Did you ever give a gift to someone that they just didn’t appreciate? Perhaps something you put a lot of thought into it, saved money, or made a song or poem. So much love went into this gift, and you gave it with all your heart.
And yet… It fell a bit flat. Not quite the fireworks and whole-head smile you were hoping to elicit, or perhaps they didn’t even really see it at all.
It’s hard to give unconditionally. Appreciation is a fundamental human desire because it means connection. We want to be seen. We want our efforts to be noticed. We want what we do to matter to those we love most, and we want them to be happy. When that gift isn’t received as we’d hoped, we may say “It’s no big deal. Next time I’ll get you something better.” But secretly, we’re crestfallen and deflated and not so inspired to go make another gift.
Whatever you call God or Creator or Pachamama, She is an Artist bringing forth something new with every single act of creation. It is an undeniable force, much like love— or perhaps it is love expressing itself into the material plane. There is nothing that hasn’t been touched by Her paint and filled with Her zeal, in divine play the Indian mystics call lila.
Consider a ripe, perfect melon. Shades of pale green, yellow, beige, and cream. Juice so sweet and pure. Flesh that is at once tender and firm, melt-in-your-mouth and toothy. Truly, a divine and ingenious thing. We could savor this everyday magic, let that juice run down our chins, enraptured by the nectar of it, and accept this gift as a form of that love-soaked lila.
We could. Unless we’re busy, or think it’s just a melon and what’s the big deal. Or worse still, we don’t believe that we deserve to enjoy anything that much and so go through our lives denying the pleasures of that ripe perfection, in favor of…what? Saltines?
Creator must put down Her paintbrushes then to consider what we might like better. What would it take, She thinks, to get us to see the invincibility of Her love and insatiable creative drive? Here, She says. Try this peach. I grew it myself and I think you’ll love it. Or how about this sunset? Do you see what I did with that purple streak? That’s just for you, because I know you love purple and I knew you’d be looking up just now. Or hey: if that’s not your style, here is a brand new box of saltines. Shall I make them more stale for you, Sweetheart?
Fortunately for us, Her love is unconditional. She doesn’t need the validation we spend our lives seeking out. She’d like us to respect Her and She’ll certainly tell us so, but She isn’t doing all of this for approval. She knows we have those broad smiles and belly laughs within us, that capacity to let the juice roll down our chins, because She made those smiles and chins. She knows us to the marrow, knows what will make us happy, and She wants to provide it for us, day in and day out. No matter how often we deny our own pleasure, through complacency, fear, or the dishonest waste of energy known as unworthiness, She still provides the perfect peach. Trees full of peaches, in fact.
Will you dare to eat one?
Will you lick the juice from your elbows and believe that simply savoring this moment of nectary goodnessis the very reaction She was hoping to receive?