It was in my twenties when I realized that I was looking for love in others because I felt incomplete. I was looking for love from others to help me to feel whole. This realization didn’t just come to me. No, I had to go through great suffering first. Time after time, it had to be shown to me – how the love that I knew could be hurtful, jealous, critical, shameful, conditional. It was something that I was spinning in, unable to tell top from bottom. Love was my favorite roller coaster that would take me to the very exhilarating top and then drop me so hard and fast that my stomach was left somewhere in space. I lived for the highs and rolled in the mud of the lows. I got dirty and soared- AND… MANY OF THE FEELINGS I FELT WERE BASED UPON HOW SOMEONE FELT ABOUT ME! The wall I was banging my head against was hard.
Finally, bloodied and broken and down on my knees- I found it…the answer. It wasn’t outside of me, it was INSIDE of me. I AM LOVE! My true self is perfect. I am part of an amazing energy that I call The Universe. The Universe is divine, therefore so am I. As this realization came so did the teachers, Marianne Williamson and her book A Return to Love , Deepak Chopra, Timeless Body, Ageless Mind, Gary Zukav, and Clem Chang who taught me Qi Gong.
Since then, the teachers have been far too many to name. The practice continues. I am human. I forget easily. Through my meditation and mindfulness practice, regular affirmations and surrounding myself with positive people, I can see and feel the love that I am.
I am re-reading “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. I read it almost 20 years ago and it changed my life! Years went by, at times living life unconsciously, forgetting that in order to maintain my connection with SELF, my connection to the Divine or All That Is, I have to consciously work at it.
Marianne says, “When someone has behaved unlovingly – when they yell at us, or lie about us, or steal from us – they have lost touch with their essence. They have forgotten who they are. But everything that someone does, says the Course (she is referring to The Course in Miracles), is either ‘love or a call for love’.
This resonated with me. This is ME! This is my family, the people who I love. I have behaved in ways I wish I had not. But that action, that CRY for love, not love from someone outside of myself but for that love INSIDE, was my awakening. The negative behavior from others was a cry for love. Now the awakening didn’t happen overnight… but it comes around. Right now, the awakening for me has come at a price of loss. It is a struggle with my ego on a daily, no minute by minute basis to choose love and not fear. To forgive others for wrongful behavior instead of condemning them. To forgive myself. Back to Marianne’s words: “When we are shaking a finger at someone, figuratively or literally, we are not more apt to correct their wrongful behavior. Treating someone with compassion and forgiveness is much more likely to elicit a healed response.”
I choose LOVE. I choose to forgive. I choose to BE the change.
I imagine that this is what Essence/Love looks like.
Photo by: Carrie Garcia- 7/4/13 Circle Pines, MN