In my story, Looking for Pork Chop McQuade, Cupcake has spent her whole life taking care of others, putting her needs last, pushing her dreams to the side, making herself “dimmer” so that those around her can feel “brighter.” How many of us do that in real life? I’d wager, many of us. In my newest work in progress, Anna spent her life believing she was insignificant until a chance encounter with someone from a dimension where the only law is love, turns her world upside down. What if we realized that there is one great law in the universe that supersedes all others, and that law is the law of love?
I’ve noticed a lot of fear around me lately, fear of COVID, fear of the government, fear of the vaccine, fear of control, fear of hunger, fear of losing jobs, fear of…well, just fear of fear. But what exactly is fear?
Perhaps fear is what we experience when we take our eyes off what we want for our lives, even if it’s momentary and put them on what we don’t want. We don’t have to stay there. We can move past it. Perhaps the ultimate fear is the fear of death but what if we realize that the only way out of this life is dying and that sooner or later, we’re all going to do that anyway. It’s the only way out of this realm unless a miracle transformation happens and whisks us all out of here. So, is that the fear? death? Seems like the Apostle Paul once said, “Oh grave where is your victory? Oh, death where is your sting?” Fear is the only sting it has and fear keeps us in bondage, keeps us from being the people we were created to be. I’ve heard it said, that we aren’t humans having a spiritual experience from time to time. We are SPIRITS having a human experience for a short span in the expanse of forever. What happens to us in this life is brief. Even if we lived to be 150 years old, our time in this mortal realm is still short. Truthfully, nature abhors a vacuum and fear is what fills the void when love leaves the room. Fear is the absence of love. The moment you let love back in the door, fear is gone. It dissipates like water vapor in a desert.
I know I talk about fear and love a great deal, but I am convinced with everything inside me that there is basically nothing else in life as important as understanding who we are, what we are and where we came from and to grasp those basic spiritual concepts of what it means to be alive, we must realize that the ONLY things that matter are fear and love. Ultimately, LOVE is the only thing that matters. The only one. Also, please realize that when I speak of love, I speak of something far, far greater than “romance.” Romance was invented to sell novels, candy, and Valentine’s Day cards. It’s not even necessary to procreate. I suppose it’s just fun but then it leads to this feeling of possession which stems from fear of losing someone which is stems from a lack of love. Jealousy is NOT a sign of love. Jealousy is a sign of the erroneous belief that you have power and control over another human being and that you somehow think you possess them. Love never possesses. It always liberates. Fear possesses and creates bondage. The old saying, “If you love something, set it free,” is true.
So, again I say, there are only two motivations for every act on earth: fear and love. Whatever is not done because of love is done because of fear and vice versa. What so many of us don’t get is that we must FIRST LOVE OURSELVES. That means we must accept ourselves as valuable and of great eternal worth. Jesus didn’t say “Love your neighbor but treat yourself like a doormat.” No. He said, “Love your neighbor AS yourself.” In other words, you also MUST LOVE YOURSELF! If we don’t first love ourselves, we have no hope of truly loving others and we will spend our lives doing things out of guilt, out of fear that someone will get angry with us and out of fear of not being accepted. Yep, there’s that fear again.
So, love yourself like your life depends on it because it does. It’s both simple and hard. We think we fear is a thing, but it isn’t. It’s only what exists when there is no love. We create fear by removing love. I’m going to quote the Bible here. The Apostle John tells us that “God IS love. And everyone that is born of God is born of love and he that does not love does not know God.” Notice that he doesn’t say, “God has love.” No! He says, “God IS love.” You can literally substitute the word “is” with an = sign! I make this point to say that we all come from God, so we all come from love. We are born knowing that we are loved. We come from love and when we die, we return to love. It’s while we are here that we forget what we are.
It is important to remember that we are loved and to love ourselves because when you don’t love yourself you believe everyone else is better and that their message is better than yours. How often do we make ourselves small so others can be big? We dim our lights so that others can feel brighter because we’ve bought into the lie that some of us are less important than others. We’re not. We say yes when we mean no because it’s easier to disappoint ourselves than others. We are facets of God, all of us. If we don’t love ourselves, we don’t allow ourselves to express who we are. We are not allowing a facet of God to express itself through us. Our purpose for being here is to love. You don’t have the right not to love ourselves. We must love ourselves. What is love? Love is sincere acceptance and appreciation of who someone really is and that includes yourself.
Everyday, all around us, people are hurting. We are all connected and if you are constantly needy and in search of validation and approval, if you have a big hole in your life that no amount of praise or validation can’t fill, you bring others down. But if you love yourself and are joyful, happy and fulfilled, then others want to be around you. People who are sick can sense your energy, by the way, and the last thing a sick person needs is negativity around them. Negativity is when you have this black hole that just sucks other people’s energy to try to make yourself feel better but it never works. The only way to fill that hole is to realize that you are loved by your creator, that you are a part of this marvelous universe, that you have worth and you can never get
Loving yourself is a form of being selfless to the people around you. Wherever you go, you bring yourself with you. Your presence is what changes your surroundings. If you bring a needy self, that is what you put out into the world. You are doing a service to the world when you love yourself. This is what shining your light means. I leave off today with this thought, “Love yourself as you love your neighbor.” Accept yourself as work of the Almighty, as an extension of pure love. We don’t have love. We are love and unless we live knowing that we are made of love, come from love and are love, we are living a lie. Love is the only truth, and it is this truth that sets us free to be lights in this world. Be the light. Love yourself.