Loving God + Loving Yourself + Loving Others = Inner Peace.By Penny Boyle
July 27, 2011
This article provides a road map for finding authentic love which leads to inner peace. Learning how to develop a relationship with Spirit first, which sets the foundation for loving yourself, leads to truly loving and connecting with others.
Loving God + Loving Yourself + Loving Others = Inner Peace: It's That Simple!
What is true love? What does that really mean? My experience with this type of love begins with loving GOD, then loving YOU, and finally loving OTHERS, in that precise order. For me, it cannot work any other way.
In this article, I refer to my spiritual connection as God or Spirit. God comes to us in many different ways. It doesn’t matter how we refer to our inner source of love. It’s the recognition of Spirit’s voice that is key to finding true and authentic love. This type of love leads to inner peace. What follows is my experience of finding this love and how it has profoundly changed my life.
What does it look and feel like to love GOD? As we have often heard, our source of love never, ever comes from someone or something outside of ourselves. It is within us. To love God means being in relationship with a beautiful presence, that you cannot visibly see, but can feel in the depths of your heart. This Spirit deeply loves you and has known you your whole life. There is nothing more Spirit wants than to love, care for and guide you. In Spirit’s presence, you feel a deep sense of safety and love, because Spirit “is” love. Like all significant relationships in our lives, we must commit to nurturing and developing this connection if we are to grow and flourish in this type of love.
What does it look and feel like to love YOU? The only way to truly love yourself is to open your heart and seek God’s guidance in all that you do. Put God first and continually ask, “What is loving for me?”
You may be asking, “How can I do this if I have no connection or belief in God?” If you don't believe God exists, try talking to this imagined being anyway. You have nothing to lose. Below is a scenario of how one might experience the discovery of God’s presence in his/her life.
Feeling hopeless and sitting in deep emotional pain, you begin mustering up the courage to surrender your fears and face your pain. You decide to reach out to this elusive Spirit, that may or may not be there, and give it a shot. Courage, courage, courage...! You must take this first step if you have any chance of releasing and healing your pain. You begin to discover that it actually feels good to let go and give up trying to control everything.
It occurs to you that there is a stronger part inside that seems to be witnessing your pain. This part holds you, as the painful emotions wash through your being, and is curious about healing your pain. This is your loving adult. Your loving adult knows that you won’t die or end up in a hospital if you feel your grief. You must face the truth about what is causing your pain. This loving part of you seeks the wisdom of Spirit while holding the frightened part of you.
You are starting to understand that no one can do this for you. They never could. No one can bring you the safety and peace you need. Only YOU can do this! When I began to learn how to inner bond, I needed a lot of support. I worked on a regular basis with facilitators for a number of years. But my commitment to healing and all the hard work has finally paid off. I am now able to connect at anytime with Spirit and bring peace to my little girl.
I hear God’s voice best when I am alone and in a prayerful/reflective state. I experience this voice as a still, quiet whisper, in the deep recesses of my heart. I stop “thinking” and let God’s wisdom come when it’s ready. It’s in moments when I am relaxed, such as singing in the shower or walking on the beach, that unbelievable wisdom will “pop” into my head. Oftentimes this wisdom comes unexpectedly and seemingly out of nowhere!
As time goes on and your relationship with Spirit grows stronger, it may be feeling a bit strange that your old friend, anxiety, stops showing up so frequently. You may have to continually remind your conditioned self, better known as your wounded self, that he/she no longer needs to be on the lookout for trouble. It’s OK to be happy and from now on, the "loving" part of you will be in charge.
You are now seeking and learning how to listen to God’s wisdom. Surrendering what “you” think and waiting to see what “God” thinks is best has become your new mission. Mother Teresa has so wisely said, “Give what God takes, and take what God gives.” One of my greatest losses in life, and the thing I feared losing the most, was the ending of my 21 year marriage. Surprisingly, it has proven to be one of my greatest blessings! Although I was terribly sad to say goodbye to my partner, had I not let go of this troubled relationship, I would have remained stuck in depression and anxiety. I would have never experienced the “life” I now feel in my soul. I am no longer living in a box.
There’s no going back! Now that you have discovered that you have your own inner support system, you no longer depend on someone else for your wellbeing. There’s no longer a need to search outside yourself. You’re beginning to realize that you really CAN face your deepest fears. Feelings of empowerment and safety set in. Encouraged, this loving part of you swells and grows ever stronger,
It never ceases to amaze you each time you experience Spirit working in your life. You’ll laugh or cry in awe as you witness God co-creating with you. These are the magical moments that you pocket for next time, serving as faith builders for later reference down the road. Trials never stop coming, but as each difficulty presents itself, you emerge stronger and wiser. Each trial prepares you for the next phase of your life. You find yourself deeply grateful for your beautiful connection you now have with God and know that you are not alone.
If at times you get confused or feel that God is not answering, relax, this is normal. I have found that during these times, I was the one who was closed down and not open to Spirit. I was still in “control mode” and wasn’t ready to accept my lack of control over others or the situation, and truly surrender. Be patient and forgive yourself. It’s no easy task. It will take time and practice. There are also times when I experience God telling me, “Not yet.” My loving adult encourages me to accept and wait in hope, anticipating God’s loving intervention, that is sure to come. His timing is always perfect!
And this is how you know you are loving you! Your lows are somehow not as low and your highs come much more frequently. You are finding that your feelings of aloneness are vanishing. That is because you are caring enough about “YOU”. You are asking God for help and direction in everything you do. You have found the courage to let go and trust. Your self-love is shown by acting on Spirit’s guidance. It’s now a team effort! God loves you and you love God. Once you find that you are in love with the wonderfully Spirited you, a tremendous urge begins to well up inside, needing to share this love with others.
What does it look and feel like to love others? Sometimes you’ll feel like hugging someone just because! It’s almost as if you have a wonderful secret and want to share it with the world. This love feels so good that you want to experience and share it with others.
You may find yourself driving down the street, gazing at a stranger, and asking God to protect, love and guide that person. For no reason at all. You don't hold back the good you see in a stranger. You tell him, even if you fear the person will think you're weird! They rarely do! They just smile and you can feel the warmth inside of them. Many times you will hear from others how you have “made their day!” You've just given them some of your love, perhaps by extending a hand in times of need, and the funny thing is, it makes you feel just as good, if not better, than they do. You are now rooted and connected to God, yourself and are sharing your love and caring with others.
I find that I am able to recognize those who are filled with Spirit. They have a gentle and serene look about them and it is soothing to be in their presence. This “look” of serenity is especially apparent in their eyes. It is hard to describe and quite beautifully unique. A peaceful aura seems to radiate and others find themselves wanting what this person seems to possess. They can’t quite put their finger on it, but find themselves drawn to this person’s Light. This Light is the Divine Spirit within. Darkness is always drawn to the Light! When you are filled with Spirit, you will find that many people want to connect with you.
I want to BE this beautiful Light! Wouldn’t it be amazing if true love, the love that exists within each one of us, was ignited and manifested by everyone? Love would spiral blissfully out of control and our tired and unhealthy planet would be healed! This thought reminds me of another quote by Mother Teresa which states, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters, to create many ripples.” Let’s all be a part of that positive ripple our world so sorely needs. Let’s strive to be the Light. It’s starts with Loving God, then Loving You, and finally Loving others. Let the first ripple begin with you!
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Be mindful of your energy. The energy of every thought, every word, and every action, affects the whole of consciousness. Today, be conscious of pouring loving thoughts, actions and words into the Oneness of Spirit.
By Dr. Margaret Paul