In Praise of Love and Being Home
“Steered Back on Love’s Course”
We owe it to ourselves to discover how love is actually made real, tangible and undeniable in our life, moment by moment, and day by day. We owe it to ourselves to bring to light the ways we might keep love at a distance, or barely felt or shut out of our life altogether. This kind of self-honesty is needed for love to be genuine in our life. This is what love deserves and we deserve. And such a relentless honesty will only happen if we value love enough, and sincerely want love to grow inside us and replace the pain of any lovelessness we might be experiencing. . . . After all, our true happiness and inner peace depend on it!
Clearly, then, to follow love’s guiding light is to continually shine the light of awareness on our mental-emotional activity, and directly meet anything arising in us. Only by recognizing our thoughts and feelings for what they are—to really see them and feel them—can we send the attentive and caring warmth needed to melt anything in its way. And, in fact, the recognition itself, the meeting of what arises itself, is this warming light—love’s “glow” that can outshine any darkness in us, any mental contraction in us, and instantly wake us up. . . . Thus, we are, in any moment, quieting down the mind’s noise. And in so doing, we’re more able to feel into and open from the heart, and create more space inside us for true happiness and peace to abide. This transformative self-awareness reflects our true nature, our heart’s truth, and our living in response to it.
We can, therefore, send the light of awareness/the light of love to ourselves in every kind of way, and amid any circumstance in our life. We can send love in the form of embracing what we urgently need to do in any moment; when, for example, we might need to physically defend ourselves or protect our loved ones from harm. And, we can send love to ourselves when there is no such need, no actual threat, and we’re still being guarded and defensive, trying as we will to perpetually prove and protect ourselves. This is the self-love we sorely need to let in, and open and soften into; when we’re wound tight, and taking things so personally that we’re threatened by anything we think will damage our self-image or thwart our self-interests. This is the love we can gratefully give way to and rest in . . . and what takes down the walls around our heart, “brick by brick.”
Likewise, we can shine the light of awareness/the light of love on any tendency in us to be overly judgmental of others, sanctimonious, and dogmatic in our beliefs; perhaps with a self-righteous “holier than thou” or “my way or the highway” mentality. May we truly see how heartless these attitudes are, and sincerely take this recognition to heart—send this kind of love to ourselves—so that we may act in a different, much more open-hearted, compassionate way. . . . The same goes with our tendency to be so “touchy,” overly sensitive, and hesitant to admit when we’re wrong or at fault about things; and any of the ways we put people down, in order to elevate our own status or perception of ourselves. We can see these behavior patterns for what they are, and stop them in their tracks; by letting the light of love’s humility and mercy dissolve them.
How good, then, when we love ourselves enough, are attentive and caring enough, so that we can be aware of the pain that our unloving tendencies cause us. And being sufficiently impacted by our self-inflicted suffering is the only way we can drop it, like any bad habit that we’re finally sick and tired of. How good it is, and how vital it is, to be relentlessly self-aware like this, for the sake of the love, and happiness and peace we’re so fortunate to be drawn to, so fortunate to cherish.
And let’s face it, even at very subtle levels, we humans can be so cruel to one another, by dismissing another’s thoughts or feelings, or making another feel bad for thinking or feeling however he or she is. . . . Therefore, may we continually bow down to and convey love’s wisdom of tolerance and open-mindedness, which tells us to acknowledge another’s right to believe whatever he or she wants, even if we might vehemently disagree with him or her. We can let go of demanding that others be like us, think like us, feel like us and act like us. We can stop devaluing another person in any way; and instead, embrace that person as he or she is, deep down. And we can be thankful that even a split-second of warm-heartedness and empathy can help snap us out of any narrow-mindedness and conceit we might be exhibiting.
So, in recognizing any of our cold-hearted and self-righteous ways, we can stop . . . and open up, self-correct, and be steered back on love’s course—back home—with all the loving-kindness, thoughtfulness and forgiveness gracefully afforded us. This kind of waking up helps us realize that we are hurting ourselves most of all when we “cop an attitude” toward someone; or when we are being catty and mean-spirited, smug and petty; or when we do things out of spite, or hold onto a grudge or maintain a feud. We can clearly see, then, that the negative attitudes and resentments we bear are primary reasons for love, and joy and serenity being absent in our life.
This is the bottom line: The more we see and feel that love is happiness itself, and what we want the most, the more likely we are to be loving, happy and at peace, regardless of what else is happening in our life or the world; and the more likely we are to cherish our relationships and treat them well. The more we treasure love and rely upon love, the more able and willing we are to welcome another person into our heart, be touched by another's being and to reach out with this same openness, naturally, through all kinds of ways. . . . Even so-called “tough love” best lets a spirit of kindness and caring, support and goodwill shine through any sternly-worded guidance we might give to others, like our children, for example.
And, even if we think we are incapable of caring, incapable of love, our crying out for it can help soften us and open us to the open heart, to our heart’s truth, our Source-connectedness and our true home. And, in our surrender to this—to the love that is who we are deep down—we can be opened by it; and deepened in our gratitude, and our ability and willingness to care for anyone, even in the tiniest ways. . . . So, we can meet and acknowledge everything about ourselves, including our faults, and frailties and mistakes; and, we can accept and affirm that we want to grow in this life, and become more deeply aware, more deeply loving, happy and at peace in every way we can.
It is great, indeed—that we have this chance, in any moment: to affirm our desire to always be evolving, and reaching toward our full potential as a human being. And we can acknowledge that we are all going through the life lessons we have come here to learn. We can affirm our inherent self-worth—our being always whole, and complete, and full of love and peace at our core; and that we’re here to get better and better at reflecting all this in how we live. Thus, we can accept ourselves and anyone else, as is; and affirm our hope for all of us to grow, and become more deeply loving and happy in all the ways we can. We can do both; love does do both. And again, life in this human form is too short, too precious, to be about anything else. Right!?
Empathy, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness come much easier when we truly understand this: that we humans only act based on our current level of maturity and what we know at the time; on “where our head’s at,” and how our upbringing, life experiences, previous choices and other forms of conditioning have shaped the way we are. When we really get this, we’re much more likely to unconditionally accept one another, have compassion for one another; and to forgive our shortcomings and errors in judgment, our “mis-takes” on reality, and to let bygones be bygones.
This is how we can treat ourselves and others if we truly value love the most, honor our heart’s truth the most; and wish and choose, with all our intent, for love to be the central guiding force in all that we think, and feel and do. When we’re certain that love is the only real chance we have for deep and lasting happiness in this life, then being loving is how we’re much more likely to be—especially toward our unloving and seemingly unlovable tendencies. . . . After all is said and done, our unconditional love—our true generosity of spirit, our attentiveness and thoughtfulness, our kindness and compassion, tolerance and forgiveness, joy and gratitude—is the way to genuinely feel at home; to be happy and to thrive here!
This is what we have come into this world to learn and embody. So, regardless of what’s happening in our life, we can be all about bowing down to/letting go to what we know, deep down, is true. We can be all about affirming this and expressing this in our blessing others—in our welcoming others into our heart, and extending our heart out to anyone and everyone. And we can, likewise, have the deepest sympathy and compassion for those who are gripped by, contracted by, the habits of mind and body that may be causing their unhappiness and the inflicting of this on others.
Purely and simply, how good it is to give loving-attention to anyone and everyone, regardless of the circumstances, and to bless, rather than blame; endlessly blessing, endlessly caring, as we root for each other to do well, to be well and evolve. We can be the ultimate cheerleader—passionately encouraging all of us to live for the sake of love, to serve love, above all else. And, if we are moved to do so, we can pray for anyone to be healed of his or her loveless and unhappy ways; by opening to, surrendering to and appealing to the ultimate Power of the universe that beats within every heart.
So, when true love seems hard to find or express, may our longing burn even hotter then, our prayers intensified—for us to melt into our innermost tenderness, to open from there and live as such—as the ever-receptive and ever-expansive heart. And what could be more deeply satisfying and a better answer to our prayers, than by answering to what’s at our very depths? Such is our giving way to our Source-connectedness, our heart’s truth . . . and emulating it, as if we were responding, most urgently and gently, to a child who is hurting and crying out for help.
As we give ourselves to this fundamental certainty—that love is what true happiness is and what we have come here to do, what we’re “meant to do”—the central questions then become: No matter how anyone else is being, how are we being, right now? Regardless of the actions of another, can we stop . . . breathe slowly and deeply, and give ourselves to love and be willing to love, even in the smallest ways? Can we be considerate of another, patient with another, and be open and attentive, empathetic and kind, thoughtful and generous, whether or not anyone else notices this, or even cares? . . . And, how good it is to come to this point of real clarity in our life, when we truly see that our heart’s truth is teaching us how to be: a “free spirit” following the beat of our own inner drummer and love’s various rhythms!
If this “song” rings true in us, strikes a chord in us, then we are, indeed, opening to the one we have always been, deep down. Our true nature is always here—our Source-connected, core open-heartedness and true home, ever-present—and now we are becoming more conscious of it, more drawn to reflecting it, to sensing it, floating in it and relying on it; by being more open and loving . . . purely and simply. We are tapping into the very roots of joy and serenity, as we fall more and more in love with love itself, with the Source of love, and our true inner beauty and innermost calm.
Each of us must see for ourselves how to render a loving/thoughtful/caring response to any situation, and, thereby, contribute to the happiness and peace in this world; and sometimes, let’s face it, it’s not easy. What is most important, is that we open to others, receive them and listen to them with a willingness to really hear and understand, rather than just thinking about our replies and grabbing hold of the conversation. We can stop jumping to conclusions or making snap judgments about others, and do our best to put ourselves in “another’s shoes,” with love’s capacity for kindness, empathy and compassion leading the way. . . . And just as important, we can forgive ourselves, be easy on ourselves, when we appear to be less than kind and caring toward another. We are “all too human,” after all. Thankfully, in our forgiveness, we can let go and relax in and as the whole body, and breathe slowly and deeply, exhaling and inhaling fully . . . and simply be present, and look and listen with an open mind and open heart. In any moment, we can be this way—relaxed, open and aware.
