Saturday, March 28, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-28-20

"You are always choosing
which self you will love from. 
In your choice lives your destiny." 

-- Alan Cohen 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-24-15]

The other day, I said that allowing is loving; that to become an allower is to become a lover. It has a beginning, and that beginning is in us.

From Abraham, Esther Hicks: "The not allowing of self is usually where the not allowing of others comes forth. Usually, the one who is most disapproving of a quality in himself notices that same quality in others and disapproves of it there as well. And so, an accepting, an approving, an appreciating, and an allowing of oneself is the first step in the appreciating, approving, or allowing of others. 

And that does not mean that you must wait until you are, by your standards, perfect, or that they are, by their standards, perfect, for there will never be that perfect ending place--for you are all ever-changing, ever-growing Beings. It means looking and intending to see in you what you want to see, or intending to see in others what you want to see." 

That last sentence is worthy of repeating to take note of it and the power of its message: "It means looking and intending to see in you what you want to see, or intending to see in others what you want to see." The most powerful part in that to me is looking to see in us what we want to see outside of us. That says so much.

Feel free to replace the allow words with love. As we learn to allow or love ourselves, we then have the understanding and capacity to allow and love others.

Thanksgiving Inside Out.

Spread Some Joy Today--by seeing that joy within yourself flowing out and touching others. They will feel it because you do.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-27-20

"Prayer is sitting in silence 
until it silences us, 
choosing gratitude 
until we are grateful, 
praising God 
until we ourselves 
are a constant act of praise." 

-- Fr. Richard Rohr 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-23-15]

Wow. This is one of the most powerful, insightful and useful quotes I've ever seen. You might do as I did and read it over and over and let it tickle you in the process.

A Worthy Inspiration For Your Friday. . . And All The Rest Of The Days Too. 

Spread Some Joy Today--until we ourselves are a constant act of joy.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-26-20

"The Art of Allowing is: 

I am that which I am, 
and I am pleased with it, 
joyful in it. 
And you are that which you are, 
and while it is different perhaps 
from that which I am, 
it is also good." 

-- Abraham, Esther Hicks 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-22-15]

I'm always looking at how to translate the idea into practical living. I'll share some examples from the last few days to demonstrate.

Friday evening, I was outside a busy restaurant to pick up some take-home food. I saw an older lady (it's funny to me to use this phrase now since she was probably not much older than me!), I said hi to her and she asked me if I happened to have a set of jumper cables. I said that I didn't know, but I normally do and that I would look in my truck. Nothing in the back, so I said I would look behind the seat. There they were.

When I brought them out, she was obviously relieved. Her car wouldn't start. Then out comes a younger man talking briefly with her. He was obviously unhappy. In order to jump the batteries from his car to her car, her car had to be moved. It was no big deal as it was downhill. She tried to do it but the guy was having issues with the way she was going about it, so he got her out and did it himself. As he was doing that, she said it was her son.

There was a lot more impatience from the son about the mother's unfortunate circumstances and his unhappiness about his inconvenience. I was smiling and calm throughout. To me, there was nothing to be upset about. The mother said thank you to me and sorry for my trouble, and I said, I had the easy part as it wasn't me in need, and that I was very pleased to be able to be of assistance. Then, she thanked me for being a soothing influence with her son.

We get to choose our mood in every circumstance, don't we?

There were three other situations where someone was calling a person by a name that ties them with a group. This is always the first step in creating enemies. We call them some kind of name that takes away their humanity. Now they are easy to kill because they aren't really human. Regardless of what group we throw real human people into, it is all about dehumanizing them for our ego's own comfort and safety. It could be the color of their skin, the religion we think they belong to, a particular type of activity we think they are associated with or could be associated with. It could be an ideology, and the list goes on.

