Monday, December 31, 2012

The Power of Love

I adore the quotes of Mother Teresa.  She has been known to say things like "Spread love wherever you go.  Let no one come to you without leaving happier." and "Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand."  She was a woman who knew the true power of love.  She knew it as a healer, as a forgiver, as a redeemer.

She didn't get to know this love because she was more special than you or I.  She simply took the time to believe in the power of love and apply it in her life and in her vocation.

My mind and heart have been overflowing lately with feelings of gratitude and love.  For anyone that's been in a position of absolute joy over the simplest things you will understand the power within these sensations. 

Just today I was out walking the dog with my husband and I was a couple of steps behind the two of them and as we walked in silence I got this sudden urge to reach out and touch my husbands back.  In that moment my entire body began to vibrate with a force of love so powerful that I an overwhelming joy bubbled up inside of me.  Instantly I was transported to a moment of absolute gratitude for each and every thing in my life.  Every morsel of doubt, disappointment, fear and uncertainty was embraced by appreciation.  Every gift and miracle of my life experience seemed to be highlighted in brilliant light.  It all happened so quickly, but it left me lingering in thought over the power and force of true love.

I don't know where this sensation came from and yet I knew that it was something I had access to whenever and wherever I need it.

I wonder what moments like that do to our mind, body and spirit?  I wonder what kind of healing occurs when we allow ourselves to open up and receive that love and joy?

Thoughts of love and gratitude have the magical ability to transport us into another space and time. 

When we experience sensations of intense love and gratitude we find ourselves forgetting all of our setbacks and challenges and we begin to see only a life of perfection; even if it is just for a moment.

It is in this moment that I feel like powerful healing takes place and it makes me wonder; what if we made the decision to love the things in this life experience that seem unloveable?  What if we began to love cancer?  What if we began to love mental illness?  What if we began to love war?  What if we began to love poverty?

Not just 'send loving thoughts and energy' but LOVING it!  Opening your heart, allowing it in, seeing it's divinity and loving it completely.

Maybe what I am saying sounds crazy.  That wouldn't be surprising to me.

But each and every thing in this life whether we experience it directly or indirectly has something to teach us about ourselves and about the truth of this life.  Each and every thing is a gift.  Some things we fight as though our lives depend upon it (and sometimes our lives do depend upon us getting rid of something we don't want); my heart and brain want to explore loving these things to the depths where fear no longer exist, where we understand that to love something so deeply is to understand it, to welcome it and to acknowledge that it is something we can ultimately use to awaken from this sleep we are in.

What if love is the answer to all of life's challenges?  What if love is all we need?

I'm beginning to think it is.

I'm beginning to believe in the power of love, not just as a concept but as a real, living, breathing companion to life. 


Monday, December 17, 2012

The Price of Peace

I think many people would be surprised to learn what the price of peace is.

To obtain peace, globally or personally means to give up the need for connection to worldly ideals, preferences, emotions and possessions.

Do you know what that means?  It means giving up all of the things that you do and all of the ways that you behave that aren't in alignment with peace.

It means choosing to live life through the intention of peace instead of living life through the need for more, or something bigger, better, more expensive, brand get the picture.

That means if you mumble or yell or shoot the finger at the driver that cuts you off in traffic, you are not in alignment with peace.  If you leave an  inadequate tip for the server at the restaurant, you are not in alignment with peace.  If you put items back on the shelf at the grocery store where they do not belong, you are not in alignment with peace.

I'm not being silly.  I'm being truthful with you.  If you aren't willing to walk your butt back to the bologne aisle to put back the product you have chosen not to purchase then how in the world do you expect to maintain any semblence of peacefulness?  Peace is not for the lazy.  Peace is for the brave.  Peace is for those who do not mind that they will be stared at like they are a three headed freak show.

I wonder how many people who wish for peace upon falling stars would truly be willing to give up their assumptions, grudges, anger, frustration, resentment, guilt, shame, addictions and thoughts of 'not enough' in order to get the peace they so desperately wish for in this world.