As we read and re-read these words, and let their meaning and message continually sink in, we get the ongoing chance to purely and simply be open-hearted, be attentive and caring toward what is right in front of us. And if this seems hard to do in any moment, what can help soften any resistance in us is to simply feel inside ourselves—to rest a hand on our heart and feel the precious, heart-touching miracle that we all are, truly. . . . And what a miracle each of us is: arising from out of nowhere at birth, as a unique manifestation of the Source of all creation—That sustains us in every moment while alive, and receives our dying body someday, as well. This is our common bond and mutually shared essence—our all being “God’s children.”
And, really, it simply doesn’t matter if love is easy or comfortable to convey or not. We are being called upon by our innermost spirit to simply love—as earnestly as we can—because in our heart, we are certain that being loving is what means the most to us and does us the most good. . . . And, in fact, our love is strengthened and deepened the most by being open-hearted, thoughtful and caring when it seems hardest to do so. Then, we get the chance to dig even deeper/let go even deeper into our heart, and more fully appreciate the power and grace of our heart’s truth imploring us, opening us and guiding us in all that we do. And again and again, what better way to better ourselves and our world, than by giving whatever love we can to whatever arises in and around us, no matter what? . . . There’s no doubt; this is what we need, and our world needs, now, more than ever.
And how wonderful that expressing love can be so simple and instantaneous—conveying it through a mere glance, or a smile, a nod, or a sigh, a big hello or a soft hello; or through a wave, or a hug, a tap on the back or kiss on the cheek; or through a bow, or a laugh, a shout-out, a sentimental remembrance, a tender hi or goodbye. . . . Every moment gives us the fresh opportunity to acknowledge and validate another person, to be considerate of another person, to serve another person; and thus, the chance to celebrate love, each of us in our unique ways. How beautiful and truly fulfilling it is—to simply let our love reach out, help out and watch after another; serve and safeguard the overall health and well-being of another . . . encouraging, and supporting and comforting another in any possible way.
And how deeply satisfying it is to love by giving our undivided attention to what is right in front of us, as we stop and listen with open ears, an open mind and an open heart. We quite naturally, then, give ourselves the space to feel and be however we are; and to sincerely want what’s best for people, and for all of us to grow in our capacity and willingness to love.
It’s clearly so, isn’t it? When we’re truly touched by love and given to love, we’re instinctively mindful, present, attentive, living in the freshness of the moment, whatever we want to call it. And, while this is a matter of intention, it is essentially effortless—like being in love with someone and not having to try and remember that he or she touches us inside. The open heart, by its very nature, leads us to being attentive and caring toward what we are facing.
Yes . . . when we’re moved by love, and we open from the heart, we’re naturally inclined to relax, to feel in and as the whole body, to breathe fully and freely, and take full notice of someone or something with an all-receptive gaze. And how good it is to be this way, even for just a few seconds, a few moments—simply being right here, right now—awake to the beauty and wonder of life! . . . And vice versa: When we’re in the moment, and feeling in and as the whole body, we have a better chance to relax and open amid our daily “busy-ness”—to be patient, and appreciate life’s little things and all there is to love in this lifetime. . . . And again, we can even make a habit of briefly stopping at various times throughout our day, and being intentionally quiet and still, and most closely aware of our breathing and what is happening in and around us.
It’s evident, then, that it’s not any activity in itself that is most fulfilling, but how we are being that is most important, most rewarding. It’s not what we are doing as much as how we are doing it—with whatever degree of presence/of openness/of love we can bring to any situation. As a result, we just might find that activities once thought to be boring, dull or tedious, can be anything but, when we’re fully attentive to what is right before us and absorbed in whatever we’re doing.
Thus, we can be certain, after all, that the present is when everything really and truly exists! The past is always gone, and the future forever around the next bend or in the distance. And, let’s face it, we can tend to live so much in the past and future in our head, in our thoughts. . . . So, how important it is, how good it is, to simply relax and settle into the whole body’s being and breathing right here, and to bring our attention to whatever’s presently happening. Such is our being aware of what we’re doing as we’re doing it—rather than letting the mind be off somewhere else, lost in its thoughts.
Again, this attentiveness relies on the light of our awareness/the light of love shining on, and outshining anything “between our ears” that would take us away from being fully in the here and now. In this way, we can be continually bringing our attention back to the present moment, and aligning ourselves with what’s most real, most true. This is giving ourselves a most precious gift! And how wonderful it is to receive it, and be evermore in love with being here—in love with being aware of being home—breathing, and sensing and awake.
“A Divine Disappointment”
This is also true, and good for us to be honest about and recognize in ourselves: If we try to appear loving in order to get something out of it—like greater popularity, or praise, or power or prestige—the true depth and nourishment of love is lost. An “ego-sense” of ourselves may be temporarily inflated by any attempts to be seen a certain way or treated a certain way, but under the surface, we remain unfed and undernourished. . . . Thankfully, our craving for attention and approval from others is ultimately meant to fail us, and leave us with the continued pain of our seeking. This is a kind of “Divine disappointment,” which allows us the possibility of falling further into the heart, softened and humbled, and made more vulnerable and receptive to a deeper, more genuine love and peace.
This love doesn’t let us indulge ourselves in “ego-tripping,” and has nothing but tolerance and forgiveness for our “all too human” egoic ways, knowing how much we’ve been culturally conditioned to believe in their worth. And while there might be pleasant feelings accompanying our achievements and accolades, and earthly riches and fame—none of these can satisfy us deeply enough, really; can’t sufficiently nurture and nourish us, touch us deep down, or “buy” true contentment and meaning for our life.
So, as always, best to treat anything—like our insecure need for ego-inflation—with great understanding, attentiveness and caring, with great patience and forgiveness . . . and yes, humor; just as we would treat a child who is acting out, and crying out to be fed by a true, loving embrace; true loving acceptance.
Real love, after all, is a most tender big-heartedness that stands strong in the support we give to ourselves and anyone else. Such a love is relentlessly kind and compassionate; and allows us to forgive any of our tendencies to be self-obsessed, contracted, and seeking true happiness in ways incapable of finding it. Real love doesn’t let us beat ourselves up, or wallow in shame or guilt for any of this. Better to accept ourselves, unconditionally, including all our mistakes, missteps and misgivings, and our desire to drop any of our unloving, egotistical and unhappy ways. This is a most healthy self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
In an instant, then, of being opened and softened by love’s mercy, we are given yet another taste of what satisfies us like nothing else can, and where any ego-gratification pales in comparison. This is the best kind of “aha” moment—the one that continually occurs—as we are awakened by being touched, and comforted and forgiven, again and again, by the scope and depth of love’s enduring sublimity and saving grace. And because the giving and receiving of love truly does make us the happiest—and is most worthy of our attention—any hard-heartedness, self-contraction or ego-fixation tends to fall away quite naturally.
Such is our falling in love with love itself, above all, and letting this allure continually pull us into the open heart’s radiance, the open heart’s sweetness and joy, and the openness of our entire being. Even the mere word, “love,” or the phrase, “I love you,” spontaneously arising in us as a thought, or as a “mantra,” if you will, can help the mind “drop into the heart.” And even if, in any moment, we don’t feel anything special by saying these words—still—we are re-programming the subconscious mind to be filled with more loving thoughts and feelings over time. We are providing ourselves with continual reminders and wake-up calls, and the chance for love/for genuine caring to take up more and more room inside us; the chance for more and more goodness and beauty to be felt and expressed in our life. How good it is, truly, to want this more than anything . . . and to breathe and relax in here, rest and float here, in this heart-centeredness!
How useful it is, then—and how glorious, sublime and enthralling—to meditate on this kind of love, reflect on it, in whatever ways we are moved. This helps us keep our “eye on the prize,” and affirm love’s supreme worth in our life. This might include meditating on the specific people, or situations or activities we want to bring our sincerest love to. We can bring to mind someone in our life, hold that person in our heartfelt thoughts and visualize that person as being right in front of us. . . . For me, then, this might include my wife, Minako, our daughter, Laina, and Minako’s son, Lucas; or my parents and grandparents; or my siblings, Barbara, Rebecca and Gary, and their kids and grandkids; or another relative, a friend or anyone else I choose. And I can take these precious images/precious sentiments with me in my heart wherever I go, and bring this same tender-hearted, big-hearted, thoughtful and caring spirit to anything and anyone, in any moment.
This, again, is using the thinking-mind in a most productive and wonderful way, by intentionally aiming it toward what we want to meditate on, realize and embody; to help us stay true to our highest values and principles. Such is our thinking about, reflecting and staying focused on how we want to live, and how we can best love and treat each other—on how we can be truly happy, and healthy and at peace in this life.
So, as we continue to read and re-read these words, and let their meaning sink into our heart, we can put our attention and intention on what we honestly want to actualize in our life—on what we want to become—like being more loving, more deeply happy and at peace, more and more of the time. As we do so, the “vibration” of our love, and joy and contentment begins to replace, little by little, our unloving, unhappy “vibe,” our unloving and unhappy ways. And, likewise, the whole world evolves by more and more of us doing the same.
Again, our intention to be this way is powered by the pure attraction to open-heartedness itself—not only to the way this love affair makes us feel, but also to the way others can be similarly affected by us in the most positive ways. Even those once thought to be loveless and unlovable can sometimes surprise us, and be so touched and impacted by our love, and the living and breathing of our heart’s truth, that they too begin to relax, and open and love in ways never before imagined. In this way, we serve both ourselves and others when we become, most gratefully, surrendered to our Source-connected common bond; and guided by love and run by love—guided and run by being aware of being home in our heart’s truth, in our true nature . . . truly!
It makes complete intuitive sense, doesn’t it? Genuine, unconditional love is generated from all the way inside us, coming from our very essence, our core open-heartedness and the deepest truth about ourselves. This is the love that is ever-available; both as the love we give, can depend upon and feel at home in (regardless of the circumstances), and the pure satisfaction and joy we receive in simply being open-hearted ourselves.