Whenever we do this, it is always based on fear and it is always intended to dehumanize the other. To say that every Muslim is the same, every Christian the same, every Buddhist the same is impossible in reality, but easy in our use of language. We might as well say every politician is the same, every CPA is the same, every drug dealer and drug user, every grade school teacher, every social worker, every President, every anything is the same--that they are all to blame because they are part of something more than themselves. It's pure ego. It's pure fear. It's purely irresponsible. It's totally and undeniably unloving.

We get to choose our mood at every moment. We get to choose our thoughts of ourselves and others in every moment. We get to choose how we associate one thing with another. We get to choose. We are the only ones who choose. The outcome, or the reality, is the result of those choices.

We Choose To Allow (Love), Or Not (Fear). There's Really Only Two Choices. Which Will You Choose Today, This Moment, In This Situation, In This Interaction? 

Spread Some Joy Today--That choice would be love. Joy and love are interchangeable.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-25-20

"Going with the flow 
is not only effortless, but 
it also affords the best view." 

-- Albert K. Strong 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-19-15]

I got up early this morning with the intent of writing today's Daily Inspiration. My computer was awakened and the Internet was not working. So, I casually restarted my computer and restarted the modem. Then, my computer, which was just recently refurbished, chose not to reboot. It stopped with a black screen. Hmm.

I waited a couple hours until after 7am to text my computer guru, and he took over two hours to respond. So at 9:30am the cause was found. By then, I had to get ready for an appointment. The problem with the computer was the silliest thing and I've never experienced it before, but I had a video san disk card in the card slot on the computer and once that was removed, the computer rebooted properly.

Things happen for a reason. I do believe that, and so I have learned to quickly shrug it off and pivot to something else. So, I finished a book I was very much into and that was a great benefit to me, for having finished it and for the loving information that it conveyed.

I would have easily spent 5 hours on the computer this morning, but the Universe had something else in mind. I went with the flow and all was perfect. I guess I could have been all kinds of upset about my mini-roadblock, but I wasn't upset in the least. I enjoyed the change actually. It was a nice change and I even spent 15 minutes in meditation too. It was wonderful.

There is all manner of things that can seemingly go wrong to change without any notice, and all of that is benign really. What spells trouble or adds joy is strictly in how we respond to any of those challenges.

We Have Many Opportunities To Choose Peace. That's Another Name For Going With The Flow. 

Spread Some Joy Today--I hope you are in-joy with yourself today. It's a perfect day for it, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-24-20

"Stress is far more 
attitudinal than situational." 

-- Alan Cohen 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-17-15]

Stress is not a thing. It is purely a thought in origin and a negative emotion as a result of that thought or thoughts about something real or unreal. We can have stress over things that are real, such as events, direct and indirect communications, and many other things that we can and have experienced. At the same time, we can experience the negative feeling of stress from those things or situations that are purely from our imagination. Stress is simply a thought that we choose.

But, here's the really interesting part: stress is never actually in the present. It is based on the past and projected to the future. I believe there are two easy ways to relieve ourselves of any stress. One is to choose a better feeling thought. Some struggle with that idea so here's number two: become present. Close your mind to the past and the future and see only this moment, experience only this moment. Stress cannot survive either.

The easy way to come into the present moment is to pay attention to something in your field of vision. Don't make any judgments about it, simply notice it. Another easy way is to pay attention to something going on in your body. Your tense muscles, your breathing, the itch on your forehead. Either of these brings us immediately into the present where there is no stress. Stress cannot exist when we are present--we have to be out of it in order to experience stress.

Isn't That Good News! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing yourself the pleasure of dropping the rope and taking a deep breath. OMG! There it is! It is joy!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-23-20

"Instead of blaming people
you believe have hurt you, 
 give them credit for helping you. 
They are not devils, but angels." 

-- Alan Cohen 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-15-15]

It has been said that "the devil is in the details," but what is more true is that the devil is in the past. In the present there is wonder, and in the past can often be darkness and blame carried sometimes for a lifetime. Yet, it is never the event in the past that makes it dark, but how we choose to think of it that makes it so.

