The stab of Love
Days ago I was reading Mary's blog, trying to catch up with all the posts from previous years and I bumped into her series called "the Great Experiment".
In these posts she shares stories of people who had longed for God's love and received it for the very first time. As soon as I read the first testimony I felt the need to do a quick check-in and ask myself when was the last time I received God's love.
The answer? Months ago, if what I felt is even what I think it was.
While my spiritual quest has never come to a halt, the same cannot be said for the development of my longing for God's love. In fact, the last time I felt true longing for God's love was at the shelter (almost a year ago now). When I say longing I mean a strong and sincere desire sustained over time.
At that time I was very focused on directing all of my thoughts to God and after days of longing and praying I felt a warm feeling in my chest that resembled the feeling I have when I think of my soulmate. The day that I felt this warm feeling I realized that even if I was busy doing other things my heart was continuously directed at God. It felt good but also weirdly "scary" and within a few hours I stopped nurturing it until it disappeared all together. Looking back I think the scary part was related to the awareness of how much efforts it would take to keep that feeling going and at the time it felt daunting and unsustainable over long term so I gave it up all together.
As I am writing these words I feel quite silly and illogical to have thought the way I did, but I'm sure I'm not the first neither the last to feel that way.
When I read George's testimony and his description of the experiment* I went back to those days and wondered why I reacted so illogically. Why did I feel that the experiment was so hard even when I was experiencing encouraging changes and why did I give up so quickly? So I decided to get back into it straight away. I pulled out my favourite spiritual books and started to read them all again.
After a few days of reading and watching related videos I started to feel more and more frustrated with the process. I felt an underlying sense of anger and one evening I decided to express it through a couple of punches on the pillow rather than sit in silence pondering why I was feeling angry.
I went pretty quickly from anger to grief and I started to cry about how hard it is to get what I want and a bunch of other feelings such as "Why do I have to work so hard to be loved?" "Why is it so hard to receive what I desire?" "Why is this system so complex and why are there so many darn quibbles and side notes to keep in mind?" "Why can't we just exchange love with each other and call it a day?". Then I went on to say that I had enough of this nonsensical game and that I felt someone was holding the carrot on the stick trying to allure me into something that I knew I could never achieve.
After few tears and some blurry journaling I went back to the books and kept praying for God to open up my soul to the reception of His love. I didn’t’ receive any love yet but at least I felt more positive and hopeful.
Last year, while watching some DT videos I bumped into a presentation held by Cornelius and among all the beautiful things that he said he also recommended Yoga as one of the best activities to connect our body with our spirit. I was immediately intrigued by that and decided to explore this new way of exercising and become a yoga “lover”.
One thing that you learn pretty quickly when doing yoga is PATIENCE. Constant work and efforts are required to get to the next level of the practice. Splits are a very good example of this concept. Being able to stretch the legs apart so that the feet are lying 180 degrees apart from each other is not very easy to achieve. One needs to engage in a daily practice of stretching, which allows the muscle to soften into that particular pose and over time to elongate in the desired direction. If I had to summarize in a few points what is required to progress in yoga I would say one needs:
1) Commitment to a daily practice
2) Willingness to bear some pain and feel some discomfort
3) Understanding of the process to avoid damage to one’s body
There is no shortcut or magic pill that can suddenly make the muscles stretch beyond their condition without a committed practice (unless one decided to snap their groin abductors by jumping into the pose anyways. I reckon that might get them to the split position but if they intended to keep up with yoga - and walking - I surely would not recommend it).
Our spiritual journey seems very much the same as yoga.
Becoming at one with God is not a magical transformation that takes place over night but it’s rather a slow and intentional nurturing of our Soul that takes time, hard work, will (not will power**) and efforts. One needs to not only be committed and ready to bear some pain but also to be informed on the process to avoid making common (and painful) mistakes such as reverting to self-punishment or getting stuck in self delusional emotions.
How many times I beat myself up for not being “fast enough”, “introspective enough” or “something enough”, forgetting that compassion is key when trying to change, especially at the beginning of the journey where most of our rigidity and resistance lies. But most of us prefer to scrutinize the parts that we have done wrong rather than appreciate those that we did right.
