Happy Valentine’s Day!
A Course in Miracles tells you to teach only love for that is what you are. You can’t teach anything else without being false.
I started thinking about the time when I made Valentine cookies with my grandchildren. It was sweet in more ways than one. The cookies were beautiful but what I learned was even more delicious.
That day in the kitchen with the grand girls we made one hell of a mess. It could have offended my sense of order and challenged my ideas of how I should best spend my day. (After all it took an entire afternoon.)
To get the whole project up and running took considerable organization, and once all the decorating paraphernalia was laid out before us it took considerable patience to train the workers. In the end production was poor and there weren’t a lot of cookies to show for the effort. But there was love and there was laughter.
Why is it that our attitudes can remain so generous in one situation and not in others?
Teaching love does not equate with making valentine cookies any more than it does with having the perfect romantic dinner with your lover. You could do either and teach guilt the entire time. You could also do either and teach love. It’s all in the attitude. Teaching is attitude. It has nothing to do with the form of the relationship or the activity engaged in.
Teaching love means not being inconvenienced, burdened or offended in any way by the needs and actions of someone else. Not by the messes they make, the needs they have or the time they demand. Love sees that not the slightest bit of harm came to anyone. This leaves no cause for anything but love and laughter.
Annoyance or upset teaches guilt. It says I am not having a good time because of what you did. The mess you made, the time you took, the demands you made, the things you needed took my peace away. You hurt me. You are guilty and therefore not worthy of love so I’m going to withhold it from you.
Teaching love is a full-time job that goes on in every encounter.
I am using the harmless activity of baking cookies with my grandchildren as an example of how we might see all our relationships. Harmless. No one is trying to take our peace away. Yes, they make messes, want our time and attention, and need our help. We have the opportunity to teach love instead of guilt by seeing them worthy of it.
Helpful reminder from the Course: “Beware the temptation to perceive yourself unfairly treated.”