Ida Lawrence, Contributor
It’s so easy to think we know something when we don’t and to believe something is a virtue when it’s not. This is a wrongside in our world and it’s no wonder we’re full of shadows. Many of us are treading softly into a new world. Seems a rightside in experience could be on the horizon.
“Everything is a feeling… follow your feeling,” the teachers say. I’m following my feeling. First observation: there are some very beautiful people on this road. On we go.
Is love a feeling? I’m sure it is so let’s start there. We believe in love. We love our children, our husbands and wives, our family and friends, our ancestors, our dogs and cats, our creations. It’s not hard to engage the thought of love when people and things please us and satisfy us.
When people and things don’t please us or satisfy us, then love could turn into sacrifice and obligation, or resentment, or even control. But it’s how we’ve always done love, right? When we go to bed at night, we believe we have done our best, and that’s how love works.
Having decided that, for now, we can move the focus. Let’s go to you and me, in this moment… the persons reading and writing these words. Who knows what’s inside us better than we do? We keep a record of every lie, every truth, every weakness, every strength, every harm, every kindness, every failure, every motive, and every desire. So why is it so hard to love ourselves?
The idea of loving ourselves is not new: tons of people are trying this and realizing that superficial doesn’t work. We cannot put self love on like a favorite shirt. It isn’t self indulgence, jacked up ego, the number of people we have helped or the sacrifices we’ve made. During the dark nights of the soul we all know that stuff doesn’t count.
Self love is ‘a long time coming’ when the shadows show up and our inner knowing speaks to us.
There is a beautiful word in the English language: mercy. This word implies forgiveness and compassion for someone you have power over… someone you have the power to punish; someone you believe may deserve punishment. Who has the power to punish us minute by minute, hour by hour, more effectively than our own selves?
Getting to mercy can become a little easier to accomplish if we look at conditioning. I remember myself as a very young, very happy, trusting, forgiving child. My understanding was so natural that when my dad preached a sermon on children and their capacity to forgive I knew he was talking about me. That child was my true self. No lack of self love there – it’s natural.
The first sign of clouds in the sky came when I was about five, as I tried to understand the concept of original sin. I remember it as the words, “you are born in sin.”
I understood that only an outside force could make me clean inside. I didn’t see how I could be dirty inside, but I accepted that I was. And thus began my journey of looking to the outside to make my inside clean through some sort of external to internal process.
What I didn’t know was that the world I was born into is judgmental, punitive and controlling, to say the least. Conditioning: it’s the matrix placed around that little package of light that is us. While the earth may sustain us with its beauty, the human world is an anti-nature story. Was the book that my dad took his sermons from translated wrong… is it ‘born into sin’ and not ‘born in sin’?
There are those who say that we have made an agreement through our birth: our spirit agrees to face certain experiences that will assist us in evolving. I happen to think that may be accurate. There are also those who say we create our own experience with our thoughts, and we need to change our thoughts to bring about different outcomes. That makes sense. Let’s work on it.
Through the conditioning process there came into existence the me that blamed and condemned others, and the me that blamed and condemned myself. Add to this the me that hid myself from others, and the me that hid myself from me. My true self… where did it go? That spirit dwelling within the body who agreed to this experience in order to evolve… where is she seated?
The seat of the heart/mind is a hallowed place where our precious sins, obligations and sacrifices can be burned away. Desire for a reunion with our true self lights the flame. I know how hard this is, because it goes against all conditioning. I can just hear the freaking out… no, no, I cannot burn up what I am. This is where I acquire my virtue! Oh what to do!
Beside the beautiful lady mercy is the noble man, responsibility.
Nobody outside of you can make you responsible. You pick up responsibility and take it on. It’s a lot different than obligation. One has power and we know which one.
If we wish to live as our true self, what will be the first thing we take responsibility for? Nurturing, protecting, expanding and evolving our light, which is our energy or spirit or the feeling of us. It is a sacred task leading to liberation.
Love is a feeling that emanates from the seat of the heart/mind. It allows the evolution of every spirit, without judgment and control.
The journey to the rightside in our world is not an easy one… it is indeed a quest, requiring courage, commitment, and willingness to migrate leaving much behind. When the teachers say to follow your feeling, believe it.
Generate the feeling of love and go to what feels like that. Like attracts like is our GPS.
In reverence, and with gratitude for the teachers and helpers on this journey…
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