In my past couple of blog articles I have focused on defining what love is. In the first article I wrote about the different definitions we can derive from a study of the four words for love in the Ancient Greek language…agape, eros, philia and storge. In my second article I looked at the definition that aligns best with what I believe about love… The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” What I really appreciate about this definition is that it focuses on what’s best for me and my personal growth as well as what’s best for others and their growth. This is really the heart of what unconditional agape love is all about.
And yet, love cannot just be contained in a definition. It is a powerful force that has the ability to create extraordinary change in my life. There is energy to love, a momentum to it that crashes in on me and impacts me violently. There is something so big and irresistible about it that I can only conclude that it is a power that is generated outside of me. I call that power God, (God is love) but feel free to call it what you want. When I experience the power of love it strips me of all my coping and controlling skills and begins to transform and heal me. I cannot encounter love without being changed by it.
When I experience love intensely I am convinced that a chain reaction of feelings is triggered in me culminating in an overwhelming sense of being fully alive and fully conscious. Some of the feelings I experience include; vulnerability, passion, inspiration, intimacy, longing, connection, value and worth. And as I experience these feelings I am conscious of an amazing paradox. On the one hand I feel that I am out of control and bordering on manic and on the other I feel an underlying safety and security, as if I have no need of being in control in this significant, profound experience.
Above all else, I know I want to feel fully alive and conscious and so my heart is crying out for love.
The amazing thing about this divine force of love (agape) is that I experience it through people. For years, I reached out to the universe in search for an eternal being who would love on me and make me feel better about myself. I still believe that there is an eternal being out there watching over me and my well being, but I have learned that the way he/she chooses to love on me is through others. There are individuals who show up consistently in my life who bring with them the gift of love. They believe in me, support me and encourage me to be the best me that I can be and true to their gift, are asking for little in return. My challenge is whether I am conscious of when these gifts of love appear and whether I am willing to receive the gift. My Shadow Self tells me that I am not worthy of such love and at the very least I have to do something to receive it. But that is not the nature of true divine love. It is meant to be a gift that affirms the value of my being separate from what I do.
In the EGO program, one of our exercises requires the participants to place gifts of love and encouragement into envelopes for their fellow participants. This goes on all weekend long and takes into consideration what the participants see in one another as they go through the program. On Sunday the participants open their envelopes and read these gifts of love and encouragement. They then take what is said and form it into a love letter from that universal divine force of love (God). I know some of you who have attended this program are thinking that I am giving away one of those magical moments to the program; however, knowing something about it and actually experiencing it are two entirely different things. Come and find out for yourself if you have not attended EGO yet.
I did something different in this past EGO as I put up an envelope for Christine and me. On Sunday, I took down my envelope and placed it in my computer bag, without reading it. How is that a mirror of my life? So, three weeks ago I found the envelope in my bag and took all the messages out and read them. It was a moving experience and I felt it was worth sending an email to Christine to celebrate the moment. Here’s what I wrote her.
Hi; I thought I would pass along a little gift I received today. I was cleaning up my desk when I came across the envelope from EGO with all the gifts that people saw in me. I hadn’t opened it or looked at it since the program and I thought that it was a little reflection of how unwilling I am sometimes to receive from others and receive from God. So, I took a moment to go through the affirmations and receive with an open heart. I think it is something I need to do more of in 2018. As you know, sometimes I tend to focus on my judgments of me rather than on the gifts I see in me. Here’s what was said
– Thank you for the gift of you
– You are;
- A friend
- A servant leader
- Gentle hearted
- Deep understanding
- Unconditional Love
- An Unstoppable role model. My mentor and my hero.
- Your hope, believe, love and encourage us to freedom.
I thought that was worth writing down today. It is my love letter from God.
I believe that there are countless opportunities to experience the force of love, if we are willing to see it and receive it.