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What if the purpose of our life was to learn how to love? First we have to learn how to love and accept ourselves just the way we are. For most of us this means we are going to have to adapt new beliefs about ourselves that will replace the limiting, critical, judgmental, not good enough, beliefs we have bought into. As you read this chapter, look for "breadcrumbs" you can use to new create beliefs about yourself.
Next we have to learn how to love others just the way they are. It's easy to love somebody when he or she loves you back. The challenge is when others are angry, hostile, belligerent, or arrogant. What if they didn't love themselves and believed that they didn't deserve to be loved? What if they behaved so poorly that it would be nearly impossible for you to love them? Then, in their mind, when you don't love them, they are right! They don't deserve to be loved. Very few of our parents knew how to love themselves. Therefore, they couldn't teach us, their children, how to love ourselves.
Where do you go to learn how to love yourself? Hopefully you'll find some ideas in this chapter. How would your life change if you believed your purpose in life is to learn how to love yourself and others just the way they are?
You cannot live in fear and love at the sametime. When you find yourself in fear, ask God to immediately remove you from this fear and transport you back into the world of love. Close your eyes and see God coming for you, instantly removing you from fear and gently placing you back into your inheritance of love.
Fill the air around you with love. Send it out in front of you, so everywhere you go is always filled with love.
You are safe. Do not allow any emotion, pain, or scars from the past stop you from living in the fullness of your heart. Expressing love is the essence of who you are. When you love, give your love freely, as a gift, without any expectation of how this gift is received or used. Give love purely for the great joy you experience as a giver of love. You have done this with a newborn baby. You gave this precious child all your love and expected nothing in return. This innocent baby taught you how to love in purity. Take this precious gift and share it.
Love yourself just the way you are.
When people misbehave, they may be saying, "I am not worthy of being loved," or "I don't deserve to be loved and I'm going to prove I'm right by behaving so repulsively you won't love me." Choose instead to love them, simply because they are. They don't need to earn your love. This is unconditional love.
If I had one wish, it would be that everybody loves himself.
A Course in Miracles says we are doing one of two things: giving love or asking for love. We sometimes disguise asking for love as anger, resentment, jealousy, envy, withdrawal, or by being demanding. See through people's disguises and give them the love they are asking for when they are expressing themselves fearfully. You may just be sending love from your heart to their heart.
Love yourself just the way you are and it will be easy to love others just the way they are.
Life is a dance. What kind of dance do you want your life to be? One of love, joy, compassion, and patience, or one of anger, revenge, and hate? It's your life, so choose your dance partner well.
Write a note to somebody you love, explaining how much you appreciate her or him.
When babies have temper tantrums, we pick them up, hold them to our bosom, and comfort them. If an adult you know is having a temper tantrum, similarly envision yourself holding him to your bosom, comforting him, and loving him.
Treat yourself like you are number one. Learn how to nurture yourself first. You are most valuable when you come to a situation with a full tank—that is, rested and nurtured.
Love is the flame that lights your heart. It has value only when it is shared. Use the loving light within your heart to relight the heart light of one who has forgotten how to love or how to be loved. Use this heart light to brighten the heart light of another who is having trouble loving himself.
Bless everyone you meet everywhere you go.
Let go of all the lies that your ego has deceived you into believing. When you do this, the fog created by these lies lifts, revealing a beautiful, loving being whose purpose is simply to find a creative, spontaneous way of being loved and loving others.
God never created anybody that He loves more than He loves you!
There is a small child within you who has not been nurtured and loved enough. It doesn't matter how old you are, because nobody has ever been nurtured enough or loved too much. Pick up this child and hold her to your heart and reassure her that she is loved, and that you will nurture her for the rest of your life.
Dr. Gerald Jamplowsky wrote a book titled, Love is Letting Go of Fear. We are challenged to let go of our fears. We should lead our life from a place of love rather than out of fear.
Many people believe that the purpose of life is to win the game of Monopoly. That is, many people live their lives as if all that matters is the acquisition and possession of material goods (money, houses, cars, boats). What if the purpose of life is to learn how to love ourselves and others, even when it is difficult?