Many of us, however, become habituated to seeking love from someone or something pleasing us, exciting us or making us feel a certain way about ourselves. It’s understandable . . . for if we don’t find true love/true happiness inside us already (and in the real intimacy we experience in healthy relationships), we invariably try to get it from things like romantic or sexual moments alone; or material objects; or greater popularity, power or status; or even through others feeling sorry for us in order to get their sympathy. What we might experience then are pleasant feelings, but ones that are fleeting, and subject to conditioned behavior, particular moods, the whims of others, and the fickleness of wants and circumstances. And haven’t we all gone ‘round and ‘round chasing moments of pleasure and ego-gratification—struggling, perhaps, to come up with successful strategies to accumulate these and make them last?
Clearly, all thoughts and feelings come and go—arising and passing in and through us—including the most loving, happy and peaceful ones. Thankfully, there is a deeper sense of love, and happiness and peace that is ever-present and unshakable, and what we can always turn to, rely upon and live on the basis of . . . no matter what. And, as we sincerely open and give way to this truest, deepest kind of love, there’s far less mistaking it for mere infatuation, exhilaration and stimulation; or attention and approval from others, or narcissistic confirmation when we look in the mirror.
So . . . when real love, real happiness, seems to be missing in our life—if, in all honesty, we know we’re not genuinely happy—well, then, it’s good to see what else we’re acting on the basis of and valuing more highly. And, it’s not that doing things purely for the sake of physical or emotional “highs” is wrong or bad; as stimulations of various kinds are pleasurable and a natural, enjoyable part of life. It does feel good to be praised and honored, for example, and to be proud of our accomplishments. Still, what is most important is discovering what is most satisfying and meaningful . . . and living as such.
Thankfully, then, by putting unconditional love first—and making it our highest priority and where our devotion is primarily directed—there’s no driving need to seek attention for ourselves, or to enhance our self-image, or increase our “approval ratings” or social standing. At some point, fixations like these just don’t have any power over us, and simply drop away naturally. Then, we’re much more interested in simply being open-hearted ourselves, than we are in craving validation from others. We’re much more interested in being grateful for what is—and being devoted to our heart’s truth—than how happy we could be, “if only” this or that sequence of events would happen.
This is also clear: When we think and believe that who we really are (and what is most important), is what separates us from each other—our self-interests, our ethnicities, our politics, ideologies, religions and such—then we’ve created the dissonance we see in our minds and on the daily news. And when our accomplishments, or our acquisitions, our social standing or power are what we covet the most—well, then, we have to see for ourselves if these truly fulfill us and add meaning to our life.
And, most certainly, identifying oneself as this “ego/persona” needn’t be repressed or denied, or sought to be overcome or overthrown; only its limits understood and accepted as such—with all the insight, compassion, humor and forgiveness gracefully afforded us. We can fully act in the play of life in our unique and personal ways; and, all the while, let our very essence, our true self, shine forth amid all that we do.
Thus, a healthy sense of ourselves means that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Best that we continually see the “bigger picture,” while engaging in life’s various activities, life’s “play” (and the roles we play)—knowing all along what to give our greatest allegiance to. And so, we best perform our roles with great humility and lightness of being—with great spirit—by letting love’s pure joy and exuberance, kindness and generosity come through us on the job, and as a parent, as a husband or wife, son or daughter, brother or sister, neighbor or friend.
The bottom line: No matter what other successes or failures we’ve had, failing to love is the only real failure, and reversing this trend is the surest sign of true success, true growth. And again and always, forgiving ourselves for any of our apparent failures is part of this growing process, and a clear indication that our heart is opening and our love is real. . . . So, as we put our attention and intention on whatever we do, it’s even the tiniest kernels of our heart’s truth—the ones containing love’s unconditional effulgence—which bear the most nourishing, best tasting fruit in whatever fields they’re planted in. Love’s caring, and giving and forgiving is truly its own, best reward.
So, we can acknowledge and affirm, again and again, that nothing can take love’s place, or should get in the way of pure and simple loving-kindness, thoughtfulness, and being civil, humane, good-natured and down-to-earth. Especially our religion. For, despite the word’s essential meaning implying a call to “re-legion,” or bring together and reunite, the opposite can be happening among some people, whose hearts become hardened by their beliefs. . . . Tensions and conflicts of all kinds are created and worsened when love is overshadowed and buried beneath religious dogma, pretense, hubris and our particular creed—when we are so zealous in our beliefs that we exclude the efficacy or legitimacy of any others. This is one of history’s greatest, tragic ironies: how our faith is used as the reason to denigrate others, demonize others and make them the enemy; and thereby, trigger abhorrent behavior and wars of various kinds.
It’s good, therefore, to recognize how our ideologies and convictions can build walls around us, corrupt us; and thankfully, pave the way for our downfall, and the chance to be brought to our knees, broken open and truly repentant. Then, we just might be open enough to discover what’s in the heart of hearts of us all, and the life this discovery leads to: a life of genuine good-heartedness, and mutual respect for one another.
This is the unifying spirit we best bow down to and follow most of all, which celebrates our differences, our unique features and qualities, our particular cultural expressions; and that rejoices in all of us being Source-connected, all of us being one, in truth. . . . How vital it is, then, for us to reflect this fundamental unity through a love that is forever getting stronger, deeper, more expansive and inclusive—a love that can truly help transform our world in all the ways it needs it.
So, even as some people might be callous and cruel, and come off as being “holier than thou,” may we be relentless in being otherwise—in being kind-hearted, tender-hearted, big-hearted—even in the least of ways, and regardless of how difficult this might sometimes seem. This is the challenge that we’re being called upon to accept, and the great work we’re being invited to take part in.
And how good it is to do so, by making whatever contributions we can to better our world! How good for more and more of us to embody a true generosity and gentleness of spirit toward others and toward ourselves, as a true concern for the welfare of all people. The times we live in are crying out for this—for the best in us, the truest in us, to shine forth!
“The Open and Tender Heart”
All it takes is an instant, to breathe fully and freely, exhaling and inhaling fully, and to look deep inside ourselves. Then, we just might catch a glimpse of our unity—of the Origin of our every breath, and what is our mutually shared essence and common bond as human beings. It’s clear to me, that this truth-telling “peek” can influence anything we do in the most loving, most nurturing and nourishing ways. Such is our reflecting our Source-connectedness—through our attentiveness and caring toward anyone, through our kindness and compassion, passion and generosity, tolerance and forgiveness, joy and gratitude. This is how we open to, surrender to and convey our being home in God, our oneness in God, in real and felt ways. . . . Thus, what a great and wonderful opportunity is ours: to simply live as love, and to express this happiness in every aspect of our life; as we simultaneously let our awareness clearly see, shine through and let go of anything that would have us believe and act otherwise.
Equally so—that while we are one with our Source, still, as human expressions of this, of God’s totality, we are but a limited portion of this spectrum of possibility and knowledge. As such, there’s much that will remain a mystery to us; like how the planets and stars actually float, and spin and orbit in midair; or how a seed turns into a plant, a tree or a child’s birth; or how the miracle of each heartbeat, and brainwave and breath occurs. How in the world do all these things happen . . . really?!
And our being dumbfounded is good—so that we may be continually humbled by the grandeur of it all, the “miraculous mystery” of it all, and give greater credence and devotion to what is greater than ourselves as these individuated body-minds, and more deeply rooted in us, in fact. Trusting in this makes it totally okay that we don’t know what’s going to happen next or down the road in this life; as we can be perfectly content to simply be open-hearted and at ease in God, right now. . . . Whatever the future brings is simply another moment in time to love and be at peace, as our fundamental response to being home in God. How great that we have this ongoing opportunity: to be open and present to the present moment, and to breathe, relax and be aware of the breath of Life that sustains us . . . as we let a simple spirit of loving-kindness guide us and move through us in all that we do.
So . . . in the name of our heart’s truth, it’s crucial that we see how we may corrupt love, and turn it into something completely different by how we actually treat one another. “Love” is anything but when it becomes possessiveness, and attempts to control another, manipulate another, and to always be “right”—when it is more about self-indulgence and self-righteousness than the true happiness and freedom of another.
That’s where attentiveness, vigilance and repentance come in, in the most necessary, welcomed and welcoming ways: to help melt any of our loveless tendencies, by recognizing these in the most forthright ways. And this might include our being shocked and sickened by how we have acted or treated our relationships, or how we may have devalued or even hurt another human being. Such insight is the grace of suffering; which, thankfully, can stop us in our tracks, “break our heart” and crack us open.
Every day, then, is a good day to have a soul-searching, heart-to-heart talk with ourselves, if it appears that we’re selling out in some way by valuing something else more than love’s unconditional purity. After all, love isn’t genuine at all if it comes with strings attached; like, “I’ll love you only if you give me the attention I want, or if you behave in a certain way or conform to my expectations of how you should be.”
When we’ve had enough of our hard-heartedness and the pain we inflict on one another, and become more attracted and attuned to a most tender-hearted love instead, then a real shift can happen. Again, it’s like helping a child who is hurting, or giving loving-attention to the “inner child” crying out inside us. There is a natural opening and softening into the heart and the welcoming, non-judgmental energy there. This is our being just like the open heart is—just like we are at our innermost—replacing anything unloving and uncaring with true love/true caring itself. . . . Praise be—that this can be our way of being for the rest of our time on this earth!
This, then, could be called the great “alchemy” of love: transforming our every lack of love into love—our every lack of acceptance into acceptance; our every lack of kindness into kindness; our every lack of compassion, gentleness and generosity into these and so forth . . . in every possible way and in every possible moment.
This is so true, isn’t it? The awareness of our true nature and the power of love is sometimes felt as a calm and comforting acknowledgment, a most soothing “breeze”; and sometimes, as a “howling wind” that blows us away, brings us to our knees, and leaves us more open and able to drop any of our loveless, contracted and unfulfilling ways.
