When you think of the word success, what comes to mind? Did you achieve your career goals? Your fitness goals? Relationship goals? How do you define those goals? When you are near death and look back on your life, what will you count as success and will it be the same as what you thought it needed to be when you were 20, 30, 40, 50, 60?
The things we worry about now will they matter on our death bed? This may sound morbid, and I’ve touched on these topics before in the past, but it’s been something that has been on my mind again lately which has brought me to this ramble hah.
A family friend and spiritual mentor once said that the question we should ask ourselves on our deathbed is, “Have I loved much and have I loved well”? Said a different way this means how many hearts have you touched, including your own? Of course, this isn’t a competition … it is about quality not quantity. As Mother Theresa once said, “We cannot do great things in this world. We can only do small things with great love.”
The daily worries and anxieties that may plague us along with whatever goals and successes we may strive for are all pretty small in the big scheme if they are not filtered through the lenses of the heart, of love. Of asking ourselves daily how can I best love today? How can I love myself so that I can shine that light, that burning candle of love, on the world, on everyone I encounter from friends and families to strangers in line at the grocery story to wild creatures to the earth. Words aren’t even required. Just an open heart.
Love in all its shapes and sizes, in all its eddies and swirls, is the beating heart of the universe. Our own hearts’ interactions with that Heart are a divine dance, a divine love song, a poetic embrace, a drum circle of hearts.
“Love is the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mysterious of the cosmic forces.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (theologian and French Jesuit priest)