“Why are you crying?” asked the old man.
“I don’t know what to do,” said Sahara, wiping her cheek.
“What exactly are you trying to do?”
“I’m looking for love,” she said.
“And how long have you been looking for it?”
“It feels like forever,” she said.
“It shouldn’t take that long. Love is everywhere, after all,” said the old man.
Sahara was on her way to the marketplace, her eyes heavy with tears, when the old man had suddenly appeared before her. His white hair was wild and beautiful. His smile was soft. The lines on his face were etched deeply into the skin. His eyes were sky blue and bright. His clothes were well worn and torn in places, but she could tell he was kind and meant her no harm.
“Would you like to find love?” asked the old man.
“Yes, of course,” said Sahara.
“Well then, first you must stop looking for love,” he said.
“How will that help?” protested Sahara.
“Anyone who looks for love never finds it that way,” he said, as if we all know that.
“So what do I do now?” asked Sahara.
“See that pink flower over there,” he said, pointing to a wildflower that was partially hidden by a round rock at the edge of the road. “I want you to love that flower.”
“I’ve never really tried to love a flower before,” said Sahara.
“If you really want to find love, you have to be willing to love everything that is already here for you,” said the old man, spinning around on his feet, throwing his arms out wide.
Sahara really should have carried on to the marketplace, but something made her stay. She liked the old man, even if he seemed a bit crazy to her. The old man told her that love is what made the flower anyway, and that love is what made her soul and her beautiful face and everything else too. He said that if you want to find love you have to feel love in your heart, and that the only way you can do this is to be willing to love everything.
“While you look for love, you are not loving anything at all, and that is why you cannot recognize love when it appears before you,” the old man explained.
“How do I love everything?” asked Sahara.
“You have to ask love to help you with that,” said the old man.
“What do you mean?”
“You have to pray to love like you prayed to God last night,” he said.
“Will love hear my prayers?” asked Sahara.
“If you pray with your heart, and not just with words, you will recognize love’s holy guidance,” said the old man.
Sahara asked the old man if he’d like to share her little basket of food and water that she had prepared for her trip to the marketplace. He accepted gladly.
“You have to be willing to love everything,” the old man continued, “and that includes you,” he said, looking directly into Sahara’s eyes.
“That feels difficult,” she said, bowing her head.
“Until you love yourself, you will not let love find you. Each time love comes close, you will pull a veil over your face, afraid that love will not like what it sees.”
“And maybe love won’t like what it sees,” said Sahara, defiantly.
“But love isn’t like that,” explained the old man. “Love doesn’t judge you like you do. And that’s why love sees love when love looks at you.”
When Sahara asked the old man how she should love herself, he told her to ask love for help. Over and over, he encouraged Sahara to pray to love as if love is the holiest intelligence in the Universe. He said that love is the one true religion that saves those who are lost. “Only love can save you from looking for love,” he said. He also told her, “Your soul loves you very much already. It will do whatever it can to help you feel loveable, if you will let it.”
Sahara could tell by looking at the sun in the sky that several hours had passed since she had begun to talk with the old man. It was time to return home. She would not visit the marketplace today. She told the old man she would think on what he had said. His big, soft smile made her heart feel light and happy. He took Sahara’s hand, and kissed it tenderly. Sahara stood and watched as he walked away. After a few paces, he turned around to say one more thing.
“When you remember you are made of love, you are no longer interested in looking for love. All that matters to you is that you extend your love to everything and everyone, including wildflowers and even yourself. When you love this much, love will have no trouble finding you. And when love does find you, you will welcome love with all your heart. This is the way of love. This is how to find love.”
Sahara stayed rooted to the spot, until the old man disappeared from view. She looked over again at the pink wildflower. It looked different now, brighter somehow, and more beautiful.
Some people look to others for happiness and love but the truth is we can only find it within ourselves. God has given us the ability to love ourselves, our neighbours, nature’s and even animals. Don’t ever think you are not worthy of love. Don’t ever think that you need other people’s love to be happy. You need yourself to be happy to make others happy.
Good morning Pobs-tarians
Story Credit: The Daily Love