Do You Have To Love Yourself To Love Others?

Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
you position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don’t see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.

Tao te Ching

My friend, Paul Crockett,  posed a question that I thought to be profound.  He asked, “If one does not love one’s self, can one love others?”.  He said that he believed that one can, but my first thought was, “How”? This led me to the realization that we all love ourselves.  Even when I believed that I did not love myself, I treated myself lovingly.  If I was stressed, I would buy myself a drink.  If I was sad I would treat myself to something sweet.  Sometimes, I would allow myself to separate from my sense of obligation to others, I would remove myself to be alone and lick my wounds.  Other times when I felt neglected I would take myself shopping to spend money that I did not have on something that I did not need.  I see everyone around me doing the same.  So I have never met anyone who did not love themselves.  If we did not love ourselves, then we would not become defensive when criticized or treated without respect.  We accept ourselves, warts and all, but we do so because we have no choice.

What I believe is that we are all capable of loving others, ‘conditionally’.  More than anything else, the soul incarnates time and again in order to attain the characteristic of unconditional love.  Unconditional love understands, embraces, forgives, it is without judgment.  We love ourselves, but we judge ourselves, we do not forgive ourselves, and we do not see our perfection.  We have been told that only God is perfect.  If we believe that we are parts of, born of, created by God, then we are perfect.

The spiritual path is not traveled by the soul, it is guided by the soul.  It is traveled by the ego, and the spiritual goal of the ego is to become one with its own soul.  For the soul, oneness with All-that-Is, is the goal.  The tool of the soul is the ego.  The soul is love, it is beauty, it is one with all that emanates from Spirit.  The journey, the task of the soul, through each trial and each lifetime of experiences is to tear away at the illusions held by the ego of separateness from the soul, from Spirit, and from all life everywhere.  We come to learn that we are all parts of One Whole, and the Whole is the sum of its parts.  I may be stomach cell, someone else may be a liver cell, another is a heart cell and on and on but we are all perfect in that the whole would not exist without us.

When we attain to this knowledge – when we live our lives from the foundation of this understanding, we no longer judge ourselves.  The transient scales of society which condition our judgment – fat, thin, tall, short, ugly, pretty, smart, stupid, Black, White, rich, poor, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jew, all lose their ownership of our lives because we hold only the belief that we are, and all life is a perfect reflection of and vital part of the Spirit that dwells within us.

When we speak of the material world we usually think we are referring to the underlying reality — the world that we are perceiving “out there”. In fact we are only describing our image of reality. The materiality we experience, the solidness we feel, the whole of the “real world” that we know are all aspects of the image created in the mind; they are part of our interpretation of reality. Paradoxical as it may sound, matter is something created in the mind. Peter Russell “From Science To God”

Let us  ourselves as Our Creator sees us.  That we are good.  That the nameless One  The Perfect Source of our existence, would not create an image of itself that was flawed.  And if it did, the flaw itself could be nothing but a new level of perfection.  Living from this reality we not only love ourselves unconditionally, but the love that rises from our being and is felt by those around us is void of judgment, or condition.  There is an understanding that the universe is economic.  No one and no thing is created by Spirit that is unnecessary to the perfection that is All-That-Is.

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

Tao Te Ching

Every person in our lives is a loving participant on our journey.  Some teach us forgiveness because we must forgive them.  Some teach us patience – because we need it to deal with them.  Some teach us unconditional love because they do things that are hurtful, sometimes without awareness of the effect that they have on us and sometimes fully aware.  And very often they act as mirrors – reflecting back at ourselves the things that we have been unable to love in ourselves.  If we can see each person and experience as a vital part of growth that we came into this life to attain, we will see only beauty, and be able to only love.

This is the path to loving ourselves and all whom we meet unconditionally; it is the path to union with the soul, and The Creator.  This is our purpose for the earthly experience; this is the awakening to the only real truth.  Until we are able to know ourselves only as the Spirit we imagine ourselves separate from, the love that we give and the love that we feel for ourselves will continue to make us feel like a starving man who can see but can never reach the food.

