Archive for September, 2011
In this message, Harold W. Becker shares that in this present now moment there is a simple question each of us can quietly ask ourselves and by embracing its affirmative answer, we open a whole new reality of potential before us. For more please go to www.thelovefoundation.com
He continues this is most likely not a question you may have ever considered for yourself or one that you have heard discussed by others. It is perhaps even one that you may wish to ignore at this stage of your journey. Yet, this beautiful and amazing transformative power and potential remains ever present until such time you feel the strength and courage to ask and accept its reality in your heart.
Why ask ourselves this question? Long ago we drifted away from our innate loving wisdom and allowed our consciousness to embrace the notion that our outer reality of form was our source of life. We became mesmerized and subsequently reliant upon our creations and forgot the power within our own being. Over time, this separation led to a sense of self doubt and with it, the corresponding manifestation we call fear. Unaware of the ultimate effect of our ongoing outer focus, we handed down our beliefs, notions, perspectives and ideals from generation to generation, century after century, often without stopping once to go within and ask a single question as to whether what we believe or do is actually coming from our own personal truth.
We stand at the threshold of opportunity to reconnect with our heart and allow the fullness of our wisdom to once again guide us. In an instant, we reverse the ignorance of ages by a clear and genuine acknowledgement of ourselves. By our own choice, we release the boundless freedom and joy and accept the potential that heals not only ourselves, also each other and our wondrous planet we call home. Can such a simple question really make this profound a difference? Answer it honestly, willingly, with an open heart and without hesitation, and you may be surprised by your own undeniable conclusion.
Do I love myself unconditionally?
What could there possibly be not to love? Our size, shape, color, age, gender? Our supposed status and achievements in life or the lack thereof? Our choices, mistakes and behaviors from the past? Our lost hopes, dreams or physical connections with others? These outer conditions and garments are only the forms we use to experience and evolve through life – they are not who we really are. Long after the forms dissolve and the expressions disappear, there is one thing that will always remain – Love.
The unconditional acceptance you have for yourself right now is the unconditional love you naturally will have for all others and Life itself. Allow yourself to embrace the knowing of love held within your heart and you share it with the world.
The Love Foundation is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization with the mission of inspiring people to love unconditionally. Established in 2000, TLF has become the internationally recognized leading resource for understanding and applying unconditional love. Our vision is to assist people by building a practical foundation and experience of love within individuals and society as a whole, through our education, research and charitable programs. “The Home of Global Love Day each May 1st”
Harold W. Becker is Founder and President of TLF and is the author of various books including, Unconditional Love An Unlimited Way of Being
Created by a kind volunteer as a gracious gift for The Love Foundation.
Love and freedom are two of those words that are interchangeable. Freedom of choice is unconditional love- unconditional freedom. Choice is another of those words that are interchangeable with Love and freedom.
For the most part, humanity understands little of what the word unconditional means. Unconditional means… “NO CONDITIONS.” This lack of understanding is what has divided man from man, and religion from religion throughout his sojourn in the physical reality. It is again man’s ego trying to grasp the idea, and not being able to surrender to its meaning. It appears to be the nature of humanity to always add conditions to unconditional-let me demonstrate.
The one common thread that I have found weaving through man’s many belief systems is that God is Unconditional Love. I have yet to have anyone tell me that this is not so, and it seems to be accepted by all belief systems that are centered on a creator. If you are in disagreement with this statement then there would probably be no sense in you reading any further.
Now it must be made clear in this example that unconditional means that there are no conditions to God’s Love. Do you understand and agree, that unconditional means no conditions apply?” Be sure because it gets more difficult to differentiate as we move along.
Do you understand that if there was a condition to God’s love, then God would be giving conditional love? Conditional love is not the same as unconditional love as described in the preceding paragraph. I have never heard or read anywhere that God gives conditional love, have you?
Love and freedom are the same; if there is a condition to freedom, then it is not unconditional. Freedom is given from unconditional love. Freedom of choice is the same thing as unconditional love-they are all the same thing. I know this is repetitive, but if you can follow this understanding, and accept it, then there is something further you need to understand.
