if i go inside and ask myself, what is my true wish, my only desire in this life time, what do i really really crave for?
the answer is intimacy
deep emotional connection, that happens when i see and embrace another for what it is and when i am seen and embraced for who i truly am as well
this kind of intimacy is not exclusive of romantic relationships, it can be experienced with our children, friends, pets, family members, with animals, nature, strangers, even with ourselves… this kind of intimacy is produced when you pay careful attention to the idiosyncrasy, needs and wants of another, when you deeply care, communicate, listen and try to understand and connect with another human or not human being.
the most intimate relation we can have is with reality itself, life itself… and if we accept that this reality is not inert and impersonal… but that is “alive”, emotional and very much personal… we can develop a relationship with IT, with that person that is at the root of all what exists and that holds inside all the rest of the conscious beings (aka paramatma, vishnu, krishna, god) …
But how to connect with someone that we cant see, or grasp with our physical senses… something that goes beyond our range of conventional experiences? Yes, sometimes we feel the hand of God, the caress or the slap in the face of destiny… but they are only fleeting moments of clarity… slipping like water through our fingers as soon as a new more tangible distraction comes our way.
i am trying to “work” on this myself… but precisely work is not the way you relate to the people and things you love… in the same way the only way to approach God has to be through feeling and emotion and maybe the same basics tools that we use in our interpersonal relationships:
First of all, falling in love with God, feeling butterflies in the stomach for God… being thrill and excited to spend time together (meditation) , to discover everything about Him, to encounter Him everywhere you look, and remember Him in every thought and every breath you take… that should be the true Bhakti.
Maybe other people need rituals and rules to relate to this supreme reality that we can not even comprehend… but if i put myself in the skin of the beloved… i would not like mechanical repetitions of mantras and gestures… i would like to feel the genuine love in the look and the heart, i would like to be listened, first of all, and trusted and i would like to feel the honesty in the acts of love, that there is not secondary interest or motives in the demonstrations of appreciation… and also i would like to feel that i can trust in the steadiness of this feelings, that they are solid and constant… not only a fling or a fleeting passion that will crumble down at the first dissonance… For this we feel that God put us to test… to prove if the lover it is committed and serious about giving his trust/heart completely and not secondarily to the beloved.
and of course, love is a celebration, and what is a celebration without fun, if we dont enjoy how we can truly love god… if we dont feel pleasure and bliss in this love, how can it truly be loving in the first place…
and ultimately, love is a gift… so you honor the gifts of life (your kids, your family, your community, your body, your life…) through committing to your duties and dharma taking care of the gifts of our beloved… like precious totems of reminders of that love