi router off for the night to create a sleep haven for my children. I guess I can wait until the timer clicks the service back on at 7:30am to search it up, but then I’ll be busy milling my own gluten-free bread and milking the goats. (I’m only kidding. The goats won’t be ready for milking until next summer!) Apparently, in response to a query about how to affect world peace, Mother Theresa said:
“Go home and love your children”
Wow! Nothing about underoos at all! So simple it’s almost dismissible. Surely something so obvious and easy can’t create a ripple greater than the totality of my organic tampons and high MPG car? And then it struck me: It’s the perfect remedy for creating change because it’s free, has no parts, or masses of people, or special skills. There are no barriers to performing this radical act of cataclysmic change. But when I read this quote I had already yelled at my son earlier that day so I waited until the next morning to change the world. I figured it was a safe bet that it would still need saving then too.
You’re probably thinking, as I first did, “I already do that!” But ask yourself, do you really? Because if you had everything would change. Nothing could stay the same. And isn’t that what we need right now, radical, healing change? Love on that level is contagious (not like Ebola. More like an infectious laugh). It cannot be contained. It spills out to all of your interactions. It seeps out of your pores like the freeze-dried garlic you took by the bottle-full last flu season. Loving someone with a capital “L” changes you. It churns up the brackish bottom of your soul and gets the system flowing again. It stirs your chakras and curls your toes. And being loved like that is like breast-feeding on your mom’s lap curling her hair in your tiny fist with pupils like moons and a heartbeat like a cat’s purr. There’s no more complete feeling in the Universe. Not even winning at Yahtzee!
If typing in the dark, shielding from EMF, eating gluten-free and driving a Prius isn’t getting us completely out of harm’s way, then what do we have to loose by trying something suggested by every guru from Martin Luther King, to Ghandi, to Buddha? If I can finally remember to bring my reusable grocery bags into the supermarket then I think I can also learn to Love, with a capital “L”, at least at home.
Someone should probably warn my kids though. This could be startling.
“All we need is love. Love is all we need.”