I am realizing today that my whole life I have so often felt completely rejected by the world. I am feeling how pretty much everyone everyone feels this 'underneath it all' as it stems from our own rejection of the magnificient and glorious love we are. Oh, the fortresses we build - to not feel this lurking hurt. How harmful these fortresses are to ourself and all around us! Wow- the lengths we go to 'do' or 'be' what brings us recognition and acknowledgement in the world. Only now that I am more fully accepting my own light and love can I really feel this so fully. I am feeling it now - and man it stings - feels excruciating really, but at the same time feels so healing to really feel it, really meet it. This is how it ceases to be an issue any longer. I seek to hold my love and light - even in the face of the worst rejection - to not pull back from humanity. I know that when people reject God's love, he never holds back his love from them, not one iota. What I am finding supports me to not hold back my love when faced with this rejection is to seek to not invest in anyone needing to need me. Just feel and know the love I bring and bring it (with perfect imperfection) - all the amazing spunk and vibe and light of that love - and allow another to choose it or not, knowing and accepting without judgment that some will be ready at this moment, and some not yet.
Love is not an emotion
Pondering on love as we approach Valentine's day, I am remembering when I was 20 years old, and really into "The Road Less Traveled" and other books by M. Scott Peck. One thing he presented that really affected me at the time was his proposal that 'love is not a feeling'. What I took from his books was that, rather than falsely believing that the emotions around 'falling in love' experienced at the beginning of a romance will always remain - thus leading to unrealistic expectations for a long-term relationship - instead love was an ongoing choice, and an action or activity. I was reminded of his books recently and his idea that love is not a feeling. Returning to this concept a couple of decades later, I understand how this is only partial truth. While I would still strongly agree that love is an ongoing choice, and one that is free of emotion, my understanding through experiencing love in my own body has made it clear to me that to say that love is not a feeling can actually pull us away from a true experience of the energy that love is. What's more, to say that love is an activity or action is a reflection of the masculine aspect of love in expression. But, for our actions - speech, touch, thoughts, movement - to be love in expression they must first arise out of connecting to and living from the place of stillness, or femaleness. This is a quality that we can feel in our body. It is something that may be sensed equally by both women and men. Once we feel this and choose to re-connect to the love that we are at our inner-most essence, then all of our actions and activities that come out of this connection will be loving.
To understand love energetically it is helpful to contemplate the etymology and understand the meaning of the words emotion, feeling and love. Many people believe that feelings and emotions are two words for the same thing, or are confused about the difference between the two. As energetic beings, it is important for us to have words to describe pure sensation, free of misinterpretation. In English, one such word is 'feeling'. It's origins are from Old English felan - "to touch, perceive," and feel was defined in the early 13th century as "sensation, understanding." On the other hand, the English word 'emotion' has its origins from the Middle French word emouvoir - "to stir up", and from Latin emovēre - "to remove, displace, agitate." The experience in the body of a feeling and an emotion mirror these definitions. When a feeling arises, we have a choice. We may stay with our body with the intention of understanding what message this feeling holds, respond in whole, and thus complete it and move on. Alternatively, we may have a reaction to, or re-interpretation of the feeling, and stir ourselves up into emotion. When we do this we then remove, displace and/or agitate away from the beauty and joy of our connection with self.
Another part of the confusion is how we define love. The experience of what we may call 'romantic love' so common at the beginning of a relationship, where we feel we can not live without the other person, that they 'complete us' or 'make us happy' are all reflections of neediness. True love has no longing. The idea that many hold about what love is could be more accurately termed 'emotional attachment', or 'a comfortable and familiar arrangement.' Love is not 'Cupid-esque' as it may not be aimed or directed at any one person or group over another. Love is a distinct energy that we can feel. It is the energy that we come from. It is what we feel when we choose to be truly connected to who we are. It is boundless and constant. It is coming home. So for this Valentine's day I encourage you to feel and listen with radical honesty to your body, for it is the place where you may re-connect to love. Perhaps you will even begin to fall in love - truly and deeply - with yourself! Then you may may start to express love to you, and everyone else around you. Now that's the kind of Valentine's day I'm talking about!