And, it’s clear, that when we are touched and moved by our heart’s truth and true inner beauty most of all, we can more easily see any of our “ugly” tendencies and destructive habits fall away, and be undone by much more life-affirming, happier and healthier ones—much more valuable, important and meaningful ones. Such is our attention and devotion being gratefully given to the true healing, transforming power of love . . . and our living on the basis of it.
Then, open-heartedness, in all its passion and joy, can replace our cold-heartedness, our negativity, our being overly judgmental and critical of others and ourselves, our being prone to excessive anger and cynicism, our selfishness and such. . . . Then, our being more aware of feeling in and as the whole body—and breathing, and letting go and floating in the Source-connectedness of any moment—can replace our incessant, unnecessary “worry and wanting,” our underlying anxiety, and our being frustrated and impatient when things don’t go our way. The body’s overall stress level naturally diminishes as a result; and with it, many of the health problems that medical science clearly sees as stress-related. And a true love/true caring for ourselves naturally leads, as well, to healthier lifestyle choices, and dietary and exercise habits that are most conducive to our overall well-being.
Love is the ultimate stress-reducer and health aid. By simply letting the open and tender heart be where our attention is drawn, it’s as if the mind is naturally dropping into the heart and relaxing there—as an openness of our entire being, certain of being home. . . . We can gently place a hand on our heart, and find the perfect place for the mind to rest and live on the basis of, the perfect place for our optimal well-being and peace of mind to be found.
Thus, as we continue to read, re-read and listen to what’s presented here, we can be carrying this passionate intention to love with us wherever we go, and be asking ourselves: “In specific ways, how can I ‘show up’ to life, and bring the radiance of the open heart and a spirit of true service into my workplace or my community today? . . . What does my family or my community really need from me, right now? . . . What is a special talent I might have, or area of expertise that could be of help to someone in this or any moment? . . . And, how can I best help solve any problem or resolve any dispute occurring around me, right now?”
Furthermore, it is true: We serve and care for others best by being as healthy and energetic as we can. Thus, we’re wise to also ask ourselves these basic questions: “What can I do today, specifically, to improve my overall health, and sense of well-being and vitality? What can I do, actually, to become a better, stronger embodiment of love; a better, more able messenger of love and ambassador of love?” Yes!
“Still and Always Home”
At any time, all sorts of unsettling thoughts and feelings can fly around inside us, like leaves in a heavy wind. Still, amid all this turbulence, a mere “sliver” of love can remain our guiding light, our beacon, our focus; no matter how tossed and tattered we are by whatever any mental or emotional storm kicks up. We can be free to completely feel this “wind,” and still and always let love be the premier guiding force in anything we do. We can be irresistibly moved by even the tiniest speck of tender-hearted sweetness and joy growing inside us; and we can let go and forgive ourselves and the universe whenever love seems most difficult to find.
And again, and after all, love is forgiveness, and vice versa. Forgiveness is any moment’s compassionate response to our being “all too human,” with all our imperfect ways of treating ourselves and each other, and the fact that we all make mistakes in this life. And, forgiveness proclaims, with the deepest honesty, that we are still and always all right, no matter what—still and always God-connected, still and always home—where our inherent innocence, goodness and inner beauty are assured. We can continually pay homage to this and bow down to this, to our heart’s truth . . . and aim to live according to it. Then, we can be awakened and transformed, in any moment, by all that the origins and spirit of forgiveness make possible.
Yes! In any moment, we can feel for ourselves how good it is, how beautiful and effective it is, to be certain of our Source-connected true nature. Such is letting our heart open to its deepest truth, and to be opened by it—to breathe it, surrender to it and float freely in it; affirm, trust and settle in it. How good it is to base our living on this, on being here, now and eternally home . . . and to pay attention to and let go of anything that would have us believe and act otherwise. . . . And yes, how wonderful it is to fall evermore in love with this too: the light of consciousness shining through any thought, or feeling or circumstance that appears to “cloud” the mind and the certainty of our being home.
All of this is a natural response when we treasure our heart’s truth the most; when we realize that love is best held in the highest regard because it reflects the very heart of the universe . . . and the one Energy, or Spirit, which is creating, and sustaining and linking all beings. This is the connectedness, God is the connectedness; or as many of us would say, “God is love!”
Love, then, is both our deepest-reaching bond with the Source of all creation, and the nearest and dearest way we have to feel it and show it, in our unique and special ways. . . . Or said this way: Love is the very “fabric” of our tie with God, and the closest, most precious means we have of embodying it, of “wearing” it. And the love we give returns this primary favor in kind—the open-heartedness that God has given us to share.
How magnificent, how clear: Love is who we are, deep down, and what unites us all, in truth! Even the tiniest gestures of love that we give radiate this same ever-joining, never-ending light that shines from above and all around the universe. And likewise, when we recognize the whole truth about ourselves, we are naturally inclined to bring love’s glory and openness of being—love’s kind-hearted, big-hearted, thoughtful and caring spirit—to our various encounters however we can. We can’t help it.
Most thankfully, our truth-telling also corrects this fundamental mistake: of identifying with an “ego-sense” of ourselves so strongly that we let its anxieties grip us just as tightly—in subtle or not so subtle ways. It’s the fear of death, really—be it of the body-mind itself; or of our self-image being so painfully shattered when failure and loss, and disappointment and defeat are experienced. When we are so self-bound and attached to our personal identity and its “approval ratings”—then, of course, there is fear of anything resembling its dissolution and disappearance . . . fear of the demise of what we put so much stock in, and try so hard to protect and perfect.
“I,” as “ego,” is such a confining attachment if this is all we see ourselves as being. This view of things can lead to a constant grasping for what we think will make us happy, and our being guarded and braced against anything to the contrary. It’s no wonder that many of us are tense and restless inside—often filled with self-doubt, anxiety and insecurity, frustration, impatience and disappointment—when we’re so fixated on this body-mind-personality we continually try to pleasure, inflate, work on or struggle to put up with.
So, while accepting that part of life is each of us being an individual with a certain “face” we present to the world, we best view this persona for what it is, and act accordingly—with little concern for “losing face,” or appearing, at times, to be foolish and dumb. Then, the roles we assume can be most freely and skillfully played, personally and “playfully played,” without so much riding on them; like trying to avoid failure at all costs, and being so concerned with how well we’re performing or how many pats on the back we might get.
Infinitely better to live by our innermost wisdom—and to honor it—certain that all the individual gains and lofty status, popularity, power and fame in the world can’t “buy” true contentment and meaning, can’t satisfy us enough. They’re not meant to or capable of doing so, because they are not who we really are! And again, even as there might be feelings of gratification accompanying our accomplishments and accolades, earthly riches and sensory pleasures, none of these can fulfill us deeply enough, really; or insulate us from the physical body’s fragile and transient nature.
This impermanence can be seen every day as we look around our world: how any incurable disease, natural disaster or harmful act can happen to any of us at any time; and that there is no ultimate guarantee of longevity, or perfect physical health or security for anyone in this life. Our body-mind’s natural aging, and eventual deterioration and disintegration are undeniable facts of this realm. We might try to avoid thinking about it or talking about it, or try all kinds of ways of distracting ourselves from it; but, still, it’s true and inevitable: Our current bodily form will wither and pass.
And, how perfect—that our time on earth is fleeting, and crying out for our deeper meaning here to be realized. This is the great “blessing in disguise” of our mortality, and any form of so-called “ego-death.” We are being implored to go deeper, forced with the greatest force to go deeper; and give way to, and trust and rest in our entirety, in our ever-present and eternal wholeness. Then, our time spent here, or anywhere, can truly be lived with the greatest peace, the greatest sense of being home.
Blessed be that this is forever so: Our physical death is a natural transformation and dissolving; a “beaming up” of this temporary body-mind into rearranged particle-waves of space. This spaciousness is home, is the all-pervading and everlasting Energy, or Light, or Spirit, or Oneness, which creates, and sustains and absorbs all that is—which gives rise to all that is—animates, and maintains and contains all that is.
Even modern day science confirms this in its own way: The actual substance of anything or anyone is nothing but Energy; all matter being, in essence, Energy, and permutations of it. This is in every nook and cranny of the universe, and where we all abide—along with all the planets and stars floating and spinning in midair. And clearly, this is one and the same Source and sustaining Power of all that is—our Divine underpinnings—and where we flow back into, “beam up” to, return to when the body dies; the place we have never, in fact, left. . . . This is where science and spirituality meet, and become particular ways of pointing to and describing the same thing—the one Energy that is creating, and living, and breathing and transforming all that is—the One becoming many and being at the core of all that is.
It’s so great that, in any moment, we can be stopped in our tracks and reoriented—“brought back home”—by this profound inquiry: From where, and by what Power is each of us arising and alive in every moment, and to whose domain do we all ultimately belong? If we stay still, and look deep inside ourselves, even for an instant, we just might recognize this—the Source of our every molecule and cell, heartbeat and breath, and bit of consciousness shining through our eyes, and ears and skin.
What a miraculous and mysterious unfolding! Everything and everyone is stemming from the one Origin of life, and multiplied beyond trillions, and trillions and trillions; as “you,” and “me” and every form, every duality; in a multitude of types, and shapes and sizes. So, while each of us is unique, and appear to have many differences, we are one, essentially and ultimately; all of us created by God, sustained by God and returning There when our body’s time on earth is up. How deep, and beautiful and wondrous is that?!
When we look all the way inside ourselves, then, we can see that our true face is no face at all, and in everyone we look at everywhere we go. With such a thorough investigation into our true nature, how natural it is to purely and simply love, actually and sincerely. Such is living in response to our core-truth, and conveying this in all kinds of ways—by being considerate of others and serving others—by being attentive and thoughtful, kind and compassionate, passionate and generous, and tolerant and forgiving toward any and all beings.
