To Love Somebody

Can there be any greater question asked than “What is love” or what does it mean to “love somebody”? Perhaps not! Over the past couple of years I know I’ve struggled to find those answers. I’ve pursued the truth and tried to remain open to the likelihood that it wouldn’t necessarily coincide with my preconceptions. Much of that “seeking” has been shared here with you and as always, I hope you find something in what I’ve written that resonates with you and casts light on your own path…

What do I know about Love?

The first and most essential “thing” to know and embrace is that love isn’t a thing! It’s it’s own entity. It’s alive and real and exists entirely apart from us. It’s a very tangible, personal, presence we can’t possess and that can only be given unconditionally! One that our hearts are either open and welcoming to or closed and isolated from. It’s ultimately powerful and imparts it’s strength to us acting as an agent of change in our lives for the better. Love can come to us through something as common as the “secret ingredient” in mom’s cooking. Or speak to us through the inner empathic voice we hear that says, “You were once like that!” It’s what makes a man rise up early smiling and eagerly head to work everyday! But love can also take us to some un-familiar places like “your knees” where you find yourself desperately praying to whatever god is listening for intercession on someone’s behalf.

Love is divinely kind and wise and it shows us great respect in that even though it seeks to restore us in all ways it will only go where it’s invited or where doors are open. Love truly is all around us and how tragic it is that we can’t feel it because our hearts aren’t open! I think its under these difficult circumstances that love becomes creative and His methods most interesting. Working behind the scenes, choosing, Inhabiting and directing the necessary people and circumstances into peoples lives who’re destined to play a critical part in some cosmic “perfect storm” of revelation when we, as I did,sincerely request it!

Actually I feel like what I did was to demand it. I needed a personally unavoidable demonstration not unlike what Paul experienced on the Damascus road. And while I certainly wasn’t blinded, as a result my viewpoint has definitely been changed! In short…I’d seen the sun in the sky with my eyes and understood with my intellect the laws governing the travel of its rays from there to here, but because I couldn’t constantly feel it’s warmth on my skin I called the whole thing into question.

Of course I needed all this proof to occur despite my heart being closed, frozen solid and surrounded by glacial walls! Somehow I expected love to find me there hidden within the many tangled layers of impervious defense I’d built up over my life in response to the fear of pain…protecting and suffocating me all at once! It seems as though there are definitely times we can be our own greatest obstacle and I’m guessing that’s why it took so many years for all the components to come together. Not only in my life but also in the lives of all who were to be touched by what follows.

And so it happened one perfect summer evening that love chose to act upon me through the simple smile of a young girl. I don’t recall any rapturous swooning moment or anything like that, only the gentle warmth that seemed to reach out to me and touch the cold place inside causing the first huge piece of ice to melt and fall off of my heart! It was an opening through which love could now move, one which also allowed me to feel again! And with these new feelings came an onslaught of new questions, the answers to which were always supplied by “love” as long as I chose to listen. It was in that moment, in my heart at least, that she became my daughter. It became my joy to give her whatever she might ask of me that wasn’t obviously harmful and to concern myself with her welfare. I also saw fit to provide a few unsolicited “wants” to her and her family who were seemingly struggling at the time. I don’t see it as being wrong in any way to love someone or to feel good about helping people but for someone like myself it can easily become a situation where it becomes a bit more about you than it is them and that’s kind of messed up.

Blissfully unaware of my diversion from the prime directive of ” first do no harm” I had waded in about chest deep and it felt wonderful! Then one day while I was reveling in my own self aggrandisement I heard a voice in my head say…

Do you realize that God The Father loves you that much? and SO much more! And despite everything He’s already done for you is still more than willing to meet you where you are…He’s also eager to show how much He loves you! And now that you know how it feels wont you at least give Him that chance?

There before me my dilemma crystalized in all its painful beauty. It was hard to look at but I felt as though it was a blessed opportunity that I welcomed to invoke a “pattern interrupt” in my life and to somehow be the man that love saw me as and somehow believed I was! Simple things in life can be hard to learn, namely that I couldn’t (as only He could) love anyone perfectly! Believe me, perfection is a BIG deal to me! I feel as though whats happened, whatever it may be, has been a real game changer for me. After feeling rather hopeless about certain areas of my life and being spiritually adrift I now feel the empowerment to begin again and make some needed changes! It’s been the impetus for me to look at other relationships in my life both past and present, and at the people who’ve tried to love me (however imperfectly) that I’ve pushed away. As a further result I feel as if I’m able to give and receive love with a new openness in every relationship I’m a part of as a result of my new…

open heart

Here’s a news- flash!

