Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Seeing Through the Eyes of Love

“I see the world through the eyes of love.  Our society is often inundated with news and information that leaves us feeling anxious or unsure about the world we live in.  But I have a choice as to where I focus my attention.  Do I see only trouble, fear and strife?  Or do I see harmony, progress and cooperation?  The way I view the world has a powerful effect on my life.  Today I choose to see the world through the eyes of love.  I choose to see peace instead of conflict, love instead of fear.  I choose to see beyond any situation to the underlying truth of God’s love.  I trust in that love to soften the hearts and minds of all involved.  As I project a positive outlook and expectation of peace to those around me, I become a catalyst for peace in the world.  ‘The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.’  Psalm 24:1” (Printed from the Daily Word, a Unity publication.)

There is so much going on in the world today, and if you listen to and/or watch the media, you would think that it was all bad.  In fact, rarely, if ever, do you hear anything good in the news.  And yet, there are so many wonderful things happening all over the world!  People going out of their way to help others.  Heroes risking their lives to help complete strangers.  Countless stories of all the good.  There are even stories of animals that save people’s lives.  (If you want to read a good magazine for optimists that’s full of feel-good stories, get on-line and look up Ode Magazine at http://odewire.com.)

I’ll admit it.  I am an incurable optimist.   I choose to try to see the good in everyone and everything.  If you look for it, it’s always there.  Even in the worst of circumstances.  After 9/11, people came from all over the world to help.  Katrina, tsunamis, earthquakes.  Same thing.  Though the events were horrific, the good that came from them was that it made our world smaller in that people from all colors, races, religions, politics, sexual preferences, etc., came together to help their fellow man.  We were all human beings and that’s all everyone saw.  That’s what I choose to see.  

How do we see the world through the eyes of love?  We see the world through the eyes of God.  God only sees with pure, unconditional, perfect love.  Nothing else.  We see with compassion and kindness in our hearts.  We see knowing that every living being is our brother and sister.  We see the world being at peace.  To take that even further, we become the unconditional love.  We become the compassion and the kindness.  We become the change we wish to see in the world.  The words we speak are only to lift people up and not tear them down.  We become the example that Jesus taught.

The way I choose to see my world is the way I choose to see my life.  Of course, things are not always hunky dory for me.  Sometimes I go through the heavy-duty-life-doo like everyone else.  This past year has not been a fun year for me.  A lot has happened and I’ve shed my share of tears.  But even in the midst of all the turmoil, I chose to count my blessings.   I chose to see the love that I have in my life.  I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a wonderful family, great friends, and good health. 

I would highly suggest that if you are struggling to see the good that is in our world, or even in your own life, that you start a gratitude journal.  Every day, write down your blessings.  Even if you can only start with the basics:  can you see, hear, talk, walk, do you have a roof over your head, food to eat, people to love and who love you?  Then build from there.  Once you start focusing on the good in your life and in your world, your whole perception will change.  Then maybe, just maybe, you can learn to see the world and its people through the eyes of love.  God’s love.  The way it was meant to be.

(Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen paper on May 18, 2012.)


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Let Your Light Shine!

There is a song that has the words, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…”  We all have this light within us…every single being on earth regardless of outward appearances.  The problem is that so many have had their light dimmed or completely covered up by life circumstances.  They’ve been so beaten down by life and by others constantly tearing them down that their light has been dimmed to almost a tiny spark.  But it’s still there, and that tiny spark can grow and glow once again.

There are some people or groups of people in various aspects of society who feel that they have been given the right to tell others that they are less than…that they don’t matter…that they’re not worthy.  They try putting out their light.  These are lies.  All are worthy, all matter, and all are such glorious, magnificent, beautiful beings!  The only thing that makes us not is our belief that it isn’t so because we either believed what others told us and/or what we’ve told ourselves.

Just as you can take a candle’s flame and light another candle, we can take our own light within and help others to know that they have a light and that they can let it shine.  Marianne Williamson said, “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”  It also comes back to us.  Peace Pilgrim said it best when she said, “As I lived up to the highest light I had, higher and higher light came to me.”

And others can do so for us.  There are times when our own light may dim, or maybe because of life circumstances, it becomes so dim that we forget that it’s even there.  We know how grateful we are when others remind us of our own light.  Og Mandino said, “I will love the light for it shows me the way.  Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”  Sometimes it takes that darkness to remind us that we have that light, and because of the dark times we experience, it makes us appreciate the light even more.  

We don’t have to be wealthy, healthy, successful, or anything else to let our own light shine.  Abraham Lincoln said, "I am not bound to win, I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light I have."  There have been people living in the worst of circumstances who were able to let their light shine, not only for their own peace of mind, but to help others get through the worst of times.  Jesus, Gandhi, Buddha, Mohammed, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Theresa are only a few examples of the greatest Spiritual teachers throughout history who have experienced some really hard times, but they always let their light shine and they changed the world by doing so.  And so can you.

There is a meditative prayer that I like to do.  Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.  Take a few deep breaths.   Focus on the light within your heart representing only the pure, unconditional, perfect love of Spirit. You can see it as the light of a candle.  Now see that light starting to shine bigger and bigger until it fills your whole being.  See it expand out even further and begin to embrace everything and everyone around you.  As it grows, see it expand to everyone in Cookeville, then everyone in the state of Tennessee, traveling outwards to other states, across the United States, across the waters, expanding ever outward to other countries, until you see the whole world embraced with this light.  Do not add any judgments or any other intentions other than to spread the loving light of Spirit.  See it embracing every single living thing on earth.  See it embracing Mother Earth.  Let there only be love.  Peace.  Compassion.  See everyone it touches feeling that love like a ray of warm sunshine.  Hold that feeling for as long as you can while breathing in the love of Spirit that is surrounding and embracing you.  When you are done, take a deep breath, slowly open your eyes, and leave that love around the world.  Know that you have touched every single being with that love.

Robert Alden said, “There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.”  That light within is always there.  Always glowing.  Just waiting to be used to bring light to the world.  Your light can make a difference.  Let it shine.

Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen April 27, 2012