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Love is…

Part Seven:
Love is Not Self-Seeking

Love is not self-seeking. We all have basic needs the body requires. Outside of that, what are those needs? Is it not one’s responsibility or need to seek themselves and the true nature of Heart? It is your desire and need to be connected with your True Nature. And when we are not, we go seeking. When we are lost, we search. We search and use all kinds of things to fill the absence of Self. When you are connected to Love and reside in Love, there is no need to seek out “self.” We have a need to find our Self. When we find Love, our needs are met because We have all We need. You have You – and the Love of You – and are able to turn your attention towards others. Love is giving. Love is serving. We are able to recognize what we have and feel the desire to give and to serve. Ego takes. When we identify with little “self,” we are identifying with ego. Selfish is ego’s needs. Ego does not view Self or others. Ego is void, a bottomless pit you cannot fill. Everything and everyone around you becomes a thing to put in the void. Ego seeks to use things and others. We all have a desire to fill our needs. The feeling of discontent can serve a biological purpose, letting us know the body needs adequate nutrition, shelter, and protection by joining a group of people. We may even find discontent with our thoughts and behaviors towards others when we recognize a desire to shift towards being positive. Discontent we identify with “self” is when no thing is ever good enough. You may desire a better house, a better job, or better friends. But being content with the way things are in the present moments allows us to be grateful for what we have, even when we seek improvement. Even when we desire to shift towards positivity, we are grateful in the moment, being able to recognize the ability to grow. True Self doesn’t need things or others to fill a void. Love has no void. Love is content with Self. When you know your True Nature, Love, you have found Self. Find Love. Be Love.

 

Love Is…

Part Six:
Love Does Not Dishonor

To Love is to honor, having regard and respect for the identity and sanctity of a person and experience. Everyone and every experience has value, one way or another. The challenges we encounter serve as excellent teachers, the lessons we learn teach us more about the world around us and ourselves. When we no longer seek the approval of others, we are able to admire the value of others because we recognize our own value. When we respect ourselves, we know how to respect others. When we recognize the value we are born with, we have the choice to act in accordance to our beliefs. Much in the way we honor and respect promises and contracts, when we believe they are valuable, our thoughts are centered on honoring that contract and promise. By honoring ourselves and others, we build a foundation of trust. When a person dishonors another, whether through thoughts, speech, and actions, it is because they hold no honor in their thoughts, speech, and actions. Dishonor brings others and brings ourselves to a place of guilt and shame. When we dishonor, we are actually locking ourselves in The Pillory. When we honor, we uphold that which we value. If you believe someone has value, you’ll honor them. If you believe you have value, you’ll honor your Self.  There is no place for guilt and shame when we value ourselves and others. The honorable person doesn’t seek dishonoring others. Honor Self. Honor Love. Be Love.

Love Is…

Part Five:
Love is Not Proud

Love is not proud. Pride becomes an issue when ego starts feeding on it, inflating opinion of “self” and deflating the opinion you have of others. This is associated with a sense or feeling of intrinsic superiority. If you achieve something, instead of being happy and grateful, you may become arrogant. You stop seeing others for who They Are and believe you are “the one and only,” an island unto yourself, cutting off everyone because no one deserves to be near or receive “your radiance.” It’s as if the people around you are offshore on boats, unable to drop anchor. They are allowed to view your splendor, but no one is allowed to step foot on the island. Love is not concerned with ego, the little “self.” Love is Self. When you are connected to the nature of Love, you find yourself in a place of Gratitude, finding gratitude for all things that come your way. You may work really hard to accomplish certain goals in this lifetime. But a place of Gratitude does not align with being vain. “Pride comes before the fall.” Pride is not strength. It causes us to stumble on our false image of “self” and enlarged ego. If you are full of pride, you cannot receive Love because there is no room for Love. Pride can cause us to cut ourselves off from Loving and receiving Love. And perhaps one of the worst things Pride does is it blinds us from Truth. Pride keeps you from reaching out, and pride keeps you from acknowledging others, the pain they feel and the pain you cause yourself when you decide no one, not even yourself, is deserving of forgiveness. When we refuse to forgive others, we withhold forgiveness from ourselves, keeping ourselves and others in bondage. Pride seeks to protect “self image.” The ego wants to be right and prove others wrong. Pride seeks to punish others for their “wrong doing.” Humility seeks understanding and reconciliation. Humility forgives, even when forgiveness isn’t given. “Grace is given to the humble.” In humility, you receive Love because you have room to receive and are grateful for all that you receive and have. Humility is not weak. Being humble keeps you grounded in the reality that we all come from the same Source. That Source is Love. Humility recognizes that the work, the work of your Being, the transformation is not done. There is much to do and learn. With humility, there is room to grow. Pride seeks to put others down. Humility seeks to lift others up. Pride refuses to reach out. Humility accepts what is given. Accept Love. Be Love

