Doesn’t that sound fun? Come and take a stroll through the Love Buffet. Sounds like a song by the B-52’s, in fact. It was actually presented to me as an idea that a sex coach had, for the ability to bring several skills and techniques to your lover in the bedroom for mutual satisfaction.
As I tend to do, I played around in my mind with the idea of enlarging it from the context of the physical and the boudouir to the rest of life.
What would life look like if it were a Love Buffet?
All You Can Eat
I used to love buffets. My parents raised me in the midwest, where buffets were quite cheap and popular ways to feed a family. I’d gorge myself, carefully strategizing in a kind of food-tetris, imagining that I could eat more potatoes, for example, because they would be soft and fill in the gaps between the chunks of chicken and macaroni and ground beef in my stomach. I remember once triumphantly telling them that I could eat as much jello as I wanted, because “It just dissolves! Doesn’t take any room at all!”
Now when I go to a buffet, it’s almost a waste of money. I don’t want to have plate after plate of food; no matter how good, the concept and feeling of being overly full is just not pleasant. So the strategy becomes different; I look to create, from this vast palette of food, an experience that I’ll enjoy, from the first bite of hors d’oeuvre to the final tiny slab of chocolate cake.
I think it’s pretty easy to look around at the world around you and choose to see it as filled with loving experiences. Just looking at advertising, from diamonds to air fresheners to tampons to coffee, everything seems trying to convince you that this will bring you love. We see passion everywhere, from presidential debates to sporting events to the quiet desperate hope of an Occupy protester. Even the places where you see hate – such as the famous pepper-spraying incident of the students at UC Davis – can be part of the Love Buffet around us, because it reminds us that we do have love and compassion for the people that are put in that situation.
The world is full of love. But what happens when you choose to partake of it?
Gourmet vs. Gourmand
I think that while there is something to be said for the whole Philosophy of Abundance, at times it is like gorging yourself at a buffet. If you go around just trying to pull in all the love all around you, take it in and experience…isn’t it possible that your heart can grow full? Or at least become oversaturated and less able to appreciate and experience that love? It’s kind of like the dilemma of doing what you love for work; if you’re not careful, the fact that you do what you love that much can turn it into a chore. You run the risk of becoming oversaturated.
Perhaps another way to look at it is from a viewpoint of abundance: I know the love is out there. Now I will choose how I experience it. Having a Love Buffet doesn’t mean you have to throw everything onto the plate; it means you can look at where you are at, right now, and choose what kinds of love will best sustain, nourish, and bring you joy.
The same applies to how you express love to others. Sometimes that is a big hug, a big kiss. Sometimes a bouquet of flowers. Sometimes it’s letting someone know you’re there, and letting them reach out for you as needed. Sometimes – and I’m convinced this is the hardest kind of love – it’s not reminding them you’re in their life. Letting them experience the love that’s all around them without you.
But that’s advanced work. I hope the weekend takes you into your own Love Buffet and you enjoy it in whatever way you deem best – bite after bite after bite.
Life is short. Take big bites. – Robert Heinlein