The following concept is extremely difficult for most people to understand. Because love, freedom, and choice are unconditional, there can be no PUNISHMENT associated with them; once again-no punishments. Here is where the so called enlightened fall by the wayside. They cannot accept any of these things without the recourse to punishment. You can practice unconditional love, unconditional freedom, and unconditional choice with no punishments! God will never punish you! Retribution is a lie, it was all made up. Only Man will punish you. Anyone who tells you different, is not coming from unconditional love. They live in fear of you accepting these things. They do not understand what unconditional means.
Most all who have read the first half of this article will not have problems with it until they get to the “No Punishment” part. At this point man’s ego takes over, and will try to reason his way out of agreeing with the concept of unconditional. He will begin to say, yes I understand what unconditional means-but! Then he will start; you cannot have people running around doing whatever they want. There is a price (condition) for freedom. You can not freely love anyone you want, that is immoral (conditional). Our choices are limited by are colour, sexual orientation, creed, age, sex, and geographic region (conditional).
If you buy into these conditions, then you are in direct contradiction with what you may have agreed with when you started reading this article. If you didn’t agree to the first part, then you have read farther then you were supposed to. You were warned! For those who do not agree that God is unconditional love, and don’t understand the contradiction; let me explain. There seems to be a paradox here. Can unconditional love and conditional love exist at the same time? The answer is yes, because we have forgotten our heritage, we have moved away from unconditional. God gives unconditional love; man lives in conditional love!
This is where the contradiction comes from. We understand the love of God, and we feel inferior to it. We can not except that unconditional love is who we really are, and therefore apply conditions to our love and freedom. We project our human emotions and feelings onto God, effectively insulating ourselves from the reality of unconditional love. We attach certain conditions to his love. If we do not follow his will, we will be punished by him as we would punish those that would not do our will. Man’s love, freedom, and choice are conditional because we have always had freedom of choice, to choose and accept those conditions which are conditional. It is paradoxal and appropriate that humanity should set conditions for itself, in direct contradiction to what God represents, and expected from his creations-that life is free to live as it desires without limitation. It is the natural course of all living things to evolve to the next best version of itself, so the natural tendency is to survive, not destroy.
Who is it that is teaching us about conditional love? Who or what is actually separating us from the unconditional love of God? The clue has been in the Newspaper’s recently and has been manifesting itself for weeks. I’m in Canada, and it is August 08, 2003-the date I have written this article. For weeks now there has been a major controversy about legalized gay marriages. Who do you think is at the forefront of all the objections? Who is it that is using fear tactics to persuade politicians and supporters to change their policies? Who has come out, and said that they fear for the souls of those supporters?
They are the same profits that have for centuries, taught us of Gods conditional, unconditional love. They have taught us that God’s love is unconditional, and that it must be accepted as blind faith-and yet they have set down punishments for practicing unconditional-so in effect they have made unconditional, conditional. I don’t blame you if you are confused here; who wouldn’t be. They have used fear, punishment, and death to implant this lie into our belief systems. They have been as the false profit. The institute does not correctly reflect God’s love, nor do the profits and teachers-they don’t even come close to teaching it. Their interpretations reflect only their fear that they share with the rest of humanity.
As you reason these contradictions, listen to yourself. Are you coming from unconditional love, or are you reacting from fear? Whatever you now believe, you will have chosen it from unconditional love, because that is your true nature. It should be your reality. You have unconditional freedom to live conditionally, in conditional love without freedom of choice, if that is what you desire. There is no greater display of divine love.
At this moment try to imagine choosing to live unconditionally, try to choose between the two, conditional or unconditional. And if you chose the later, how would you condition yourself to accepting it.
Feel the unconditional love as you make a free choice. As you make the choice, you should notice that you are not being punished for it. That may come later, not from God, but from those who would denounce your choice, and who are living in the realm of conditionality. If nothing else, understand the contradiction. But also understand that who you really are is free. Do not fear for your soul, your soul can take care of itself, and of course that is exactly what it is doing. It is the BLIND FAITH (which is not surrender) that leads you into darkness, when you do not question it. Faith is never blind; it is an essential step in the process of knowing.
