How Can We Have Love?

What is necessary to have love in our lives?  Is it someone who loves us and who we also love?  Is it true friends, people to trust, and those who are supportive of us?  Is it belonging?  Is it being accepted as we are and who we are?  In order to have love we have to sacrifice something to get it.  In order to have joy we have to sacrifice something.  In order to have peace we have to sacrifice something.  In order to have abundant energy and good health something must be sacrificed.  What needs to be sacrificed is almost always an unhelpful attitude or belief.

192859-I-m-Letting-Go To have love, one must sacrifice the attitude that we are unlovable, unworthy, or challenged in some way.  We let go of the idea that there is something wrong with us, or that everyone is against us.  To have love we must sacrifice those attitudes, stories, and ways of thinking about ourselves and the world around us.  If we come into the place of divine relationship and find love inside of our heart, it isn’t because we’ve found the right person, set of circumstances, group to belong to, or new family associations.  It’s because we have decided true love is within us and can be found all around us if we are open to receive it.

heartbreak-rejection-lost-love-1 We might go to a  church, meditation, or dharma gathering and declare, “I have never found so much love from a group of strangers than I have here.”  And if we don’t feel welcomed, think we don’t belong, or that people are ignoring us- we will tell a story, or form some kind of belief about what’s wrong with that group of people in order to excuse our inability to feel love and compassion.  Love comes from within us- not from the people around us.   This doesn’t mean that sometimes there are not people who don’t like us.  There probably will be.  No matter how wonderful we are, someone won’t like us.  When people don’t like us or we form dislikes of others it’s the lack of love within our heart or their heart that’s the problem.

But if we are expecting love- mostly we will receive love.  If we are expecting to be disapproved of- mostly we will be disapproved of.  If we have a story of unworthiness- mostly we will experience unworthiness.

In order to have love, something has to be sacrificed.  What needs to sacrificed is whatever story we have about why love doesn’t work for us.  How useful is that story?  We want to think about cutting away the past that doesn’t serve us and keeping only the past things that help us go forward in love.  And if we have an experience where someone doesn’t love us or doesn’t like us, walk on.  Leave them behind.  Why are we dragging them along?  If we cut ties to the things of the past that anchor us into victimization, unhappiness, isolation, not belonging-guess what?  Life is filled with opportunity instead of pain, happiness instead of suffering!

hold-handsYes, it’s true.  We think everyone should love us.  But they won’t.  This doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us?  It means someone didn’t like us or love us…that is not our problem.  Our challenge is not being able to love everyone just as they are, in not being filled with Divine Compassion for all beings.  If we are not able to look at everyone and love them, does that mean that they are intrinsically unlovable?  Or that we have just not found the place of love and compassion in our own heart so we can see them with love?

The point of sacrifice is to cutaway, liberate, and detach from the things that actually end up causing our suffering.  If we are attached to stress it’s very hard to be at peace.  If we are attached to being overwhelmed and burdened it will be difficult to find peace.  What would we have to give up or sacrifice in order to create a life that didn’t hold burdens and stress?

Liberation is not always permanent.  But if we are liberated for an hour, we had a good hour.  And then everything fills back up and we have to liberate ourselves again.  We could say that the world provides plenty of opportunities to have be upset and stress.  But it is possible to detach ourselves from the stress of the world through meditation, silence, times of prayer, and going somewhere to be in nature.   We detach ourselves so we may come back to a place of joy, peace and love.  That is why there is the phrase- Be Here Now.

Divine Spirit Awakenings LogoMost of what we have to sacrifice is attachment to what happened in the past, five minutes ago or five years ago.  If we detach from those things, sit in the present, be focused, know who we truly are, be who we truly are, mostly we will be happy.  Mostly we will have the space of joy.  Mostly we will have peace.

There is a Great Beings inside of each of us just waiting to be released.  Why are we keeping that Being locked behind a wall of unhappiness, anger, thwarted desires, and struggling?  What if we decide to know our heart of love?  What if we decide to allow ourselves to be happy now?  What if we let go of what upsets us and allow peace to flow into the crevices and corners of our lives?  Anything is possible for Spirit!  We are Spirit and when we know that anything will be possible for us!

 

Spirit’s Manifestations

There are five basic manifestations of the path of spirit: love, joy, peace, abundant life, and light.

Today, let’s examine the manifestations of love.
The basic nature of humans and most animals is love.

Kindness-cat-and-birdManifestation #1 is Kindness
The first step consists of the golden rule: if you wouldn’t want unpleasant things to happen to you don’t create them for others.  If we don’t want disparaging remarks made about us, then don’t make them about others.  If we don’t want someone responding in irritation and anger, then don’t respond that way.  If we don’t want rejection and betrayal, then don’t reject or betray others.

 

Give away to others only what you are willing to receive for yourself.
This is the practice of holding up all of our actions to examination.  How would I feel if someone said, looked, acted in that way to me?  All of these practices are difficult to establish.  Expect to make mistakes.  As long as we still feel disempowered, unaccepted, unappreciated, belittled, betrayed, angry, or frustrated, we still have that negativity inside of us.  What we feel is ours!  It’s us having the experience.

Once we have accepted that what we feel is ours we can develop the practice of thanking those who allowed us to experience our negative emotions that create suffering.  Once we understand that we are the cause of our suffering we can develop mind habits that free us from suffering.  If we are one with Divine Spirit it doesn’t make any difference what anyone else is doing.

devotionManifestation #2 is Devotion
This is a rule of Love because awakening to passionate admiration for a great being, saint, spiritual teacher, or other representative of Divine Spirit allows one to emulate and model our behavior on someone we respect and hold in high regard. The All Spirit doesn’t require us to adore or worship.  We perform these practices because they awaken love inside of our hearts.  A true spiritual teacher doesn’t need or demand your devotion.  Is Great Spirit diminished because we decide not to pray?  No.  Does it matter to us?  Absolutely.  Devotion changes our relationship to love, kindness, and awakening consciousness.

Thupten_Jinpa_Modern_CompassionManifestation #3 Compassion
Compassion is the willingness to feel and experience the pain of another without needing to fix it, heal it, or do anything about it.  We are the gentle, warm-hearted listener allowing another to express their suffering without benefit of our advice.  Compassion is the practice of seeing a loved one’s face in the face of all other beings.  It’s the ability to truly rejoice in the good that comes to another even as a parent rejoices in the accomplishments of their child without envy or self-interest.  Compassion is the ability to see everyone as worthy.

prayer_t_nvRule #4 Sacrifice
Sacrifice is the willingness to take an active role in relieving suffering.
Here are some ways that might happen:  speak for those whose voices are not heard; give to charities; conduct a clothing or food drive; spend time praying for the benefit of all beings each day; if good things happen for you, dedicate the merit of that good for others.  Walk barefoot and let the pain, shame, and rejection you experience be an energy you carry for those who bear great suffering.  Bless the food you eat that all beings, everywhere, shall be full and content.  When cleaning dedicate that energy so that entities will be freed from their inner pain and feelings of unworthiness.  When in pain, say, As I have and feel this pain, and as it is healed, may it do good for all the people of the world who are in pain.

The practices of love are liberating us through conscious awareness.  To truly practice being love means there is no vacation, and no time off to be human, judgmental, depressed, unworthy, limited, or a gossip. Constant vigilance of our thoughts and behaviors will reap the reward of feeling and knowing love all of the time.  Why would we want to do anything else?