Love Well.

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I had an epiphany this week, brought on by words from my wise wife, about what I really want to do here, for the remainder of my time in this physical form. The words that she used, and that have stuck with me since, is to Love Well. As I have aged, I seem to learn more about what Love is, and what it means here to be Loving. I am still not completely sure that I understand it fully; and when I attempt to put it into words, they seem to be sorely lacking. Yet, words are what I have, and what I use, so I will do my best to describe what I mean.

 

You see, I see myself as a loving person; it is one of the characteristics that I have been able to see in myself easily. What I have seen in myself is a heart that literally feels filled up when I am connected to those around me. It is a heart that feels grateful and present much of the time in my life. But, how I expressed Love on the outside, wasn’t always pure love. Sure, I would take care of those around me; I would try to fix what seemed to be broken; and I would give with my whole heart and soul, putting myself aside in the process. 

 

Today, I am understanding that although those actions in the past could pass as Love from an outside view, and love as I have been taught, it no longer suffices for me, as the Love that I wish to bring to the world. That takes more presence, diligence, and peace, and less Ego, less Me involved. To truly Love, deeply Love, Love in the way which our true nature shows us, I need to see beyond the form. I need to Love equally and fully. I need to accept everything as it Is, and trust that all is unfolding as it should. I need to forgive easily, and then realize, that there is nothing to forgive.

 

It is a huge challenge for me on many occasions. I want a certain outcome. I think that I know what is best, for everyone around me. I want to control the situation so that I feel less afraid. I want to have an expectation of someone or something so that I can feel more safe. None of those states of mind are Love. Not really. Even though I can justify them in my mind, they aren’t Love.

 

So, today I commit again to Love in that way. It starts with me, of course, Loving myself precisely and exactly as I Am, which then creates the allowance to Love every, single situation and person as it Is, as they Are. I learn deeply along the way. I fall short. I try again. And, every day, bit by bit, I learn to Love. 

 

I learn to Love Well. 

 

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Who Am I?

Today, I went to my first Comic Con. It was right here in Scranton, PA, and I didn’t do anything but stand outside the entry area and offer Free Hugs. While that offering isn’t unusual for me, the venue was for sure. So, I decided to go in a character that is familiar to me and that I most enjoy.

 

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It got me thinking about Life, and Being, and what it all really means. Who Am I, really? I mean, if I created a list that is finite, I could come up with many things that I see myself as: a person who gives hugs; a mom; a wife; a friend. Yet, even all of those characteristics and roles don’t define the overall true and deepest essence of who it is that I Am; who we all Are.

 

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The deepest truth that there is, is that I am not all of those roles, responsibilities or things that I do in the world. I Am no more than you are: we Are All part of the pure essence of Life itself; Being that is interconnected will all that Is. When I think on this, I cannot easily comprehend it, because it is not meant to be something that can be absorbed in the context of the mind. 

 

I Am one with all that Is. You Are, too. That means, that all that we are is interconnected. Our similarities; our differences; our geographical distance; our roles in the world; it is all just different manifestations, different forms of the same, eternal essence. Our mind is not meant to be able to grasp that in the context of thinking. To think upon this, we logically create stories that explain how this cannot possibly be true. When we introduce thinking and logic to the concept of our Oneness, we look for explanations and reasons why the form must be truth. By doing this, we continue to fragment ourselves from everything else. We see our selves as separate from everyone and everything else, and we have a list of reasons why this is justified.
To sense my oneness with all that Is, I have to be willing to set aside my thinking, and feel what the Truth is. Feel the essence of everything; feel my connected nature to all other living beings, all circumstances around me. I notice this especially when I am hugging another person, but even then, I tend to tell stories about us and our differences rather than know how we are the same. Sensing our sameness can only come when I turn off my observing, thinking mind, and just feel from the deepest part of me.

 

We often feel like we are so separate, so distanced from one another. Yet, if we allow ourselves to deeply feel the truth, we will know a deeper sense of connectedness, joining, love and peace than we have ever felt. 

 

Try feeling it for yourself. 

 

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You are Love.

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Like all of us humans, I have learned over the course of life in this physical realm what Love “means”. I have been taught that through other humans, television and movies, and writings on the subject. It is mostly focused on in the context of relationships with other people, and over the years that I have been here, I have ingrained within myself certain beliefs about Love, and what it is, and isn’t.

 

And, I am not unique in what I have learned; many of us have learned to believe that Love meant certain things, possessed certain qualities. And, sometimes those beliefs contradict themselves. Loving another person is unconditional; yet loving ourselves means putting conditions and boundaries in place. Love is giving all of oneself to another; yet it also means having balance. Love is romantic, sexy and intimate; yet it also is universal. And within each of these teachings there is an element of truth. And today, I feel like I am closer to understanding the true definition of Love, although I can’t say that I live it all that well some of the time.

