It’s All About Love
Love is a powerful force and an essential part of the human experience. It is a universal language of the heart that supersedes differences.
I always had an affinity for eastern schools of thought, religions and spiritual practices. During my life-changing travels throughout Southeast Asia and Turkey, I was exposed to multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multicultural communities. Even though I could not speak the local languages and for those who could not speak English, we experienced heartfelt connections.
During my stay in Penang, Malaysia, I attended the vibrant and colorful George Town Heritage Festival with intriguing and astounding cultural displays and performances of music, dance, theater, visual arts, and interactive activities. Visits to St. Francis Xavier Church and Buddhist Temples heightened my appreciation and reverence for master teachers who walked the grounds and laid the foundation for spiritual principles that we honor today.
On Sunday mornings, I eagerly walked to the Hindu Temple to receive my blessings from the Hindu priest who communicated using gestures as he guided me through the sacred rituals. My visit to the Batu Caves in Gombak, Selangor Malaysia was similar to blessings from the Hindu Priest. While in Turkey, I visited several mosques including the Blue Mosque, witnessed the Sufi Whirling Dervishes at a religious ceremony, and toured the house of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus.
Graciously invited and welcomed to a variety of inspirational and memorable cultural celebrations while in Penang, it became evident that love was an unspoken language. I was included in communal festivities of the Indian Fire Walking Festival visiting homes with the sharing of traditional foods while awaiting the grand appearance of the priest to bestow abundant blessings. Dressed in my baju kebaya, I participated in the Hari Raya celebration, following a month of fasting known as Ramadan, with traditional family gatherings. The Mid-Autumn Festival, Mooncake Festival celebrated by the Chinese, was a real highlight joining the children of Lion’s REACh (Resource and Education for Autistic Children Centre) walking through the community while singing with lighted lanterns.
All of my experiences and engagement with people from other cultures expressed love without words, and I felt at home and endeared. The inability to speak each other’s language was secondary to the shared wholehearted connections that came deep from the soul with feelings of warmth and joy that radiated pure love. Henry Drummond quotes, “Wherever we are it is our friends that make our world.” I realized that when we truly understand what love is, we can go anywhere and be at home in the world.
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Love and worthiness
Love is the language of the soul that extends beyond casual sentiments of expression. My devotion to the topic of love stemmed from my personal challenges and a life-changing six-month stay in Penang that was a divine gift of love. Disillusioned with society’s standards of success and happiness, I came to know myself in a different way and awakened to the true essence of life and divine love. Near the end of my journey, I had an epiphany with a profound mystical and spiritual revelation that “It was all about love”.
My feelings of unworthiness were hidden under the cloak of perfectionism, people-pleasing, over-giving, and failure to set healthy boundaries. My faulty beliefs and meaning about love were based upon worthiness to receive love. The endless search for things and people outside of ourselves to feel whole and good enough can be a lifetime quest. Overshadowed and obscured by deep conditioned fear-based beliefs, our love light gets dim and distorted as we become disconnected from our true self.
Our superficial connection with ourselves and others becomes fragile and shapes our beliefs and influences our choices. We often tell ourselves stories about love based upon or history and past experiences that formulate a false reality of who we are. These feelings of unworthiness have detrimental effects on our well-being. The solution is to connect to the true source of power within that is always there for us to access where we are whole and complete.
Love is our true power
Throughout my life, I spent years searching for truth and studied different schools of thought, religions, and spiritual practices. Buddhist philosophy and principles of living seemed very practical. Books and materials would mysteriously find their way into my hands that magnified my yearning to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Quotes by Lao Tzu, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” and Richard Bach, “We teach what we need to learn”, supported my plight.
Love is the foundation and who we truly are. As Leo Buscaglia said, “Love and self are one and the discovery of either is the realization of both.” To live in love is to deepen our connection with this quiet power and become fearlessly authentic. The soul’s evolutionary journey strives to unite us with the divine essence of our true nature as spiritual beings radiating love. We seek these connections through loving expressions in our relationships. Buddha reveals, “Love is a gift of one’s innermost soul to another so both can be whole.” Love is our natural state of being. Devotion to spiritual practices for strengthening and embodying love will deepen our wholehearted connection with ourselves and others.