It’s quite unrealistic to expect a perfect love from ourselves or others because our “selves” are always going to get in the way! I have a tendency to not trust in love so I find myself looking for reasons to affirm that mistrust.

I’m looking for a reason to reject others preemptively because I’m pretty sure that they’ll eventually reject me and I wanna be ready! I’ve found that if you focus on peoples imperfections and judge them for them instead of realizing the miracle it is that any of us can love at all you’re sure to reap what you sow!

That evening, In just a single moment love showed me it’s perfect self and then left me at loose ends.. scrambling to somehow find a way to give back the perfect gift I’d been given. Its been a gradual change for me since then but day after day I can still feel the ice melt and fall off. I’ll always be in loves debt and I’m still looking to make good on that… The only difference is that now I understand it’s a debt I owe to everyone!

I’ve found this to be quite a wonderfully humbling revelation!

And in case you didn’t know…that’s what’s known as a “teachable moment”

One which I’m happy to say is still in effect!

If I have any real point to make here it’s only this…

Thinking that God loved me didn’t do me any good! 

It’s only when we start to really know how much He loves us and how passionate He is about being a part of our lives that we can begin to receive the good “things” He has for us and as a result be empowered to transcend all of the petty in comparison trappings of this life that are the source of so much despair!

Treat yourself and have a listen to Sister Janis as she testifies!

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The Lucky Ones

lucky people

I don’t believe in luck as most people would define it, that’s it’s just some random happenstance that occurs for no reason or that its a personally directed act that involves leprechauns or rabbits feet. Instead, I prefer to think of most “luck” as being what happens when preparedness and opportunity meet! “Lucky” is a word sometimes used out of  jealousy toward others that seeks to diminish the hard work that’s been invested in a successful project or to express stunned  disbelief at some sudden windfall of good fortune that can’t be readily explained otherwise. There’s lots of other ways the term luck is used, beginners luck is when we try something without any preconceived ideas of what does and doesn’t work and approach it without prejudice.  I’ve heard people say…

Nobody told me I couldn’t, so I just did it!”.

Personally, I believe we have angels that watch over all of us; although I can and do understand that others will say it’s just luck when people go through a bad car wreck or some other accident and aren’t seriously injured.

The word luck sure does cover a lot of stuff!

I’ve heard it said that if God did not exist people would have to “invent” Him in some way in order to explain “what is life “.  Because of mans ego, the concept of  “luck” was necessary in order for men to be able to justify their atheism and avoid believing that God DOES exist, that he is alive, and does intervene in mans affairs.

My purpose in writing about luck is primarily to expose it for the superstitious lie that I believe it is. It can start off simply by putting faith in mere objects like clovers or rabbits feet, not only is doing that misplaced faith, it also takes away from us having a true saving faith in God! Ironically, being “lucky” can turn out to be a very real obstacle or stumbling block to people.  One of the worst things that can happen to a young man is to get big time “lucky” at the horse track one time because then he’s hooked for life!

Have you ever had a car with an intermittent problem, one that would only malfunction part of the time? And of course, when you take it to a mechanic it’ll never “do it” while you’re there! It’s really hard for a mechanic to diagnose a problem like that let alone fix it. Appearances are deceiving and a casual glance seldom if ever tells us whats going on inside.

I was born with so many advantages in life, and that made it hard for me to admit I had lots of problems as a young man. There were people in my life who’s job it was to help me to sort them out, but because I was a “high functioning” drug addict I could keep up a fortunate facade and pass myself off as being no worse off  than any other typical teenager so I never really got the help I needed.  I don’t know for sure, It may of been that the only person I was really fooling was myself.  Regardless, being outwardly fortunate didn’t turn out to be so lucky for me.

If our afflictions are obvious to everyone including ourselves and we’re forced to confront them in such a way that we loose our illusion of  somehow being the only ones who need help or that asking for help is something shameful or embarrassing we may not appear to be very lucky, but we almost always get the help we need.

Could it be that one of Satan’s most common deceptions is to convince us that we’re different or separate from other people?  That we’re much better off to stay safe and hidden on our home base of “self” and not reach out a hand to others to help or be helped by. It’s pretty basic strategy to use camouflage to hide what we don’t want to be seen, to “divide and conquer”, or to suggest the presence of a much larger and more powerful military in order to deceive.

I’m not one of the lucky ones, but I am fortunate that the circumstances of my life have brought me to a place where all of my problems are in plain sight. You see, my Heavenly Father knows all about my situation too, and I believe He wants to use it to show Himself faithful in His own time and way. I know that It may get worse before it gets better, but I can already see things falling into place for God to show His grace through me to lots and lots of people and that will make everything I’ve been through much more than worth it!

Who needs luck?