Not taking responsibility for your own salvation has given power to those who would use your vulnerability to keep you on the straight and narrow-not yours, but theirs.
The human ability to see black and call it white, is a real blessing in a world of contradictions that require us to make a choice, and believe nothing else. There is no one that is more blind than he who will not see. This has led us into the notion of right and wrong; you are wrong, I am right. We both cannot be right-right?
As you learn to accept the choices of others not being as your own, you will free yourself from the necessity of making judgments about them, and you will be practicing unconditional love. Your new found love for yourself and humanity will set you free. It will be another major step into expanding your enlightenment. To truly free humanity, mankind must see all aspects of itself as being free; as being created from absolute unconditional love. In the greater picture, all things are perfect as they are. It is not necessary to like someone as they are, but it is necessary to love them unconditionally as they are.
The bottom line is that you cannot live your life unconditionally because you live in a physical world that is conditional. However, it doesn’t stop you from experiencing unconditional love. Absolute unconditional love is the very nature of the creator-which you are-and it is only when you are focused on yourself as Creator that you will experience unconditional love.
Roy E. Klienwachter is an ordained minister,light worker, writer and author of Spiritual New Age Wisdom books written in simple language with the eloguence of Zen wisdom.
CarolyAnderson – About the Author:
Re-post of origional article…
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B. Titchener as an attempt to translate the German word “Einfühlungsvermögen”, a new phenomenon explored at the end of 19th century mainly by Theodor Lipps. It was later re-translated (Germanized) into the German language into “Empathie” and still in use there.
Empathy is one of the most important aspects of creating harmonious relationships, reducing stress, and enhancing emotional awareness — yet it can be tricky at times. I consider myself to be quite empathic, but I notice that with certain people (especially those I don’t like or agree with, and also with myself at times) and in particular situations, my natural ability and desire to empathize can be diminished or almost nonexistent.
I also notice that when I feel empathy for others and for myself, I feel a sense of peace, connection, and perspective that I like. And when there is an absence of empathy in a particular relationship or situation, or how I’m relating to myself, I often experience stress, disconnection, and negativity. Can you relate?
What Is Empathy?
Empathy is not sympathy. When we’re sympathetic, we often pity someone else but maintain our distance (physically, mentally, and emotionally) from their feelings or experience. Empathy is more a sense that we can truly understand, relate to, or imagine the depth of another person’s emotional state or situation. It implies feeling with a person rather than feeling sorry for a person. And in some cases that “person” is actually us.
Empathy is a translation of the German term Einfühlung, meaning “to feel as one with.” It implies sharing the load, or “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes,” in order to understand that person’s perspective.
What Stops Us From Empathizing?
There are a number of things that get in the way of us utilizing and experiencing the power of empathy. Three of the main ones, which are all interrelated, are as follows:
- Feeling Threatened: When we feel threatened by another person or a particular situation, it’s often hard to empathize. This makes perfect sense from a survival standpoint (i.e., if someone is trying to hurt us, we want to protect ourselves rather than have compassion and understanding about where they’re coming from). However, we often feel “threatened” based on our own fears, projections, and past experiences, not by what is actually happening in the moment or in a particular relationship or situation. Whether the threat is “real” or “imagined,” when we feel threatened in any way, it often shuts down our ability to experience empathy.
- Being Judgmental: Judgments are a part of life, we all must make lots of judgments and decisions on a daily basis (what to wear, what to eat, where to sit, what to watch/listen to/read, what to say, and on and on). Making value judgments (the relative placement of our discernment) is essential to living a healthy life. However, being judgmental is a totally different game. When we’re judgmental, we decide that we’re “right” and someone else is “wrong.” Doing this hurts us and others, cuts us off from those around us, and doesn’t allow us to see alternative options and possibilities. We live in a culture that is obsessed with and passionate about being judgmental. And many of us, myself included, are highly trained in this destructive and damaging “art.” When we’re being judgmental about another person, group of people, or situation, we significantly diminish our capacity to be empathic.
