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The Kindness of Love

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All spiritual teachings tell us that Love is at the heart of everything, that it is the sea we swim in. Can you see Love in you and in your life? I realised some years ago that I could not. That something about this was eluding me. This wonderful, mystical, ever-present Love didn’t seem to be present in my daily experience. I couldn’t seem to find it - either within myself or within my world. And yet, more than twenty five years of exploring spiritual teachings, and my own private daily conversations with the Divine, were all telling me that Love Is, and every time I read this or heard this I felt within me a deep recognition of the Truth of this. So, I began to get curious: If I am Love and everything about me and everything around me is Love, and there is nothing but Love, then what am I missing? How come I don’t experience the world as this when the beautiful enlightened teachers I am following so obviously do? How am I missing it? What in me stops me seeing, receiving, giving and enjoying this deep eternal ever-present Love? As I looked around me, I realised that I wasn’t the only one, that other people have found Love to be elusive, and are wondering what it is and where it is. I found myself embarking on a journey to understand Love better. Now, several years on, I am beginning to recognise that which gets between us and our experience of Love.

What Blocks the Experience of Love?

Tiny blossom coming out of a thicket of dead branches

If Love is everywhere and all that is, but we are not feeling it, then what is it that comes between us and the experience of it?

In meditation circles, a particular metaphor is often used: our thoughts are like clouds, moving across the blue sky and blocking out the sun. The density of our thoughts (clouds) covers up a deeper reality (the sky that exists beyond them).

What is often not clarified is that this deeper reality - the sky beyond the clouds - is Love. And, the only thing that stands between us and our experience of this is a quality of thinking that is not loving. Let me say that again:

The only thing that stands between us and our experience of Love is a quality of feeling that is not loving.

In my coaching practice and in daily life, I meet with all sorts of different people. I work with executives, creatives and entrepreneurs, with elderly people, with teenagers, and I now also volunteer as a buddy for people in prison. Across this diverse range, everyone I meet is nothing less than inherently good, everyone simply wants a happy and meaningful life, and everyone wants to love and be loved.

But what I also see, over and over, is how very hard we all are on ourselves (and on our loved ones and our lives) in the privacy of our own being.

Most of us are innocently engaging in a quality of thinking that is judgmental and harsh. If you stop for a moment and reflect, you will see the truth of this. How often have you deemed yourself, your circumstances, your job or contribution to the world, your home, a loved one or a peer to be not good enough, lacking, a failure or ‘wrong’ in the past day and week?

Can you see that this isn’t Love? Love simply doesn’t feel like this.

Love is warm, inclusive, generous, understanding, patient and inclusive. It is infinitely kind and enchantingly beautiful, like the scent of a blossom or the touch of a cool breeze on a hot day or the first flakes of snow in winter. It gives and gives like a fresh water spring, and never dries up. It feels like a balm - like nectar - so perfect and sweet and right for us.

When we are actively engaged in a quality of thinking that is hard and critical, we literally push the experience of Love away. It prevents us from directly knowing and receiving that Love that Is, in this moment.

Judgment Obscures Love

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The first place and the only place where we are not seeing Love is within ourselves. And what we don’t See we don’t experience.

How often do we deem ourselves unworthy? How often do we jump on ourselves with self-criticism as soon as we feel we are not doing/showing up/being/acting/achieving as we should?

How often do we assume that things ‘going wrong’ are our fault, and we need to work on ourselves more, think better thoughts, or contort and change ourselves in some way?

How often do we jump on our dreams and visions, picking over them and doubting them, until they are in danger of disintegrating entirely?

What if this is a waste of time and energy? And Love?

At such times, we are not giving ourselves a loving chance., and in that moment it seems - not surprisingly - as if Love is not here. Because it isn’t. It is isn’t here in us for us. And thus it is absent from our experience. The sky is being obscured by the cloudy nature of our thoughts.

The moment we think an unkind thought, we have stepped out of Love.

The habit of seeing ourselves - and others - without kindness is not innate. Rather, it is something we have been trained in from a very early age - so as not to appear selfish, or arrogant, demanding or needy, or whatever else might be deemed socially unacceptable. We have learned to keep a critical eye on ourselves and others, to keep ourselves in check, and to distrust anything that might be outside the script of behaviour that has been laid down for us (be perfect, be good, always put others first, always come first, be famous, be successful).

What happens when we step outside those tramlines? Who might we be? Where might Love lead us if we listen to the kindest voice inside us all the time? Might stress fall away? Could illness diminish and even disappear? Would our relationships become lighter and more joyful? Would we feel more secure and peaceful inside? Might we enjoy the challenge of each day more? Could we start to feel as if the sun is permanently out?

The more I explore listening to the voice of love within myself, the more I experience that this is so. I am a beginner on this journey, but even so: I feel Love inside myself and my life again, and the more I feel it, the more deeply I want to align with it.

Hearing What Has Always Been Here

“Modern man can’t see God because he doesn’t look low enough.” (Carl Jung)

If we are to find Love, then there is no shortcut: it is found within ourselves. Over and over again, in every moment and every situation, the only place we can access Love is within our own being, our own psyche, our own consciousness. We cannot find it ‘out there’ unless it is active ‘in here’. If we substitute the word God for Love in the above quote, there is something instructional for us to see here.

What if Love or the Divine is not some highfaluting state or set of instructions? What if actually we are not looking low enough? What if we are missing the way that it is here and present in the details of our life? What if it isn’t something that we just hear now and then, or that only certain ‘good’ people hear, but instead we have full and uninterrupted access? What if Love doesn’t come and go, isn’t unpredictable, and isn’t even extraordinary? If it is the sea we swim in then it must be ordinary, mustn’t it? It must be here, in the nitty gritty of our lives, in our own self: utterly and completely available. So, what I have come to see is that this is how Love comes back in to our lives. This is how it becomes visible once more. This is how we pierce the clouds and feel the truth of the clear blue sky behind: Love is activated by us reaching for and heeding the most loving feeling and voice within ourselves. It is activated by us being orientated to an inner state of kindness. It begins and ends in how we our with ourselves, in all the little things. It appears when we don’t let our habitual tendency to criticism and unkindness rule the show, when we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt in the moment, when we allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling without judgment, when we hold off from denouncing ourselves or others in tricky moments, and when we wait to see what seeks to unfold here. Every time we allow kindness such as this, in the privacy of our own being, we are gently turning ourselves back into Love.

What Is Love Saying To You Today?

Image of a beautiful iris opening and blossoming

If Love is Here, then we don’t want to miss this, do we? We don’t want to keep thinking ourselves out of this. We don’t want to keep getting in the way. Can you hear and heed a more loving voice inside yourself today? When you are about to ride roughshod over that within you that is telling you to put on a layer, or take off a layer, step away from something for a moment, have a nap, take a walk, or eat something healthy - can you pause a moment and realise that you are just about to ignore Love’s own voice? Can you begin to tune in more deeply to what Love is, where it is and how it is trying to reach for you and through you? Can you find it in the places where it doesn’t immediately seem obvious? Can you surrender? Will you yield? Do you dare to let some level of internal judgment go? Can you ease yourself away from this - even just a little - and begin to see what opens up? Can you let yourself get closer to this kindness?


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Do you yearn to live a life of Love? Join me for my 6 month 1-2-1 'Journey of Love' coaching package to deeply reconnect your life to Love, from the inside out. Available on special offer until 30th August 2023. Full details here: JOURNEY OF LOVE

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