Before you can become enlightened, you must discover who you are. Before you can heal the world, you must heal yourself. Before you can nurture the spirit of others, you must nurture yourself. Before you can give love, you must know love. Before you can know love, you must learn to love yourself.
I was looking at my Facebook page a short while ago and marveling at the beatifically beaming little faces as I beheld their beauty. Friends from all over the planet, brought together through the marvels of modern technology. We celebrate each others’ success, comfort each other in times of sadness or sorrow. We offer prayers and delve into spiritual concepts. We offer windows into each others’ hearts and souls, even if we may never physically cross paths. We share a bond nevertheless. Some I have known since childhood (family of birth) and some throughout my life, that I call family of choice.
Ever have one of those days when you felt unappreciated, alone and just plain sad inside? That was me last Friday. A series of small things like cancelled appointments and news that only 3 people had registered for an upcoming workshop had somehow convinced me that I wasn’t valuable or appreciated. At the end of a very busy week, my spirit sunk very low.
What to do?
We fill ourselves up with opinions and attachments and call them strength of character, strength of conviction and strength of concentration. In reality all we are doing is blocking ourselves from fully experiencing Love. Having a firm opinion can be positive, however, holding on to your ideas to the point of excluding others creates separation.
So this little, itty bitty bird had a wonderfully profound message for me this morning (apparently the size of the creature has nothing do with the greatness of its communication). I could hear this soft fluttering and could see those terrified, pleading, beady little eyes peering out to me through the furnace grate, and I'm thinking "great, now how do I free you, without scaring you even more--especially with the three dogs and two cats lurking about, trying to figure out what's going on?"
I was reading the story Cinderella when my little daughter asked, "Mommy, why are Cinderella's step-sisters so mean?"
I paused. Big time.
This was the first time we had talked about this subject and I wanted to give it a real answer. But how do I explain this to five year old?
True Love is unconditional, right? Think about that statement. Unconditional. I know I’ve used it before. I love you unconditionally! But what does that really mean?
When I asked myself to come up with examples of unconditional love, I always think of people first. I think of my children and giving birth to them. I think of the amazement of holding them in my arms for the first time. When I looked into their eyes I felt unconditional love to the extreme. At that moment I was swept away. I would do anything for them. Anything!
I drifted along day in and day out, all with good intention.
I found myself intending motion and finding a stillness of purpose.
As I sat in the still waters, bobbing aimlessly, I saw a distant beacon.
Beneath that beacon was a man, seeking guidance.
I called to him with good intention and he called back.