“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”- John Lennon
Forgiveness is continuous. It is not something we do once in a while when someone wrongs us. Forgiveness is a constant decision we make every single day, every single moment – when we have a bad thought, when someone acts in a less than desirable way, when we misinterpret something, etc. Forgiveness is a state of mind & the key to inner peace because it is one of the most powerful ways to transform our thoughts and actions from fear to love. Our perceptions of others often become a battle between our ego’s desire to judge and our soul’s desire to accept people as they are. Forgiveness helps us ease our away into the latter. Our society’s most insidious cancer is fear; one of the worst types of it is the feeling of ‘never being good enough.’ Our self-loathing – for not being perfect – can sometimes take ridiculous heights like trying to prove our self-worth to everybody we come across, which kicks our inner peace out the curb. Controlling situations & people is another form of fear, by doing so we are making sure that people keep their distance from us because we are not helping them exercise their free will & situations will not properly fall into place. Therefore, we become restless, sad & yes… more fearful.
“We don’t need to be successful in order to be happy, yet we need to be happy in order to be truly successful”- Unknown
People & situations are ever changing. One day people love you, the next they don’t (which was never love to begin with). One day situations are running smoothly, the next they don’t. One day you feel good about yourself, the next minute and a half you don’t… the list is endless. The only certain thing is change & it usually is beyond our control, thus we become frantic. The only thing within our control is the way we choose to perceive people & situations. Perceiving correctly will, of course, become second nature through awareness & practice.
At times, we become desperate looking for validation anywhere we can find it, we search under the rocks if we have to, yet we fail to realize that our value lies within ourselves – God’s dwelling place. All we have to do is acknowledge it, then and only then will we need not look for it elsewhere. People will not tell us we’re worthy half as much as they know we are. We need to internalize that we are period!
When people act in a less than loving way, we have to remember that it is not hate that drives their action but pain & pain needs love to heal. Our power lies in understanding what is really behind the other person’s action… but if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also… Matt. 5:39… Yes, yes I can hear your reaction, “Are you telling me not to defend myself if someone physically attacks me?” well, yes in a way. The nature of Jesus’ statement is that we should be motivated by love and a desire for the redemption and forgiveness of offenders instead of revenge, while opposing their actions. Of course Jesus does not want us to become doormats during an attack, he just wants us to remember that our reaction should be one that is above & beyond the other person’s action. We should defend ourselves in a way that we don’t foster hate.
“Remember that light always casts out darkness – when present – yet darkness can never cast out light”- Unknown
I personally think that fear thrives in relationships. Fear of being rejected; fear of losing the person we love; fear that we are less than expected. We fear constantly whether we are conscious of it or not. Yet when we fear we are not acting upon the other person’s best interest because we are not giving ourselves fully, but partially. When we fear we are not loving we are probing, thus allowing the relationship to become less than fulfilling at best or either toxic or non-existent at worst. It is only when we love fully without reserves – without fear – that a relationship will thrive when it serves us and move on when it doesn’t. Neediness is public offender number one in any relationship. Why? because it is all about us NOT the ones we love, therefore extremely selfish yet cleverly disguised as love. Neediness is 100% ego. Neediness begs the other person to fill the gaping hole in our soul. Try as they might people will never be able to do that, only God can. Our neediness is a reflection of the feeling of not being good enough. We need to abandon this idea in order to stop this insane roller coaster of unnecessary pain. When we truly love someone we need to release them in order to allow them to be who they need to be or go where they need to go.
In genuine love there is no wanting or needing whatsoever, we are complete beings who allow other complete beings to share our journey. This is would be the best case scenario. We should be able to say to our significant other, “I don’t need you & you don’t need me to be happy and that’s exactly what we need to make our relationship work.” Self-love is at the center of every good relationship. If I am sure that I’m not good enough, I will find it hard to accept someone in my life who thinks I am. People think they need to find the right mate to complete them, I think they need to be complete to find the right mate.
“Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.”- Osho
I’ve learned – and still am – that peace isn’t determined by circumstances outside ourselves. Peace roots from self-love which comes from God & from the love and forgiveness we give to others. It is our failure to accept people exactly as they are that enables pain to overshadow our love in any relationship. We love fully when we let people be who they are – whatever stage of their growing process they might find themselves in. Acceptance fosters growth, unacceptable inhibits it.
Chasing happiness is like chasing the ever so elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the more desperate our search becomes, the more happiness will elude us. Why? because happiness is already inside of us when we acknowledging it. How? by shifting our perceptions in correct alignment with the truth. What is the truth? an open heart. ‘An open heart will move us in the direction we are supposed to go.’- A Return to love.
I think fear will never fully leave us, therefore we have to look for ways to make peace with it, not attack it. I think that anything we attack we give more power. The idea is to acknowledge the fear within and let go – let go of the idea of not being good enough, allow people to be, think, act however they choose to without letting it shake your inner peace, let go of pride (which is masked fear) etc. This can only come from a higher power from within – The Holy Spirit. The gap between love and fear is within ourselves.
“Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting it on yourself.”
― Og Mandino