This morning when I stooped to fasten the leash to my little dog’s harness as we prepared to leave for the day, I wondered: “Does a leash make an animal feel imprisoned, trapped without freedom?” But his tail was wagging and the same expectant look was on his face as he knew an adventure was about to begin– a walk, a car ride to work or some other destination.
Instantly a phrase come into my consciousness, “tethered by love,” for the leash is a bond that connects us to keep him safe and close.
If we take time to reflect on our life journey, we realize how many strands of love have connected us to others. Some of these connections are broken over time by disagreements or misunderstandings. As life goes on, if we grow at all, we realize that in the end, only love remains, and love out lives all hurts, arguments and the illusion of being wronged. The more our hearts open, the more strands of love flow from us and to us. We truly are tethered by love in both visible and invisible ways.
Over time we learn that the tethers of love don’t limit our freedom, but rather love enables it. For it is love that releases the bindings of our hearts and minds to soar on wings of inspiration, joy, and well-being. Isn’t our purpose here to be bound by love to others, to a vocation, to a spiritual search, to nature, to life itself? Isn’t it love that leads to self-discovery and the discovery of the other? When we find love in our own heart, then we are close to discovering where the heart of God is, where man seldom thinks to look.
I am reminded of the old saying, home is where the heart is. This usually is used to refer to the physical home, the place that represents family and a sense of belonging. But the greater truth is that the heart is where home is, for it is the heart that reveals the seat of Self and enables us to see the Self in others, and to become aware of the tethers of Divine Love that bind all of life. Only then do we begin to feel at home, wherever we are.
There is an invisible cord of love that can never be broken, that has existed since our advent into the physical world of experience, and has sustained us lifetime after lifetime, through all of our forgetting and denial. At some point when we tire of our loneliness and search for meaning, we become aware of a persistent, gentle tug on the leash of our life, that which tethers us here, and we begin to recognize the call of Soul. Then the journey to true spiritual freedom begins.
It is reassuring to me to know I am tethered by love to a creative source, by whatever name one wishes to call it, and that through this eternal umbilical cord of love, I am fed inspiration, guidance, healing, creativity, dreams, wonder, and the freedom to live as I will. The only requirement is that I pass the fluid of this life-giving flow on to others through love. I have learned that I control the valve that controls this two-way flow. Happiness, gratitude, and joyful expectation open it, and fear and worry close it. It took many years to realize I held the key to the amount of love and happiness in my life.
On the days that I forget, I feel a gentle tug on the leash that reminds me I am going the wrong way, against the flow of life. And I say, “Continue to walk with me. Where you lead I will follow.” Love always knows the better way.