I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it. I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
Have you ever found yourself totally misunderstood by the one you love the most? Every word you utter in your own defense is automatically interpreted as another lame excuse. You never seem to listen, and when you truly do listen, you just don’t seem to get it.
You begin to realize that your conditional love is just not enough. Sometimes on, sometimes off. You always find a self-serving angle in everything you think, say and do. Every gift has a hook. Every compliment can easily be brought in question.
In the holiday season, on special occasions, we always try to put on our best face and act kind and considerate. This can be challenging around stubborn relatives and neighbors that would ordinarily never give you the time of day.
In business, it is hard not to wish ill of competitors that try to do us in, as well as internal rivals within a large corporation. Sometimes you wouldn’t wish your closest colleagues on your worst enemies. Yet, somehow you have to play the game, maintain professional courtesy and seeming grace.
We begin to realize that we can’t make ourselves love anyone. We can think positive, but not feel it towards others. We can kid ourselves that the thought is what counts, not our feelings.
Yet in our hearts, we know this is nonsense. Love is a feeling. It may be more than a feeling, but it is most certainly a feeling.
Our close friends know that our social mask is not the real us, and can humor us through it. They have more than an inkling of our shadow, that part of us every morning when we wake up and make ourselves up in the bathroom.
We are half-convinced that our shadow, the mean, selfish, egoistic, obsessed part of us that never gives another person half a break is our real self.
We are just petty to the core. We seem unredeemable to ourselves. It dawns on us that our shadow self is not up to love. In fact, it can’t even fake love.
Because we repress so much of ourselves in an effort to look “nice,” because we are such highly socialized beings in an ultimately complex post-modern global society, we can scarcely ever go deeper than the black sheep we are utterly convinced is us.
If we could just go a few feet deeper, we would touch that Sacred Self that lies within each one of us at the very nucleus of our being. We call that Self “God” for lack of a better word, the Creator of the entire universe housed within our own soul.
It has taken people thousands of years to even begin to hear the proposition that God is Love, and that You / We / All of Us ARE God. God is Love, and Love is God. We are God, and We are Love.
A few decades back, in most religious traditions, this would be considered utter heresy, even though the Christian Gospel majored in it.
When you start a spiritual practice where you invoke the presence, you give thanks, you forgive people and you bless people, you begin to get a hint that there is another you at play that is not a joke, that is truly divine, and who will definitely go the last mile just for the love of it.
Your enemy in life, the person at the very bottom of your shit list, is often your greatest teacher.
He or she is the person who most needs your love. They are consummate pros at pushing your buttons, whether intentionally, or unintentionally. They are here to make you all that you can be, to drag the divine out of you, even if you must go out kicking and screaming.
Your enemy is actually another form of God. Consider him a warrior angel, much like an athletic trainer, getting you to be true to yourself, while having ultimate regard for other people. If he gave you an easy time, he wouldn’t really be doing you a service.
When you start sending loving energy towards your perceived enemy on a consistent basis, prepare to see one of life’s greatest miracles. The villains on both the global and personal stage are dying for love. They would do anything… for your love… for YOUR LOVE.
Related article: Can Divine Love Transform Your Relationships?
Your lover is anyone you choose to love, who reciprocates in some fashion, whether or not the form of your relationship fits your pictures. You are motivated to please her in everything you do. You go to sleep thinking of her and wake up to her loving eyes, if only in your dreams.
By showing love day after day in your own unique way, you enroll yourself in a school for love. You learn to love, not only the lady, but God. It can be challenging to love God in the abstract; it is easy to love a goddess in your arms.
Eventually, your lover, the lady, will help you realize that what you love in her is equally within yourself, although to a lesser extent. Likewise, you will help her realize that what she loves in you resides in her, as well.
As the love grows, you become one with each other, and in a very human sense, you become God.
Werner Erhard demonstrated to a whole generation the power of communications to evoke love in all kinds of people to all kinds of other people with his original est training.
In a very safe environment, people shared their shadow with others, only to find that their partners had their own shadow. In the power of mutual acknowledgement, they discovered shadow was only shadow, and that love lay irrepressibly underneath.
If you say it the way it is for you, people will begin to listen. They will begin to hear beneath your irritation, hurt and anger who you really are.
Hatred is part of love, love of hatred. They occupy a continuum.
As you open up to others, you allow new possibilities to emerge. People are supportive when you really open up. [However, you still need to know when and where it is appropriate...]
While this training can be found today in the successor organization, Landmark Education with its Forum, this principle is accessible in all kinds of humanistic and transformational organizations. It may be as close to you as your local community center.
It works to cultivate a devotional relationship with one of the ultimate avatars, be it Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Moses or Muhammad.
It also works to do one little thing each day to make life worth living for another human being, even it means picking up a dirty scrap of paper from the sidewalk.
Great lovers are not overnight successes.
They become that way opening up little by little to their divine nature in any way they can, until the trickle becomes a stream, the stream a river and the river an ocean.