Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Christmas Day 2010. I hope you enjoy it again this year. The message is timeless.
The greatest gift we can ever give to others or to ourselves, or that we can ever receive, is love.
I can’t cover everything about love in one post — that would be impossible. But I will share a few ideas about love with you today….
Idea #1: Sophocles said, “One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love.” Love and fear are opposite sides of a coin — so if you’re not coming from love, you’re coming from a place of fear (which is painful).
Anytime you’re in pain, notice what the fear is about. And then make a conscious decision to shift into a state of love….love of the situation no matter how challenging it appears, love for the other person involved, love for yourself…etc.
Idea #2: There is a famous book called ‘A Course in Miracles.’ You may have heard of it. It states, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against love.”
I’m sure you’ve experienced this with romantic love….when you search for it, it is elusive. When you focus on loving yourself and being the best you can be, romantic love finds you in the most unexpected way. And this is true of love in general, not just romantic love.
When you begin to love yourself, you open up to receiving love from others. For it is not possible to love another, until you first love yourself.
Idea #3: “The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” (Thomas Merton)
This was my #10 thing that I talked about in an earlier post….to have a community of friends who see me, accept me and love me. And to do the same for them. This also fits nicely with “have no expectations” — because when you just allow the other to be who they will be, and accept them ‘as is’, you are then truly able to see them and love them.
Idea #4: David Hawkins said, “Love is misunderstood to be an emotion; actually, it is a state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way of seeing oneself and others.” I have found this to be true — when I am in a state of love, I see the world with loving eyes and approach it with a loving heart.
If I fall out of that state, into some form of fear, then I see the world differently — more from a defensive place, a place of concern about being hurt, a worry about lack, a more skeptical view.
In order to shift back into love, I think of and feel the emotions from a time when I was fully loving. By revisiting a state of love, I am able to then shift myself back into that place.
Idea #5: Henry Drummond noticed, “You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.”
Perhaps that is one of the reasons why Christmas is so special to us — because at this time of year, we have experiences with our friends and family….feelings of love, moments of joy, periods of connection — because we spend more time “in the spirit of love.”
From my heart to yours, I’m wishing you the most love-filled Christmas Day (or whatever holiday you celebrate)!