Love Is…

Part Four:
Love Does Not Boast

Love does not boast. To boast is to excessively speak with pride of one’s “self.” Confidence is quiet. Insecurity is loud. The little “self,” ego, is insecure. If you are secure in Self, there is no need to boast. People will recognize You or they won’t. If you are secure in Love, Love will guide your thoughts and actions without the need to draw attention to what you are doing. Love does not seek attention. Love gives freely with no expectation of recognition. When you celebrate an event or an accomplishment, the intent is to share your life with others. Boasting is not celebrating with others. Boasting is you celebrating your “self.” Celebrating shares the light of joy with everyone. Boasting is keeping the light on your “self,” the insecurity of being out-shined by others. Share joy. Be confident. Be Love.

Love Is…

Part Three:
Love is Not Envy

 

Love is not envy. If you are connected to Love within yourself, there is no room for envy. You are in a place of gratitude for all that is in your life. The happiness that flows from Love and Gratitude fills you to the point that you feel no lack. That feeling of lacking or inadequacy causes you to look outside of Love and Gratitude, and you begin to long for the gifts and blessings of others. You may project your feelings of inadequacy towards those you “deem undeserving.” There is nothing to envy when you know You have all You need. When you are full of Love, you are free to be happy for others. You are free to share your unique gifts of Love with others because Love sets you free. Find Love within. Find Gratitude. Be Happy. Be Love.

Love Is…

Part Two:
Love is Kind

 

 

Love is kind. Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Showing kindness to others is when your Love recognizes the Love in another, that we are all intrinsically valuable, capable of Love and deserving Love. You see others for who They Are. You are free to Love and Love generously. Your thoughts are in tune with your Love and the Love of others. Kindness is treating others and the world around you with the Love you would desire to connect with within. You “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” You act in accordance to the Love that is part of Your Being. You don’t have to befriend everyone. You are free to gift friendship. Yet sometimes, we allow the pain in our lives to cause us to fear generosity, to not consider the Truth of the way things are. We have experienced pain. When we believe others do not deserve our Love, is it because we are mirroring the pain we connect with? Do we not deserve Love? If we listen to the painful lie that says, “You see, they rejected you. They cannot love you. You are not worth loving,” how do we behave in kind? The act of friendliness towards others is recognizing and believing that They really are not our foe. When you treat someone as if they are, you believe they are the source and cause of harm and your pain. They are an enemy to oppose. But when you separate yourself from the pain you feel or the pain someone projects, you are no longer in bondage to the emotions you feel and the emotions of others. The pain you carry, the burden, is no longer there when you release it. You are free to connect to your Love rather than the pain. When you are connected to the Love of your Being, you feel fulfilled. That filling allows us to to be generous towards others. The Love that fills You will guide You in your thoughts. Considerate acts come from Loving thoughts. The acts of friendship, generosity, and considerateness come from a Heart that is free and full to Love. When you Love, you give freely. There is no expectation because you already have all you need. Be kind to your Self and be kind to Others. Be Love.

Love Is…

Part One:
Love is patient.

 

Love is patient. Be patient with those you think or believe have “wronged” you. When someone “wrongs” you, they are acting through their pain, unable to see past it. They are unaware of the cycle of energy, what you give, you receive. You reap what you sew. You do not have to participate in a negative cycle. Sometimes, we are unconscious of our True Nature, that is Love. The “wrong” is when you identify with “it.” You are not their pain. You are not your pain. Be patient with yourself and what you feel. Don’t react to your pain or someone else’s pain. Those are feelings that come and go. The reaction to bodily pain serves a biological purpose, to alert us that something is causing bodily harm, to cause us to react to that thing. Emotional pain can become so strong and persistent that it can manifest bodily pain. Be aware of what you feel, pause to gain understanding of what you feel and where it comes from, and respond through Love. The little “self,” ego, is not concerned with the value of time. It doesn’t value another’s time, and it doesn’t value your time. Love appreciates the time you need and give and the time others need and give. Love isn’t rash or hasty or anxious. Love where you are on your journey. Love where others are on their journey. Respond with Love. Be patient. Be Love.

