Making Love

Don’t get excited. This is not a sex post or a guide to more exciting intercourse. Although I am a fan of great sex, this post deals with making love to life – in simple, everyday ways that don’t require expensive props or bundles of money. It’s simply an attitude and a choice.

I should preface this post by saying that I was a participant in the “Make Love, Not War” movement in the 60s. During my year of military service in Vietnam, I was directly confronted with the evils of war. I joined 500,000 candle-burning protesters in a march on Washington wearing my uniform. I subsequently joined Vietnam Veterans against the war.

Photo by Flickr user Pieter Edelman
Title: Daisies and “Make Love Not War” | Author: Pieter Edelman | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Since I physically left Vietnam 45 years ago, I have continued to carry the inspiring experiences and devastating trauma with me emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. What I have observed, since participating in a military war of aggression, is that we are fighting different kinds of wars all the time. We are at war with ourselves, our teachers, our bosses, our co-workers, our spouses, our children . . . . even our own mortality.

For me, choosing to make love instead of war is a daunting challenge. In addition to carrying some scars from my war experience, I also struggle with personality characteristics that invite my private wars to constantly raise their ugly heads. I tend to be impatient, intolerant, and driven. Instead of patiently, gently, and sensitively finding solutions to problems, I try to force my way through. So I am writing this post not as a model of peace and tranquility, but as someone who has learned through great effort and brilliant teachers that there are many wonderful ways to make love and few good ways to make war.

Yes, there is more than one way to make love. Its about lightening up, being playful, letting go of things we can’t change, letting in the joy of life, opening up to spontaneous experience, dancing in stillness or in silliness, being fully present in the moment. Making love to life doesn’t mean ignoring difficulties, avoiding problems, sticking your head in the sand, or denying realities. It means rejoicing in the day we have been given and dancing with the demons we have acquired through one source or another.

Here are some possibilities for making love you may want to consider:

Photo by Master Wen
Credit: Master Wen

Walking. When walking down the street, heighten your awareness of your whole body. Notice your feet touching the earth. Be aware of your pace and urgency. Scan your body for tension. Let it go. Pay attention to your feelings. Experience the ease and flow of each step. As Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “peace is every step.”

Playing with the grandchildren. If you have kids or grandkids, fully embrace their vitality and energy. Get down on their level. Roll on the ground with them. Look deeply into their eyes and notice their innocence. Hug them tightly. Connect with their playfulness and joy.

Meditating. Close your eyes and breathe. Be at one with the universe. Experience the calmness and stillness of the moment. Give thanks for the earth, sun, water, air, and the impossibly improbable opportunity we have to live for a brief period on this earth. Open up your mind. Open up your heart. Expand your spirit. Extend love to those you care about and the larger world. Feel the peace of the moment. Allow yourself to breathe deeply. Welcome whatever comes.

Getting a massage. Experience the warmth and caring of the therapist’s hands. Give in to the prodding of each muscle. Enjoy the caressing fingers. Experience the release of tightness. Relax.

Reflecting. Take time to think and explore. Sit quietly and listen. Step out of the rushing rapids and sit calmly on the beach. Let your to-do list take a break. Ponder your possibilities. Look deep inside and ask who you want to be. Listen.

Cheerful greeting. Let people know you are happy to see them. Call out their name. Look into their eyes. Inquire about their lives. Ask genuinely how they are doing. Listen. Respond.

As humans, we have a simple choice in our brief existence on this planet: we can engage in fruitless wars or make love with life.

It seems to me that making love offers much fuller possibilities than making war. There are as many ways to make love as there are ways to fight wars. Let’s start expanding the ways we make love and reduce the number of ways we are at war.


Also published on Medium.

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Artie Egendorf
Guest

Lovely, like increasingly sweet, juciy ripening fruit. Anyone who reads and doesn’t want to reach out to hug you would do well to read again, in the way you recommend walking, greeting, sitting quietly, receiving a massage, rolling on the floor with grandkids. Loving blessings

Dottie Brienza
Guest
Dottie Brienza

Walking.
Playing.
Meditating.
Relaxing.
Reflecting.
Cheerful Greeting.
Simple and wonderful reminders from the heart for embracing life each and every day! Thank you. Hugs my friend.

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