Tag Archives: compassion

Unconditional Love.

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I have been a fraud most of my life, and the first time that I admitted that a few years ago, I was so scared to put the words to the page. Terrified to let others know the truth about who I was underneath, after having such a shiny veneer surface in the world for so many years. It is only in the last few months, literally, that I have pulled back the veil and really gotten to the nuts and bolts of who I really Am.

 

Does this sound confusing? Believe me, it has felt like a cyclone of thoughts and feelings for me, over my lifetime and more specifically, in the last couple of months. I have come to terms, rather, come to some realizations about the real Truths that make me, me. And, the result is feeling more free, peaceful and loving than I have, ever in my entire life.
Does this sound impossible? Dramatic? It has felt like the ride of my life, yet where I was meant to come to within myself all along. Let me tell you more. When I say, I have been a fraud, what I mean is that I have had a beautiful, cheery exterior. On the outside of my soul vessel, I would project an image of happiness, self confidence, intelligence and light. And, most of the time, I felt some or all of those things. However, I felt those positive things about myself, by whatever was reflected back to me. So, if someone was interested in what I had to say, and thought that I was smart, then I would radiate that. If a person was attracted to or interested in dating me, I radiated that outwardly. If I lost fifty pounds and liked what I saw in the mirror, then I beamed.  I took the outside world as evidence of the truth that I should be or display.

 

The other edge of the sword however, was that when the outside stimuli that I would take in was what I perceived as negative, or not encouraging toward me, I would deem myself as unworthy; bad; fat; ugly; dumb. I took the perceived words and truths from others to be my truth. So that was the first of many of my problems: that I believed whatever the outside world told me that I was or should be, and saw that as the real truth not only about who I was, but who I had to project myself as. 

 

However, the biggest way in which I was fraudulent, was that I pretended, not only to the outside world, but to myself, that I was never resentful. Angry. Disappointed. Judgmental. Petty. If I admitted that I had those aspects that lived in me, then what kind of human was I? And, when I did admit them out loud, I would immediately attack myself internally, because I believed that made me a bad person. Frankly, an asshole. And I had spent a lifetime trying to believe that I wasn’t an asshole, but never quite got there. I started being more transparent about this a few years ago, with others and with myself, but didn’t really have the lessons sink in until quite recently. I still didn’t see my true essence.

 

At the beginning of this year, however, something seemed to shift in me. It wasn’t because it was a new year, and I wanted to start with a clean slate; I don’t wait for a new year, start of the week or something else to begin getting happy. Something about it just felt like a time for shifting. So, slowly and surely, over the last three months, my conversations have been more genuine, I have talked about my own vulnerability and perceived ugliness more openly and consistently, and began tuning in more to what would really feel good to do for myself. I see my sameness with everyone else that I encounter. I started meditating, just a few minutes each morning. I went to Reiki, for the first time in my life, and was tuning in more deeply than I ever had before. 

 

And, slowly and deeply, I began to shift. The shift feels subtle at the same time that it feels like an earthquake. I have awakened my chakras within me, and I can see my own light bursting forth. And, even though my light has shone in the world for many years now, I never saw it. Not as the pure love, peace and adoration that it is. I see my own Light. I see it clearly and I am not afraid of it anymore. My heart is more open than it has ever been. And, I understand, not just as a saying, but as a practice, that it has to and can only begin with me. 

 

My essential nature is Pure Love. Yours is, too. 

 

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Love, No Matter What.

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I have to say that I had a big expectation of what today would look like, for myself, for the people that are closest to me, and for the world. I was invested in an outcome. For me, the outcome is not what I would have wanted, nor chosen had it been left up to only me. Yet, here we are. This is what has been chosen. And, whether your vote was cast for the winning candidate, or not, or not at all, we have all chosen up to this point what this outcome is.

 

And gratefully, I understand the choice that I still have before me. I did not spend today crying and full of despair and hopelessness, although I easily could have. I most likely would have, only a few months ago. I saw the world in its form as the reality, and believed that what happened outside of me is what dictated what occurred inside of me. I was invested in the theory that if someone says hurtful things, or tells stories, that they must become my belief system. I would be filled with fear, remorse, self loathing, and lack. I would have been blaming the world for being a bummer and bringing me down from how I felt about myself.