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More Than Ever Before We Need To Remember Why We Are Here

SUFFERING AND THE UNKNOWABLE WILL OF GOD

It was taught in the name of Rabbi Akiva: A man should always accustom himself to say, “Whatever God does is for good.” Once, while Rabbi Akiva was traveling, he came to a certain town and looked for lodgings but was everywhere refused. He said, Whatever God does is for good,” and went and spent the night in a field. He had with him a cock, a donkey, and a lamp. A wind came and blew out the candles, a cat came and ate the cock, and a lion came and ate the donkey. He said, “Whatever God does is for good.” The same night some soldiers came and carried off the inhabitants of the town. Rabbi Akiva said to his companions, “Did I not say to say, ‘Whatever God does is for good.

-Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 60b-61a

With all that we are going through in the world today, it is more important than ever that we remember what we are, why we are here, and how our experiences now relate to all of that.   Otherwise, we will get lost in the experience and lose sight of its purpose.  We are souls rooted in God.  We enter the earth round of incarnations to learn unconditional love.  It is a concept that we throw around, but one that few really understand and even fewer live.

Every soul in this dream, at this time, is learning his own lesson; however, that lesson is connected with attachment to the things of the material world.  We talk about the final battle between good and evil.  But there is no battle between good and evil.  The battle that is being waged on earth today is between the spiritual world and the material world.  If we were to assign God to the Spiritual and Satan to the Material, then it is hands down a victory for God, because there is no power on earth that can prevent the fall of all those who held material power, along with all those who have been striving for material power and all those who have served material power.  But it is not that easy.  Losing everything is only the beginning of the journey, just as it had been for Job.

The accumulation of wealth in the material world requires a narrow sight.  Even if we do not consider ourselves to have hardened hearts, we must close our eyes to that which would prevent our focus on the goal of accumulation.  When I was in business, my partner and I began with an equal opportunity to amass wealth.  He was able to close his eyes to the needs of those workers whose efforts were necessary for our success.  I was not able to do that.  He felt that his position was earned by him, and obviously sanctioned by God; it was his right to be wealthy.  I felt that it was the Grace of God that had placed me in that position, and not my right. I felt that it put me in a position where I was more responsible for those who were not in my position, not less.  He became wealthy not by screwing other people, so to speak, but by not seeing them.

I was driving in a car with a friend of mine in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and as we drove from the airport I saw that there was a beautiful view of the ocean to my left, and to my right was the very sad view of extreme poverty.  I asked my friend, as I looked at the broken down shacks to my right, how could they live their lives of affluence while they had to see this poverty every day.  He just turned my head towards the ocean and said, “We look this way”.  This position that we are facing, is one created not only by those who did not care, but also by those who would not see.  The fall that we are facing is rooted in the belief of Cain, that “I am not my brother’s keeper”.

There are so few of us who even love God unconditionally.  We live life in accordance with what we believe to be the will of God in order to gain the reward of such living.  It does not matter if we seek the reward of our faithful deeds on earth or in heaven; the point is that we are acting on condition.  What we do, we do as a means to an end.  In Job, we see a righteous man who we find, after being tested by Satan is perhaps righteous in the Biblical sense but not in the Spiritual sense.  It is clear in the beginning that he is good to those God favors, that he prays and gives the sacrifices required by scriptural law.  It is clear that his actions throughout his life had been without sin.  Yet, as is often the belief, he felt that in some way, the wealth, position, power and respect that he enjoyed was due to his life of righteousness, a reward from God.  In the beginning, he took the loss of everything in stride, understanding that God gives and so God can take away.  But as time went on he became angry, certain that he was a righteous man – holding up his end of the agreement – but God was not holding up God’s end.  He reached one point where he came to the belief that there is no benefit in trying to please God, in living a righteous life.  As Satan told God in the beginning, Job’s love was conditioned on the life that he was given, not from his heart.  Job goes through all of these different scenarios with three of his friends, always ending up in the same place.  Finally, the last person to speak to him is the youngest, waiting till the end because of his lack of age and the apparent learning that goes with it.  This young man speaks of God, not from scriptural reference but from the words that have come into his heart.  He tells Job that it may not be about reward or punishment; it may just be that God is speaking to him, teaching him something through these trials.

