Judith Skutch Whitson, Co-Founder and President of the Foundation for Inner Peace, which is the authorized publisher of “A Course in Miracles”, was a champion for love. “She never met a stranger.” (acim.org/memorials) In my thinking, it follows then, that Judith rather decided for what Course calls "Holy Encounters" with everyone she met, growing, and surrendering along the way. Mine, would be a life well-lived were someone to say the same about me. Ours would be lives well-lived to seek and find only love in every relationship.
I’ve considered my own relationship with love recently. I’ve pondered upon how open I am to love and have even asked myself, "Is there a degree to which I am I defended against love?" While I’m very comfortable with hugging and being hugged, I don’t see my self as a “touchy-feely” person. Perhaps these aren’t even landmarks to the kind of love I’m seeking.
For a long time now, when someone is crying or is otherwise emotional, I have no need to hug, offer a tissue, or comfort them in some hands-on manner. If needed, of course I would hug or hold in order to give comfort. I am, however, fully able to be with that person and take cues as to how they do want to be supported. I can just be with them until they gain composure. If something about the situation or the person triggers me, I don’t do as well. Then, I have my own work to do to resolve what it has brought up for me -- to heal that in me.
I’m not one to need or want to hold your newborn baby. I have noticed however, even in these past few months, when I’m watching TV and a baby is born, that I giggle out loud and experience tears of loving joy. I’ve experienced this every time now and I like it.
While I don’t see myself as a fireball in my spiritual striving, it has been enough so that I am experiencing change. Markers include more frequent awareness of the love of God, in me, for me, and through me, along with more immediate caring for others. I’m growing in my willingness to be of help, without or with less concern that my own needs will be met. Thoughts and feelings of “What about me?” and “Where do I fit in?” are not fun. It’s a relief to unstick from them. When I observe myself judging, I too, am willing to see him or her, them, or me, differently. I’m willing to change every belief that opposes the awareness of love in myself and in you. And I'm beginning to experience more peace.
I’m touched by this from Mary Baker Eddy, the Originator of Christian Science:
“…blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good” (Science and Health with Key to Scripture, p. 518).
I’m growing up. Living now, with other people provides an opportunity to consider the other person, to at times, put others first, and grow in humility. While I’d tell you I love living by myself, I readily accept and recognize experiences that provide opportunity for great leaps along the way. It’s like the big advances that can occur with the shake of the dice on board games. With luck, and a willingness to do the work, we accept the task and flourish in ways unimagined. The gifts life offers might be unrecognized and unavailable were life to occur as I, on my own, would outline it to occur. I’d miss the best of it. I’d likely, miss the cream-filled center.
This cherished prayer from “A Course in Miracles” has ever greater meaning for many of us as we seek for love with increasing devotion to God:
"I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal." (text, page 28)
The spiritual path is not an easy one, but neither is living life in this world, believing ourselves to be no more than human. By our beliefs, we experience pain, disease, death, and loss in many forms…and in repetition. Too often, the frequency of occurrence makes it seem like an instant replay. If it’s not me in this moment, it’s you, or them. God never willed this for us. In believing we are merely human we may cut ourselves off from the love of God and of an awareness of how He willed we live, being His Created and having dominion over all life by our belief in Him. What could be more difficult or tragic than not knowing who we are?
When we recognize and accept our own beauty and love; when we begin to connect to divine love; we begin to think and see things differently. We begin to know spiritual life and to know Him. Love must be the agent in change such as this. New Thought Spiritual Leader, Emmet Fox, tells us we must recognize love as the consciousness that heals, comforts, guides, and illumines. Fox further says more about our choice to love:
“Say to yourself: ‘My mind is made up; I have counted the cost; and I am resolved to attain the Goal by the path of Love. Others may pursue knowledge, or organize great enterprises for the benefit of humanity, or scale the austere heights of asceticism; but I have chosen the path of Love. My own heart is to be my workshop, my laboratory, my great enterprise, and love is to be my contribution to humanity.’” (“Around the Year with Emmet Fox”, Day 365)
Let’s join our hands together, in His, in this walk of love.