 

Today, I am full of Peace. I know now that to show Love, Compassion, Peace and Forgiveness to the world, it must live in me first. I have built an amazing temple within of self love over the last few months. I have been diligent about it. What does diligence of self love look like? It is reading, writing, and listening to spiritual practices, guides, and texts every day. It is breathing deeply as often as possible. It is removing gossip from my life and being true to my ideals. It is thinking before I speak. It is looking in the mirror, thinking a negative thought about myself, and taking it back, forgiving myself. It is deep, deep gratitude for every, single thing that is here for me in my world. EVERYTHING. 

 

As I have expanded my experiences in the last eighteen months of hugging persons that I didn’t know, and those that I did, one thing became more and more apparent: the deeper that I was loving myself, the more open I was to hugging anyone and everyone that came my way. No restrictions, no exclusions, fewer and fewer assumptions of why certain groups of people would not want to be hugged, or comfortable with human contact. Little by little I let go of my beliefs and opened up to new experiences. And the results, for me and the other person, were nothing less than transformative and profound.

 

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In order for us to not want to attack, destroy, and vilify one another, we must let go of our fear.  Yes, if you must grieve, of what you perceive has been lost, then do so. Do not dwell in your grief; do not live in your box of fear. Feel your feelings, release them, and get back to the business of Love. Of Compassion. Of Forgiveness. Surrender to What is, in this very moment. Unless we begin from our Essence, by acknowledging our own beauty, light and perfection, we will find any and all faults in one another, and the destruction will be complete and devastating. There will be little room for humanity to be visible anymore.

 

Be Present. Breathe Deeply. Love yourself more fiercely than you have ever allowed yourself to do before. When we Love ourselves from that place, we can not help but to be Brave, Be Strong, Be a Warrior of Love. Because, to not survive, but to thrive, we must believe and live Love, no matter who. No matter where.

 

Love. No Matter What.

 

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Looking Up.

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The autumn is settling in here in our home in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  There is a chill in the air that lingers past noon; and then the warmth of the sun penetrates the cold and fills me up.  I love being outdoors much of the time, but Fall is one of my favorite times.  An extra layer, a hat, and feeling cozy.  I really enjoy and appreciate the change of the season.

 

I have been appreciating a lot of change in my life lately.  As a writer, and as a lover of other people’s writing, I would often, in the past, want my writing to primarily be relatable to others, and so would be what I would write.  I would also relate closely to what others would writer, so when I read other writers’ blogs, I would tend to follow the ones that spoke to me in some direct way, either through their experiences, or feelings about those experiences.  Reminding me of something in my own life, perhaps. 

 

Yet lately, I have been sensing a change, a change in perspective, over the last couple of weeks in particular.  As I have been appreciating and embracing my own, unique writer’s voice more deeply, I have had a more genuine appreciation for all of the unique writers’ voices that I have been reading.  I have expanded my willingness to see life from a variety of perspectives.  This has opened up to me to the realization, thank goodness, of every person’s story being of worth and purpose.  It has reminded me that it is always refreshing, and fun, to see things from a new perspective.  

 

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I’ve been so afraid of that in my life at times, to see a different point of view.  I mean, if I look at the world in a different way than I have before, won’t something go wrong?  Doesn’t that dismiss anything that I have believed before?  I understand now that the answers to my fearful questions is no, and that I am ready to appreciate, and celebrate, all of the unique manifestations of our Universal selves, in all their varied forms.  And, looking at something from a different perspective isn’t a dismissal of what I already know, nor does it threaten it in any way.  It is just different, plain and simple.

 

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I headed out with my camera yesterday, my other, brilliant instrument of expression, and instead of viewing my world only horizontally, I looked up.  What a brilliant, amazing new perspective!  And, what beauty was waiting there for me.  I only ever need to look at the world, just a bit differently, just change my view ever so slightly, to see the awe and wonder that lives there.  It is astounding.

 

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A State of Grace.

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Most mornings for a few weeks now, myself, and my wife on some days, walk to the lake that is right near our house.  We walk in one mile, and back out and home.  We sit by the water.  We spend time in nature.  It is an amazing way to begin the day for me.