Heal the pain of somebody not showing you an act of love by loving yourself. You are whole and complete just the way you are.
What do you have to believe to accept yourself just the way you are? See yourself as a work of art in progress.
Before we are born, we live with God at home in a world where only unity and unconditional love exists. We ask God if we can run an errand for Him. God agrees to let us leave our perfect home to run this errand of love. Then we are born. This is like walking out of your front door. Once you leave the safety and comfort of your home, you don't know what elements you'll meet while you are gone. We meet many others who are also on errands, and they may be lost and scared. Remember, they are your beloved brothers and sisters. Don't be fooled by what they look like, how they are dressed, or how they behave. The further they get from home, the more they forget who they are and why they are here. Do whatever comes to you, intuitively, to comfort them. Show them love, compassion, patience, acceptance, and tolerance.
Nobody has ever died from an overdose of love.
Most everybody I have ever known struggles with the inability to set boundaries and enforce them. I think we are afraid of hurting other people's feelings. Boundaries are a statement of self-worth. You are telling people, "This is how I want to be treated." The easiest time to set boundaries is in the beginning of the relationship. You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Are you ready to attract people into your life who will treat you with dignity and respect?
Experiments have proved that food prepared with love tastes better.
What if, when you got behind the wheel of your car, your job was to send love out in all directions to every person you see? Once you love doing this, expand it into another area until it fills your whole life.
Let's play Jeopardy. The answer is, "Love." The question is, "What is the solution to every problem?"
Love the child that is still inside of you, no matter how old you are.
Learn to live in your heart.
Newborn babies are 100 percent dependent upon us. And they are the easiest to love. Why do you suppose that is?
What do you love about yourself?
The past is gone, and the future will never get here—the present is all you have. That is why it is such a beautiful present. Embrace the present as a divine gift of love.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a poem called, "How Do I Love Thee?" Give yourself a great gift and write your own poem or letter saying how you love yourself.
God loves you unconditionally; that is, there is nothing that you can ever say or do that will ever change God's love for you!
You can't say or do anything to deserve God's love. God's unconditional love is your birthright.
Do you find that you are your hardest judge? How would that change if you loved yourself more?
You're always safe. Visualize yourself being embraced by God, and feel God's heart encasing you completely with unconditional love!
Chances are the child within you hasn't been loved enough. How do you want to show your child within that it is loved?
What one thing will you take from this book that will make your life more loving?
It is my belief that everybody wants to be happy. I believe this is a universal truth. The question is, how can I be happy? My answer is that you must release your expectations. If you have no expectations for yourself, for life, or for other people, then you cannot be disappointed. A major reason people aren't happy is that life hasn't fulfilled their expectations. Another reason people aren't happy is that they look for things outside themselves to make them happy. Some examples are a successful career, money, a spouse, children they are proud of, a big house, expensive cars, boats, vacations, clothes, a certain weight, physical beauty, and prestige.
How much happier would you be if you were happy with who you are rather than what you have? Don't wait for something to happen to be happy—just be happy. As you read this chapter, pick at least one "breadcrumb" that you believe will create happiness in your life.
It's better to be happy than right.
Smile. It's contagious.
Laughing makes everybody feel good. Look for what is funny in every situation.
Try to get one person to say to you every day, "You made my day."
The key to happiness is releasing your expectations. If you have no expectations for yourself, or for anybody else, or for any situation, then it is impossible to be disappointed by anybody or any situation. You are always happy when you have no expectations!
A key to a happy life is being true to yourself.
Whenever I see an engaged couple or a newlywed couple, I share my belief about how they can be guaranteed to have a happy marriage. I tell them to tell their spouse every day what they love about them. This forces them to look for what they love in their spouse rather than their faults. Imagine how your relationships would change if you looked for what you love in every person.
Happiness is contagious. Spread it everywhere you go.
Every night before you go to sleep, tell yourself the most beautiful thing you saw that day, heard that day, experienced that day, or read that day. This will get you in the habit of seeking beauty everywhere you go. This practice will change your life.
Listen to Joe Cocker sing "You Are So Beautiful" as if God is singing this song to you.
