What is devotion?
When I looked up the definition of devotion I was surprised to see the word love associated with it. I had not considered the aspect of love in regards to being devoted. I mostly associated the idea of devotion as being committed to something deeply. A daily devotional was about actually reading it every day. Being devoted to a cause, a person, or an idea was about sticking with it/them. Why was it that love did not play a part in my understanding of devotion?
As I start to step into my center, I am able to see in more of a panoramic view: where I have been, where I am, and where I want to go. To see in this way takes time, prayer, and lots of meditation. At this point I think I am more at a Veiw Finder(TM) moment. If you are not familiar with a View Finder (TM) it is a toy shaped like binoculars that you look through to see a wheel of pictures that can only be viewed one by one; like looking through a stack of photos. Once you have seen a photo and advance to the next, using a lever on the side, you can not go backwards; you have to keep moving around the circle until you get all the way back to the beginning. This is where I am with love and devotion I feel myself pulling the lever faster and faster, wanting to go back to the start of the reel to examine what I thought devotion looked like: did I miss the big heart?
When I finally slot machine like a 70 year old on a Las Vegas vacation and make it back to that first scene, I see my grandmother working and my mother working. Not just doing jobs, but an image that reminds me of the days where they didn’t stop until late into the night. Whatever the task at hand was, if it had to get done; it was going to get done regardless. I do mean regardless; regardless of children needing attention, spouses needing attention, themselves needing attention. The devotion that was modeled for me was not about love it was about commitment. And there it is, I get to the picture of me working until all hours of the night on whatever task I have at hand; not stopping until done…regardless. This is what devotion meant to me up until the time I decided to look up its definition, and the biggest word in the universe popped up first in line; love.
When we consider devotion as love it changes how we approach: the cause, the idea, the plan, the commitment etc. The best food comes from the kitchen where the cook adds love to the food. It isn’t an actual ingredient but it is the approach that seems to create the most delicious plates of goodness you will ever have. Love for the process, love for the ingredients, love for the audience of hungry customers/family/friends. I could stay up all night and bake the “best ever cookie” recipe but without love they just won’t be what they were meant to be.
I have looked at love as the product of devotion, but what I am discovering is that love is at the center to making all of what we need to be healthy and joyful in each part of the process. When we enter into each area of being devoted we must include love as the foundation. Without it, there will be no fulfillment in our desires.