I heard a word this week that hit me pretty hard: sincerity.  The concept of unconditional love is a pretty lofty one.  In fact, its application into everyday tasks evolves involuntarily through our other practices.  I know I rarely approach the checker at Duane Read and think, “I offer you unconditional love”.  Or even if I do, it’s still a pretty elusive thing to practice just by thinking to myself that I want to offer it.  What I can do instead of thinking about this pie in the sky ideal while paying for my Aquanet and Secretary’s Day greeting card, is offer my sincerity.  To approach everything we do with our utmost sincerity, draws everything towards us.  It is in fact the manifestation of unconditional love.  Only that which serves our hearts can we offer our sincerity to.  It breathes within it connection, respect, devotion, presence, clarity, steadfastness; all bringing us closer to an offering of unconditional love.
Why are we so much less connected to this idea than we ought?  It is because in our society we are taught to reach, to grasp, to take, to win.  There is no need to be sincere if there are enough things to protect us.  Our money, our material possessions all become our foundation and we use them to act on our behalf instead of our hearts.  All of these things make us lazy.  We give our money to the person at the register forgetting to see them as people.  We wish our friends a happy birthday on Facebook without having to do more than click a button from our phone.  We walk down a busy street with our hand out in front to elbow our way through the crowd.  Sincerity returns us to our hearts.  We see and hear and feel again, all from our heart.
Sincerity restores us to presence, almost like living within a moving meditation.  It makes our decisions, our humor, our skepticism, all come from our true center, bringing balance, inner wisdom and steadfastness to our intentions.  It’s the overstimulation surrounding us every minute of every day which forces us to not see things, to guard ourselves.  This is a consumer nation.  Everything around us is trying to convince us to buy something.  We retreat, we harden, we protect ourselves from this insincerity; we have no choice.  We must not open our hearts in spite of this, we must open our hearts because of this.  Our task is to keep the balance.  Not just within ourselves but in the world.  Nature offers nothing but it.  There are no spring flowers blooming in January, there are no whales swimming up the Mississippi River, they are all in the flow of grace.  We are the only beings with distractions keeping us from reveling in it at all times.  Let our sincerity guide us back.