Which is more important to you, to judge and condemn, or to forgive and be happy?
As I mentioned in the preface, my favorite food is Jenny Craig's triple chocolate cheesecake. I eat it frozen and let it slowly melt in my mouth. My tongue dances with each bite. If only I could have this relationship with everything I eat. Then eating would be a divine dance. By savoring each bite, or anything else in your life, you are engaging in a magnificent divine dance with your Source. What are some favorite things or people you savor?
Make a list of the beliefs you need to let go of to be happy.
I watched a TV show about Siegfried and Roy. It documented the tiger mauling Roy and his subsequent recovery, which took five and a half years. At the end of the duo's farewell show, Siegfried said, "Look for the magic that is around you in nature, plants, flowers, and all the animals with which we share this planet. Look for it and it will lighten your heart and your life." Look for the magic. You will find what you look for.
For many people, forgiveness is an insurmountable mountain. Why? Well, it's my point of view that forgiveness becomes nearly impossible when we set ourselves up as judge, jury, and executioner. We have deemed that somebody has done something that is unforgivable. How heavy is the burden of judging and condemning? I'm not saying that behaviors shouldn't have consequences. But forgiveness is about releasing the emotional attachment to the event. This in no way condones the behavior. In my opinion, forgiveness has nothing to do with the offending behavior. Forgiveness is only for one person—you. For most of us, the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. If you want to get deeper into this than we cover in this book, I recommend Louise Hay's book, You Can Heal Your Life. She also has an accompanying workbook.
Forgiveness is a process, not an event. You may have to forgive somebody for days, weeks, or months before you are totally free of the emotional attachment. Once I had to send love to somebody every day for nine months before I was freed from the emotional attachment to the event! Remember, the purpose of forgiveness is to release yourself from the emotional attachment to the event. Forgiveness is like getting out of jail. Forgiveness frees you from the burden of judgment. To me, it is better to be happy than right. Skip this chapter if you're not open to forgiving yourself or others. However, if you are willing to open your heart to forgiving, then read this chapter with the intent of finding the tools that will allow you to forgive. For when you forgive, you will find peace, wholeness, and healing.
Forgiveness starts with you. Forgive yourself.
I knew a woman whose son had been run over and killed by a man traveling with several other men in a car. During the manslaughter trial, she stood up in the courtroom and forgave them! If she could do that, what grudge are you ready to let go of, or what hurt are you ready to release so that you can heal? Remember, forgiveness is releasing the emotional attachment to the event. Forgiving is in no way condoning behavior.
Forgiveness is letting go of the emotional attachment to the event.
All of us do the best we can with the resources available to us at any given moment. There are days when you feel unstoppable and days when it is nearly impossible to get out of bed. Forgive everybody who hurt you because they didn't have access to love, compassion, or understanding at the moment they said or did something that hurt you.
You can never heal the pain from any emotional wound while you are holding on to it. Now is a great time to release this pain so that you can begin the healing process.
Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.
Make it a daily practice to let go of your emotional attachment to the past. Every day, forgive yourself for all the mistakes you have made in this lifelong experiment in Earth school. Every day, let go and let God.
Today is the day to forgive yourself for everything you perceive you have done wrong.
When you are meditating, imagine that one by one, everybody who has ever offended you comes to you saying, "Please forgive me for everything I have ever said or done to you that has hurt you in any way!" Feel your burden lift, and feel your heart healing and becoming whole again. When you are ready, imagine that there is a line of people in front of you. Say to each one of them, "Please forgive me for anything I have ever said or done that has hurt you!" When all of this is complete, you all join hands in a circle and a huge white ball of light encircles everybody and replaces the hurt with love. Feel the energy of this love being passed to you.
Every one of us has been hurt. All of us need to heal. A huge step in healing is forgiving your past.
Holding on to the pain of the past is like carrying one hundred pounds of rotting garbage with you everywhere you go. Love yourself enough to let go of this huge burden.
What if forgiveness healed every malady? Would you use it?
Excerpted from Spiritual Breadcrumbs from the Universe by Jim Brown Copyright © 2011 by Jim Brown. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted February 19, 2013