 

What I now believe, and am aspiring to live more consistently, is that I Am Love. We All are Love. That is our essence and our true nature. However, we don’t see that in ourselves, or in one another, because of the beliefs that we possess about Love, and what we think it is supposed to look like. We are pretty far away from Love in most circumstances; I know that I am. Love is pure and ever present; yet it is not always visible in the form, looking like what we think Love is supposed to look like. For example, I have believed that to want someone to change was loving, if I believed it was for their own good. But, in the true nature and meaning of Love, wanting someone to change is not Love; it is not Loving.

 

To be pure Love in this realm is a challenge; it always seems there is something more that I want for myself; or something else that I want or need from another person.  Yet, the deeper lesson for me now is how to Love, how to really Love, and mean it. How to fully accept others for who they are, as they are, without expectation or wanting for it to be any different than how it is. To accept circumstances of my life as they are, without waiting for the future to be different or to deliver to me my dreams. To not dwell on the past, and ruminate over how things may have been different. 

 

To be pure Love, to me, means to stop resisting. To see my own, Love nature, and to see yours, as consistently as possible.  To be with my breath, being Present, be here Now. It makes no difference if others decide to see Love in this way; I still get to walk the path as often as I can remember.  Yet, you can walk it with me should you choose to do so, and just do your best.

 

SO, stop resisting. You Are Love. 
PS- We All Are.

 

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It’s Up to You.

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I have learned so much in my life, from so many sources. Books, classes, movies, and of course, the lessons of experiences that I have had. One of my most profound teachers has been the person that I call my son. Through is own experiences, and what he has learned from them, I have, in turn, learned from him.

 

As I was parenting him, especially through adolescence, I often felt either inept, or helpless. Navigating through new territory even though I had “learned” so much about what teen years may look like. I was scared much of the time, and confused about what would be the right thing to say, do, or offer to him. I didn’t really trust myself, although I wanted to. When I did trust myself, many people around me challenged the way that I would do things, and had their own opinions of what was best. It was a roller coaster of a ride much of the time.

 

Yet, we navigated through. He made his way. And, today, he is one of the most brilliant human beings I have ever had the privilege to know. One of the deepest lessons that he has taught me, is that in order for life to change for a person, they have to have the willingness to change. A person can want the world to accept them, or to understand them; they can blame others for their pain and suffering. Yet, the only thing that will bring about a new beginning, is when we say yes to ourselves. It is all up to us.

 

Now, I have known that my whole life, not just as a concept, but as a reality. That for someone to be truly happy, contented, or at peace, they had to decide to do so for themselves. Yet, when it came to seeing my own child suffering, I didn’t want to believe that it was that simple.  I was terrified of what he would, or would not, potentially choose. Yet, I waited. I agonized.  And, eventually, I learned to trust that no matter what I wanted for him, for anyone in my life, it was always up to that person, to him, to choose for themselves. 

 

We can blame the outside world for our internal condition. We can believe that it will be someone else or some other circumstance that will make us happier than we are right now. But the deepest truth is, that it is always up to us. It is always up to you, to decide if you want peace or conflict; joy or unhappiness; release or constriction. 

 

To finally say yes to that simple Truth is freedom and Peace indeed. 

 

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Haunted.

 

I don’t tend to live in the past, but I certainly feel influenced by it at times. Things that have happened to me or those that I love; events that were significant; losses through death or estrangement. It seems that a sting still lives in me around past circumstances that stirred up deep feelings of fear and loss in me.

 

When I was younger, I would acknowledge a loss, such as the death of a loved one, by honoring the anniversary, the year mark of the event itself. By observing it, it seemed to acknowledge the pain of the loss in a way that would bring me comfort, and some form of peace. I don’t recognize anniversaries in any formalized way anymore, but it feels like when a certain time of year comes around, I am taken back to a period of my life that was especially painful and difficult.

 

Three years ago, at this time, it seemed like many aspects of my life were crashing in on me. Relationships with members of my family were deeply strained; my son was in big emotional trouble; and two people that were very important persons in my life, died. I felt like I was in a tornado of emotions, and reeling from all of the chaos and sadness that I seemed to be experiencing. To this day, parts of that time still seem to haunt me, to feel sharp and real and like they just happened yesterday.

 

Then, I gratefully recall all that I was learning then, and have been learning in a more deep way since that time. I remember that the past, and any recollection that I have of it, is simply a memory trace. It does not exist, just as the future does not exist. So, for me to ruminate on events that are long past gone, or worry about how things will unfold at some future time, is futile. In addition to that, doing so does nothing for my Peace within. There is no rest for my soul when I keep reminding myself of things that have already occurred and cannot be undone. 

 

So, I remember compassion. I remember gentleness and love. I remember that to recall is only human; but to tell the story over and over again, in a way to condemn myself or others, or to act out a drama that I can suffer all over again, makes no sense, and is unkind. I remember to remember, without telling the story to myself. I remember to breathe. I remember that as real as it may feel now, it has already happened and is gone. It is as it is. 

 

I get to find my Peace, again and again. 

 

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