Image: Copyright © 2009-2011 Greg Benson. All rights reserved.
Try this on for size
Hello beautiful! Whoa, no need to look around for who I am calling out to. I am talking to you. Yes, you! Go on - try it on for size, this exquisite garment called "I am beauty-full". I see you hesitate, and I do understand. Funny as it is , it can be hard to let go of those old fashion trends of doubt and self-loathing. Perhaps we know all too well what happened to Joseph when he began sharing his inner-vision, and then topped it off by putting on his technicolor dreamcoat. It turned out pretty amazing for him in the end as a ruler of Egypt, only second to Pharoah. But that was after being shoved into a pit by his brothers to die, sold into slavery, and sentenced to rot in an Egyptian prison cell. Of course, in that story, Joseph presented himself as superior to his brothers. The beauty I see in you is equal in us all, but it still can be scary to let it shine. So, as for me, at the risk of such persecution and excommunication for showing the bright light of our truth, I am done with my worn out, worthless wardrobe of "not-enough-ness". I have been willing to try on far too many of these false little numbers such as 'I am....too thin, too fat, too short, not smart enough, not charming enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough, not rich enough, not successful enough, not popular enough.........shall I go on? I've built a large walk-in wardrobe here folks, and it is all on it's way out. Every day I wake and remind myself to try on "I am beautiful, I am love" for size. Go on, try it on yourself. The secret is, you have always been wearing it. Shed those garments that vainly try to cover the magnificence of who you truly are. You are undoubtedly beautiful, beyond, beyond. Love is the new black, people - try it on for a change.
"That which God said to the rose,
and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,
He said to my heart,
and made it a hundred times more beautiful.”
Most every day I see the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” on the dollar bills that pass back and forth between my hands and those of others. Sadly, as a people on this planet, we have far more distrust of each other than trust. Yet deep within myself, I feel that I want to both trust, and be trusted. If we are to evolve into truly living as a brotherhood on this planet, we need to begin to trust again. So I have been studying myself and feeling what it is to trust or not trust, and am evolving into an energetic understanding of the meaning of the word. I notice that when I trust someone, I am expansive and open in my body. This feels delicious, awesome, and of benefit to my physiology as well, allowing me to be tender and gentle within. When I distrust someone, I can’t help but contract back from them. This feels hard and heavy, and physiologically I sense the contraction on all my vessels, tissues and organs. Coming back to the saying on our dollar bill brings us to the crux of the issue. It comes down to whether we understand God to be outside of us, or experience God within us. For me, the latter is truth, and for all human beings equally. So to say “IN GOD WE TRUST” is equivalent to saying “IN THE INNER-MOST ESSENCE OF ALL WE TRUST”. What I trust in another is not that they will necessarily never do anything that could be hurtful or harmful to me, but that who they are at their essence is love. If that is so, then I choose to try to the best of my ability (no perfection here! It is not possible to be this all the time, but it can be the intention) to not contract back from anyone. Unlike the common understanding of trust that it "takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair", the kind of trust I refer to needs no building or repairing, and can not truly be broken.
I find there are two choices that then make that kind of trust possible. The first is to choose to trust, without doubt, that I too am of love, and to claim that. When the unfolding of love becomes a bodily experience, a strong reference point develops within. One gift inherent in this experience is that of beginning to be able to feel that same jewel in every other being. This is the second choice – to first connect with that inner-most of each person we meet. Once we do, we may also observe ways in which they may not be allowing the expression of this soulful nature. When we choose to do this, it then becomes easier to accept them just as they are, easier to not need them to behave in any particular way, easier to not absorb energy from the outside of us, and easier to truly trust in the essence of them. This does not mean that we would then choose to still engage with someone who is being abusive. It is self-loving to want more than that, and so we may choose to have expression with some more than with others, but the minute we contract away from anyone, we actually hurt our self. Making a choice to not engage directly with someone when heart-felt intuition tells us that they may be harmful or dangerous is self-honoring. Yet it is still possible to trust through feeling the essence of the person, while also choosing to avoid an interaction based on observing their choice to not allow themselves to be this in expression. This way of being helps me to also become really honest with myself and notice when I too am not expressing from my inner-heart, and then knowing there is a choice in that moment to re-connect. This is amazing energy to explore in and feel for ourselves the possibility of living in this way. It is through feeling this in our own body that it is experienced as truth, rather than an idea or a belief.
