Being in Love

Once a week or so I visit nursing homes, residential care homes, and adult day care centers with my rabbit-friend Molly in tow. We volunteer with Love on a Leash.

Love on a Leash (or in a stroller)

Most of the people we visit are elderly or in need of physical assistance. Many are dealing with mental health issues, or recovering from illness. We often get to see the same people each week. I see so many levels of consciousness, and sometimes marked change. Sometimes we find an empty bed, and know that the next week we’ll meet someone new. I try to remember that behind each person and action is the same god-source.

When I first started volunteering with this organization, I felt like I needed to be a good “hostess”, making sure I kept the conversation going, asking about people’s lives, trying to acknowledge them as individuals. Many people can’t hear or understand as well as they used to. It was good practice for me, just accepting people as they are. Accepting the aging process. And some people simply aren’t interested in rabbits or animals or touch, and I worked on accepting that, too.

Molly also seemed to blossom. At home she was more confident, trying new things readily. Wherever she went and whatever we encountered, she seemed to take it all in stride. She simply lived in the present, being love. Watching her attitude toward life inspired me, too.

The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it’s in the being. When I need love from others, or need to give love to others, I’m caught in an unstable situation. Being in love, rather than giving or taking love, is the only thing that provides stability. Being in love means seeing the Beloved all around me.”—Ram Dass

Molly and a friend

Over time we got to know a few regulars, people who sought us out during our visits to make sure they got some “Molly time”. During these visits, the small talk began to fade away. I noticed their faces softening, the eyes partly closing, their attention simply on being with another living creature. I found I could just silently witness the energetic exchange taking place between Molly and her friends. I didn’t have to say a word. Being present was enough.

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