- Experiencing Fear: The root of all this is our fear. Feeling threatened is all about fear. Being judgmental is all about fear. And, not feeling, experiencing, or expressing empathy is also all about fear. There’s nothing inherently wrong with fear; it’s a natural human emotion that has many positive aspects to it if we’re willing to admit it, own it, express it, and move through it. Fear saves our lives and keeps us out of trouble all the time. However, the issue with fear is our denial of it, our secret obsession with it, and our lack of responsibility about it. We deem things, people, or situations to be “scary,” when in truth there is nothing in life that is inherently “scary.” There are lots of things, people, and situations that cause fear in us; however, we make it about “them” instead of owning that the fear comes from within us. When we allow ourselves to be motivated by fear, which often leads to us defending ourselves against “threats,” being judgmental, and more, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to access the power of empathy.
Where in your life and relationships can you see that feeling threatened, being judgmental, and experiencing fear stop you from being empathic? The more willing you are to look at this, acknowledge it, own it, and take responsibility for it (with compassion for yourself), the more able you’ll be to expand your capacity for empathy.
How to Become More Empathic
There are many things we can do and practice to increase our ability to feel, experience, and express empathy for others, situations, and ourselves. Becoming more empathetic is one of the best ways we can enhance our relationships, reduce our stress level, and feel good about ourselves and our lives in an authentic way.
Here are a few things you can do and think about to become more empathic:
- Be Real About How You Feel: When we’re willing to get real about how we truly feel and have the courage to be vulnerable about it with ourselves and others, we can so often liberate ourselves from the negativity, projections, and judgments that mask what’s really going on. When we’re in a conflict with another person or dealing with someone or something that’s challenging for us, being able to admit, own, and express our fear, insecurity, sadness, anger, jealousy, or whatever other “negative” emotions we are experiencing is one of the best ways for us to move past our defensiveness and authentically address the deeper issues of the situation. Doing this allows us to access empathy for ourselves, the other person or people involved, and even the circumstances of the conflict or challenge itself.
- Imagine What It’s Like For Them: While it can sometimes be difficult for us to “understand” another person’s perspective or situation (because we may not agree with them, haven’t been through what they’ve been through, or don’t really want to see it through their eyes), being able to imagine what it must be like for them is an essential aspect of empathy. This is not about condoning inappropriate behavior or justifying other people’s actions; however, I do believe deep in my heart that no one does or says things that are hurtful to us if they aren’t already feeling a real sense of pain themselves and/or haven’t been hurt in many ways in their own life. Whatever the situation, the more willing we are to imagine what it’s like for them, the more compassion, understanding, and empathy we’ll be able to experience.
- Forgive Yourself and Others: Forgiveness is one of the most important things we can do in life to heal ourselves, let go of negativity, and live a life of peace and fulfillment. Forgiveness has to first start with us. I believe that all judgment is self-judgment. When we forgive ourselves, we create the conditions and perspective to forgive others. Forgiveness is one of the many important aspects of life that is often easier said than done. It is something we need to learn about and practice all the time. Sadly, we aren’t often taught how to forgive, encouraged to do it in genuine way, and didn’t, in most cases, grow up with very good models or examples of how to forgive. One of the best books you can read on this subject is called Forgive For Good, written by my friend and mentor Dr. Fred Luskin, one of the world’s leading experts and teachers about the power of forgiveness. This book gives you practical and tangible techniques you can use to forgive anyone and anything. The more willing we are to forgive ourselves and others (and continue to practice this in an on-going way), the more able we’ll be to empathize authentically.
Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken (Wiley). More info: www.Mike-Robbins.com
What is your true self? In everyday life, we tend to be different people in different situations. We can be corporate at work, relaxed with our friends, formal with our family , firm with our kids. We wear many different hats. So who are you? What is your purpose? What is your mission on life? Have you wondered what makes you special out of billions on people on this planet? Are you just an ant in a colony following the leader? Why do you go to work? Why do you have friends? Why do you live in a house? Why do you drive a car? Have you stopped and wondered? Have you stopped and thought about what life should be like? Or have you just followed blindly?
