Only love

Corporate work offers many tangible and intangible benefits. A desk, a business card, a chair to sit in every day. Wearing the company logo, courtesy of HR, and an annual offsite that neatly puts the future into a slide deck that changes only once a year.

The macrocosm of good and evil, laid out in scalable portions. The kids in operations dog piling onto sales. Sales gals and guys dodging everything except their quarterly numbers. The snake charmers in marketing figuring out how to have more offsite meetings and vendor lunches. And the beleaguered  CEO wondering daily if board members could be more clueless.

And of course paychecks, those useful monikers of one's value to the company and the world in general. The more you're paid, the more you're worth. A clear measure.

This paradigm fit very well with my commitment as an angry nine year old to always have the upper hand when it came to calling the shots. Tied up in the benjamins were so many notions about what it meant to be valued, dare I say loved? The middle class paradigm of the role of work as a tidy package of both identity and moral salvation.

With the basic math skills and developmental perspective of a pre-teen, I swallowed the lesson whole. My worth as a person could be measured by my brokerage account. Living as a material girl in a material world, the rules of the game were clear and I was determined to win. And win hard.

Later, when inducted into a spiritual view of life, I became aware of suffering and the causes of suffering, and my ideas about self worth took on other dimensions.

One of these is captured in the story about how to catch monkeys. This became short hand for understanding my attachments to measuring my self worth and suffering.  Here's the link.  http://bit.ly/1Ihg9t

As my hand clasped furiously around the sweetness inside the trap, I scheduled another meeting, press tour, event, offsite. Working harder, clenching my fist more and more tightly. By the late 90's, through providence, karma, luck and fate, the ground shifted beneath my feet and I was catapulted right out of the material coconut trees and into a spiritual crisis. At the exact same time my net worth rocketed upward, my grasp on the meaning of life shredded at the gateway of death The collision of these two forces sent my self spinning towards another way of being in the world.

It turns out that my younger self had been confused about many things.

Self worth being just one of them.

Now, ten years later? Unless my baby monkey mind takes the wheel, my self worth is not about my net worth. And what remains true has changed.

Only love.

These two words became a central organizing principle for my daily endeavors. Dedicating my life to being of service, compassionate, present, witnessing the reflections of suffering in the day to day living of all beings. Praying with my life for peace, experiencing gratitude, paying attention to nature, listening to dying. Embracing and recognizing the suffering of all creatures, great and small. Forgiving myself my trespasses and the trespasses of others. Letting go and surrendering to what remains true.

Only love.


  1. An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

    Karim - Positive thinking

  2. Thanks Karim. Glad you enjoyed thinking about it.