The past is over, but it can be brought into the present at will. That is what virtually every significant other relationship argument is about. It is about the past and bringing the past into the present.

That reminds me of yesterday's post about the stock market and how the fear of investors is aroused by a stock missing the analyst's expectation or projection. Isn't that often the way it is in a relationship where we who are to blame have missed the expectations or projections of the analyst [the one blaming]. Or it could be reversed. Someone hurt them in the past and now the expectation is fulfilled when you "hurt" them now. [See? It is happening again. I knew it was going to happen...] But, it isn't now, is it? It was then, and it is all thought. Nothing actually happens, it is simply how we or they choose to think about an event, person or situation.

As Alan Cohen so delightfully points out in A Course In Miracles Made Easy, If we can change our thinking about the past, we can then turn all those devils into angels. He says there are two ways to do that:

"First acknowledge things about them that you genuinely appreciate." Even if they were mean and awful and so hard to find any redeeming quality in them, surely there is one tiny, tiny thing that we can appreciate about them. Then, appreciate that one thing. Even if it seemed impossible, he says, "It's your movie. Change the script."

"The second devil-transformer. Consider: How has this person helped you to grow?" He says that "everyone helps us. Some help us by being kind, and some help us by acting unkind, so that we may choose kindness no matter what they do." 

He adds this bit of wisdom: "You will never gain by blaming others for your loss. You will always gain by honoring others for their contribution. This reversal of perspective is the most helpful shift in perception you will ever achieve." 

It has been said that we cannot change the past, but that is absolutely false. We can change the past, and I might even say, that we should change the past so that the past is something that we can look on with joy and find no fault whatsoever.

What Would An Argument Be Without The Past? It Wouldn't Be An Argument, Would It? It Would Be No-Thing. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by turning all those devils into angels. There is joy in that.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-22-20

"Wherever you are, 
and whatever you do, 
be in love." 

-- Rumi 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-16-15]

What a marvelous and joyous way to live my life. Wherever I am, and whatever that I do throughout the day, to be in love is the ultimate joy.

I've seen a lot of movies where someone may say, "I've never been in love," or "I want to be love," or "when will love happen to me?" It's as if love is only lavished upon someone who patiently awaits it, feels eventually that they deserve it, and becomes impatient of its absence. How sad--and so unnecessary.

To be in love is easy. Step one: Love. There is no step two. You're done. Another, seemingly more practical word than that magical and mysterious word love, is to appreciate. Appreciation is love. When we appreciate, we are loving.

Where to begin. . . the mirror in the bathroom (or any other mirror). Loving self is probably the best place to begin. How to begin? Find things to appreciate in that image in the mirror. A smile will help break the ice. Not analyzing your pores will also be helpful. What can you appreciate about that image, that 'you' in the mirror? Every time you see yourself in a mirror, find things to appreciate. Smile. Watch those eyes light up when you do. Even if you appreciate the same things over and over, it's good.

Now, everywhere you go today, everyone you see, every thing you see, every non-thing you see, find something to appreciate about it. The sky is blue. Check, It is a gorgeous blue. Better. The sky is magnificent! Way better. Look at all these cars and trucks and all different colors, sizes and shapes. Isn't it fantastic that we have this transportation available to us at a moment's notice to go wherever we desire to go? There is nothing as sweet as a full tank of gas and somewhere to go.

You get to see what you choose to see and how you choose to see it. How will you see it? As if it is nothing? As if you're in love? It's your choice.

Tired of the movie of your life? I love how Alan Cohen said in yesterday's message, "It's your movie! Change the script!" So true. Wayne Dyer has said, "change the way you look at things and the things you look at change!" So true. Life is not in things. It is in the way we see, what we see, how we feel when we see, hear, touch, smell. It's the experience of it all. So what kind of experience do you want to have?

