Thursday, December 3, 2009

Living in Love

I once heard Bishop Dale Bronner say "When a person least deserves love is when they need it the most."

That quote has always struck me since. This is probably because it is in the opposite of my marinade. (The ways I learned from my environment growing up) My mother is very passive-aggressive. In this way, I have taken after her. We can be the sweetest, nicest, most helpful and loving people you would ever want to me. However, in times of conflict we often retreat and shutdown not necessarily discussing what is on our hearts. Eventually this leads to an IMPLOSION and EXPLOSION on the person who keeps violating the boundaries that we have are frustrated have not been enforced. It is definitely not pretty. Once we have finally reached our breaking point, the sweet silent angel you once knew is spewing slurs and expletives worse than Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Trust me, you do not want to feel that wrath.

I also learned from my childhood the Vengeance is sweet. The women in my family most definitely believed in revenge. Whether it was cold silence, icy glares, destruction of physical property, eye for an eye, withholding affection, or was the way I learned to let someone know when I'm displeased with their actions.

As I continue on my path of personal growth, I realize the effect the my lack of communication and aggressive behaviors have hindered both personal and working relationships. I have left many great jobs without fully communicating my dissatisfaction and feelings of lack of appreciation. I have hurt many people by becoming fed up with them and leaving their lives without warning only to leave them hanging about while I am upset in the first place. I hid behind the disguise of being silent in an attempt to avoid conflict and drama in my life only to create that very thing.

In the past, I have researched near death experiences. I found uncanny that many of the subjects profiled all almost identical interpretations of the time spent technically dead before they were resuscitated. There were many stories from people who say they were shown a playback of their life, and it was like a film all of the good deeds and indiscretions played before their eyes. All of these people said the most painful part to watch was all of the times that someone was crying, pleading of begging for their love and they refused. They were then told in various forms that they needed to return to complete their mission of spreading love, compassion and light to humanity.

I think about all of the times I responded with negativity when all the person needed was a kind word, hug, or to be reassured of unconditional love and support. I also think of the times when I went out of my way to do a "Jabez" appointment and help a stranger or loved one in need and how much better my spirit felt from that simple act. I believe often times the enemy convinces us to believe we must protect our self and not be vulnerable. (Think Adam & Eve) I am starting to think that maybe not until we expose our heart and love with the same intensity that God loves us will we find the happiness and fulfillment we so desperately seek.

Paramahansa Yogananda, guru of Kriya Yoga says in his book WHERE THERE IS LIGHT: Insight & Inspiration for Meeting Life's Challenges.

"Many human beings say "I love you" one day and reject you the next. That is not love. One whose heart is filled with the love of God cannot willfully hurt anyone. When you love God without reservation, He fills your heart with His unconditional love for all. That love no human tongue can describe....The ordinary man is incapable of loving others in this way. Self-centered in the consciousness of "I, me, and mine," he has not yet discovered the omnipresent God who resides in him and in all other beings.

To me there is no difference between one person and another; I behold all as soul-reflections of the one God. I can't think of anyone as a stranger, for I know that we are all part of the One Spirit. When you experience the true meaning of religion, which is to know God, you will realize that He is your Self, and that He exists equally and impartially in all beings. Then you will be able to love others as your own Self."

taken from Journey to Self-Realization by Paramahansa Yogananda
-Become more saintly, so that like a true king you sit on the throne of love in the hearts of others. Begin by being kind to all. Unkindness is a spiritual disease. If you indulge in unkind acts and feelings, you make yourself miserable and damage your nervous system.
-When you see others behaving unkindly, it should give you greater determination to be kind. I practice this all the time. No matter how hurtfully others behave, they cannot make me react with meanness. The more unkindness people show to me, the more understanding I give to them.
-Sometimes, in order to stress an important lesson, I speak very strongly to those who have come to me for training. But I am never angry or unkind. Those who receive such discipline have seen that at the height of the scolding, when I seem to be most displeased, I can shut off fiery speech and use the gentlest of words. That self-control has tremendous power. Never allow your voice to be harsh out of anger or vengefulness.
-Like a flower, shed petals of kindness when you are aggravated by others or attacked by the evil in them. By self-control and right behavior you will ultimately realize that you are a part of the Eternal Good, you do not belong anymore to the wrong ways of this world.

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