An excerpt from Tolstoy’s War and Peace:
The whole meaning of life, not only for him, but for all the world, seemed to consist only in his love and the possibility of her love for him.
Everyone appeared in the bright light of the feeling shining within him, so that without the least effort, meeting any person whatever, he at once saw in him all that was good and worthy of love.
“Maybe I did seem strange and ridiculous then,” he thought, “but I wasn’t as insane as I seemed. On the contrary, I was more intelligent and perceptive then than ever, and I understood everything that’s worth understanding in life, because… I was happy.”
Pierre’s insanity consisted in the fact that he did not wait, as before, for personal reasons, which he called people’s merits, in order to love them, but love overflowed his heart, and loving people without reason, he discovered the unquestionable reasons for which it was worth loving them.
This is one of my favorite book excerpts because it reminds me that we form impressions of people based on how we ourselves are feeling. A heart full of love can’t help but see the best in people. I believe it was Pema Chodron who said to try generously and lovingly wishing every single person you encounter in your day, even other drivers around you, love and happiness. It can’t help but make you feel light and giving.
Friday was our 10-year wedding anniversary so I have been thinking about solid, real, down-in-the-trenches LOVE and how anchoring it can be.