| Who we are and who we think we are.|
|14 Feb 2006 @ 14:00, by N Marion Hage|
In order to grow, we must know who we are. Self-examination is painful for some, and an addiction to others. However, there is a balanced way to approach examining our hearts to see what is there.
First we have to realize that most of the work is to be done in the foundation, and not in the roof. And to some degree we have to be willing to forgive our faults and failings, and the countless things we might have done and thought.
I don't need to dissect every person I've hurt, who has hurt me; but primarily, deal with "Who am I?" and "What has made me the way I am?" and "What must I do to become the person I aspire to be?"
Who am I? Well, there is who the world thinks I am? There is who I think I am? And there is the reality which is often neither of the above.
I may think I am loving and patient, and perfectly justified when I bite someone's head off and spit it out. "I'm a loving person, but you really pissed me off and deserve to be written-off. I'm patient too, but don't ask me to wait more than five minutes, you slow poke!"
The above example is of someone self-deluded. In a world that makes no demands of me, allows me to have all the toys I want, and never is confrontational, I might seem the nicest person in the world. And so, a spoiled brat of a person may seem rather pleasant until someone takes away their rattle. They may be all hugs until someone disagrees with them.
"I'm really a good person, loving and kind; but I want to rip the faces off those who do not agree with my view on politics, religion, or who makes the best pizza."
Well, do you love people, or simply have warm feelings for people who agree with you? If you wish everyone else was thrown in a dumpster and dropped off a bridge, then chances are the level of conditional love you have is far smaller than you might imagine. "Well, I love if unprovoked!"
The level of love is measured by how we treat the least deserving, not the most deserving. It is measured by how we act in kindness when we feel like acting in malice.
I can't change anyone on the face of the earth but me. However, if I become the best I can be, I might inspire others to want to change; and so there is no room in life for a bully pulpit of someone demanding the world to change. If I know a better way, then it sure better make me a better person, because if it doesn't then my words mean nothing and are empty.
There is no motivation in the Universe higher than love, and by the highest definition of love, which is a will to bless another, and pour oneself out for their benefit.
This doesn't mean all people will give me warm cuddly feelings; not by a long shot. But when I say this, I know I am not being a hypocrite, at least not in this.
Has anyone ever prayed, "I want to love more!"? Well, I think I've said this in many ways, far more than once.
If you believe prayers are answered, expect unlovable people to pour into your life, harsh people, mean people, "Personality Disorders-R'-Us" kinds of people.
Do I love? How much? If there are limits, why?
We have to define where we want to go in order to know if we are moving in the right direction. In self-examination there is no advantage to beating ourselves us. Guilt and shame are poor motivators. Rather, we should push aside where we have failed, and simply ask, "Who am I? Who do I want to be? And how do I get there?"
Step one. How do I really treat people? How do they see me? I may feel loving, but do I actually convey love? Do I say, "I love you mom; but when she asks for a simple favor, do I ignore it, and or tell her to leave me alone?"
Often love is measured in simple things, like whether I do something or don't do something, not some whimsical feeling.
"Mom, do you prefer a whimsical feeling, or help with the dishes?" Generally she'll accept help with the dishes or a ride to the store any day of the week.
Here's an easy task. "Who makes you feel loved? Who makes you feel like they are two faced and only give you lip service?" Examine their actions, and what they do to make you feel loved. If we simply turn that around, we begin gaining insight.
For those who want to go to the advanced level of love, it takes learning love languages; and not simply expecting others to guess we love them and accept love on our terms. If they need a gift to feel loved, I'll give a gift. If they need a show of affection to feel loved, I'll show affection.
I can't demand them to accept popcorn if they hate popcorn. "Yeah, but I gave it in love you selfish ungrateful beast! If you can't know love when you see it; stick that popcorn in your ear for all I care!" Nah, love doesn't think that way.
The good thing is that love is infectious. Those who learn the art can cause people to open up who were closed.
Just some thoughts to ponder,
14 Feb 2006 @ 22:12 by hgoodgame : Wonderfully well said!
The difficult part is the advanced level, recognizing what, to someone else, equals feeling loved.
Joan Baez has a song that I often think of when I am doing my inner work of becoming more unconditional with the love I express.. Love Song To A Stranger -
"If love means forever expecting nothing returned,
then I hope I'll be given another whole lifetime to learn.."
It's a big lesson to swallow in one lifetime, lol, but I'm practicing.
I know I can't change anyone except myself, but in that process I attract those of a similar energy frequency, thereby changing the reality around me as I evolve. How I respond to whatever comes my way is where the change takes place.
14 Feb 2006 @ 23:55 by : I agree, this is an excellent
article about how we can express our love. And, I think it is good to frequently ask about our aspirations. What do we wish to accomplish in our life? Am I moving toward life, health and loving relationships? Happy Valentine's Day and love to all....
15 Feb 2006 @ 14:50 by : Thanks for your comments
Love is both a means and an ends. It is the road and the end of the journey. In other words, we may love, and need to love; but we are far from the potential destination, which is to be abandoned to the cause of love.
We love in measure, as much as we have both the will and character to love. But love in the earliest stages is immature and demanding, and wanting satisfaction, which is primarily to "Feel Good".
"Trust your feelings Luke!"
Well, when it comes to love, that isn't the best indicator. Feelings come and go, are linked to our physical health, and countless factors. I can love enough to give a kiss, give a hand, or give my life. Love and romantic feelings are great when they work together, but the two are not synonyms. There can be far more of one than the other. Romantic feelings are rather unpredictable, in that for a variety of reasons they can grow stronger and weaker, and be like a roller-coaster. Love weathers the bottoms and tops, and doesn't doubt its purpose when the clouds appear and life brings us to a valley.
Love isn't simply about romance, but about all relationships. There may be times we "Feel" like loving, being kind, being tender. There may be times we feel like, "Leave me alone, I don't want to see your face today!"
However, love is in the will. I may not feel like seeing your face, but love may tell me, "They need to see your face," And where their's a conflict between feeling, and what we know to be right, our will breaks the tie.
And so, I may give when it hurts, and show kindness when I don't feel like it. The more character, the more I can overcome the deceptive feelings which would rule my life.
29 Apr 2016 @ 11:00 by @22.214.171.124 : brilliant! I would like to share this ar
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