Incredible, isn’t it? We are all riding on this giant ball of rock and water floating and spinning in midair, amongst other planets and stars too numerous to count . . . and, we are all, in fact, composed of the same “stardust” that comprises all the elements and matter of the universe. This is the same all-pervading Energy taking unique shape in each of us—the same Energy by which each of us is being breathed, heart-pumped, and our every brainwave and cell imbued. Such is the ultimate “mind-blower”: that everything is seemingly coming from out of nowhere, from nothing, to become what is so big it has no end, and is immeasurably small—that saturates the universe, and where our soul’s secret is being told.
Whatever name we give to it, our soul is our very essence, our innermost identity, our true self, which is both deeply personal and experienced uniquely in each of us; and much greater than the personal, in the infinite reach of our Source-connectedness. The soul is our union with God, and the field of Energy, or Spirit, we can also call “heaven.” This is not only a destination beyond this lifetime (which does exist according to the many people who have glimpsed it and described it), but, in fact, in our heart of hearts right now. Here, we are most intimately joined with God; as this body-mind for a while, and as a soul that lives on, and on and on. This is home. And how good it is to actually feel this union and its assuredness—relaxing into this, breathing this, letting go to this and floating freely in this—this immaculate emptiness, abundant fullness, and what’s all-pervasive, absolute, and always here and now.
Let us, then, make best use of our most precious time here; this time that we’ve been given to love and care for ourselves in the best possible ways. And one such way, as we began to consider at the end of Chapter 2, is the healthy approach we take to our mental and emotional activity. Our thoughts and feelings are with us all during our waking life; and how we relate to them determines much of our overall sense of well-being (or lack of it), and how happy or unhappy we are.
So, again: When any thoughts and feelings arise in us, we best allow them, meet them directly and freely feel them. This is loving ourselves in a most real sense. Such is our feeling in and as the whole body, and completely being with whatever we’re experiencing; and breathing with it, the sensation of it, the energy of it, without trying to resist it. Trying to resist or suppress our thoughts and feelings doesn’t work, and only constricts us more inside. And, as many therapists and teachers would say: If we can’t freely feel our fear, or sorrow or anger, we can’t fully feel anything else either, like genuine love.
And yes, there is worry, or concern or fear that is meant to be there in certain situations, when we or our loved ones might be in danger, or need to be protected and kept safe from harm. And there is sadness or deep sorrow that is natural, when we might be “heartbroken” over some event, or grieving over someone’s passing, or when we’re touched by the plight of someone impacted by a terrible disease or natural disaster. And there is upset, or indignation or anger that has its place, when we need to defend ourselves, or stand up to any unfairness, or injustice or cruelty taking place in the world.
So, what about all the unnecessarily worrisome, and upsetting, irritating, depressing and loveless thoughts and feelings that can arise in us, and affect us in many debilitating ways, if we let them? Left uninspected, they can tense and tighten us inside, cause needless stress and sadness in our life, and have us believing and identifying with all sorts of negative, destructive things about ourselves and others.
And while each of us is unique, in terms of our mental activity, we do share some common tendencies. For most of us, our thoughts are often emotionally charged with a subtle or not so subtle undercurrent of worry; and a nagging sense that we’re always lacking something and needing something in order to be happy and fulfilled. . . . This underlying “worry and want” goes all the way back to our most ancient ancestors who did face continual, immediate threats to their existence; and had to always concern themselves with what they might lack, and therefore need to seek for their everyday survival. These tendencies and habits of mind and emotion have been passed on from generation to generation, and are still in our “wiring”; and influenced, as well, by the culture we live in, and how we’ve been conditioned by our own experiences and the previous choices we’ve made.
And while most of us today don’t have the kind of survival threats and challenges of our ancestors, still, we can be living with our own undercurrent of dissatisfaction, and “want and worry.” And it’s understandable; for if we haven’t found a deep sense of happiness and peace in our life, we’re left continually trying to fill that void in whatever ways we will—endlessly, fretfully wanting this or that thing—and, all the while, worrying that we won’t get what we want or satisfy our real thirst.
And, for some of us, our worry gets amplified to such an extent that we continually make everything in our life a problem, continually “make mountains out of molehills”; or become perpetually “on edge,” because we fear that some form of misfortune is always lurking around every corner. . . . Whatever our particular version of a worrisome story is, it can run our life and run us ragged, and leave us often feeling weary and stressed out; or at least far less happy and at peace than we could be.
Furthermore: For some of us, our mental-emotional habits of self-contraction can be reflected in additional, and often painfully neurotic ways—in an incessant need for approval and need to control; in being easily frustrated and impatient when things don’t go our way; in being too hurried and frazzled too often; in frequent feelings of inadequacy and insecurity; in living too much in the past or the future in our head; and in overly complaining about things and blaming others; and in the self-doubt, shame, regret and self-pity we might aim at ourselves.
Thankfully, again, the light of awareness/the light of love can provide the greatest help. While we can’t help what comes up in our thoughts and feelings (and how we’ve been conditioned), we can see and feel through any of it, forgive any of it, release any of it. We can be free to let the mind think and daydream whatever and however much it will—as it will anyway—and we can be ever watchful. We can do both; love does do both. Then, in any moment, we can gently, wonderfully “catch” ourselves, wake ourselves up, by recognizing the thoughts and feelings that we needn’t take seriously; which aren’t helpful or useful; and that we don’t have to believe, buy into or act out. . . . Again, whatever is arising in us, we can be the witness, the overseer of our mind’s activity, its benevolent master; as we accept our thoughts and feelings as they come up in us, and accept and affirm that being unloving and unhappy is not the way we want to live.
This is being unconditionally accepting, unconditionally loving, and being ever so grateful for being stirred awake like this, and finding out what does work best for us. Such is the power of consciousness being love’s “agent,” love’s “servant,” shining its light on any mind-forms that might grab at us, contract us, delude us, burden us and distress us. . . . And, again, in the moment that this illumination occurs, we might even experience that the mind’s noise has been quieted, and set free from its contractions; as we are awakened from any of our “daydreaming sleep,” and returned to love, welcomed back home. Then, we can be certain that nothing, in fact, can stand in the way of our love. Then, we’re more than willing for any thoughts and feelings to keep arising in us for however long they will, and for our awareness to continually see them, accept them, outshine them and forgive them . . . to love them, whatever arises.
This way of being gives us endless chances to love, to practice and strengthen it, and live according to our heart’s truth. And our vigilance in being this way—in being attentive, watchful—grows out of the love for ourselves, and for those in our life who want the best for us. Such is our true maturation and our commitment to that. . . . For the sake of our love, then, we naturally become more and more attracted to being attentive, self-aware, mindful; more and more attracted to expressing love in this way. Purely and simply, our self-awareness comes from love, and serves and conveys love . . . most gratefully!
Thus, again, how truly beneficial it is to be ever-sharp and ever-quick in our attentiveness, and evermore attracted to being this way; as we are continually clearing space “between our ears” of anything that appears to obstruct our true happiness and peace. . . . And what good news, that this doesn’t require any arduous practice or heavy-handed effort. This is, thankfully, a most easeful, gentle and loving form of intention—coming from our being undeniably drawn to being as attentive as we can, and all that this serves in our life.
And, isn’t it great?! Even our thoughts can help us with all this; by considering and staying focused on our heart’s truth and who we really are, deep down. Such is our intentionally using the mind to think about and reflect on our highest values and principles; on how we want to live, and how we can best love and treat each other—on how we can be truly happy, healthy and at peace in this life.
Thus, our “spiritual practice” becomes clear: living in any and all ways that serve and convey our being awake—to being here, now and eternally home—as we continually see through anything that would have us believe and act otherwise. This is the truth-telling love we can give to ourselves; and what our passionate longing for true happiness and peace most gratefully draws us into . . . forever.
“Turned Inside Out”
In the freshness of this moment, we can take our heart’s truth to heart! . . . We can relax, and breathe and simply be right here, right now, feeling in and as the whole body, and sharp in the awareness of what arises in and around us. This kind of wakefulness of feeling and attention helps us stay grounded in the present moment, and to best answer these kinds of questions for ourselves: “What moves me most deeply and satisfies me most completely, really? What do I know, deep down, is most true and valuable; and, how do I want to live, really?” . . . This kind of inquiry can fuel our passion and courage to live according to our deepest desire—to live a life of purpose and meaning. And what a wonderfully purposeful life it is—to live as love, in any and all ways.
So . . . may we simply fall face down into our heart, and take this love, this Source-connected “ground” with us wherever we go; may we simply be aware of our being here—at home and at peace here—breathing, and sensing and awake in our heart’s truth. Then, we are quite naturally moved to be attentive, thoughtful and caring toward anyone or anything, to be kind and considerate, passionate and generous, compassionate and forgiving . . . even in the smallest ways. This is being like we are at our innermost, in our core open-heartedness—and confirming that love is what life is really all about!
In terms of our intimate relationships: How beautiful it is to “fall in love,” and be so overwhelmed by our feelings for another that we can’t help being filled with adoration, and a sense of physical and emotional excitement. How beautiful if these emotions and sensations last a long time. Better still, that as feelings fluctuate (as all feelings tend to), a deeper bond, a deeper love is undeniably present, where any infatuation rests on much firmer ground. This is being “in love” in the truest sense, which has a foundation of intimacy, support, trust and commitment that successful relationships rely upon for their health and longevity.
Right? True love is a deep sense of closeness, which can be most wonderfully romantic and sensual, but doesn’t depend on these forms of sensation and expression. True love must go deeper than that to last and be authentically nurturing and fulfilling. Truly being in love is to so honor and serve our relationship to another that we are committed to being love—to living as openness and one “I love you” after another—no matter what’s going on physically or emotionally with either one of us. . . . This is the kind of love that finds us being truly happy simply by seeing the other’s happiness; the kind of love that keeps on being heart-connected and full of tenderness and caring.
And, as we all know, things are bound to come up in our relationships that bug us, “push our buttons,” and cause all kinds of reactions—disagreements, frustrations, impatience, and even stronger sentiments of anger and antagonism. This is inevitable in any relationship. The key is our being willing to let our feelings be felt, express them if we choose; and then, to let go into the open heart—to love, forgive and move on. How quickly we can release any “hard feelings” or resentments often determines the health, and stability and happiness of any relationship—with our significant other, our spouse, or our children, our friends, clients, co-workers and such. And this only happens when love is the foundation of our life . . . purely and simply.