We want to believe that we are suffering because of the few greedy people who have robbed us.  That we are suffering because we have been deceived by a corrupt government, but that is only slightly true.  A better way of looking at it is that the system that we have fallen victim to is a system that we ourselves have fought to hold in place because we desire the material wealth that is only possible through a system such as ours.  We yell foul, only because it has broken down before we have had the chance to reach the top.  I say we because this is a Democracy and we have, and have always had the power to change the system, which we have not done because we have wanted our own chance at the golden ring.  Whether we can count ourselves among the haves or the have-nots, we are not separated by greater values but by lesser opportunities.  We need to learn, first and foremost that it doesn’t matter whether or not we profited by the system – we still chose to hold it in place.  The capitalist system, contrary to Democracy, creates mountains where those who can climb, can look down and feel superior to those who cannot.

So as we continue down this road of economic collapse, we are given a chance along the way to find our hearts, to forget about what we have left to lose and consider what we have left to share with those who have nothing left at all.  It will be a long road down, and all along the way we will have this opportunity to rise up and embrace the God within our hearts, perhaps this is the rising in our bodies, while we live to the Spiritual principals that are buried in our hearts.  For those Christians who are waiting for Christ to come and take them up in their bodies, perhaps, Christ is here already, waiting for them to enter their hearts and rise up to Christ’s level of unconditional love, while they are still in their bodies.  The number 144,000 breaks down in numerology to the number 9, which is the number of Universal Love.

More than any time in our recorded history it behooves us to remember that we are souls, and as souls we are learning.  Our Teacher is God and the text is the book of life with all of its stages and all of its experiences.  United, as One, we can have more happiness in our lives than money could ever buy.  We just have to open our hearts and see God, love God, and server God in and through every creature on earth.  In this final battle, the material world has no chance against the Spiritual, we just have to take a side and live it.

Responding To Atheism

The atom
The atom

gods-sunshine

I think that we should all be free to follow what we believe.  And so this is not to offend Atheists, just to discuss the arguments that I have heard in favor of it and against the existence of a God.

When I was a child there was no mention of God in my home, except when accompanied by damn.  When my younger sister was born, I felt less loved by my mother than ever.  Somehow I knew that with my sister in the picture I would never be loved.

god-talks-to-you-picture-jpg

So, around the age of four I began sitting in front of my house hoping that someone would pass by and adopt me.  One of the many days I sat waiting for my new family I heard a voice in my head.  It was a male sounding voice, the kind of voice that makes you feel safe and secure.  This voice told me that I was not going to ever get a new family.  It told me that I was very loved, that it loved me, and that when I grew up I would understand why I was in this family and know that it was the right place for me to be.

From then on, I had many conversations with the voice.  It comforted me when I was afraid, and made me feel loved when I felt alone.  The voice did not offer a name, I did not ask for one.  Today, I believe that it was God speaking in a voice that would make a child feel safe.

When I was a teenager, I would come home from school, go up to my room, lock my door and either turn on music or the television.  One night I was locked in my room with the television on and I fell asleep, as I did every night (because I was afraid of the dark).  I was awaken by the one voice that could pull me out of a coma.  I heard my mother scream at the top of her lungs, “Denise!!!!!! Get Down Here”.  I ran down the stairs to find her half asleep and half watching the television.  I asked her why she called me, but in my mind I knew that there was no way that this half asleep woman could look like this after letting out the scream of the century.  She looked at me as though I was crazy and said, “I didn’t call you”.  As we were about to enter into this discussion over how I could have imagined her calling me loud enough to make me jump out of bed – while I was sleeping – an enormous cloud of black smoke filled the stairwell and came pouring downstairs.  I screamed for my father who was in bed upstairs and he almost fell running down,  By this time we could see nothing.

Luckily we found our way to the door and got out of the house.  My father burned his hand opening the doorknob as it was already so hot.   I ran next door and called the fire department.  After the fire department came they told us that it had been an electrical fire.  The origination point of that fire was my television.  Certainly I would been dead, unlocking my door in the dark was not easy, and there is a chance I just might not have awoken before it was too late.  My father and I could have both been dead before my mother even knew that anything was wrong – since she was downstairs.  Something supernatural happened to me that night to save my life.  That something, I call God.

Two weeks later, those same neighbors I ran to to call the fire department were all killed while they slept in an electrical fire.

Here are some arguments that I have found on the internet against the existence of any god.

“The progress of science
The progress of science bring each day a more complete explanation of phenomena that men attributed, until now, to the divinities. God is pushed back within the limits of the Universe.”