I've Chosen Mine. I Choose To Be In Love. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing love, appreciation, joy. They aren't for sale. They are free, and all come from choosing.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-21-20

"I think wisdom is three things. 
One, it is awareness. 
Two is acceptance, 
and three is allowing."

-- Albert K. Strong 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-13-15]

What would life be without some contrast and diversity here and there? How do you remain a loving person when someone is clearly and seemingly purposefully undermining you? Is there such a thing as love in business? Or is it all about competition, the survival of the fittest, and market share?

As you must already know by now, I am a practicing unconditional lover. Much of the time, since I've been practicing for so many years now, I do well, but there are times when I am challenged to stay connected to that ideal. Business is one of the more challenging aspects because it seems that there are so many people who believe that personal ideals and business don't mix, that love and business don't mix. Instead, they may see, as the saying goes, 'all is fair in love and war,' but of course, not at the same time.

Our company has a challenge on the table as I write this. My business partner and I discussed it yesterday, and I gave my feelings and thoughts about it. If we fight it, we are in resistance. My advice was to state our position with respect, and then let go of the rope. Of course, the worry is that if we let go of the rope, the threat will get larger and may consume a client or a few clients in the process. But, I don't think resistance of any kind is the answer.

Then this morning, I was still thinking about this a bit and it occurred to me to love them unconditionally. Do I/we have the ability and willingness to allow these other people, this other company to be what they choose for themselves or to do business in whatever way they choose without any insistence that they satisfy me? Yes. Am I willing to practice it? Yes.

Until I asked that question of myself this morning, I still felt a little resistance. I felt like yesterday that I dropped the rope, but maybe I was still holding a few threads or something. And, after answering the unconditional love question, I feel zero resistance.

Are love and business mutually exclusive? Only if you want to believe that. I remember now that I have taught love in business most of my long career as a sales manager, but it wasn't until Dr. Wayne Dyer shared his definition of unconditional love that I aspired to grow to that level of love.

I used to teach at the truck body company I worked for that we all get to choose love or fear many times, maybe hundreds of times a day. Which will you choose? The choice is made by simply asking, is this decision based on fear or love? Will it create fear or love?

When we serve our clients or customers, we can ask, is what I'm doing based on fear or love? As we are communicating with our spouse, children or friends, we can ask, am I communicating fear or love? When parents are scolding and yelling at their child, are they communicating fear or love? When they are praising and uplifting their child, are they communicating fear or love? When we are dealing with our co-workers, or our supervisors or bosses, are we communicating fear or love?

The wisdom of knowing is through awareness, acceptance, and allowing.

Allowing IS Unconditional Love. 

Spread Some Joy Today--Am I spreading fear or joy?

Friday, March 20, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-20-20

"You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts,
remembering that God goes with you wherever you go." 

-- A Course in Miracles 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-8-15]

Many times we may express to others something we dream of doing or intend on doing, only to hear them tell us to get real, that we may be off in a dream world, especially when our ideas are grand. 

Alan Cohen in his new book, A Course in Miracles Made Easy, says that "When others attempt to gobble your hopes in the shredder of doubt, Higher Power stands with you."

He quotes from A Course in Miracles: "'Who walks with me?' This question should be asked a thousand times a day until certainty has ended doubting and established peace." He continues, "When the world does not understand, accept, or support you, you do not walk alone. And if you should lose faith in yourself, God still has faith in you." 

"Happiness, well-being, and success are your birthright and your destiny. All else is a trick of the mind."

Of course, we may experience attacks on our desires and dreams from the outside, but the most persistent and the ones doing far more damage are the ones from the inside--our self-talk, our ultra-protective ego. The good news about that is that the ego has its place, but the ego is not us. It is a persistent voice sometimes, but we are far larger than that and we can choose to listen or not as we wish to because we are the ones who control our inner well-being or lack of it.

