I am on a mission of love, a quest to put forth love in all directions, including the directions that may cause me to feel pain. We all have heard wise teachings about turning the other cheek, loving those who harm us, forgiving those who cause us pain. I think that most of us hear this as truth and understand on some level that this is a space we desire to live in. When attempting to put this into practice though, it can be quite a challenge. We all have had experiences in our lives where we feel we may have been hurt, betrayed, or lied to. Certain things may seem beyond forgiveness and we may feel completely justified in this belief. The pain we experience may be at such a deep level that we feel we may never be able to recover. How is it that we find our way to love and forgiveness in these moments or situations?
As I look back on my life from an outside perspective I can recall periods of time where I have attempted to meet these deep and painful experiences with love and forgiveness. I see myself attempting to respond in love and can also feel the pain and hurt that would overwhelm me as a result. As soon as that pain and hurt would become to intense, I would back off and close down, tricking myself into believing that it was necessary to close off my heart in order to protect and honor myself.
What I understand now is that closing off my heart and making a choice not to extend love does nothing but close off love from myself. Any time we withhold love from another, we are withholding love from ourselves. We are starving our hearts from the fuel that we need to live fully in joy. We are creating more pain and deepening the original wounds. Withholding love and forgiveness do nothing but cause greater pain within our selves and those around us.
And so here I am on a mission of love and my heart is quite simply overflowing with it. As I extend my love and forgiveness, even to those that I experience as painful, I can now watch as certain wounds reopen and I am tempted to pull back. What I know now though is that pulling back does not heal and so I am trying something new. The more pain I feel, the more love I will give. I will quiet my fears and heal my wounds through the acts of loving and forgiving. I will meet all that comes my way with an open heart, knowing that everything I do to others I am doing to myself as well. Love is the answer to all things and in the words of Ziggy Marley, “love is my religion.”
Will you join me on my mission of love? Will you face sadness, disappointment, anger, and betrayal with love? Will you walk through the fear that tells you to protect yourself and instead, extend yourself? Will you open your heart to the possibilities that await for healing and deeper connections? Love is powerful and it is there for us all in every moment and every situation. Will you join me on my mission of love?