Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

While I was visiting my friend Dianne in Sedona, we perused neighborhood yard sales on 11/11/11/, since she was searching for fireplace tools.  We were guided by signs and arrows pointing the way to places that might have had what she was seeking, but I was drawn by something even more powerful…divine signs. We pulled up in front of a house with the garage door open and were greeted by a woman named Carol who wore a baseball cap with the words “Wally’s General Store” stitched on it. She offered freshly brewed coffee and homemade cookies. In all my years of going to yard sales, I have never seen that. She then went on to explain that there was a theme to this event. Her elderly neighbor had recently died; with his wife preceding him. They had no children and it seemed that his neighbors were surrogates. Carol and another woman; I think her name was Ann, cleaned out Wally’s house. He used to own a store in Oregon, so her garage was a re-creation of Wally’s place. Tools, kitchenware, a blast from my past Charles Chips cans were some of the items. Then one particular relic drew my attention. Small in stature; large in impact. It is the illustration for this blog entry. The sides of the spice can carry the words “Ingredients: Faithfulness, Gentleness, Goodness, Joy, Kindness, Patience, Peace, Perseverance, Protection, Trust, Truthfulness and Unselfishness.”

On the back of the container, was a tale as sweet as the intended ingredients:

 ” THE STORY BEHIND LOVE

For many years, a man watched his wife take a locked box down from the cupboard. She would unlock the box, take a pinch, sprinkle it over whatever she was cooking, relock the box and return it to its place. One day, while his wife was away, his curiosity got the best of him. He went to the cupboard, took the box down and opened it. To his surprise, it was empty. He turned it over and on the bottom was written the word LOVE. Don’t keep your LOVE  locked up in a cupboard, Keep it within easy reach and use generously.   SO…..though not in your recipe book, into  everything you cook, put a big pinch of LOVE.

It looks like any other spice can that you might find in a cabinet in a kitchen. The difference is, this one is filled with love. Invisible, but most definitely palpable.

Since that auspicious day, that can has followed me to a psychiatric hospital where I worked for a dozen years, to  workshops I teach, to spiritual communities where I present at Sunday services, to daycare centers where I offer mindfulness lessons to tiny humans, to my counseling practice where I see clients and with friends who are need of a little pick me up.

I have created an exercise around it. It starts like this….people stand or sit in a circle and ask the person next to them if they want to be spooned, sprinkled, dumped, all three or none of the above. That way they have a choice of how they want their love delivered (or not).

Some poignant moments have ensued. At the hospital, patients have shaken their heads sadly and said that they didn’t want any since love hurts. One had added that they only wanted a little, since they didn’t want to get to used to it, because love goes away. The children eagerly take it in, even telling me that they can see and smell it as it comes out of the can. The other adults enjoy it as well, laughing and smiling as it cascades down on them. I then ask how it feels to get loved on, how it feels to watch others receive, how it feels to be the giver and how it feels to wait to give and receive.

How do you integrate love into all you do?

When was the last time you sprinkled love all around and on people who may not have been aware of it?

Do you withold that which is really the spice of life?

How about offering flavorful opportunities for folks to recognize that they are the bakers of the bread of life?

Are you willing to spice up your relationships with this condiment that knows no limitation or condition?

 

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