I have thought long and hard about this.  How far am I willing to go for personal/global peace?  On a good day I'd give my left arm for peace and would know that that is a fair price to pay; catch me when I'm full of fear and you can forget it, peace flies out the window.  I'd rather live in survival mode and do what it takes to survive.

I lump personal and global peace together because they are one in the same.  Personal peace means global peace.  Gandhi knew this.  He knew that if he could guide the individuals in his Country to peaceful non-violent reaction in every circumstance that they would ultimately live in the peaceful way that they preferred. 

For most of us peace is not a popular option.  It involves breaking down our defenses and going to a place within us that is pure love and pure light.  In some instances, peaceful non-reaction to a situation will promote more anger and frustration on the part of the other people involved.  Most of us are living in fear and are addicted to control.  When we encounter someone who isn't willing to put forth energy to keep our story of fear going and instead choose to stay neutral and in peace we tend to panic...

There isn't a magic pill for peace (sorry to break the news to you).  We can't bully the world into peacefulness (remember when parents used to think that smacking you would make you stop crying?).  Enforcing new laws won't bring us peace.  Denying the need for peace won't bring us peace.  And there isn't one specific person who is in charge of bringing peace to this planet. 

Peace means the first responder to every situation is love.  Peace means that we look at every person on this planet as an equal, as a cherished Soul who has come to live out a purpose.  Peace means giving up the need to be right all the time.  Peace means refraining from gossip even if you think it's not really gossip.  Peace means waking up and wondering 'who can I bless today?' instead of worrying about worldly goods.  Peace means forgiving the so called 'enemy'; forgiving the very person you feel has ruined your life, spoken poorly about you or even, yes even killed someone you love.

That's a tall order isn't it?

But that's what peace is.  And that is the price of peace.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Giving and Receiving

This weekend while I indulged in a little acrylic painting, I was reminded of all of the teachers who have come into my life to bring awareness to my 'talents'.

Those teachers, givers and sharers who unknowingly ignited my artistic fire (of which I had been reserving for the kids coloring books and school projects) simply by sharing their passion and wisdom with me.

Those encouragers who stand on the sidelines and shout "You can do this!" or "Your artwork is beautiful!" or even more simply "I love it!".

Without those Souls who agreed to come into my life at just the moments I would be contemplating my lack of talent I wouldn't be where I am today.  Whether they are still in my life or not, they are still very much alive in my memory and in my list of things to be grateful for.

I believe this is what God had in mind for each of us in this life experience.  To learn and grow through sharing.  Imagine what someone else is missing out on in their life when we choose to keep secrets about our truth?

The reality is that we are all talented, remarkable, magnificent beings who can accomplish many wonderful things.  It's important to understand that without the loving guidance of a friend or new acquaintance we may never understand our full potential, or at the very least it may take us a very long time to find it.

Sometimes we hold onto truths because we think they are special just for us.  Sometimes we hold onto them because we are afraid of lack, afraid of giving away our secrets to success; as if sharing an idea with someone could ever keep you from success.

The Course In Miracles suggests that by 'giving all to all' you are trusting fully in the presence of the magnificent Creator.  By giving all to all you are making room for more to come.

We think if we give everything to everyone that we will be left with nothing.  That could not be further from the truth.

What if in sharing an idea with someone it gives them permission to open their own minds and potential?  What if in sharing your idea with someone they realize that this is just the idea that they've been searching for and it frees you up to do something even more daring and passionate?

Just look at me.  If a few very special people would not have opened their hearts and shared their gifts with me I wouldn't be embracing my artistic and creative nature.  I wouldn't be spreading joy and love to those who get to bring my artwork home with them. 

This world needs love and joy like a beaver needs his teeth!  The more we encourage and share with others, the more we spread the love and joy, the better off this world is.

I believe that all of my talents are God given and God driven.  Nothing is my own creating, nothing is my own doing.  It is all guided and lead by a force greater than anything we could ever imagine.

Whatever I have learned I will give away.  Because it is only in the giving that we are able to receive.