Let love build your house, Unless love builds a house, we labor in vain.
On Friday, March 18, 2022: for The Garden Of Love Meditation Podcast. I focused on love. I used that session to really dig deep into this mysterious concept of love. What exactly is it? Why do we use this word to describe everything that we enjoy in our culture? It does seem that at times we as a society do over sensationalize this word. Making our statement a sensational opportunity to make something greater than its value.
"Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing, and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses."
When I found that quote by Ann Landers, I was amazed. I always knew that she had an incredible mind filled with knowledge and wisdom. But this is above and beyond intellectual ideas. This is a profound statement that really seems based on an experience that she had in her toolbox. A friendship that burns bright is truly the gift of love. One that goes beyond the cordial niceties that some friendships have. Landers goes on to expand on her thoughts concerning that fire. That when you love someone you have an understanding, mutual confidence, truly sharing and caring for one another. Finding the path to forgiveness without holding a grudge against each other. Sticking with each other through thick and thin, through the victories and defeats that life throws at you. Accepting that not everything is perfect by making allowances for each other's very human weakness. The thought of this just makes my head explode, this revelation is truly amazing, and what a blessing to have discovered this quote this week. I must admit at times in my life. I have not lived up to this definition of love.
I am not entirely sure that I have ever experienced a truly nonconditional love like the one expressed in the last paragraph. Unconditional love does not envy one another's talents. It doesn't mock each other or degrade the other's personality traits. Contentious relationships in my opinion do not love. It becomes abusive and controlling. Fear can be a powerful destructive force in a relationship of love. Rumi said, "You are not A drop in the ocean, you are an entire ocean in a drop." I really believe the mystery of his statement is the expression of what Ann Landers quote above brings to the table.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - New Revised Standard Version
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
An Adaptation Of The above Text:
“GOD IS LOVE.
May you have this kind of love for each other.
LOVE IS PATIENT AND KIND.
May you be able to lovingly overlook each other’s faults and weaknesses.
LOVE IS NOT JEALOUS OR BOASTFUL.
May you seek praise for each other and not for yourselves.
LOVE IS NOT ARROGANT OR RUDE.
May you give of yourselves for each other’s needs and treat one another with the utmost respect.
LOVE DOES NOT INSIST ON ITS OWN WAY.
May you genuinely listen to each other with a willingness to be wrong yourselves.
LOVE IS NOT IRRITABLE OR RESENTFUL.
May you be tolerant of each other’s moods, always ready to forgive, never hold a grudge.
LOVE DOES NOT REJOICE AT WRONG BUT REJOICES IN THE RIGHT.
May you experience happiness because of each other’s triumphs and successes.
LOVE BEARS ALL THINGS.
May you seek to understand each other’s differences, knowing you will stick together through it all.
LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS.
May you always expect the best in each situation, regardless of temporary setbacks.
LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS.
May you never give up your commitment to work on improving your relationship.
LOVE NEVER ENDS.
May you spend the rest of your lives together enjoying God’s love.
GOD IS LOVE.”
This week in the season finale of Star Trek Discovery Season Four. One of the characters is an empath. His name is Book, He spoke of how sacred all life was. He was explaining this to an alien entity whose technology was destroying other worlds. It had blown up his home planet and everyone on it that he loved. He mentions the need to love but goes on to express that he himself has to listen to and hear his own words. Which he decided to do that day.
It is really easy to love a chocolate bar or our favorite ice cream. But what about that dark-skinned fellow who lives three doors down from you? Do you love him unconditionally? We as a species absolutely must break the cycles of abuse and learn to love one another with fire. A deep fire that sparks our very soul toward our community. To accept that we belong and care for one another's differences is a great way to celebrate that love. To recognize and hold each other in sacred space. Being able to let the very scales fall from our eyes and with the ability to see another human being with the eyes of love.
In recent times many Asian people have been experiencing extreme prejudice. Their only crime is that they are Asian. There is a tremendous ignorance in the United States right now that blames the Asiatic People for the COVID-19 Virus. It is not even close to the truth. The Corona Virus has been around for a very long time. Covid-19 is really just an abbreviation for Coronavirus Disease of 2019. We as a species must do better than this. To Love one another by breaking the cycles of abuse which is blaming, and shaming other humans for things that are beyond their control. We must rise above this and I am quite certain that the only way to do so is through love.
The Jewish people have an incredible prayer, it is called the Shema. But its full context is lost on many.
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃
Sh'ma Yisra'el, YHWH 'eloheinu, YHWH 'eḥad:
"Hear, O Israel! Adonai is our God! Adonai is One!"
For many, this is a very deep spiritual meaning, one that resonates from the very foundations of the universe. In his book Jewish Meditation by the late Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. He speaks about the profound meaning of this verse. He also goes on to say that many get its meaning only partially correct. I will paraphrase the statement for you.
Hear me with listening ears, you spiritual being. You and God and the Universe are one.
If we are one with all that is. If we are one with the energy that is God and all that is. Then we absolutely must be willing to lay down our swords and no longer be at war with our neighbors. We must set aside the sensationalism of getting caught up in angry reactions to one another. I truly believe that the best way to do this is to reach deep down inside. Way down into the deep. In the daily sessions of The Garden Of Love Meditation Podcast. I often mention the importance of being gentle with ourselves as we continue on with our day, so that we in turn may be very gentle with others. I am convinced that if we do not love ourselves, we can never love other human beings in a capacity that accepts one another's differences. To discover how to be a little bit lighter with each other. I am convinced that it is the only way that we can be a lighthouse to the world rather than a storm. How do we get to that point you may ask? In another of my writings, I wrote about the breath and how to center by breathing in through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. This is the starting point within the daily meditations that I am a facilitator for. It also is the healing force within me that allows me to connect with my divine source. Which is nothing less than the fullness of love.
There is another important aspect to love. To be able to look at ourselves and feel love. To feel comfortable with our true selves. To be able to sit and just love that inner child. Accepting situations and building upon the tools we have. So that then we all can do amazing and powerful things.
I close with a section of today's meditation that followed the reading of Ann Lander's quote:
As you read this, not only think of your friends. But think about being a friend to yourself. make the words apply to your relationship with you for just a minute. But also think about your various relationships with other human beings and apply it to that too.
Let us make room for love. A friendship that catches fire. A friendship for ourselves, a kindness for ourselves. May we give ourselves quiet understanding, mutual confidence. May we share with ourselves, and forgive ourselves. Be loyal to ourselves through the good times and the bad times. Settle for less than perfection today and make allowances for our own human weaknesses. So that maybe, just maybe we can do all of these things for others.
Learning to love ourselves becomes a powerful medicine when we remove the barriers that prevent us from loving others.