Monthly Archives: December 2009

Is It Really Love?

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Is it really love if you only love those whom you deem deserving? Is love a gift or is it repayment for good behavior?

I ask this based on someone making a point about being loving towards those who deserve it. Certainly, those who are good to us and to the world, in general, should be appreciated, but isn’t loving them a little too easy?

Most people believe in some form of organized religion. And most of these teach adherents to love one another…unconditionally. Often, though, we apply our own conditions anyway. We expect people to earn our love by being loving, themselves. But what about when they aren’t?

I like the ideas that Yahushua (aka Jesus) taught about loving enemies and forgiving those who use us. I struggle with doing these things, but I believe in my soul that it is right to strive for such. I believe that love not only forgives, but spreading it, unconditionally, is peace. Making a special effort to love those labeled unlovable is a high calling, which changes not only the person giving the love, but the one receiving it. And even when they reject it, we should love anyway.

I often remind myself that hurt people hurt people. This comes to mind when I hear of heinous acts committed by the so-called unlovable. In the absence of love, hate and apathy takes root. After these have destroyed the inner-person, they go about seeking to destroy others. Only love, only the selfless acts of kindness we offer to others can stop this.

My point is that we may not like some people’s actions, but it’s in everyone’s best interest if we actively seek ways to love everyone anyway.

Loving friends, family and the Mother Teresa types is easy. Let’s all take the challenge to love enemies, strangers and those that are a little rough around the edges, too, shall we?

Living Small

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Today, I thanked our Father for the fact that I am growing. He corrected me, however, and said that I am not growing, but, I am becoming smaller, instead. His life, which I am in, has always been limitless. But my ego, which I previously thought of as my “self”, has been a blinding force. As it shrinks, I am better able to see Truth.

Surpise Motivations

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Today, I had an unexpected visitor. On the one hand, I was happy to see this person, but on the other, I had work to do and wasn’t up for casual conversation. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of being self-employed and working at home is that others don’t always “get it”. To many, I’m just home all day and available to talk on the telephone or for friendly visits.

This person was kind enough to call before coming over, which I appreciate mostly because it gave me time to adjust my attitude. Instead of being annoyed, I decided that I would accept that the visit was going to happen and I would be open and fully present during our time together.  Of course, I could have told the person that it was a bad time, I was busy, blah, blah, blah. But this person has been struggling with a few issues, sees me as inspiring and has tried to arrange a face-to-face visit for weeks. Sometimes compassion and appreciation for what others see in you is worth taking time out to recognize and appreciate.

However, I still had work to do. I was really behind schedule, if you want to know the truth. Primarily, this was due to my own procrastination and weakness for distractions, but it was nonetheless true.

So the person came and I fought the inclination to feel antsy or rushed and, instead, fully opened myself to the visit. After about 30 or 40 minutes, however, my guest began to feel rather tired (she suffers from a chronic illness) and asked if she could lie down for a moment. Of course, I obliged. And, somehow, with her snoozing while snuggled into my over-sized chair and ottoman, I found a burst of energy and dove, head first, into a few of the pressing projects I’d been procrastinating on earlier.

So, what I could have taken as an annoying interruption, actually spurred me into action. I was able to get more accomplished in the couple of hours that she spent visiting (where at least one hour included a nap), than the preceding hours that I had spent distractedly avoiding tasks that I knew I needed to complete.

Sometimes the motivation to do what is right and necessary comes from the strangest of places, huh?

Look Who’s Talking

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Pain speaks. And often it doesn’t use nice language. The one who recognizes pain’s voice and does not react negatively toward it, is the one who carries peace.

Recently, I observed part of a very nasty Internet exchange between two women whom I know to be otherwise very warm and witty. However, on this evening one of the women was passionately spewing such vitriol toward the other until I couldn’t even bare to read all of her messages. While I don’t know this woman personally, I do know a little of her life story, which is filled with unimaginable pain.

My first reaction, like many others who witnessed this, was that this woman was carrying on like a feral child in her brash and energetic verbal lashing of the other. I wasn’t privy to the entire conversation and so I don’t know exactly what set her off or, more specifically, what she perceived that the other woman had done to deserve such insulting language. I am not taking sides here when I point out that, by the time I logged on, it appears that the other woman was backing away and had stopped responding to the tirade.

It wasn’t long, however, before others began weighing in and stroking the embers. In one of these additional exchanges, the woman with the fiery tongue said to another that she was in deep pain. In that moment the truth of what I was seeing began to crystallize. Where I’d originally been turned off by her behavior and assigned my own mental judgment, which labeled her as childish, a troublemaker and even slightly insane, I realized my error at the same time that I realized her true motivation. Her pain was speaking.

I thought about this for most of the evening and into the next day. How often does pain speak to us? And how often do we respond in kind? In his book, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle speaks about the pain body and never was it so evidently in the driver’s seat than in the battle that waged on my computer’s screen that evening. I suspect many missed it and, instead of ignoring the wails from the pain body or offering comfort, several encouraged the pain body to continue. I suspect it was their own pain bodies, which so willingly joined the fray in those moments.

The bottom line is that when we are faced with conflict, we need to be aware of pain’s ability to speak. We need to tune into and recognize its voice within ourselves and we need to know how to respond to our own afflictions with peace and love, instead. Or, at the very least, we need to know how to ignore it much the way that a mother ignores a petulant child during the throes of a temper tantrum.

The next time you are tempted to fly off the handle with someone or the next time that you are the recipient of someone’s biting insults, pause for a moment and look who’s talking. And then choose who will respond: Peace? Love? Or Pain? When you only allow peace and love a voice, not only will your own pain body begin to quite down and fade, but you will join the ranks of peacemakers around the world who serve as healing instruments. You will become the one that offers to others what we all long for. You will deliver to the world what we cry out for on a daily basis. You will also be one who is used to unlock the peace in others.

NOTE: For a brief illustration on the pain body, check out what guest blogger Valerie Saurer has to say over at Horizons Magazine (http://horizonsmagazine.com/blog/?p=5487)