If you claim to like surprises, you can’t be angry when you are caught off guard. But there is a difference between being surprised and being startled. A surprise is the early, unanticipated, unknown but secretly desired being handed to you unexpectedly by a friend or by Serendipity. I absolutely adore surprises, but I must qualify myself. I like the surprises I receive from friends. The ones delivered by Serendipity or her cousin Providence, I am not so comfortable with.
When a friend surprises me with flowers, or a package arrives in the mail unexpectedly, I relish the unwrapping as if its Christmas morning. I am silly and childish in my delight. I loved the cassette tapes of music from my first real love the summer between freshman year and sophomore year in college. I love the modern CD’s of music I get from a paramour now. I love the children’s art gifts made at school. I love the bouquet of garden cut petite roses left on my front walkway or the box of dark chocolate left on my desk. On rare occasions, I have had mail order packages arrive from catalogs and stores. Inside are items I have mentioned in a cursory way. The part of these surprises are not the material items. The real gift, the part of the surprise I adore, is that someone has listened to me and planned something. It means they have heard me, have tried to know me and have given their time and mental space to the little project. They want to please me and see me excited.
When Serendipity and Providence gift something to me from the Wild Blue, I look over my shoulder. I take the gift hesitantly, doubtful that it is real, genuine, and untethered. Certainly, I have not earned such expense. I question if the gift has been delivered to the right address. How come I made the cut? I am skeptical that I would qualify for such largesse. It is a learned response. It is a response born from conditional love. The dialogue goes something like this:
“Oh my God! This is for me? Why me? I don’t deserve this! Do we have the money? You shouldn’t have!” Inside our heads we may say, “This can’t be real. Where are the strings? You don’t deserve this!”
But we are loved without restraint. Irregardless of faith or flavor, unless you are a morbid existentialist, you should believe that love exists in the world abundantly. Love is a formless, non-corporeal entity that shows up and shows favor. It gives without attachment and without conditions. There is no rapid voice reciting the warnings. Certain restriction do NOT apply. Yet, we are so ill at ease when love shows us favor. And people limit love to something loosely related to lust and romance. Love is far greater and far reaching. And the first human love is self love.
When we love ourselves; we easily accept surprises, all surprises. Why? Because we know our value and our self worth. We know we are “enough” just as we are. We need no certification or notarization. There are no pedigrees or credentials required. We are loved and can accept the unexpected gift and be giddy and childish with the arrival of Serendipity and Providence. We don’t fear or doubt. We just clap and squeal and do our happy dance, relishing in the sheer wonderment of it all. And we never, ever, ever hesitate and look around and say, “For me? You shouldn’t have.”