I was musing this phrase the other day while I was out in the garden. I love my garden, it gives me space to think. When my hands are sunk into the rich earth, it connects me to my inner self.
Sometimes, because life has been demanding in other ways, my garden gets neglected, and I find myself getting low and cranky. Actually, sometimes I’m just cranky, I think it might be old age. But when I’m out working in the garden, I’m never cranky and if I find crankiness creeping up, there’s always a dandelion or a dock to take it out on.
When we think of acts of love and pleasure, we often tend to think of this phrase in the sense of sexual and physical love and pleasure. Of course, acts of love and pleasure are so much more than that.
All acts of love – that is doing the little things because you love doing them or you love the person you’re doing them for, like making a cup of tea for someone when they’re in need. (Yes, tea will often appear in my posts, as life is not worth living without it.) All acts of love – such as being with people you care about, or helping someone in need. All acts of love – such as caring for the animals that are your companions, or watering your houseplants. All acts of love – the times when you’re so tired and worn out by your day, but someone dear to you has needs greater than yours, so you see to them. All acts of love – such as tending your personal environment and caring for yourself. All acts of love – and those acts of
love will give you pleasure.
I like to think that when you think of love in the big picture, you start to see it in the little things. The little things we do for one another, the little things that we do, because we love and in loving we give pleasure and they serve the greater love. The macrocosm of love fulfilling the microcosm of love and vice versa.
This brings us to the higher values of love. What is love? It is an emotion of course, but all of us will perceive it and feel it differently. We love differently. The love a parent has for a child is completely different to the love that a partner will feel for their other half. The love we have for our friends is completely different to the love we have for animal companions. There are so many different qualities of love and so many different ways of expressing it. The Charge of the Goddess tells us “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”. So in expressing love and receiving pleasure from our loving and expressions of love, we serve the Goddess, we please her, we show her that we love her and we strive to please her in our loving.
So what happens when loving someone or something ceases to give pleasure, when that love becomes pain or when that love apparently disappears? What happens to love when the person that you love tests the boundaries of that love to the limit, and what should be pleasure, then turns to pain. Often you are hurt and yet you continue to love, seeking ways to ease that pain and retrieve the pleasure that should be in that loving relationship. Love is not a tap. You cannot turn it off and say, “OK, this relationship is over, so I don’t love that person any more”. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could control our emotional state to that extent? But I do believe that we can ease that pain, we can accept that the love we are feeling is not returned and we can move on from it.
I believe that this is the point when you have to make a choice. Recently, a friend of mine married herself. That is she made a commitment to herself, she chose to love and nurture herself, to put her love for herself before everything else. This does not mean that she is not capable of loving anyone else, but what it does mean that in loving others, she puts her love for herself first. She holds sacred within herself her connection to her higher self and her higher power. She will nurture herself, she will make sure that in what she does, who she loves, her love for herself is strong enough to protect her from the potential storms of love gone awry.
“All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”. So every time you do something with love… every time you do something that gives pleasure; from the smallest act to the greatest, you are performing the Goddess’s rites. With that in mind then everything you do, from cleaning the house, to mowing the lawn, to cooking the dinner, can be done with the intention of expressing love, for yourself, your environment , for those nearest and dearest to you to the stranger on the street, and thus, you are performing Her rituals. And if you do not love and nurture yourself, then not only are you doing Her disservice, but you are also doing disservice to all those that you love.
So, back to the garden, and just for Her, I reclaimed a few things, and made a space, very small space, sacred to Her and sacred to Love. Blessed Be and Be Blessed in all you do!