03-19-01-sr-dx16 images8766

Nowthese are quotes from Einstein which address that statement:

“Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that is there.”

3-30-01-sr-009_copy

and another Einstein quote:

“Science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world
of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

What we are really looking at when we interpret the world - quantum
What we are really looking at when we interpret the world – quantum

Here is another argument against God:

A different proof that there is no God is:

Life is Material, not Supernatural:  We are material, Natural Beings
All Evidence points to life being material and natural”

“A popular objection to atheists’ arguments and critiques of theism is to insist that one’s preferred god cannot be disproven – indeed, that science itself is unable to prove that God does not exist.  This position depends upon a mistaken understanding of the nature of science and how science operates. In a very real and important sense, it is possible to say that, scientifically, God does not exist – just as science is able to discount the existence of a myriad of other alleged beings.”  Austin Cline

imagesg1

According to the ancient religions, God is unnameable, incomprehensible,  a power that works within the universe as the universe exists within God.  According to renown Physicist David Bohm:

“Bohm believes that life and consciousness are enfolded deep in the generative order and are therefore present in varying degrees of
unfoldment in all matter, including supposedly “inanimate” matter such as electrons or plasmas. He suggests that there is a “protointelligence” in matter, so that new evolutionary developments do not emerge in a random fashion but creatively as relatively integrated wholes from implicate levels of reality. The mystical connotations of Bohm’s ideas are underlined by his remark that the implicate domain “could equally well be called Idealism, Spirit, Consciousness. The separation of the two — matter and spirit — is an abstraction. The ground is always one.” (Quoted in Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe
, HarperCollins, New York, 1991, p. 271.)’

In Bohm’s view, all the separate objects, entities, structures, and events in the visible or explicate world around us are relatively autonomous, stable, and temporary “subtotalities” derived from a deeper, implicate order of unbroken wholeness. Bohm gives the analogy
of a flowing stream:

On this stream, one may see an ever-changing pattern of vortices, ripples, waves, splashes, etc., which evidently have no
independent existence as such. Rather, they are abstracted from the flowing movement, arising and vanishing in the total process of the flow. Such transitory subsistence as may be possessed by these abstracted forms implies only a relative independence or autonomy of behaviour, rather than absolutely independent existence as ultimate substances.

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(David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, Boston, 1980, p. 48.)


We must learn to view everything as part of “Undivided Wholeness in Flowing Movement.” (Ibid., p. 11.)”

This comes from the new physics that is responsible for 30% of our current economy.  When today’s science describes what the material, natural  world is made of, it can be described as nothing less than supernatural or metaphysical.  What we see as the world around us appears to be real, but what it is made out of is consciousness.  A statue made out of clay, can be called a statue, but it is still really clay.  Regardless of what we are made into in this material world, what we are made out of is not of this material world.  So far, according to Science, what we and the entire Universe is made out of is an unending mystery.  And as much as they learn to describe what we are made out of, they cannot ever come to the original cause, why we exist.  If that force that underlies and guides the universe is what our ancestors and many of us today call God.  Then Science proves God.

imagesqtm imagesq

Next argument:

If God exists than God must interact with our universe and there must be some physical manifestations of his interaction.

For me, the voice when I was very young, and the voice that saved me from dying in the fire were manifestation enough, but the Universe itself is the greatest physical manifestation of God’s existence, not as a “he” not “his” but the mysterious awesome force, the implicate order the unknowable, unnameable Source of the universe.

imagesk

Often atheists use the Bible to argue against the existence of God.  But the Bible, or the Koran can only be used to argue against the description of God, not God itself.    In this respect, it is possible to argue because these books are ancient and must be taken on faith, not proof.  But God as the Atom, God as the Implicate Order, as Consciousness Itself or Original Cause cannot be argued.  Science is, in every day, coming to understand God in the way that our ancient ancestors once did.

ngc7293_eye_of_god

To me, God is impersonal, unconditional Love, far beyond our capacity to understand but it is our drive to seek.  I don’t feel that anyone must believe in God.  However, if atheism is logical and realistic as it is supposed to be, then its arguments against God, must be sound, grounded, and able to address even the most ancient spiritual concept of God, which I have not found that it has done.  It may be capable of an eternal debate over the validity of religion, specifically or in general, but again, that is not an argument against God.

