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“For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” –Rainer Maria Rilke
To say we love another seems such an easy thing to say and many have used the language casually. However, to truly love another in an unconditional way is the greatest of our challenges. How do we love someone who has pained us in some form?
We can work towards accomplishing this goal by saying yes to “the ultimate, the last test and proof.” When we 1) choose to take on this project we move on to 2) choosing to love ourselves and 3) demonstrating compassion towards others. We choose to love first and then we are in position to practice it.
This is certainly not an easy task but one I would challenge us all to practice. Look a stranger in the eye, smile and say a genuine hello. Call a friend or family member whom you’ve had a fall out and just say “I was thinking about you and wanted to say hi” (regardless of fault). If you can’t see them or they will not take your call, send them a simple hand-written note. Release the expectation of a response, just know you sent the message with the intention to express love.
These are just some small (but challenging) steps we can take today. Let’s all practice love through forgiveness. Once you establish a system of giving and receiving love, all other work will come more easily.
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