Transforming one’s Soul is a slow process that requires lots of patience. If we were trying to wash a pan that was left dirty in the sink for years we would never expect to be able to remove the encrusted pieces of food the first time that we wiped the pan with the sponge. Rather, we would let the pan soak in hot water, give the encrusted food time to absorb the water and soften a little and only then we would start working on the parts that have become more loose. Impatience or anger would only cause us to damage the pan. The same goes for our Soul. Wrong believes are so cemented in ourselves that when we try to unhinge them we struggle to let go of them and trying to force us into releasing them creates only damage to ourselves. I believe that in all His mighty wisdom, God structured “the way” in such a matter that while walking the path we don’t only get to know and love Him better but also ourselves. And that makes total sense. How could we be more loving with others if we don’t first learn to be loving towards ourselves?
Jesus said once “you will find out that there is so much more to Love than what you think”. Man, was heeeee right!
When I first started this path I thought I could choose to be loving “on command” and progress in a quick and easy way. I even found odd that nobody was at one with God yet! (Miss Arrogance..'ello!). I thought all it took was a strong desire to change and BOOM, it would come to me fast and furious. Of course facts have proven me wrong. To increase my love by one infinitesimal step I’ve had to put on the table everything that I had and even more. I had to put under the microscope every single action that I took and question it against God’s view of love, accept that I was not the person I thought myself to be and finally have a sincere and strong desire to change all that in favor of a new me. Sometimes even just understanding that an action needs to be put under the microscope is a tough task, cause a lot of times we think that what we are doing IS already loving and we do not understand that it needs further review. Ah, humility, humility…if we all had more of it what would this world look like?
Sometimes the way to achieve at-onement with God seems so difficult and so slow that I feel like throwing my hands up in the air and go back to what many call “blissful ignorance” but then I look back at that infinitesimal step that I took, I reflect on how much more aware, INTENTIONAL, compassionate, humble and loving I had to become to conquer that small little change and how much happiness it brought into my life and I wonder how inconceivably blissful one must feel when their Soul is made of the very substance of God.
I know I am far away from that state and I know that a lot of times I refuse to see what my true condition really is but one thing I am certain of: if at the end of this infancy stage called life the smallest part of God’s nature will find permanent shelter in my heart THEN all of my efforts would be worth my while and, with that in mind, I know that this time I am not going to give up!
December 13th, 2016 - Excerpt of a message from Julius Caesar to James Padgett
"I am still in some darkness, but light is breaking into my soul and consciousness, and I am commencing to realize that my fate as I have for so many years conceived it to be is not fate at all, and that my conception of what my fixed state was is all wrong, and was the child, if I may so call it, of my condition of mind and beliefs. [..]
And now, when I know how different the truth is, I feel that all these long years of my spirit life have been wasted, and I bewail the fate that held me so long in that condition of stagnation and pride and resentment and utter hopelessness. [...]
Well, as I said, I am so thankful that this knowledge has come to me, for now I am rid of pride and ideas of superiority and all those things that had caused me to believe that the Almighty had treated me unjustly in not recognizing my earthly qualities and giving me a position which, as I believed, my greatness entitled me to. I resented all this and in my resentment, I became a spirit who fed on my imaginary injuries and thoughts that I would be sufficient unto myself, and not seek the favor of such a God. So you see what can be the effect of arrogance and pride and a self-glorious estimate of one small mind upon the possibility of a spirit's happiness and progress.
But now these things have left me and I realize that I am a nothing, except that I am a child of God and the object of His Love, as your spirit friends have told me and are telling me. And in my humility - and I am humble, for I want to tell you that my fall was great and the consciousness of my littleness extreme - I know that I need the help of the Father in order to become in the least degree a spirit of light. And I am praying and longing and seeking, oh so earnestly, for this Love.
Caesar the once mighty is now Caesar the most humble and weak, but the most hopeful. "
December 20th, 2016 - Excerpt of a message from Julius Caesar to James Padgett
"I want to tell you that I took your advice and went with your grandmother, and had opened up to me a whole world of love and truth. Oh, what a wise and magnificent spirit she is and what love she has, and she treated me with such kindness and was even like Brutus of old.
For in her kindness, she gave me a stab that killed all my old beliefs and feelings of greatness and made me in truth a mere nothing and at the same time the greatest being that I had even been in all my existence, for it showed me that I was a real child of God and the object of His Love and care, and one that had all the possibility of becoming in my soul even Godlike."
Picture credit to whfpdubai.com
* George’s great experiment
For more info on the Experiment please watch:
For more info on how to develop your will to love please watch:
** For more info on will versus will power please watch: