Each night I lay my head on my pillow, I mentally review the day I have just experienced. This has been a long-established practice of mine. When I was a boy, I must admit that I tended to go to sleep thinking more about something pleasant I would be doing or wanted to do the next day instead of what I had done today. I would never close my eyes without thinking of the love that my mother lavished on me, always reminding me that I was 'special'.
When I became a teenager, a larger part of me was of the more romantic kind, I still thought 'loving thoughts' before sleep and during it, although I must confess that such thoughts were less to do with the betterment and the advancement of my fellow beings, on the planet, rather than with my own advancement in being able to persuade some pretty girl that 'I was the boy for her!'
As a young man in my early twenties, as I hit the sack at the end of the day, much depended upon the prevailing state of my love life as to what aspect of 'Love' my mind would focus on as I lay there in bed, 'bursting with...love', and all manner of wanton thought of how best to spread myself more widely among the band of fetching female follows I dreamed about.
I must have been approaching my 30th year of life before I started to think more about the sufferings of others less fortunate than myself, and became more sympathetic and understanding of their behaviours and general lifestyle that often aggravated their already unfavourable conditions. The next 25 years spent occupied as a Probation Officer, Relaxation Trainer, and Stress Manager Group Leader essentially reinforced my belief in 'The Power of Love'. I had merely rediscovered the power of that 'unqualified love' my dear mother had invested in me from the day she gave birth to me until the day she died, and which memories of my childhood would remain inextricably bound up in. The very first children's book I had published, had as its theme, 'The Power of Love'.
Although a girl who left school early to help her mother with seven siblings to rear, mum was spontaneous in the love and respect she gave to all in equal measure. For instance, upon meeting a person, she gave them instant respect, not because they had earned such respect, but because she considered they deserved it! The love she gave me, my siblings and everyone she encountered was 'unqualified love' because she knew that the expression of love by one person towards another was what truly made the world turn and continue to spin on an axis of love.
From my forties on, I continued my daily struggle in my attempts to become a better person. It wasn't easy as I had become accustomed to 'the good life' that I now sought to swap for 'a better life'. I needed to become someone who was less selfish and less concerned about material possession or social status. I was gradually changing for the better and was more into how my friends, neighbours and fellow man/women /children were coping with life's difficulties, than worrying myself about any of my own ailments. For the first time since childhood, my mind was focused on the 'true love' that exists between each other. I refer not to that sheer physical love between man and woman or man and man within their intimate relationships, but a love so pure in purpose, so true in thought and so selfless in action that to grasp its worldly importance, like Atlas, would enable one to hold the whole world and heavens in their hands!
Since I met and married Sheila, my transformation still remained imperfect but became as complete as it ever would be. I was able, for the first time in my life, to feel a love that merged the physical with the mental, the psychological, the spiritual and the practical in a manner that both suited me and made complete sense. I became ever grateful for the living of each day I now experienced and whilst I had always believed in 'The Power of Love' and had practised prayer since childhood, I now believed in 'The Power of Prayer' alongside 'The Power of Love' and began to view them as indivisible.
'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' was composed and sung by Elton John and the lyrics were by Tim Rice. It is not only the song I sing from Disney's 1994 animated film 'The Lion King', but its message also. This message embodies a philosophy of life that now starts and ends every day for me. At the start of each day, I give 'thanks' and deliberately look for all the love that surrounds me and which I encounter before bedtime. At night, as I review my day, the last thoughts in my head before I close my eyes are what they always were; 'love'; but now it is the purest forms of love I have come to know. Before I go to sleep, I refuse to rest in peaceful slumber before I have extracted all the love I have witnessed in my day and felt from it.
My mother's philosophy embraced the Lion King's message long before Elton John was born or wrote the lyrics. The lyrics of the song say that love 'is enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the very best' are words that my mum wrote in her own way and which I will live until my last day on earth.
Love and peace. Bill xxx