Beware the Green-Eyed Monster

“O! Beware, my lord, of jealousy;
it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
William Shakespeare, Othello

 

Sometimes, we let jealousy and judgment hold us back from loving freely. Because when we are jealous of someone, we’ve really judged ourselves “unfit” and “unworthy.” “I don’t have what they have,” you may say to yourself. Do you know this to be true? Instead of being thankful for what one has, we become distracted by what we seemingly “don’t.”

And when we become jealous of others, we’ve judged that they don’t deserve what they have. Your sight becomes clouded. You fail to see the the beauty we all have. We become unable to find the gratitude of seeing others in a state of happiness and well-being. “Misery loves company.” And we fail to  find the gratitude of our being. It all comes back to how you view Yourself.

If you love and accept yourself, you become aware of your unique gifts that you offer the world. And you become aware of the unique gifts that others have. A gift is freely given because you are free to give it. A gift is only freely given when you are free to give it. Nothing works so well as the invisible bars that hold us in a prison of our own making. Set yourself free!

“Trifles light as air are to the jealous
confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ.”
-William Shakespeare

You may feel trapped in a situation you feel you have no control over. You may feel trapped in a body that you feel has held you in bondage to pain and grief. How do you break free from that which you cannot physically see? By becoming aware of our personal struggles – the struggles of the heart – we begin to see what is holding us back. When you see, you can begin the work of removing or moving past those obstacles. When we see the insecurities for what they are, that are holding us back, then we can begin to move past them.

Let go of jealousy. Let go of judgment and condemnation. Forgive and embrace others as you forgive and embrace yourself. Then give, freely. Love, freely. The greater you love, the greater your freedom to give without conditions or attachments.

Do not hoard your gifts. You have value. You have something the world needs: the love and light residing within you, that you express uniquely True to Your Being. And if you decide to share it, I promise, though you may not be able to immediately see the profound impact you have on the world, like a pebble dropped in the waters, the ripples spread out to touch everything within vicinity – the vast sum of all parts that make up this beautiful universe.

Practice the art of true self-love by freely giving to yourself – no expectations, no conditions, no attachments. You can’t pour from an empty vessel. When we fully give to ourselves, the love and appreciation we find, our “cup runneth over.” You will find that you can no longer withhold the love you have from Yourself and Others. The chains of bondage drop, the walls that held captive fade away, the burden carried no longer weighs down.

See Yourself as You Are. Love Yourself and Others as You and They Are. Be aware of what mocks that which it feeds on, for it feeds on Yourself.

Love and Be Free.

Swamps of Sadness

Sadness…
I have known many people and never been more alone,
Many hours in their company – no time to be shown,
I gather many things, but nothing fills the hole,
In a house I searched for God, and empty met my soul,
No bleeding wounds afflicted – still feel stabbing pain of knife,
I am still breathing but have lost the pulse of life.

 

Have you found yourself in a place like this? This place where I have sometimes found myself is when I’ve believed the lie that I Am alone. It’s the feeling I felt as a child, when my mother would ask what was wrong, and I told her that I had the “lonelies.” The Lone Lies would have us believe that We Are alone in our afflictions. This place reminds me of another place depicted in – you can guess where I’m going – The Neverending Story. The place I’m referencing is The Swamps of Sadness: a bog of seemingly no end in sight. Navigating this area of the world is treacherous for our young hero. He ends up losing his closest companion while traveling through, when his friend succumbs to the depths of despair. It’s when you stop moving forward that you begin to sink. You become overwhelmed by sadness which causes you to sink into despair, not having a care for others and not having a care for yourself. You sink into the depths and disappear. You become lost to those that love you.

In my previous post, Embrace the Suck, I discuss the possibility of overcoming obstacles by embracing the situation. There are extreme difficulties that we must navigate in life. By embracing it, we acknowledge the difficulty – we acknowledge our feelings – but we don’t give power to what causes the difficulty. To avoid drowning or sinking into the depths of despair, we embrace what is happening in our life, holding on to what adds value and beauty to our Being. Difficulties aren’t there to ruin us. Difficulties are what bring us to a state of awareness and profound growth and appreciation. We don’t make light of our own or others’ difficulties. We shed light on them so we can see with clear eyes, the situation for what it is, the meaning it adds to our life, and the strength we have to overcome and grow in the experience.


I have all the love I need – if just from one loving friend,
Small amount of time they give me will endure until the end,
I have given up on things for they never do their part,
I found God outside of church in the quiet of my heart,
Wounds are slow to heal, and scars are what I see,
My soul is still Alive and what will always Be
…Hope.