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When You Have Nothing Left To Lose – We Have Nothing Left To Stop Us From Seeking Our Dreams

With all that we are going through in the world today, it is more important than ever that we remember what we are, why we are here, and how our experiences now relate to all of that.   Otherwise, we will get lost in the experience and lose sight of its purpose.  We are souls rooted in God.  We enter the earth round of incarnations to learn unconditional love.  It is a concept that we throw around, but one that few really understand and even fewer live.

Every soul in this dream, at this time, is learning his own lesson; however, that lesson is connected with attachment to the things of the material world.  We talk about the final battle between good and evil.  But there is no battle between good and evil.  The battle that is being waged on earth today is between the spiritual world and the material world.  If we were to assign God to the Spiritual and Satan to the Material, then it is hands down a victory for God, because there is no power on earth that can prevent the fall of all those who held material power, along with all those who have been striving for material power and all those who have served material power.  But it is not that easy.  Losing everything is only the beginning of the journey, just as it had been for Job.

The accumulation of wealth in the material world requires a narrow sight.  Even if we do not consider ourselves to have hardened hearts, we must close our eyes to that which would prevent our focus on the goal of accumulation.  When I was in business, my partner and I began with an equal opportunity to amass wealth.  He was able to close his eyes to the needs of those workers whose efforts were necessary for our success.  I was not able to do that.  He felt that his position was earned by him, and obviously sanctioned by God; it was his right to be wealthy.  I felt that it was the Grace of God that had placed me in that position, and not my right.  I felt that it put me in a position where I was more responsible for those who were not in my position, not less.  He became wealthy not by screwing other people, so to speak, but by not seeing them.

I was driving in a car with a friend of mine in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and as we drove from the airport I saw that there was a beautiful view of the ocean to my left, and to my right was the very sad view of extreme poverty.  I asked my friend, as I looked at the broken down shacks to my right, how could they live their lives of affluence while they had to see this poverty every day.  He just turned my head towards the ocean and said, “We look this way”.  This position that we are facing, is one created not only by those who did not care, but also by those who would not see.  The fall that we are facing is rooted in the belief of Cain, that “I am not my brother’s keeper”.

There are so few of us who even love God unconditionally.  We live life in accordance with what we believe to be the will of God in order to gain the reward of such living.  It does not matter if we seek the reward of our faithful deeds on earth or in heaven; the point is that we are acting on condition.  What we do, we do as a means to an end.  In Job, we see a righteous man who we find, after being tested by Satan is perhaps righteous in the Biblical sense but not in the Spiritual sense.  It is clear in the beginning that he is good to those God favors, that he prays and gives the sacrifices required by scriptural law.  It is clear that his actions throughout his life had been without sin.  Yet, as is often the belief, he felt that in some way, the wealth, position, power and respect that he enjoyed was due to his life of righteousness, a reward from God.  In the beginning, he took the loss of everything in stride, understanding that God gives and so God can take away.  But as time went on he became angry, certain that he was a righteous man – holding up his end of the agreement – but God was not holding up God’s end.  He reached one point where he came to the belief that there is no benefit in trying to please God, in living a righteous life.  As Satan told God in the beginning, Job’s love was conditioned on the life that he was given, not from his heart.  Job goes through all of these different scenarios with three of his friends, always ending up in the same place.  Finally, the last person to speak to him is the youngest, waiting till the end because of his lack of age and the apparent learning that goes with it.  This young man speaks of God, not from scriptural reference but from the words that have come into his heart.  He tells Job that it may not be about reward or punishment; it may just be that God is speaking to him, teaching him something through these trials.

We want to believe that we are suffering because of the few greedy people who have robbed us.  That we are suffering because we have been deceived by a corrupt government, but that is only slightly true.  A better way of looking at it is that the system that we have fallen victim to is a system that we ourselves have fought to hold in place because we desire the material wealth that is only possible through a system such as ours.  We yell foul, only because it has broken down before we have had the chance to reach the top.  I say we because this is a Democracy and we have, and have always had the power to change the system, which we have not done because we have wanted our own chance at the golden ring.  Whether we can count ourselves among the haves or the have-nots, we are not separated by greater values but by lesser opportunities.  We need to learn, first and foremost that it doesn’t matter whether or not we profited by the system – we still chose to hold it in place.  The capitalist system, contrary to Democracy, creates mountains where those who can climb, can look down and feel superior to those who cannot.

