04 Sep The Magical Kitchen
Imagine that you have a magical kitchen in your home. In that magical kitchen, you can have any food you want from any place in the world in any quantity. You never worry about what to eat; whatever you wish for, you can have at your table. You are very generous with your food; you give your food unconditionally to others, not because you want something in return from them. Whoever comes to your home, you feed just for the pleasure of sharing your food, and your house is always full of people who come to eat the food from your magical kitchen.
Then one day someone knocks at your door, and it’s a person with a pizza. You open the door, and the person looks at you and says, “Hey, do you see this pizza? I’ll give you this pizza if you let me control your life, if you just do whatever I want you to do. You are never going to starve because I can bring pizza every day. You just have to be good to me.”
Can you imagine your reaction? In your kitchen you can have the same pizza — even better. Yet this person comes to you and offers you food, if you just do whatever he wants you to do. You are going to laugh and say, “No, thank you! I don’t need your food; I have plenty of food. You can come into my house and eat whatever you want, and you don’t have to do anything. Don’t believe I’m going to do whatever you want me to do. No one will manipulate me with food.”
Now imagine exactly the opposite. Several weeks have gone by, and you haven’t eaten. You are starving, and you have no money in your pocket to buy food. The person comes with the pizza and says, “Hey, there’s food here. You can have this food if you just do what I want you to do.” You can smell the food, and you are starving. You decide to accept the food and do whatever that person asks of you. You eat some food, and he says, “If you want more, you can have more, but you have to keep doing what I want you to do.”
You have food today, but tomorrow you may not have food, so you agree to do whatever you can for food. You can become a slave because of food, because you need food, because you don’t have it. Then after a certain time you have doubts. You say, “What am I going to do without my pizza? I cannot live without my pizza. What if my partner decides to give the pizza to someone else — my pizza?”
Now imagine that instead of food, we are talking about love. You have an abundance of love in your heart. You have love not just for yourself, but for the whole world. You love so much that you don’t need anyone’s love. You share your love without condition; you don’t love if. You are a millionaire in love, and someone knocks on your door and says, “Hey, I have love for you here. You can have my love, if you just do whatever I want you to do.”
When you are full of love, what is going to be your reaction? You will laugh and say, “Thank you, but I don’t need your love. I have the same love here in my heart, even bigger and better, and I share my love without condition.”
But what is going to happen if you are starving for love, if you don’t have that love in your heart, and someone comes and says, “You want a little love? You can have my love if you just do what I want you to do.” If you are starving for love, and you taste that love, you are going to do whatever you can for that love. You can even be so needy that you give your whole soul just for a little attention.
Your heart is like that magical kitchen. If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need. There’s no need to go around the world begging for love: “Please, someone love me. I’m so lonely, I’m not good enough for love; I need someone to love me, to prove that I’m worthy of love.” We have love right here inside us, but we don’t see this love.
What makes you happy is love coming out of you. And if you are generous with your love, everyone is going to love you. You are never going to be alone if you are generous. If you are selfish, you are always going to be alone, and there is no one to blame but you. Your generosity will open all the doors, not your selfishness. Selfishness comes from poverty in the heart, from the belief that love is not abundant. We become selfish when we believe that maybe tomorrow we won’t have any pizza. But when we know that our heart is a magical kitchen, we are always generous, and our love is completely unconditional.
Excerpted from The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship. Copyright © 1999 by Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D. Reprinted by Permission of Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., San Rafael, California.