I want to share a true story that exemplifies how miraculous it can be to choose to see everyone as a being of love whose essence is trust-worthy. It is the story of Larry Trapp, Cantor Michael Weisser and Julie Weisser. In 1991, the Weissers moved to the town of Lincoln, Nebraska where Cantor Weisser was to work at a local synagogue. Lincoln was also home to Larry Trapp, known as the ‘Grand Dragon’ of the Ku Klux Klan. As the Weissers were moving into their new home they received a call. The person on the other end said “You will be sorry you ever moved in, Jew Boy!” Similar phone calls and hate mail continued to arrive at their home, and the police suggested that it was likely the work of Larry Trapp. Trapp, they found out, was severely diabetic and in a wheelchair. Julie Weisser, while deeply disturbed by the evil Trapp was expressing, was also struck by how isolated and alone he must be, stuck in all of his hatred. Michael Weisser began to call Trapp and leave messages.
Some of the messages are below:
"Larry, why do you hate me? You don't even know me, so how can you hate me?"
"Larry, do you know that the first laws Hitler's Nazis passed were against people like yourself who had physical deformities, physical handicaps? Do you realize you would have been among the first to die under Hitler? Why do you love the Nazis so much?"
"Larry, when you give up hating, a world of love is waiting for you,"
After one of these messages, Larry Trapp picked up the phone.
He yelled at Weisser to stop harassing him, and Weisser replied by
"Well, I was thinking you might need a hand with something, and I wondered if I could help, I know you're in a wheelchair and I thought maybe I could take you to the grocery store or something."
This kindness from the very person he was persecuting began to wake Trapp up. After this, Trapp began to get more and more confused and remorseful for how he had been living. He called the Weissers and said "I want to get out, but I don't know how." Thus began an amazing friendship between the Weissers and Larry Trapp. He denounced the klan, wrote apologies to many people, and realized that we are all one clan. His health deteriorated so much that the Weissers took him in to their home and cared for him until the end of his life. He died holding their hands. There is a book written about this story called Not by the Sword: How a Cantor and His Family Transformed a Klansman by Kathryn Watterson. This is an amazing testament about what can happen when we continue to trust the love that resides even in someone who has run so much evil and done so much harm as Larry Trapp. So the next time you notice what it says on our dollar bill, you may choose to feel that nature in the person you are exchanging it with, and in yourself, and trust.
'stop acting so small...'
There is a release, an allowance, a surrender that is possible in our own body. We have such a momentum of seeking outside of ourself for truth, combined with the world-wide unspoken epidemics of self-loathing, shame, and lack of self-worth, that it can be confusing, revealing and even frightening to trust that we are the holders of all that we seek. Entangled with this is the fact that if we use the same driving energy with which we strive for achievement or mastery in the outer world, we will continue to be disillusioned, as this 'effort' holds the assumption that there is something to achieve, rather than the truth that what we seek is already there in full. To truly live our inner-most, we simply allow. As I am ready, I am more deeply and fully allowing myself to fall into my own 'inner arms' of
love. This is a bodily experience and alignment first, out of which loving thoughts and actions arise. What I am discovering is:
-Being amazing is normal.
-Being love is normal.
-Our true expression is far more magnificent than what we allow.
-Understanding how to truly live this is rare - and a choice.
-It is possible to actually live each day in a way that mystical poets,
such as Rumi, Hafiz and Kabir wrote of.
For today, this poem feels supportive to the livingness of allowing
of our inner-most~
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” ~Rumi