For the occasion of my Valentine’s week postings, I thought I would share a little story.
Several years ago in a time of lonely despair (we all have them even if we pretend we don’t) where I had momentarily forgotten how to connect with my own Love, I posted a personal ad on Craigslist.
This turned into the largest accidental social experiment I have experienced and actually affirmed my faith in humanity. (Er, the male species). I posted in the “platonic” section despite my knowing that on CL platonic was code for “married seeking something on the side,” which I emphatically do not endorse. Possibly because my ad included the Rumi and Dr. Suess quotes below, assembled words in a recognizable manner, did not mention desperation, clearly stated I was not seeking a relationship, had no interest in corresponding with married men seeking something, my inbox had no less than 75 articulate, thoughtful responses from LA to London within an hour. And more followed. And actually led to a several-month correspondence about classical music, a philosophical discussion with an actual Whirling Dervish, and a powerful but short-lived connection with a person who lived in close proximity.
‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’ ~ Rumi
‘I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.’ ~ Dr. Suess
Now, I had participated in online dating services in the past, so I was schooled in the standard fare of what to avoid and how to quickly discern a scam, and I had pretty much thrown my hands up at the whole ordeal of dating by the time I posted this ad. After all, 90% of available men are excluded from my “potential pool” because they are dog owners and I could be hospitalized around dogs, 90% of ads specifically request women at least 4 clothing sizes smaller than I am, and 90% of those less focused on physical appearance want me to become a member of their church. Sorry, not happening. I lost track of what percentage remains, but this is all to illustrate online dating is not for me.
I would not feel right sharing responses without people’s permission, but if I could, with the exception of 2 or 3, you would see the CL experiment affirms that contrary to many of the crazy online ads out there across genders (truly can be a great source of entertainment), people are hungry for a chance to share wisdom, spiritual or not, there is a huge resonance with Rumi in this day and age, and even in a place where you would least expect to see authentic articulate expression, there miraculously was.
Maybe my despair turned positive social experiment was a fluke. Maybe it cannot be replicated. Despite preferring to not date, it did shift my faith in what I cannot see. Having made peace with where I am, I move forward in life with clarity.
My current understanding of Love is an always present spiritual love. That we all have the capacity to realize we ARE Love. We don’t need to seek it. And as we know from the Beatles, love is all you need.