Does society dictate who you are and how you should live your life? Is it progressive to have a job? What is society ? Are you here to live and die and nothing really happens in that lifetime. Are you here just to live, eat and just drift along for the best part of seventy years. Are you truly happy? By happiness I don’t mean fleeting moments at the weekend or when you are in the company of a loved one but I mean when you are on your own, day in, day out. A place of contentment where external events have very little impact on your equilibrium. Is that contentment generated by an internal source? Can you be happy just being?
Do you think you have a purpose? What would happen if you actually stopped occupying yourself with the mundane tasks of your life and thought about what your true nature?
Have you thought about your soul mission, your divine purpose? Are you letting the life waste away? Do you have the courage to say enough? I choose to live a different life, I choose to be an individual, I choose to denounce society and follow my own rules.
I know some of you reading this will be up in arms at this point! This woman is living in cuckoo land but I am or are you? I understand life has been structured around society and we need money, for shelter, to feed ourselves, cloth ourselves etc. What I am saying is to denounce society is to use the current structure of what has been laid out to achieve what you want rather than the other way round. To take back control, I don’t think it’s feasible to go back to caveman days and live off the land but I am saying is to go back to making your decisions. You make think you do, but how many of us get influenced by our peers and by the media?
The media and big corporations know how to manipulate the masses so that we tied up in situations for the rest of our lives. For the current structure of society to work , they need workers. They need people like you and me to willingly to go into a four walled office and sit there for 8 hours a day without complaining because that enables us to buy the big screen tv, the ipad , a Mercedes , or whatever we think will make our lives easier. What is happening in reality is slowly we are getting ourselves trapped, trapped in a situation where we loose our true selves , where we forget pleasure, spontaneity , being who you are . In order to feed what we think we require for a happy life we dilute our true essence.
This blog isn’t for the people who are happy in their current situations, who I am to tell people how to live but it’s more aimed at people who think these thoughts but get beaten down by others. I have had these thoughts since a very young age and was told to snap out it and to “live in the real world” but what is the real world? Isn’t the world what we create in our heads? Is isn’t it all about perception?
I believe that we have all come to earth to achieve and learn certain lessons. All of us are on a certain rug of a spiritual ladder. Depending where you are on this ladder you will look at life differently. Some people will go through this incarnation never considering the questions mentioned above , never having the awareness. However what concerns me is the minority that do question and do have an awareness. They get caught up and lost and if they were happy doing that then this blog isn’t for them either. However drawing from personal experience I know what happens when you deny your true self, happiness becomes a distant friend only visiting once in a while.
I wish I had a courage to follow my feelings when I was younger and take more of a spiritual path but also understand that I had to get lost in illusion (Maya) in order to seek the truth. Now that I have the awareness of the bigger picture, I still find it hard to live up to my true potential. As you go through life , you pick up attachments. Attachments to friends to family, some of them who may not be fully up to speed on these matters as you are. These attachments then serve to hold you back in realising your goals as they introduce threads of doubt and insecurity. I acknowledge that we are here to interact with fellow human beings and we have to sustain relationships in order to learn the lessons but to achieve enlightenment /Moksha we have to see beyond this and follow the path we were meant to follow not matter the consequences. This does not mean hurting people we love or being a loner who goes into the forest but just having the courage to stand up to your beliefs and explaining to your loved ones how you feel. If someone truly loves you , they will want you to be happy and if that happiness does not follow convention so be it. If someone is very against your plans than you can carry on loving them sending them your love and then carry on with your life purpose.
The greatest injustice you can inflict upon yourself is not be true to yourself. So who is you want to be, what is you want to achieve? What are you waiting for? Today is a good a place to start as any.
Article written by: Sneha Ramji
Article sourced: spiritguides.co.uk