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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Love You Anyway

 “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”  ―C. S. Lewis

This is the 78th day of my 108 Day Svadhyaya (Self-Study) and I still love everybody (though some days barely).
A friend once asked me,"Gawd, you LOVE everybody, how do you do it?" My response was,"I don't know, I just see their heart, beyond the persona,  beyond the anger, painful actions, etc... honestly, I just "see" the best in people."

People are easy to love if you can see the Divine in everyone, it's just some people have so many layers of hurt and pain covering them up it's sometimes difficult to see through their crummy actions to the brilliance of their light (even if it is dimly lit). Sometimes our expectations of people get in the way of us loving each other too.

Loving everyone doesn't mean that if you walked into your home and someone was stealing your stuff you would say,"Excuse me, don't you know I love you, please don't violate my home, and by the way, the color of that shirt does not properly highlight the natural beauty of your skin." Or if someone speaks ill of you it doesn't mean you don't take the time to consider if this person is worth additional time because they are too busy NOT seeing the Divine in you to love you or themselves for that matter. It also doesn't mean if you were on the street and got mugged that you would give the perpetrator a great big hug right then and  there and say," Thank you for hurting me just now, that was awesome!"It also doesn't mean that everyone is your BFF, that you run to every one's rescue, or that you are supposed to become a door mat for all who cross your path or even that you try and play by everyone else's rules. 

Loving others IS seeing the Divine in others, while at the same time seeing yourself within them also. What is it about others that we reject within ourselves because we are afraid of truly looking within? What is it we want for ourselves that other people have? What expectations do we have for ourselves that we project on to others? How often do we NOT allow people to be human, making mistakes, just like we do?

During my self-study I have have had some Lessons pop back up where people are too busy judging me to love me and too busy not loving themselves to "see" me (my heart) loving them anyway. I resist every fiber in my being that wants to grab them and say, "'Don't you see I REALLY care about you? I really love you and wish you happiness?" Instead, I watch rumors fly, judgements be cast, stories developed about me that are not true, and time and time again I am not allowed to make mistakes.  Some days it takes unbelievable will power for me to keep from closing up my heart and stop putting myself out there for others. I never do that though. Instead, I give myself the "Do Your Best and Keep on Loving Pep Talk".  What I see is that most people come around, albeit years later, but only when they realize what love looks like.

Also, to be loved, one does not need to be "perfect". What is perfect? You do not need to please others in order to be loved. Your only duty is to be authentic, true to yourself, and the love and appreciation will be real and not based on some sort of persona you have built for yourself. This takes courage and makes you vulnerable, but THIS is loving yourself. When you can look in the mirror and give yourself the I Love You Anyway speech, it is then you can truly open yourself up to others and it is then that you will experience more joy than pain, more life than boredom, more inspiration than depression.  We are meant to love and be loved. It's a Universal Truth.

I am reminded of one of my most favorite things I have ever read, simple and true:

When they were finished reading, Olivia's Mother gives her a kiss and says,"You know, you really wear me out. But I love you anyway."

 And Olivia gives her a kiss back and says,"I love you anyway too."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Forgive You because I Love Me

 I'm  now 59 days into intense self-study.  With that comes trips down memory lane through the reading of journals and the sweeping up of debris still stuck in my mind-attic. Just the other day I found an old journal in my real-live attic in my home from way back in 2004. It was a program Caroline Myss wrote and the very first assignment presented was to write about different "Contracts" we had with people in our lives where we still felt harmed in some way. In the process of doing this, we came to realize how these people who had harmed us, had taught us about ourselves and had added to our life experience, becoming significant teachers on our life path. It wasn't until late last year that I finally began to let go of the most painful experiences I had had and it was only through forgiveness that I began to heal completely. I now realize that I went through all of these things in order to help others in similar situations. I am now grateful for the experiences I have had.  Today I find it very easy to forgive people because now I don't blame them or take on a victim role, rather I look for the lesson they are there to teach me. 

 Ironically, as I focus on myself,  I am finding it much easier to become less self-absorbed and hear, feel, and see clearly where humanity is suffering. What I am hearing, seeing, and feeling is our habit of holding on to entirely too much emotional junk that does not serve us as individuals or as a collective whole. We are walking around wounded, wounding others and further harming ourselves. We re-live our painful childhoods, broken friendships, "failed" careers, divorces, often blaming others, waiting for them to apologize to us, but, we rarely find the peace we are looking for based on an apology, as the only real peace we find is through forgiveness that comes from the heart knowledge that we are all connected. Truth is, we all screw up somewhere, sometime, and all of us have room to forgive as well as to be forgiven.

 Why should you forgive that no-good asshole? When you hold on to resentment toward someone, you are bond to them energetically and they own a piece of you. If you want to be free you must let their harmful actions go. This does not mean you have forgotten what has happened and you should still be discerning, but holding onto anger, blame, and hurt is like drinking poison over and over again and what it is killing is your joyful spirit. Why are you giving them more of your life? Instead of letting them take more of your life away, see the gift they have given you. Maybe they have taught you to increase your intuition so you are not harmed again? Maybe they have taught you just how powerful you really are?

So, how do you do this without talking to the person who has hurt you? This may seem a bit hokey, but I use it and it works. Because of our energetic connection with every living being on this planet, we can easily connect at a higher level of awareness if we are so inclined. Just as you think of someone and suddenly they call you, you can call on some one's "higher self" and reach them in a way you may not realize. If you pray, you are trusting that God is ever-present and you can tap into the source at anytime. Like-wise we can do this with each other. I suggest finding a quiet space, breathing deeply and slowly (the best way to connect with your heart-space), begin to visualize your higher self and the person you need to forgive, their higher self, and have a conversation right there.  The conversation must not have blame or hurt surrounding it, only words that offer forgiveness and love. You are not excusing their actions, but seeing past those actions to their purest, joyful, loving self. This understanding and awareness breaks down walls and actually opens energy up for healing to take place. I have done this without the other person ever knowing and it is amazing how my relationship changed with them. Try it. Don't take my word for it. Do it and see what happens. Your thoughts and intentions are powerful. Use them for the greatest good and you will have joy and you will have peace.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." ~Mahatma Ghandi