Next time you feel a desire to do something or dream up something that moves you momentarily, remember two huge things: One, you are always in control of your own well-being or lack of it. In other words, you accept control or you relinquish it. And, two, ask that wonderful and so-empowering question above: "Who walks with me?" and remember that God always has an unshakable faith in you. Always. 

Pure Joy Is Knowing Who Walks With You, Delights In You, Is Always Loving You, Adores You. Supports You. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by relaxing in the peace of your inner knowing.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-19-20

"You have everything you need 
for complete peace 
and total happiness right now." 

-- Wayne Dyer 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-6-15]

I love this quote by Wayne Dyer because it is so true because peace and happiness are not without--they are not out there, a place we arrive at, but simply a choice. Peace and happiness come from within, and so they are with us whenever we choose to allow them to be.

They say that at the end of a war, there is peace. That could never be true. There might be a ceasing of violent conflict, but peace is never a product of violence, and it is not a process that comes from action or activity. At the end of war there is a cessation of structured violence, but peace can only come from within. Can you be at peace within a war? Well, yes, by choosing to allow peace, and with that choice, you could no longer inflict violence on another.

How do you allow peace and happiness? By choosing peaceful and happy thoughts, As we do so, we are at peace and we are happy. Want it to last? Keep choosing them.

It's Not Rocket Science. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by feeling your way through your day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-18-20

"I have learned silence from the talkative, 
toleration from the intolerant, 
and kindness from the unkind; 
yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers."

-- Kahlil Gibran 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-5-15]

A while back I shared a quote by Albert K. Strong, that flows perfectly with Kahlil Gibran's quote above. It was this: "It's true, that out of diversity often will come conflict. Yet, it is just as true, that out of diversity will come harmony."

Consider this: Contrast and diversity are our best teachers. When stuff goes seemingly wrong, that is a great time to get EXCITED!

Here's another thing to consider: Maybe it's time to be grateful for the contrast and diversity, the trials and errors, the ups and downs, the ebb and flow going on in our lives. As Kahlil Gibran, in realizing that these contrasting situations and activities have taught him to appreciate something more in harmony with himself, he cannot help but have gratitude for their appearance in his life. He realizes that he has not been grateful and yet now that he realizes the value contained in them, he cannot help but be grateful.

I was out and about on errands yesterday blissfully enjoying myself and the beautiful day I was experiencing. At the bank, two girls were at their windows and I was floating in to take care of some business. One said that they were discussing the Pollyanna Principle and that is how they thought of me, and then she said that she feels like she gets a mini-therapy session whenever I come in. Wow. What nice things to say.

As I left the bank to walk Charlie (he loves to go for a walk around the bank), I was thinking about how few times in my life now that I have any negative thoughts worth considering, and how often I now pivot to a better way to see things when on the surface they may seem negative. I realized again that a happy life is simply choosing to see things as you want to see them.

A few days ago, I wrote about the sign on my wall of a quote from Abraham, Esther Hicks. It has now been there for years and yesterday I realized that I am pretty much living that now--so much more so than I realized before. It says, "Today, no matter where I am going and no matter what I am doing, it is my dominant intent to see that which I am wanting to see."

Getting excited about things that seem to go wrong, or be negative on the surface are miraculously changed by how we choose to see them. Just as Gibran realized his teachers were in that place, and that he learned to see their value to his growth, at some point he, as I have realized I now am, become excited about the bumps on the road of life.

Here's another way to see that. If you looked with a strong lens at the grooves in a vinyl record or even a CD, you would see all these little bumps. It is the bumps that is the music. Without the music, there would be no bumps.

Maybe we can look at life anew by seeing that the bumps are the music and without the bumps, there is no music. Maybe we could find joy in the bumps. Maybe we might even look forward with great anticipation of the bumps to come. Maybe we simply go with the flow and enjoy the whole of it all.

Which Brings Us Back To The Choice Being Strictly And Completely Up To Us. 

Spread Some Joy Today--May your highs be high, and your lows be higher.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-17-20

"The best way to predict the future 
is to create it." 