 

As I walk in at the lake, I spend the first mile considering what I am grateful for.  Initially, when I first started this morning ritual, I would make a list in my mind, of all the people, things and circumstances in my life that I have gratitude for.  It enabled me to find gratitude for things in my life that might have felt challenging, or persons in my life that I had conflict with, or thought that I did, at one time or another.  It helped me to more deeply understand that gratitude is not just for the pleasant things, but for each and every thing, event, or circumstance that I find myself in.  Learning and growth comes from every experience.

 

Recently, instead of a list of things to be grateful for, I find myself simply feeling gratitude, being in the presence of that feeling.  To do this for me, means to be completely in the moment; and when my mind wanders, to come back to the present as often as possible.  A state of gratitude is remembering that everything that comes to me is a gift; every moment has something that it is offering to me, has beauty, depth, and value; and that if I am in a state of gratitude, I am able to see the beauty and worth in every moment.

 

Brenda described that to someone yesterday as being in a state of grace.  I have always had a difficult time understanding the concept of grace, and what that really means.  Yet, I believe that I have an understanding now that makes sense to me.  To be in a state of grace, for me, is to be present, and to be prayerful.  I may not be consciously saying prayers as I walk every morning, yet I am certainly aware of the beauty, sounds, and smells all around me, and have deep appreciation for them.  I am aware of nature and all that She offers to me.  I am aware of the strength and beauty of my body as I walk and move.  I am filled with love and compassion for others that are in my life, and beyond.  I feel inspired, blissful, peaceful.

 

I finally understand, that grace means to be present to my world, to all that is around me, and to honor its beauty and worth with my thoughts and presence.  Grace feels like a prayer that doesn’t feel like a prayer in the way that I have previously known, yet in such a more powerful way than I have experienced before.  Grace is Presence.  Presence is Grace.  And when I remember that, I am filled with a peace that I have never known.  

 

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How to Help Others.

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Since I was a young person, maybe nine or ten, I wanted to grow up to make a difference in the world.  For me, I decided to create that difference by studying to be a social worker.  Social workers were tireless beings in the world that helped those that could not help themselves.  From social work, I evolved into becoming a therapist.  I had a strong belief that there were so many problems and needs in the world, and that my being a helper, in the form of therapy, social work, or care management, was my best way to impact on those needs.

 

This has been my belief, until very recently.

 

Recently, I have been doing some significant soul searching.  Now, when I search my soul, in the past, I would always want to find out the why of the doing of something; so, if my relationships that I sought were negative or non communicative, I would want to trace back in my history as to why I would choose that.  Who was responsible for my current actions.  What I understand now, is that I always get to choose; and that anything that I was ever taught along the line, from anyone, was just a person telling me what they thought might work best for me in the world.

 

Soul searching for me now, means that I don’t have to find out the why; all I want to do is learn how to be more peaceful, present, and forgiving.  That to really be in my life, I must do all of these things, as often as possible.  So, I am discovering that I do not want to help the world anymore, in the ways I have educated myself to do so.

 

I don’t want to be a therapist.  I don’t want to be a counselor.  Or a social worker.  Or a clinician.  I want to simply join with people, make connections to other human beings, and make our connections meaningful in the moment.  Not feel the need to heal or fix the other person.  Just be with them, presently, and in full awareness.  My hugs help me to do that every time I give one.  It is the closest I have ever come to true, meaningful connection with a stranger.

 

This may not make sense to you, but I have come to understand that wanting to help others, for me, is no longer noble and kind, but arrogant.  The way that I always tried to help others, was to create a situation where they needed me to solve their problems for them.  Or at least, tell them how to solve it themselves.  I rarely saw them as being capable to solve their own problems, without my part in it.  I am not judging myself for that, I am just observing the truth.

 

It feels so much more simple now.  If I merely want to connect with others, not try to fix or “help” them, then I need to see them as strong.  See them as capable.  Connect with them on a deeply human level.  See our sameness.

 

And, for now, if hugs are the way to get there, so be it.  I have no idea what that will manifest as in the future, but all that matters is right here and now.

 

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