So as we continue down this road of economic collapse, we are given a chance along the way to find our hearts, to forget about what we have left to lose and consider what we have left to share with those who have nothing left at all.  It will be a long road down, and all along the way we will have this opportunity to rise up and embrace the God within our hearts, perhaps this is the rising in our bodies, while we live to the Spiritual principals that are buried in our hearts.  For those Christians who are waiting for Christ to come and take them up in their bodies, perhaps, Christ is here already, waiting for them to enter their hearts and rise up to Christ’s level of unconditional love, while they are still in their bodies.  The number 144,000 breaks down in numerology to the number 9, which is the number of Universal Love.

Many of us are holding on to what someone else wanted for us, or someone else’s dreams.  Few of us are living the lives that reflect who we are in our souls.  The losses that we are facing now, could be the greatest chance that we will ever have to create the lives that speak our true names.  Now is the time when we are free to become.  There is a door opening for us, a second chance – we need to take it.

More than any time in our recorded history it behooves us to remember that we are souls, and as souls we are learning.  Our Teacher is God and the text is the book of life with all of its stages and all of its experiences.  United, as One, we can have more happiness in our lives than money could ever buy.  We just have to open our hearts and see God, love God, and server God, in and through every creature on earth.  In this final battle, the material world has no chance against the Spiritual, we just have to take a side and live it.

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The Ability To Feel

When I was a very young child I noticed how unhappy everyone in my family was. I then began to notice that there was so much of the same unhappiness all around me. I watched it, but I also shared it. Everyone felt unloved. At least, I know that is what we believed we felt. It is as though we are all standing in line facing and focusing all of our effort on receiving the love we need from the person standing in front of us, whose back we are facing. If we could all just turn around and give exactly what we are seeking to the person behind us, seeking the same  love and approval, we would all, in turn, receive what stands between wholeness and ourselves.

I believed that if someone married me, I would feel loved; I would be happy. Then I believed that if I had a child of my own, THEN I would feel loved and be happy. When my only hopes for happiness left me still feeling worthless, I entered therapy. I went to the Alfred Adler clinic in New York City. On the intake questionnaire they asked: If you died, what would you want written on your gravestone. My response was, “Denise was WELL LOVED”. I believed that if by the time I died, my legacy was having been loved by many then I would know that somewhere along my journey on this earth I had found the happiness that I was seeking. All I thought I ever wanted was to feel loved.   But what feeling loved really meant to me had nothing to do with another person loving me, but having some person convince me that I was worthy of loving.

I think about that gravestone often, and at various points in my life I have revisited the inscription considering what I would want written at each of those points in my life. At one point, about ten years ago, I arrived at my final revision of that stone. I realized that I would know that my life was all that I could have asked of it, if my gravestone says, “Denise LOVED WELL”. The reality is that the only way that the void of love within remains constantly filled is if it is constantly poured out to others.  Here is a story that I read somewhere:

“With an angel for his guide, the visitor is first ushered through the gates of Hell, which, he is surprised to find, are made of finely wrought gold. The gates, in fact, are incomparably lovely, as is the verdant land¬scape that lies beyond them. All this is quite astonishing to the visitor, who turns to his angelic guide in disbelief. “It’s all so beautiful,” the man says. “The sight of the meadows and mountains . . . the sounds of the birds singing in the trees … the scent of thousands of flowers. . . .” And then another scent catches his attention: the aroma of food being prepared.
The angel leads the visitor toward an immense banquet table laden with every sort of delicacy. However, something is terribly wrong. Hundreds of people are seated around the table, but they all appear to be starving. Their emaciated condition is painful to see in the midst of such bounty, but even worse is the frustration and anger they are obviously experiencing. Each person at the table has a long-handled spoon chained to his wrist. The handles are so long that no one can place food in his mouth. But that does not prevent the condemned souls from trying. For all eternity, they are struggling to feed themselves a meal that is right before them, but that might as well be a hundred miles away. Taken aback by the tragic spectacle, the visitor is now more than ready to visit Paradise, and the angel immediately complies. At once they pass through an¬other set of golden gates, alike in every detail to the gates of hell. In fact, a great deal about the two locales seems to be identical, including the banquet table and the diners chained to their utensils. But the people around this table are well fed and happy, despite the fact that their circumstances are identical to those of the damned. The difference is not in the physical situation, but in how they respond to it. As you might have guessed by now, instead of trying to feed themselves, each of the souls at this table feeds the one across the table.”

