I read the following yesterday in an email written by Rev. Carol Carnes, a pastor with Religious Science International.
"When we speak about people doing wrong, we really mean they are doing it the wrong way. We are all trying to get our good and some do not know how to get it or worse, where it is. The thief thinks your money is his good. He does not know that his own mind can create prosperity without stealing from someone else. The drug addict thinks peace of mind comes from a substance. He does not yet know that peace is a natural state which can be cultivated with the mind. The approval seeker longs for love. She hasn’t discovered the truth that love lives within her own being and can be activated by her attention to it."
Long ago I sought love through the approval of others. I believed love was something out there I had to go get from someone else. I believed someone else could give it to me. I was looking for that which could not be given to me in the wrong way.
Truth is, no one can 'give' me love. Love is not a dinner plate piled high with food set down before me to dig into and digest. Anything I get from someone else can be taken from me. When I search within myself for that which I seek, when I acknowledge the love within me, when I honour it with my passion, my truth, my every word and action, it cannot be taken from me. It is mine to live with, move with, share and enjoy.
Love is not something I 'give'. It is something I live.
Yesterday, a reader wrote that love is 'an action'. Is it? Or are the actions we take demonstrative of the love we feel for ourselves and someone else?
I love my daughters and know they love me. When they were born, they did not hold their arms out and cry and say, "Here's your love mommy." Rather, I looked at them, held them, thought of them and knew love. Felt it. Lived it. Breathed it. Tasted it. I was immersed in love -- still am. They are miraculous human beings. My love for them knows no bounds. My love for them also dictates that I must separate from them, let go, encourage them to spread their wings and fly.
The Greeks had words for four types of love: Agape -- spiritual, love of God; Storge or Familial -- love of family; Filial -- 'brotherly love' or love of friends (pets too!); Eros -- love of another.
For me, love never begins. It never ends. My choices, however, can determine how I express love, how I live it. When I am 'in love' with my world, I treat myself and everyone and everything in my life with loving care. I take actions that state, I love you.
When I am out of love, or out of esteem, with myself, I take actions that denigrate the gift of me, that undermine the awesome spirit with which I was born and made to celebrate.
Once upon a time, I came through an abusive relationship. It was hell. For me, for my daughters, my family, my friends -- for everyone whom I love and loves me. That relationship, was devastating. It didn't happen by accident. It wasn't fate teaching me a lesson, or the cosmos lining up against me. It happened because I didn't honour the truth within me. I am love. Everything I want and need is right within me. The wrong way to get what I wanted was to look at him and believe he possessed the love I was searching for. To believe that he had the answers to my dreams.
Conrad held answers. In fact, some of his answers seemed to be the right ones for me. But, they were only temporary. Fleeting. His answers for me were temporal, not spiritual in nature at all. Conrad did what he did because it's what he does. I was his target -- doesn't mean I had to make myself fit into the kill zone -- though I did try.
The reason for my compliance to his deadly schemes on me was because when I met him, I believed his love would make me whole. I believed his love would complete me. By the time I awoke to the truth, I was too far gone in the evil machinations of his design to recognize I was lost. I fell into his lies and fought to make them my truth. I fell out of love with me, a love I had never fully embraced, in order to have the love he promised come true.
Truth is, he never held my answers. His love could never complete me. I am complete. I have everything I need right here within me.
Loving another is not about filling myself up with their love and making me whole. It's about letting the limitless love of the universe flow with joyful abandon as I flow with it in love with my world. It's about letting myself live in the dazzling grace of gratitude and choice that reflects the magnificence of who I am in the world around me and celebrates the magnificence of who you are in your world too.
Loving one special person is a gift I give myself when I stand without fear in the truth of who I am, knowing that the truth of who they are is the gift they bring into my life. It is honouring the magnificence of their spirit as I celebrate the beauty of mine.
The question is: Are you looking out there for what lives within you? Are you seeking answers from beyond the limitless possibilities within?