And again and again (and it can’t be overstated): A key ingredient of our love is being mindful of what comes up in our mental-emotional activity, and to be aware of any internal noise and reactivity that might be happening. This clear-seeing helps us stop, take a breath, and see through and release anything in us that might cause us to “tune out” another, to not listen to another; or worse yet, to be inconsiderate, mean-spirited or hurtful in ways we might soon or later regret.
Genuine love comes from a deep place and lends itself to complete self-honesty. This helps us see what is truly loving and fulfilling, and what isn’t; and if we are, perhaps, trying to use others more for our own selfish ends than anything else. Therefore, it’s important to see how we might be continually preoccupied with trying to get pleasing “strokes” from someone else, and much less intent on giving love, and being genuinely attentive and caring in our relationships. And if we are being so “needy,” what results, all too often, are relationships that suffer or don’t last.
If this is happening for any of us, may our relentless honesty forever stop us in our tracks, and open us in the most compassionate and forgiving ways. And again and always, may we see that our happiness depends on the love and devotion we give, first and foremost; and that any relationship’s success has that spirit and commitment as its foundation. This is the essential vow that we can continually renew—the vow to simply love—regardless of how it may or may not be reciprocated.
So, again, how important it is to be finely-tuned in our heart-centered feeling and attention—in order to realize when we’re being open, accepting, considerate, thoughtful, generous, tolerant, patient, giving, forgiving and grateful . . . or not; when we’re really being attentive to another, listening to another, receiving another, serving another, and looking after her or his true welfare . . . or not.
In fully accepting ourselves, it’s imperative that we accept that certain attitudes and behavior might, at some point, be unacceptable to us. Loving ourselves, then, is admitting what no longer works for us, and may be causing great unhappiness/great suffering in our life and in the lives of others. Loving ourselves is, therefore, being truthful about the need for change, and open and willing to take whatever self-transforming steps are necessary. . . . And again, our willingness is not as much about willpower, as it is about letting our attraction to being open-hearted and truly happy naturally inspire and motivate us to change, to grow. And this impetus is fueled, most greatly, by realizing how much our loved ones mean to us . . . and how we best love and care for ourselves, as well.
Thus, as we reflect on these words here, and continually let their meaning sink into our heart, we can completely accept and forgive our past mistakes, our delusions, and being “all too human” in every possible way. And, in our being educated by love and guided by love, we can unconditionally accept the deep longing to drop any of our heartless, uncaring and deluded ways. . . . Again, we can do both, love does do both, most thankfully: accepting and setting free/letting be and letting go. And we do this by being as mindful as possible; as we catch and release any loveless tendencies that might come up in us.
Yes, most thankfully, we can be continually “turned inside out” by our truth-telling. Such is our being irresistibly moved and opened by love’s importance in our life, and our being wholeheartedly committed to living on the basis of this deep honesty. . . . Again and again, life in this human form is too short, too precious, to be about anything else. Right?!
Sometimes, it takes something like a health crisis or a serious accident to get our attention; so that we’ll finally look beneath the surface of our life and be totally honest. Thus, there are testimonials, or reports, with a similar tone: “Before my illness began, I was so wrapped up in things, and unable to see beyond the world I assumed everything revolved around and that I completely controlled. Then, my painful ordeal caused me to admit my vulnerability, my mortality, and lack of ultimate control.
“It was clear I was being ‘unwrapped’—being broken open and softened, and readied to find the real meaning of it all, as the Source and Spirit of real serenity inside and everywhere around me. It was clear I was being led to just let go, relax and breathe, and open my heart to God and to other people in ways I never had before. I was being opened, ‘turned inside out,’ in order to more greatly appreciate my family and friends, and the little things in life; and to be grateful for each and every day that I am alive. What a blessing, which came disguised in order to garner my undivided attention, and unveil what I’ve come to cherish most of all.”
Likewise, if we’ve been rejected, or hurt or made to feel ashamed by another: We have the perfect chance to dig deeper into the healing well at our innermost—the wellspring of the most dependable, enduring love imaginable. These ever-welcoming, all-inclusive arms of love at our Source-connected core can soften the heart that has been hardened by rejection, or abuse or any of life’s circumstances. And trusting in this love—by duplicating it—gives us the best chance to heal, to forgive and let go . . . and, thereby, live a happier, more contented life.
Then, we can see that giving love to another, to anyone, naturally takes us out of ourselves in a good way; out of fixating on our hurt, and anger and shame. If we happen to feel down or depressed, and we help someone else, serve someone else, then love’s energy can undo the contracted energy of our painful memories and present distress. We are replacing our hurt, and anger and shame with love—converting a closed heart into an open one—and being more than willing to take responsibility for living this way, as best we can.
Thus, again and again, we can affirm what we know, deep down, to be true: that if we serve another, truly love and care for another, we truly love and heal ourselves, as well. We do, indeed, best help ourselves by helping others; and how good it is to make this realization a real part of our life in every possible way. It is through our being open-hearted and giving love that we are opened by love, and real happiness found!
The old saying is true: “Love conquers all.” Love can overcome all obstacles and any adversity; and soothe, and nurture and heal us like nothing else can. And, likewise, such assuredness instills the willingness and courage to simply be more loving, more and more of the time—to completely, passionately and relentlessly fall in love with love itself, and live as such. . . . Purely and simply, when we open from the heart, we “have heart”—for real love perseveres. Love loves perseverance. Love loves to be undeterred. Love loves to see love prevail!
“Abiding by Our Truth-Telling”
When we humans appear divided and at odds with each other (as family members can), what an opportunity awaits us: for our reuniting, our reconciliation and gratitude. We get the chance, then, to truly appreciate our “returning home,” truly rejoice in it. And how better to really value our very essence and true kinship, than by knowing what it’s like to feel apart from this, from home? Such is our appearing lost—and often in great agony—so we might yearn with all our heart to find where genuine love and togetherness, healing and restoration reside.
Thus, it’s good to see how we sabotage what we know to be true by valuing anything more than this, by selling out . . . and how this contributes to our own unhappiness and that of others, as well. And when our attitudes and demeanor reflect a disregard for our heart’s truth, and our true common bond, we’re most fortunate that any resulting suffering causes us to cry out for home, for love itself and our true happiness. Thankfully, in our deepest longing to love, we can be opened by the open heart and opened deeper to it.
And, in opening to the deepest reach of our love, and living as such, we have found the perfect antidote for what’s so common these days. This is an age not only filled with much anxiety and depression, but also with many people being very closed-minded, hard-hearted, and totally wrapped up in their individual and group points of view. Much inflammatory and divisive rhetoric fills the air; with elements of racism, bigotry and religious intolerance often fueling these fires. This can’t help but create and further great dissatisfaction, discord and struggle; and the greatest need for our core open-heartedness and mutually shared essence to shine forth and begin to rule the day. . . . Such is the great opportunity that each of us has: to be committed to making a real difference in our world. And how truly helpful, effective and great it is—to be bringing a real attentiveness and caring, kindness and generosity, tolerance and forgiveness to anything we do—to be truly giving of ourselves; and, thereby, adding more happiness and peace to all our lives.
Also, and just as important, is being relentlessly honest with ourselves: to see how we contribute to the world’s ills (as well as our own), by being narrow-minded, or inconsiderate, or even spiteful or hateful ourselves. If we become antagonistic or prejudiced toward someone, or lash out at anyone, we get to see if we’re merely mimicking the qualities of the people we’re blaming, galvanizing opposition toward us, and creating further divisions, and backlash and trouble for everyone. . . . When, “I’m right and you’re wrong” beliefs and vendettas gain such unresolved momentum over time, and we’re so entrenched in our side’s story (and the justification of our grievances), the anger and vindictiveness can easily become “hair-triggered,” and full of hatred and acts of revenge. . . . So, regarding any conflicts in our lives, can we give our positions, and any actions resulting from them, a thorough enough look-see—to understand how we may have perpetuated any “sword rattling,” or created greater animosity and suffering by a certain stance?
With continued honesty we know this, as well: that discerning intelligence is sometimes a necessary act of love—to say, “Yes” to something or someone, and a firm, “No” when called for; and to be appropriately cautious and skeptical about the people and situations warranting it. Various kinds of buffers and boundaries are necessary at times to keep the peace, as is preserving rights of privacy, ownership and “one’s space.” And this includes the plain fact that some people do need to be incarcerated for the good of society as a whole.
Clearly, this is part of our growth as humans: knowing when boundaries are needed for safety and calm, and when they’re not; when they may be keeping us needlessly and painfully alienated from one another, contracted and shut down emotionally—with unnecessary walls put up around our hearts. Each of us must see this for ourselves in any moment—whether or not there’s a real need to be wary of someone, or to keep others at a distance or our emotions in check.
Real intelligence also knows it’s okay not knowing what to say, “Yes” or, “No” to, and that our best interests lay bare in the open heart, where uncertainty, skepticism and being guarded can relax, having found a home. Here, we know that taking care of business and handling our affairs, our being realistic and pragmatic, are given a great purpose—to help provide and care for any of us in our human form. . . . And here, we can also be certain that even if we have tough choices to make, or need to defend ourselves, we still abide in what’s forever all right, and most real, harmonious and beautiful, in any case. We can still and always put our trust in this, be at ease and at peace in this—in our Source-connected true nature. This kind of faith is our greatest, lasting fortune, and the firmest foundation on which to live! And this is reflected, purely and simply, in our being as loving as we can, for as long as we can in this life.
Truly . . . how better to reduce the rancor, contempt, distrust and vengeance we see in our world, than by living in response to what’s at the depths of us all, and is our common bond and mutually shared essence? Living on the basis of this, relying on this, gives us the best chance to work anything out in a peaceful and lasting way. Then, we can be relentlessly willing to find mutually agreeable compromises and solutions to any kind of problem—even the largest issues that involve the sharing of lands and goods, the upholding of basic human rights and civil liberties, and the reducing of what contributes to climate change and the threats of nuclear energy.
