Monday, July 28, 2008

What’s love got to do with it?

I’m still reeling from a not-so-gentle and well intentioned scolding that I recently received from a beloved matriarch. She had enquired about my plans for the day. After listening, she told me in a flash that my two hour schedule would need at least double the time and so I would be running late before I even step out of the door.

My matriarch’s no holds barred approach, jolted me into the re-evaluating the phenomenal superwoman legacy I inherited as a mind-condition and a tradition that likely requires re-orientation. The fortitude of our foremothers is to be acknowledged, respected and admired – yes, but in our times, it is apparent that a different type of strength is needed for survival.

After advising me to simplify my life, my matriarch’s closing words were: ‘what ever you think you are doing by consistently over charging your day, it is not love’

What’s love got to do with it, you may ask? Well, everything! In our increasingly pressured and busy lives, the culture of being busy is something we as women use as a yardstick to measure our worth.

The side-effects of juggling families, careers and all that makes up ‘life’, spell one word – stress! In our stress addiction, we become trapped in a paradigm of doing rather than be-ing present and taking time to live and be love. We complain about it, yet we perpetuate it. So, we can change it!

August is women’s month in South Africa. It’s a time when odes to women abound through numerous celebratory activities. We mark the month in recognition of women’s courageous role in the fight for freedom in apartheid South Africa and continued role in creating a new society.

In an admirable bid to recognise and reward women, a slew of South African award ceremonies like Woman of the Year, Women in the media, Women in Government in Business and others, spotlight women who are transitioning society. What links them all? A core virtue - service in love.

While basking in the glow, I ponder when last we took time to taste every morsel of food in a delicious meal, when we just stopped to breathe, and when we will realise that loving ourselves first has everything to do with be-ing. Does it follow that the more we do, that the more people who are touched by our love cloaked as busy-ness (often to the point of martyrdom) the better?

According to my matriarch a resounding NO! She believes our creator had other plans for us. She often reminds me of a simple philosophy directed by nature. As the sun goes down, so it is our time to slow down. Her matriarchal wisdom goes as far to suggest that at night time we should not turn on lights or use electricity, as it is precious time, an invitation to restore, replenish and rebalance.
Lights out, love in!

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