Today is Saturday, October 12, 2013.
is the last in a series of articles about eight universal spiritual
principles for success in any occupation of life. Previously, I wrote
about humility, purity, compassion, integrity, forgiveness, innocence and gratitude. Today's spiritual principle is love.
Once again, love is something that starts with ourselves. If we can't love ourselves, how can we extend love to others? In order to love ourselves, we have to start by addressing issues within ourselves. Here's an example: Let's say you don't love yourself because you have just come out of a messy divorce, and you have a lot of anger issues, plus you feel hurt and unlovable because your former partner chose someone else over you. These feelings have to be acknowledged and worked through before you can begin to love yourself. If you can do this on your own, more power to you, but many of us need someone else to coach us through the process, and this is where short-term counseling is helpful. Meditation and spiritual exercises done on our own can also be used to supplement the counseling process.
Sometimes a shift in focus is in order. Instead of focusing on giving love, it may be more productive to focus on being love. One of the many spiritual exercises suggested by my spiritual teacher is to write a very short, positive "I am" statement 15 times in a notebook, each day. Don't worry about making your handwriting neat and pretty, just write the statement again and again until you get 15, then stop. I wanted to write a statement including the word love in order to get more love in my life, and experimented with several options. Finally, remembering something that a friend of mine had said about "being love," I settled on "I am love." I wrote this 15 times in my "15X" journal for months, and things really started happening. Love is limitless, but it may be easier to conceptualize this if you envision – and enact – being love rather than giving love.
If you could "be" love, what would you be like? How would you act? Would you smile more often? Would your eyes sparkle? Would you do random acts of kindness, just because? Would you go the extra mile for other people? Would you pay the kindness of others forward? Would you treat others with more kindness and respect? Would you strive to uplift others who share your space? Would you listen more carefully to people?
When you are considering what action is best to take in a given situation, a great question to ask is, "What would love do? " Another way to phrase it is, "What is the most loving thing to do in this situation?" Notice that the most loving thing to do may not be the thing that will net you the most money. It definitely won't allow you to use that smart comeback when someone upsets you. It may be the action that allows someone else to get the credit this time. It may mean walking away from an argument, rather than making a last stand.
Using the principle of "like attracts like," we can attract more love into our lives by being love in the first place. A spiritual master named Rebazar Tarzs taught his spiritual student, Paul Twitchell, this way, "Therefore, if you desire love, try to realize that the only way to get love is by giving love. That the more you give, the more you get; and the only way in which you can give is to fill yourself with it, until you become a magnet of love." (Quote from Stranger by the River, by Paul Twitchell.)
Life coach Mark Petroff has written a book called Being Love that you can order as an eBook or print book. You can download a free sample of the book and listen to a short radio interview of Mark on the site. The chapter titles of the book are the very things I've been writing about in this blog and my other blog for the last few months. :-)