Likewise, any tendency in us to be intolerant, unforgiving, fanatical and hostile is more likely to dissipate when we recognize the true similarity of our religious foundations, and live accordingly. And such adherence on our part—to the heart-centered essence of these spiritual and moral principles—is what can help us let go of any animosity related to past hostilities . . . and help us from creating new conflicts in the future. . . . In short, the most truly viable and enduring solutions to any issue—be it socio-political, or economic or environmentally related—are spiritually-based ones; where love, and peace and our oneness in God are the guiding principles, and not just words used for effect.
It’s clear to me, then, that regardless of what occurs between people, cultures or nations that might be contentious, there is a spirit of open-heartedness, cooperation and diplomacy we can rely upon, first and foremost, in facing anything. And this will require strong leadership and peacekeeping resolve—with a broad vision, fresh ideas perhaps, and the passion and courage to proclaim what people must be willing to heed: the essential principles of the spiritual wisdom-lineages we truly do have in common. These are the voices that echo the same basic sentiment, and honor the real heritage, and deepest meaning and beauty of us all—the one Source pulsing in each of our hearts, our every breath, and floating the planet we all live on. And this sentiment/this spirit is embodied and expressed most fundamentally through our loving, caring respect for one another and this place we all call home.
Indeed, abiding by our truth-telling has the greatest potential to relax the most complex tensions, finger-pointing and blaming, and render the greatest help in finding the necessary compromises to any situation. Again, it’s up to each of us—to be relentlessly and completely honest like this. Then, we can sincerely acknowledge our core-oneness, our core-fellowship, and truly serve our real peace and prosperity, by building far fewer walls around our hearts.
And we can’t help putting up unnecessary walls until we can; when we as individuals and as a species begin to wake up, and grow beyond our divisive and threatening attitudes and behavior. Then, we just might see each other as brothers and sisters, truly—who might disagree and argue sometimes, but still fundamentally love one another; as being members of one family, living in one home . . . and always ready and willing to work things out for the greater good of all.
“Our Kinship in God”
We are all unqualifiedly related to our common Origin, and, therefore, to one another. And while we may suffer in so many ways from falsely believing there is no such thing as real togetherness, this is a way to tell the difference between our essential truth and our essential lie; between our everlasting unity, and our denying it, refusing it or betraying it.
With this complete honesty in mind and heart, then, it becomes much easier to answer this kind of question: Are we more interested in de-escalating a conflict or rationalizing the escalation of it; more interested in solving a problem or perpetuating it? And de-escalating a conflict, making necessary compromises and making peace (and truly “serving the greater good”), become much harder when we’ve become so rigid and dogmatic in our beliefs—when we’ve become “ideologues.” Such hard-hearted, narrow-minded rigidity has, as much as anything, created the fractious world we find ourselves in.
Isn’t it clear? We’re being called to look deep inside ourselves, and let love excavate us; dig us deeper than ideology and partisanship, deeper than religious dogma, deeper than political or cultural rivalries, vendettas, everything. This is our great opportunity for real creativity and problem-solving, and to play whatever roles we can in the evolving of life on our planet. And our world will only be heading in a truly positive, peaceful and loving direction when our innermost being, our universality, is most highly valued by enough of us, and allowed to have the final say. This is the voice of our true conscience, the guiding of our moral/spiritual compass, and the passion and willingness to tell the whole truth about ourselves and to live our lives based on this.
Isn’t this what we best be involved in—the evolving—the creating of a better, more loving and peaceful world, by the choices we make and the actions we take? No matter how anyone else is being, or how bad the daily news might be, we can love . . . and must love, most earnestly, if our world has any chance of improving. Such is our commitment to real loving-kindness and a true generosity of spirit on a global scale, brought down into every detail and encounter in our life. The well-being of our planet depends on more and more of us being into this; into relentless and unconditional open-heartedness, thoughtfulness and caring, and all that this has the power to do!
And again and again, how good it is to hold ourselves to this high standard of living as love—to be continually given to a spirit of kindness and generosity, tolerance and compassion . . . and settling for nothing less. This is innately fulfilling and conveys our God-given wholeness and goodness—giving us the best chance to truly help ourselves and our world.
How vital it is, then, to live based on what is most true, where all is eternally well in our heart of hearts. Such is our trusting in and reflecting God’s universal presence of deep-seated love and peace—which is ever-present and ever-available inside us all—in “the kingdom of God within us,” as Jesus and others have put it. What better “vibration” could we possibly bring to any of our encounters and dealings in our life; and what better and truer interpretation of any religious teaching is there than this? Such is the acknowledging of our essential oneness—our inherent and shared goodness, innocence and beauty—and acting accordingly. . . . When we truly value our Source-connected common bond, and are devoted to this happiness and peace above all else, then we can live with a most real love and joyous optimism, no matter what. And again and again, life in this form, in this place, is too short, too precious, to be about anything else!
Therefore, if there are people in our own life we have wronged, or who have wronged us, who can’t forgive us, or we have trouble forgiving, this is the perfect chance to bring any disappointment or anger, guilt or shame—anything—into the room we’re sitting in, and the one that’s in our heart of hearts, right now. Here, there’s a Divine-communing sanctuary of such heavenly welcoming, that forgiveness and letting go come as naturally as breathing in and breathing out; letting us forgive ourselves (even for not forgiving), and extend, and request and receive needed apologies.
So . . . again and again, as we hear this message, and let it sink into us, we can feel how good it is to simply and completely relax into being here in this moment; to feel in and as the whole body, and to breathe fully and freely, exhaling and inhaling completely. And as we do so, we can recognize and continually renew our devotion to the all-pervading Genesis of each breath—God’s spirit being breathed into us all. And just as the words, “breath” and “spirit” share common roots in many of our languages and spiritual traditions, we can see that our common bond as human beings also reaches far and wide—really far and wide. This is our mutually shared essence and includes everyone; and how healing and transformative it is to treat each other as such.
We can clearly see, then, that our web is spun in more directions than we can possibly imagine; and that when we hurt someone—physically, emotionally or in our thoughts—this plagues us in some form or another at the same time. . . . Living from the heart sees when we don’t, which breaks the heart, pains the heart so poignantly and perfectly, only to return us there—more deeply repentant, more deeply open-hearted.
Thus, we have another “blessing in disguise”—in the way our regret can serve us—as learning from our mistakes is vital in order to break old habits; to stop repeating patterns of unhappiness, and make any appropriate reparations for any wrong or harmful acts. Sometimes, it takes being horrified enough by what we’ve thought, or said or done (and even begging for forgiveness), for this contrition and atonement to happen, and to redirect our life accordingly. . . . Any such wake-up call is a welcomed, sobering realization that sets us straight, so we can no longer stand to create unnecessary suffering for ourselves and others. And how good it is when this shift begins to happen. Then, we’re more and more compelled to be kind and caring toward one another, and live for the sake of our kinship in God—live for the sake of love and being aware of being home.
And let’s face it: When any of us hurts another, it might not appear as bad as someone on the daily news who’s committed a most heinous act; but we can be just as malicious in our mind, our emotions or slips of the tongue. In subtle or not so subtle ways, and throughout our life, we can be doing harm to others in our imagination; in our casual, caustic speech, snide comments, innuendos and body language.
It’s also certain that further insight, and the lessons that come in time, are always needed to see more clearly and act more maturely. How else do we grow up, truly, but through recognizing our lapses from what does us the most good? How lucky we are, then, when our cold-hearted ways are cracked open by our remorse, and “thawed out” by the warmth of tenderness deep inside us. . . . Repentance, in this sense then, becomes a time of great restoration and great relief.
So . . . may we fall evermore into the open heart, and allow the space between us and someone else to be filled with a force-field of welcoming and an aura of acceptance. May we be receptive, and willing to let another being into our heart, and treat that one as an equal, not below us or above us. Thus, may we always refrain from jumping to conclusions about anybody; and from disrespecting another’s feelings, or his or her point of view, even if we might vehemently disagree with it.
And it is true that our ability to have opinions and assess someone else’s views and actions is useful and often necessary. The question is: Can we hold that person in our most tender, widest-reaching heart, and offer suggestions or advice in a most constructive, thoughtful and considerate way, by being truly interested in that person’s inherent worth, and his or her growth and potential? Can we truly serve that person, love that person, as we would wish in our heart to be truly loved ourselves?
How beautiful and how courageous, then, to continually dig deep inside ourselves, and look to be attentive and caring toward others, even if we have resistance to doing so in any moment and even if we don’t particularly feel like it. We can value love that much. And we can let the certainty of our Source-connectedness, and its true serenity and beauty, be our greatest refuge, and what we surrender to and rest in, regardless of what else is happening. This helps our heart open and soften, even amid any grumpy moods, or moments of self-doubt, impatience, melancholy and anxiety in ourselves and others. How wonderful, truly—that love (and our genuine self-esteem) can be this unconditional—as we accept everything about ourselves; most especially what’s at our very core inviting our response.
And thankfully, as well, when we might be unaccepted or unappreciated by others, we are given yet another chance to tell the whole truth about ourselves, and to plunge into the healing well at our innermost. Here, in our union with our Source, with God, is love itself; and where we can feel safe, and worthy, unashamed and loved in the deepest, truest way. Yes! Times of feeling misunderstood, or let down or disappointed provide the greatest incentive to go deeper inside ourselves, and broaden our trust in what is more fundamental and reliable than what others might think of us or how they might treat us. We can, then, convey this spirit in how we love, unconditionally. . . . So if, at any time, others don’t “get” where we’re coming from, best to not fret about it, or take it personally. They’re just seeing things from their perspective, and giving us the opportunity to love them just the same.
