I am an introvert. I happily spend hours each day alone. But I am sure that love is my purpose for being and my connection with the divine. Introvert that I am, I use an acronym to remind me to express love when I meet someone:
Arrive: often, I brush by others in the process of doing something else. I am making a purchase, interrupted from my desk, receiving healthcare, finding a name tag. Telling myself to arrive is a reminder to be in the presence of this person.
Listen: I want to listen to the other, find out who he or she is and how he or she is in this moment. To truly listen, I need to get beyond the busyness that brought us together and tune in to the person in front of me.
Touch: making some kind of physical connection is important in this day of electronic togetherness/loneliness.
Affirm: If I have truly listened, I will have noticed something wonderful about this person and can talk about it out loud.
Revere: I am in the presence of a physical and spiritual miracle. This Other is so like me and yet so different, such a stupendous combination of biology and psychology, such a celebration of ancestry and possibility.
I have chosen to make the word “altar” as a reminder that each meeting and each person I meet are sacred. On this altar, I can sacrifice the notion that there is an other in front of me and understand that we are each part of the One.