-- Abraham Lincoln 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-4-15]

Alan Cohen told a story in one of his Wisdom for Today emails of he and a friend eating at a Chinese restaurant, and at the end of the meal, they opened their fortune cookies and were both disappointed in their fortune. So he requested the waitress give them another because they didn't like their fortunes. The waitress brought a bowl of fortune cookies and Alan and his friend opened the cookies until they both found a fortune that they wanted and liked.

He added in the message, "When it comes to establishing your future, you can take what you are offered by others, or you can call unto you what you choose. If you like what you have before you, then bless it and enjoy it; if not, you have every right--and responsibility--to make for a new selection."

That reminds me of asking children, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" With rare exception, I would imagine the answer to change often. This year its a fireman, next year a nurse or doctor, then a rock star. Of course, we could ask that question at any age. And, I don't know about you, but at 66, I'm still wondering what I will be when I grow up.

The good news is that I get to choose. As Abraham, Esther Hicks likes to say, "I don't need to figure that out this red-hot minute. I'll figure it out as I go along." Which is what we all most likely do. We figure it out as we go along. I'm figuring it out as I go along. Today, I'm doing this, and tomorrow, I might do something different. I might up and make a dramatic change, or maybe just a little tweak here and there. It doesn't matter. I get to choose my fortune from a huge bowl of fortune cookies. 

Abraham, Esther Hicks adds to this idea: "Is it reality, or is it not reality? All things are reality. Even if only one is imagining it, it is a reality in that the thought has been offered and someone, who has the ability to translate that vibration, will perceive it. It must be fair to say that anything that can be perceived must be reality. Because, as creators, your reality depends upon what you are willing to imagine and allow."

We live in a world of contrast, and although that is a good thing because it helps us to know what we want or what we prefer, but it can sometimes be confusing. Ultimately, we all have the same experience of getting to choose. With billions of us on the planet today, there are potentially billions of choices. Whatever they are is cool. If it's cool with you. If it isn't; if contrast has caused you to want something else, then we each have the power to choose a new, better-feeling reality.

I Delight In Our Ability To Choose At Will. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by choosing to feel the joy that is within you.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-16-20

"Today, no matter where I am going, 
and no matter what I am doing, 
it is my dominant intent 
to see that which I am wanting to see." 

-- Abraham, Esther Hicks 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-3-15]

The above quote has been on a poster on my wall in my office for several years. It is a wonderful affirmation to start each day.

After yesterday's post and several very positive responses to it, I thought that it would be appropriate to linger on one idea expressed in it today. That idea is that we are in charge of our thinking and we are in charge of our actions, and as we change, the world around us does as well.

I would like to modify the above quote ever so slightly, yet ever so effectively for my purpose by restating it this way: "Today, no matter where I am going, and no matter what I am doing, it is my dominant intent to BE that which I am wanting to see."

As I ended yesterday, by giving unconditional love, I am experiencing unconditional love, and even better, I am teaching unconditional love, sharing it and spreading it, and living it. I am then, unconditional love.

Gandhi is quoted as saying, "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him." He added, "we need not wait to see what others do."

I was talking with a salesman at a dealership, and in the last many weeks they have been going through an upheaval of change with people being fired, and an entirely new management team, and much more. (How many times I have seen this!) He was at a loss as to what to do because it is a process in motion and he is unclear about his future role.

I watched a movie last night where the guy said, "I don't like my job, but it is steady, and I hate my boss."

Drama is unfolding all around us. We often get caught up in it and react to it with anger, frustration, powerlessness. Yet, we don't need to wait to see what others do, and we need not wait to live according to the ideals that we want to see in others.