While we are one with our Source, clearly, as human expressions of this, of God’s totality, we are but a small portion of its spectrum of ability. Whatever capabilities we are given, extraordinary or not, we can never know or control everything; like much of what the future holds, and whether or not something like “fate,” or a predetermined personal or planetary “destiny” exists. And regardless of how and why our life unfolds as it does, there certainly will be times not to our liking or choosing, and much that is beyond our power to explain or alter. We’re most wise, then, to give way to and rest in this “not knowing.”
The design of the universe clearly supersedes how we might think this world should be or could will it so. Incurable diseases, natural disasters, tragic accidents, and sudden and unexpected death have always been part of life on this planet—revealing how powerless we are to stop or change certain things. It is simply the case that we human beings don’t have the ultimate say-so about a lot of things. We are constantly facing the unknown, and unpredictable and apparently random situations—including what overwhelms our sensibilities, or appears inhumane, insane or evil. Some people, as a result, might be confounded, but can accept their “wires” being scrambled; some who become dismayed, disgruntled or more cynical; and some who feel mostly anxious, distraught or lost. And still others, who may be experiencing great hardship or loss, maintain an equanimity, a trust/a faith that words such as, “Thy will be done,” express.
And clearly, what is “God’s will” transcends any idea we might have about what that is—really. So, questions like, “Why does God allow this or that event to happen; or how do our prayers get answered; or how could a loving God exist when there is so much wrong with the world?” are beyond our mind’s ability to answer—and are best surrendered—to what only a supreme, all-knowing Divine Intelligence could possibly know in full detail.
What we can see and understand is this: The “miraculous mystery” that is God’s totality includes every form in all its impermanence; and every contrast of pleasure and pain, predictable and unpredictable, and all the countless polarities by which we experience life. We are all familiar with these dualities: of light and dark, good and bad, birth and death, ups and downs, difficult and easy, agreement and disagreement, comedies and tragedies, and every form of attraction and repulsion and so on. The list is most immense, and for a reason.
Without the darkness of night, the light of a sunrise wouldn’t have anything to brighten; just as we need a good night’s sleep to feel refreshed the next day; and bouts of sickness to really appreciate good health. And in most stories, there’s a protagonist in relation to an antagonist, and problems to solve and challenges to meet. And a happy ending in any story only has real meaning when there is some form of adversity to overcome. . . . Similarly, being kind and forgiving wouldn’t stand out as much (and be so meaningful), without our capacity to be resentful, have animosities and hold onto grudges. How else would we value love’s sublimity like we do? It wouldn’t feel so good, so right, if we didn’t have anything to contrast it with, compare it to, and didn’t experience the pain of our discord and conflicts.
What’s truly great is that regardless of what happens in our life, and amid all the “ebb and flow,” we can still look to the Source and Sustenance of everything and everyone. This is the Oneness; the all-pervading Life-energy—and yes, the unconditional love that is God—encompassing and embracing all that is viewed as right or wrong, agreeable or disagreeable, good or bad, high or low—that is being born or dying, etc. . . . Praise be that we can rest here, be at peace here, in this certitude, and the harmony and beauty that’s deeper and more inclusive than any lack of harmony and beauty in our world! We can put our absolute trust and faith here—in our Divine underpinnings, in the Absolute—and the true serenity and happiness of being certain that, no matter what, we are home, “in God’s hands,” already and always.
And again and again, the heart of this union is love. Love is the connectedness—is the Energy, or Spirit, linking all that is. Love is our most intimate, deepest-reaching bond with This, with our Creator, and what unites us all, in truth. Love is our core-truth, and how we reflect and radiate this. That’s why the love we give and receive feels the best, means the most, matters the most and does us the most good! Love is what we’re here to do, meant to do, and how we grow toward reaching our full potential as a human being.
And, as contrasts would go, there is, for many of us, an apparent divide between the life (or lifestyle) we may want, and what we’re currently experiencing. At any time, our vocations, or our health, our habits, our financial situation, our relationships or family life may not be as we would like. . . . It is natural to focus, then, on what we can do to improve any aspect of our life, and be totally intent on making these improvements happen as best we’re able. And, we’re wise to accept what’s presently occurring as part of the learning process, finding out what we don’t want, in order to know more clearly what we do.
Along with this is learning how to best deal with our present situation, as our life—at any moment—may be far from ideal, due to any number of reasons. We may be facing various kinds of tragedy, illness, physical pain, hardship, adversity, disappointment and frustration, despite all our wishing and efforts to avoid these. These are all part of the totality in which we exist; and clearly, we all inevitably encounter roadblocks and pitfalls, and twists and turns in our life’s journey. And for many of us, there will always be an apparent divide between our imaginary “ideal life,” and what we’re currently experiencing.
Thus, we’re most wise to truly recognize what is always here and ever-available, no matter what else is happening in our life. We can, in any instant, rest a hand on our heart and tell the deepest, most honest truth about ourselves—as we feel into our heart of hearts, and what is our Source-connected true nature, our true home, and the very wellspring of love, and joy and contentment. We can completely give ourselves over to this—breathe, and sense and relax into this—and bring this openness of being, this radiance and peace to all that we think, and feel and do.
We can see, then, how being passionately devoted to love (and all of its attributes and forms of expression), has the greatest power to affect everything in our life in the most positive and profound ways. And after all, what more could one ask for and really want, than to realize what’s here in all its abundance, as the happiness, the dream, which can’t be shattered?
This is what “letting go and letting God” means—letting go to love, and being the love that is our ever-present and eternal connection to God. And when we wholeheartedly affirm and trust in this union, we are naturally given to let this love flow through us; and let the light of our awareness shine through and dissolve anything that would have us believe and act otherwise. . . . Such is, indeed, trusting in love to “conquer all,” outshine it all; and such is our continually surrendering to this—to our heart’s truth—and letting this teach us and guide us in all that we think, and feel and do!
And again and always, this way of being naturally corresponds to a continual releasing of any unnecessary tension and stress in the body; as we make a habit of feeling in and as the whole body, relaxing head to toe, and exhaling completely and inhaling fully the life-giving Energy, or Spirit, sustaining us/breathing us right now. This is so good for us to feel, and to bring ourselves back to—over, and over and over again . . . forever. . . . And yes, again and again, we can briefly stop at various times throughout our day, and be intentionally quiet and still, and most closely aware of our breathing and what is happening in and around us. This is a fundamental way we can love ourselves, give ourselves to love and the Source of love, in a most real, and felt and effective way.
Yes! Letting go and letting God is letting love in and letting love be given . . . endlessly. And all this happens quite naturally as we become more and more attracted to simply being open-hearted/heart-centered; more and more attracted to what truly feels the best, does us the most good, and is the ultimate in higher education. This is teaching us about a way of being that aligns us with our heart’s truth, and conveys our very essence as human beings and the very essence of peace and happiness, as well. Such is love being our greatest teacher and leading the way.
So, after all is said and done, what worth is it to become anyone, or accumulate anything, without living where our most valuable treasure is? And what good news, that this is not a particular social position or spiritual state to attain; not a program of self-mastery requiring mandatory steps or esoteric practices; nor the exclusive property of any person or organization demanding allegiance or sworn oaths. Similarly, nothing we achieve or call our own carries any weight of self-importance in our innermost sanctuary, in our true home.
When we identify with our heart’s truth, our Source-connectedness, our true self, most of all, there’s nothing and no one to live up to, nothing to be transcended nor heightened, blissful states to hone. Likewise, every moral or religious code we might believe in, best answers to a most direct and urgent plea for basic loving-kindness. This melts any need for strict commands coming from an authority figure/super-ego standing over us in our mind, or from a book, a church pulpit or any other place. . . . So, what good fortune it is to find the “real deal”—to “follow our bliss,” really—looking to the most genuine, lasting happiness and peace of mind and heart; and to rely upon this and express this as much as we can.
And how great that this discovery can have the most enlightening impact on every aspect of our life! This is echoed in this simple, profound truth that is stated in various ways by various people: “If we have a lot of things—a lot of worldly knowledge and cleverness, prestige and acclaim, fortune and fame—but don’t live as love and are not at peace, truly . . . we have nothing, really. On the other hand, if we don’t have a lot of things, but live as love and are truly happy and at peace, we do have everything that’s most real and important.”
. . . And this is the “ground,” the “true fortune,” the “awakening,” we can take with us wherever we go, for our own sake and for the world’s sake . . . and for our children and their children’s lives, and on and on. It is up to each of us—to let our true nature and inner beauty shine . . . even in the tiniest ways. All in all and in the end: Just love.
So, to all of you: Thank you so much for listening to and hearing what is offered here, and continually letting this sink into your heart . . . and being the love that does matter most, mean the most and feel the best. Again and again, life in this present human form is too short, too precious, to be about anything else. Right?!
An Affirmation of Our Heart’s Truth
Praise be—to being home—to being ever-connected to our Source, and what is pulsing life in our every molecule and cell, and heartbeat and breath . . . and where these bodies of ours dissolve back into in time. And while every physical form is impermanent, our very being, our true nature, is anything but; as each of us is stemming from, sustained by and passing back into the all-pervading Energy, or Spirit, which is eternal.
Our true home is where we always are, but may not realize it or act like it; and thus, our ongoing opportunity in this life: to thoroughly look into and clearly recognize what’s at the core of us all . . . and to live accordingly. Such is our Source-connectedness, our heart’s truth, our true self—and being settled here, at peace here—in the love that is ever-present and ever-available, and where our purest sense of joy and serenity abides. . . . And what happiness is found in this sweet surrender to being home—to God’s presence that is love itself—inside and all around us, right here and now. What infinite, welcoming arms to trust falling into, and how open the heart that’s ours to give!
Any moment, then, is our chance to reflect this Presence, this love—through any and all open-hearted and giving ways. Such is our being attentive, thoughtful and caring toward one another, and living a life full of passion and generosity, tenderness and compassion, tolerance and forgiveness, kindness and gratitude . . . harmony and beauty. Such is our awakening and our devotion: to the happiness and meaningfulness of a life given fully to love, and being at peace here . . . now and forever . . . home.