Remembering that the ego through which we incarnate in each lifetime is little more than an accumulation of experiences and beliefs of our past lives. Change – growth and the merging of the ego and higher self are instigated by the soul.  Each life is the next chapter in the evolution of the soul.  This plotline of this life carries with it a repetition of situations from prior lives that were not resolved, not balanced.  It also contains new areas experiences and challenges for further growth, and the fruit of lessons that we have mastered from past lives to share with others in this one.  . All souls who are late young, mature or old have lived through lifetimes of conditioning as beings stained at birth by original sin. Few adults living today were not there at the birth of this age, which is drawing to a close, and this age was born with the imprint of original sin.

The majority of people on earth, or at least in the western countries feel in some way inferior to almost everyone else alive. I have admired to so many people who I believed were confident, and self-assured only to find out that the singular difference between them and me was that they were better at pretending. Some assuage their feelings of inadequacy by telling themselves that they are superior to others. The more they immerse themselves in their superiority the less they have to acknowledge their feelings of inferiority. Some make a great show of telling everyone how great they are, while others find a skill, talent, or physique that they use to draw a constant flow of accolades. Then of course, there are embellishments such as wealth, fame and power to make one look superior.

People insist that their religion is the only religion acceptable to God out of a need to feel superior.  It is the need to feel superior that causes people to insist that their choice of worship is the only true choice of worship.  Jealousy is a sign of insecurity – God could not be jealous unless He was insecure about all of the other gods being worshiped.  However, if there is only one God then that one God is not jealous, not wrathful, and not angry because all of those are symptoms of insecurity. Regardless of how superior we appear, and how content we may be with that appearance, within ourselves there are no props that can change how we feel. So, we look to intimate relationships to give us that feeling of adequacy by showering us with love. The problem is that the material world or rather the external world is impermanent. Whatever fills us up today will be insufficient to the task tomorrow. Someone will always come along smarter, prettier, wealthier, more powerful, more famous, more creative, more talented, younger etc. Everything external that matters today will not matter tomorrow, next week, next year, or whenever. Whatever exists in the external world has a shelf life. If that is where we seek our value, or sense of lovability, then we must acknowledge the expiration date.

Our past lives of belief in original sin have convinced us that we are defective. Now is the time to understand and to instill in the young children born at the dawn of this new age that we are each created so perfectly, so flawlessly, that there will never be more than one of each of us. We are each so perfect that we cannot be duplicated. We are each original signed creations of our Source, and there is not now, and will never be an artist superior to our creator, nor will there ever be materials superior to those from which we are made because we are made from the Creator. It is the uniqueness of our design that makes us each so great. And we are each here to add that unique color, that unique quality that is each of us to the great work of art that is in a constant state of becoming, entitled “Life”.

Love is.  It does not exist because of what we do, or who we are.  Love is unconditional.  Many people have found through regressions that they suffer from debilitating illnesses in this life so that they have the opportunity to be taken care of, and to feel love from others who receive nothing in return.  It is the only way that their souls can guarantee the experience.  If someone loves us and we push them away because the love does not come wrapped in the package that we are expecting, although may they move away – they do not stop loving us.

All of this concern over being loved and being lovable dissolves into itself when we stop worrying about being loved and strive to be love itself.  No amount of love, adoration, worship or praise can change how we feel about ourselves when the lights go dim.  Most people I know who do not feel loved are really not very loving.  Whatever they give to others or do for others has some form of string attached, even if it is a required amount of expressed appreciation.  They may not feel that they are measuring, but they can give an extremely accurate account of their expressions of love – for people who are not keeping track.  Whatever experiences have closed them down do not matter.  If we want to feel loved we must take the risk of loving unconditionally.  And what happens when we do this, is that we forget about what we are not getting because we are overwhelmed with the joy of what we are giving.  Then suddenly, out of the blue, we look around and are astounded by the amount of love that is coming to us.