Thoughts on love and compassion…

Love. We all talk about it. It is the subject of many novels. Songs are sung about it, great symphonic masterpieces are written to its call. I would say it is one of (if not the most) beautiful and mystical force of our existence. To quote a famous star wars film, ‘it binds the galaxies together.’

Love is.

We are forever seeking love. Perhaps it is the great quest of our age. Finding that one person who completes us. A soulmate destined to be with us. Yeah – heard all that before.That all sounds a bit same old, same old to me.

We are seeking and seeking love and forgetting to act with love. There is nothing more important than opening ourselves up to not just the possibility of loving others, but loving ourselves. In fact, we cannot love others truly until we love ourselves.

Why?

If we haven’t understood what it means to love ourselves, we cannot know ourselves on the deepest levels of being. If we don’t know who we really are, how can we love ourselves and other people for who they really are?

That sounds all very straightforward and logical but the application is not as easy as it sounds. To really love yourself means searching and understanding every aspect of who you are. Understanding who you are means you can accept the good and the bad within you. You know yourself. Your strengths, your fragilities and vulnerabilities. To love with an open heart is to be completely vulnerable. Naked. Nothing to hide and everything to give without fear. With no conditions. That is why it is so hard to love.

True love is love without any conditions whatsoever. Something so all consuming and powerful requires us to be so vulerable and open. There is no such thing as freedom with limitations. You are either love completely or not at all. The ego is the only limitation and barrier to truly loving someone we have and it keeps our personal fears about it alive and legitimate. ‘What if they leave me? What if I’m not good enough? I know, I’ll cheat on her before she has a chance to leave and hurt me, then, I’ll feel better….’

That’s the small voice of the ego talking.

We dance the dance of love safely hiding behind the mask of our ego. Thinking, hoping and praying for love but never taking the step to be courageous enough to love in the first place. It’s like standing at one end of a very high rope bridge and talking about crossing over and over again, how well we could cross it and in what ways we might try to cross…and in fact never doing so. That is not the same as actually crossing the bridge…to cross it requires courage.

And love is the same.

“The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you,
Not in a mansion of wood and stone.
Spilt a piece of wood and God is there,
Lift a stone and you will find me”

(Nag Hamadi Scroll – Gospel of St.Thomas)

© Christina McDonald 2014

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