The “love chapter”. The sum total of all we are to learn while on our life’s journey is right there in that chapter of the Bible. Teachers and gurus down through the ages have taught the ‘love chapter’ in one way or another whether they knew it or not. Everything in the universe was created from Divine Love Energy and it is to this Divine Love Energy we will return when we pass from this life into the next. Once discovered, living from the center of Divine Love is not always an easy task because we bump up against others on their life journeys and therein lies the lessons we are to learn.
Self-love is the foundation for living from the center of Divine Love Energy. Without it, we will allow others to infect us with negativity, fail to set boundaries for behavior, and never really learn to trust the intuitive voice within. Loving self has nothing to do with narcissism and is sometimes mistaken as such. Narcissism is a self-absorbed, misguided view of oneself, focusing on outward appearance and the need for admiration; its core, a self-esteem issue, really. Ego drives narcissism. Self-love is driven by the core knowledge that we are enough, we are loved, we are accepted as we are. Is there room for improvement? Always, but the core knowledge we are enough gives us the foundation upon which we can build and improve.
Perhaps there are people in your life in whose presence you feel inadequate. Have you taken out the microscope and figured out why? It’s likely the defensive shields just automatically go up when these people are around. It’s a gut reaction, really; a response to an unpleasant stimulus. The realization we are enough, we are loved, and we are accepted needs to rise up instead of defensive shields driving emotions that serve no one. Many times we react rather than act. We have no control when we react, but when we act we are in the driver’s seat. Reactions are responses to an outside force; when we act we are performing the action. Going into conversation with a person in whose presence we feel inadequate we have a choice; react and feel badly about ourselves, or stand tall armed with the knowledge we are all extensions of Divine Love Energy or, God, if you prefer. In words, this sounds like a slight shift, but in reality, the shift is huge. Reactions come from a place of fear; acting comes from a center of love, truth, and peace.
What about the negative people of the world, the ones who see the glass half empty? I used to offer words of encouragement, shed some light, paint a more positive picture from a higher perspective, and it rarely works. Usually, I end up feeling frustrated. Then there are people who seemingly brag on themselves, their accomplishments, why they are right, etc. Again, frustrating. I have since learned it is important to accept people as they are and who they are. We may be able to see the core issue, but they cannot, so there is little use trying. Quiet acceptance of people where they are, today, at this moment, is difficult and perhaps at a later time they will be able to see more clearly and effective dialogue and growth can happen.
Setting boundaries. When we set boundaries for the behaviors we will accept and those we will not, there will be tension. Everyone’s tolerance level is different and we assume others know what our boundaries are for any given situation. Assuming is dangerous since it makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u and me’ as they say! Stating clear boundaries has not been my strong suit. Somewhere along my journey in life, I did not learn we all needed boundaries and setting boundaries for behavior was a loving act, but I am getting better.
The road to living from a core of love, Divine Love Energy, is a twisty windy road at best. I have learned much from traveling this road, and I have much to learn. Accepting people for who they are today, and choosing to act versus react has made significant differences in my relationships with others. I have said for many years we do not learn on the mountaintop, rather we learn in the valleys of life. We live in an imperfect world and we are imperfect beings and I think those two serve us well even though it may not seem so at the time. Change and growth are uncomfortable.
Paul was right when he said we see through a glass darkly. We don’t have all the answers and we find ourselves stumbling through life trying to make sense of it all. I don’t think we are meant to make sense of it all; we are meant simply to live from the core of Divine Love Energy…..