What is love really?
The concept of love appears to be elusive and misunderstood. We have myths and beliefs about love that are counter to the real meaning of love. There is no curriculum that teaches us what love really is, what it looks like and feels like. In order to understand what love really is, we have to understand the true meaning of love.
Rumi quotes, “Your task is not merely to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” This inward journey presents us with a meaningful and profound experience of living. Henry Drummond describes agape love as love that does not consider the worthiness or unworthiness of the one that is benefiting. It is do-god love. Agape love cannot be expressed with words it can only be expressed with actions. Agape love doesn’t have to be told to love; it doesn’t know anything else. Agape love is divine love. It is perfect love.
Drummond’s Spectrum of Love, in the 1880 classic, “The Greatest Thing in the World”, leads you to deeply understand and manifest love in your life. The Spectrum of Love is a model for conscious living and represents the wholeness of love that can be put into practice. It includes nine ingredients for perfect love and not a single one can be missing that includes: Patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, unselfishness, good temper, guiltlessness, and sincerity. These ingredients make up the perfect man.
Divine love is like the perfect diamond or all the colors of the rainbow. This Spectrum of Love laid the foundation for transcending language and culture during my travels with a renewed sense of self, conscious living, and heightened awareness of divine love.
Self-love is self-empowering
An empowered self is a loving self. Leo Buscaglia quotes, “When you love yourself, you will love others, and to the depth and extent to which you can love yourself, only to that extent will you be able to love others. One cannot give what one does not possess. To give love you must possess love.”
The choice to love ourselves begins with awareness and excavation off unconscious repetitive self-destructive habits. In order to live and love better, one must first love oneself. Being vulnerable and having the courage to discover those intricate themes intertwined with beliefs of unworthiness is essential to our true source of power. Our life experiences and teachers bring forth gifts to remind us who we rally are as divine beings. Because of fear of rejection or ridicule, we limit ourselves and the capacity to enrich our lives with loving experiences. As we become aware, we can reclaim our personal power. It is our responsibility.
Self-love is the foundation for self-worth and personal empowerment demand self-integrity. Knowing who we are and our values keep us grounded and centered. Being authentic, connecting with supportive people, and sharing our creative talents enrich our lives. Most importantly, we must give from a full cup and nurture ourselves with a healthy balance of giving and receiving.
Strengthening and embodying the practice of love
Love is the ultimate healer and sustains us in all areas of our lives. Drummond says, “You will find, as you look upon your life, that the moments when you really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” As we become aligned with our true source of power and trust our inner guidance, we thrive in all areas of our lives.
Erich From contends that love is an art and the practice of any art has certain requirements – discipline, concentration, patience, and supreme concern. He states, “Love is not merely a relationship to a specific person, it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one object of love.”
In order to strengthen and embody the practice of love, it is essential to be authentic and vulnerable. It may be helpful to seek a life coach or trusted person who can offer the space for essential supportive reflection. Love is the pathway to flourish that enables us to grow and thrive. Our wholehearted connection with ourselves and others become more enriching, endearing and enduring. Each present moment is an opportunity to reclaim our power. Awareness is the key to transform our lives. As change becomes evident, it creates a ripple effect that is subtle and affects all we encounter.
The realization that our power lies within frees us from eternal forces that diminish our capacity to love. You have the power to create the life you desire. Set the intention to implement a daily practice to stay alert; monitor your thoughts, feelings and actions; and make healthy choices. As we feel good about ourselves, we sustain the change that becomes our natural state of being. Feel good now! Remember, “It’ all above love”.
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you” – Rupi Kaur
I am whole
I trust my inner guidance
I honor myself
I am responsible for myself
I am creating the best possible life I can
I am the best version of myself each present moment
I am grateful for the abundance of life
I AM LOVE
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