Instead of disappointment or despair seeing what others are doing, or how others are acting out their roles, whether in business environments or in our family lives, if we really want that to change, the only reliable change must come from within. Viktor Frankl said, "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

If we want to have love in our lives, we need to give love, express love. In giving love, we are love, and when we are love, that love is multiplied. If we want peace, we need to exude peace, or we need to become peaceful. In doing so we become peace. If we want a kind and gentler boss, we need to become that kinder and gentler employee. If we want to have a better team, we need to become that better team member within ourselves. If we want a happier, more fulfilling life, we need to become that happier, more fulfilled person within. Then all of these things become without, or they change the environment around us. 

We need to become the person that we expect others to be toward us. We need to be what we expect to see in the world. We need to see in the world as we want to see it, situations the way we want to see them, other people to be the way we want to see them, and as we look for the qualities that we want to see, we automatically change to become more like a person with those qualities and then everything around us changes according to our vision and more importantly, our inner change.

I AM The Change I Want To See In The World. 

Spread Some Joy Today--by becoming joyful. It's easy. It requires no effort. Just let go of the rope.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Daily Inspiration 3-15-20

"'My son,' the father said, 
'you are always with me, 
and everything I have is yours. 
But we had to celebrate and be glad 
because this brother of yours 
was dead and is alive again; 
he was lost and is found.'" 

-- Luke 15:31-32
The Bible, NIV 

New: Audio version

[Classic post from 11-2-15]

Yesterday I was thinking about unconditional love. I've written about it several times, and I think I understand it well enough, but what I was wondering yesterday was if I have ever actually experienced it toward me. In other words, have I ever felt real unconditional love?

I know that I have felt it for others because I think I understand it and so would recognize the offering, but I could not think of one instance in my life where I have felt it lavished on me. I seem to know that I have felt it before I was born into this body, but I have not known it on earth so far.

As I was thinking these thoughts, the Parable of the Lost Son or the Prodigal Son came to mind. This is often taught as a story of redemption and certainly, it is that, but to me, it is a tale of unconditional love. First, the father loved the younger son with all his heart, then when asked by the son to have his inheritance early so he could go off and experience that wealth, the father did so. When the son who left was completely broken down and coming home to beg his father pardon, not as a son, but as any common worker for him, his father rejoices and celebrates the return of the lost son.

Oh, I have experienced love, even deep love, when things are going well. I have even seen it when things were not going so well, but to pardon anything so brazen as in the Prodigal Son, or some of the many foolish things I've done in my life, no.

Now the father, by his time's standards and even the standards of today, anger for the actions of the son would be easy, and even deeper, stronger negative emotions would be condoned by most. Yet this father loved the son without condition, without respect for what he had done, without respect for how he had squandered his inheritance. He was welcomed as if no bad thing had ever happened and only that he was not there and then he returned. Amazing. I don't even think that the father had ill words while the son was missing because his love was without condition.

To love without condition, or to love unconditionally, is to not even see anything but love. There is no blame. There is no guilt. There are no grudges. There is no ill-speaking. There is nothing but love completely without any conditions.

Wayne Dyer's definition of unconditional love is my favorite. He says, "[Unconditional] love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you." We all have that same ability, but we do not all have that willingness. It is when we fail to satisfy the ideals of the other that challenge love. There are so many things that can and do go wrong. Many so-called hurts and pain. And, we have probably all experienced these from both sides, but unconditional love sees none of that, is not the least bit plugged into any of that, sees through to the core of us, and is full of compassion.

Have I felt and experienced unconditional love? Yes, but only from me to someone else. Yet that is experiencing unconditional love, isn't it? I have no expectations of receiving unconditional love, and I have no earthly recognition of having received it, yet it occurs to me that the most important thing is not receiving, but giving. If I am loving another without any condition that they satisfy me in any way, shape or form, then I am loving unconditionally, and I am experiencing unconditional love. And, just like the father in the story, who cares about any of that other stuff?

Either Way, I'm Still Feeling It! And, It Feels Magical! 

Spread Some Joy Today--by sharing love with others, lavishing them with praise, and seeing only that which they truly are beneath that which we see with our eyes.