After the young hero, Atreyu, loses his best friend and encounters who they were seeking in the Swamps – he gains information that he doesn’t know what to do with from this ancient creature, Morla. This Being of Apathy is indifferent to Atreyu and his mission, and has no concern for the Nothing that is destroying their world. It encourages Atreyu to give up. Regardless of the difficulty that is revealed to him, Atreyu pushes forward but begins to succumb to the power of despair. All the while he has been on this journey, an enemy has been pursuing him – G’mork. I discuss this dark character in Dark Night of the Soul and who this voice is. As Atreyu is sinking, and G’mork approaches him, he looks up to the heavens and sees light breaking through the clouds. And as “luck” would have it, a dragon descends from the skies above him. Atreyu grabs hold of this dragon and is carried off to safety, narrowly being missed by the large wolf, G’mork. Later, after realizing that the dragon, Falkor, has no plans on eating him, he discovers that this new friend has come to aid him on his quest. Falkor tells Atreyu, “… never give up, and good luck will find you.”

There are times when it seems there are no options but to succumb to despair. The Voice of Lies would have us give up. There are times when we do need a helping hand. I have found help at times in the most unlikely places. In the worst of moments – when all seemed lost – a still, small voice has called out; a light flickered in the distance. Sometimes the voice comes from someone else. Sometimes that voice comes from within, but we have to be receptive to it. We can’t just wait, we have to reach out and grab hold! Someone may throw you a life-preserver or a rope. And sometimes, you have to find that strength within yourself. I promise you, it is there! You must listen and not give in to the Voice of Lies in your head, the voice that tells you: You are not enough; you are too much; no one cares; you are alone.

 

A belief – be it good or bad – is a powerful thing. And if belief is a power, so is doubt.
The seed of doubt takes root in the mind. Give into doubt, and it will take over. If you pull the weed, it appears gone. But under the earth – where you cannot see – a bit of root left behind will sprout again in time. If belief brings light, doubt casts darkness. And where doubt takes hold, fear may follow. Where there is light, there are also shadows. We move through a life of light and shadows. As light grows dim, the shadows grow darker. Not knowing what may be hidden in the dark can cause us to fear. Will we avoid the dark, or will we walk through it to find whether we can come out on the other side? Is the knowing worth the risk?


They say Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real, and “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Because when fear takes hold, rationality is crowded out. It is only natural to have an emotional response to something truly terrifying. We may become frozen with fear. If you abandon rationality, you won’t be able to examine your life or a situation clearly. When you pause and step back – listen to that other still, small voice – you can shine the light of awareness on the situation. A decision made in fear is untrustworthy. It may lead to rashness; it may lead to misunderstanding; it may lead to hate.

But if fear be nature’s catalyst to survive, then courage is mankind’s fuel to prevail. Courage is accepting the situation as it is and deciding to move forward. It doesn’t mean you don’t have fear. You move forward, despite having those fears.

We oftentimes make decisions out of fear. We can also take leaps of faith.
We may leap to flee the monster that pursues us and find ourselves in the wilderness. Now it is up to us to find our way. Fear is believing the worst will happen. Depression is when we don’t believe things will get better – it’s a place where you have become lost, and there seems to be no way out. Having the courage to move forward, and having faith that things will get better, won’t leave fear and sadness by the wayside. We will always navigate these difficulties in life. Knowing and believing the Light within will guide you through this difficulty will show you the way. That Light, the Light of Awareness that shines on the path you may take – that is the still, small voice that whispers. That is the Voice of Love within. Listen to it and find your way.

“You will only ever have two choices: Love or Fear.
Choose Love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”
-Jim Carrey

 

To Belong

I don’t wanna be judged by my beliefs, I wanna be accepted for who I Am. My beliefs are my own and sacred to only me. Judge me by my actions and character. Everyone wants to feel like they belong, to have a group of people that rallies around them. But your sense of identity shouldn’t come from others, it comes from within. Finding like-minded people feels good. But it doesn’t define you. That wouldn’t allow you room to grow and evolve without the approval of others. Groups are susceptible to believing they’re right, and every one else is wrong – the “clan mentality.” Openness leads to the sharing of ideas and understanding of others and each other’s differences. We’ll never completely agree on everything, and that’s ok. We’re all unique. Core values, love for others and respect in the face of differences, that unites us under one banner, the human race. Finding that inner peace and peace with others, accepting and loving yourself AND the acceptance and loving others where they are at in their journey, maybe it is there that you will find that You belong. 🙏🏻💛