FAITH CONNECTS US HEART-TO-HEART
(from Oprah and Deepak – Become What You Believe)
I believe our greatest power is our ability to love. That’s where all power is…to show love, to receive it, to BE love. There are a lot of ways to describe love. It’s grace and kindness; it’s understanding; it’s forgiveness; it’s respect; it’s cooperation; it’s harmony and reverence for light. You have the entire power of all that is at your disposal.
Love is trusting and having faith in something larger than yourself. Every opportunity you get move in the direction of love. That’s where your greatest power lies. It’s the power to connect us all in peace…heart-to-heart.
As my friend, Marianne Williamson said, “Love is what we’re born with, in our hearts. Fear is what we learn.” The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose being here on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.
Marianne goes on to articulate so beautifully the power of love when she says, “When our minds move in harmony with love, through forgiveness or prayer or the simplest tint of thought, then mountains move and the Universe shifts.” When we believe in the power of love to move mountains to shift the Universe, miracles will no doubt occur.
The strongest imagined bond in the world is the bond of love. A total transformation occurs when enemies are turned into loved ones. In the World’s Wisdom Traditions love is deeply connected with spirit. As the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation.”
To find the heart of creation, you must explore your own heart. Inside it are stores many experiences of love and non-love. These two side are in conflict which is why many people find it difficult to place their faith in love. They have had too many experiences of non-love. Whether they were experiences of betrayal, rejection, fear or abandonment, trusting in love is hard when painful memories still linger. That is why we restrict our search for love, in order to not be too exposed or vulnerable or put ourselves in harms way. Matters of faith must be proven in real life. This is certainly true of love when we go beyond the personal, expanding love to include more and more people.
The first step is to aspire and live as a loving person. The second step is to look for situations where love can help. The third step is to reach out and perform an act of love.
The ego is afraid to be exposed and vulnerable. But this is a misperception. An act of love doesn’t mean putting yourself on the line or saying “I love you” out loud. It means performing an action that helps another person the way you would like to be helped.
Help can come even through a loving thought. It can come through an act of generosity, an understanding word, or by simply asking, “Are you okay?”. Your heart already knows what to do. In fact when we extend ourselves, it is almost always from the fullness of the heart. When you act out of love you expect nothing in return from the other person. Love makes no one a victim or a martyr. Love connects people from heart-to-heart with mutual benefit for both.
A mother finds it easy and natural to turn her love into action. There is a connection of the heart that bonds mother and child. Feeling vulnerable or exposed doesn’t come into the picture. The bond of feeling is unbroken. This is the idea to keep in mind in extending your love beyond your family and close friends. Find a sympathy of the heart that feels right. In this way you avoid stress and strain in the name of love. A world based on the sympathy of one heart to another would be a perfect world.
CENTERING THOUGHT: My faith calls me to love.
When Oprah says, “Love is trusting and having faith in something larger than yourself”, my heart gets so grateful and full that today I have faith in something larger than myself. This has changed my whole life, my outlook on life and, more importantly, this has changed ME.
I wasn’t given this life-changing gift until I reached my bottom in the disease of alcoholism, miraculously asked for help, and slowly scraped my way out of the depths of hell. Prior to this surrender I knew my life was void of something but I couldn’t figure it out. I had everything that every middle class American woman would want…a family, a home, two cars, a dog and a cat, a job, a loving family and friends. What was missing?
A Power Greater Than Myself, a God of My Own Understanding, was awarded me by Alcoholics Anonymous. Not only have I learned to turn my life over, I have learned to stop thinking and to live from my heart. I have learned to let my god do the driving while I ride along in the passenger seat of our pink convertible Cadillac and enjoy the ride of life (the pink cloud).
When Marianne Williamson says, “Fear is what we learn”, I thank my AA sponsor for walking me through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to teach me how fear-based I have been my entire life and how to let that go. Being able to finally get comfortable in my own skin and to love myself for who and what I am is so empowering. And to learn that my purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my bubble gives me a reason to excitedly arise every morning!
When Deepak says, “Matters of faith must be proven in real life. This is certainly true of love when we go beyond the personal, expanding love to include more and more people,” I am honored to practice AA’s 12th Step, “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs,” in my everyday “real” life. When I continue to stay active in my recovery, then Step 12 is a no-brainer for me and I can actively accomplish Deepak’s three steps above.
I know for a fact that as I got and stayed sober “One Day at a Time”, I got “unsober’ that way as well. When I ceased attending meetings, working with my sponsor, picking up the phone, connecting with the fellowship, that void came back into my life. And, oh yeah, I picked up a drink after over 13 years of sobriety. The disease immediately reared its ugly head and once again took over my life. All I could think about once again was the next drink. Cunning. Baffling. Powerful. The disease of alcoholism.
So don’t go there. Take it from me. Learn from my experience, strength and hope. Stay mindful. Stay connected.
With much aloha, Dee
For those interested in inspirational gifts, art with a message, please visit my website at http://www.DeesignsByHarris.com.