The eleventh gift is Love.


It will grow each time you give it away.


“It will grow each time you give it away.”

This is a wish and guiding blessing offered by the fairy godmothers for all the children of the world in the message of The Twelve Gifts of Birth.

This notion of loving freely can be confusing because there are so many kinds of love.

This “gift of love” refers to the unconditional, limitless loving that dwells in us, in the essence of us. I like to picture it as a cottage-like castle in me and within all of us. Like a cottage, it is a sweet, welcoming, comforting place. Like a castle, it is majestic, royal, and full of richness.  When love is flowing in me, it is if all the windows and doors of this cottage-castle are open and brilliant light is pouring out, bathing all parts of my body, mind, and emotions.

I recently saw this kind of love on the face of Sheila, a woman who works as a demo-lady at a popular specialty grocery store.

“I don’t know why or how this happens,” Sheila said. “But when I work in my job, I am able to see the love that is in everyone.  No matter what people look like or how they act, I somehow see beyond that to something I can’t put into words.  And I simply love them.”

As I watched Sheila’s eyes sparkle, I thought, Sheila is truly in Love.  Not romantic love, but in that loving place within herself.  From there, she is able to perceive that place in everyone else. I saw that cottage-castle place in her.

I had that experience once while at school in Santa Monica. I felt in Love.  Not in romantic love.  It was not just that I loved particular people and particular things, but that I was within that place of Love in me.

That brief experience, the example of Sheila, and the godmothers’ wish are touchstones, reminding me to enter that cottage-castle place as often as I can. And, from there, to give love away.