This is really any time, but as we move into holidays we are starting to plan acts of love in the distance we travel, the meals we make, and the traditions we keep. We can easily see these opportunities for love.
I know that the purpose of each human is to LOVE. I am also learning that humans are wired to notice the negative first as survival instinct (I recommend Buddha’s Brain, The Practice Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Rick Hansen). LOVE is something that we need to work at each and every day. I know that this is an important pathway to HEALTH.
The other day while meditating this prayer emerged. You can insert your personal interpretation of the Holy Spirit, that is, The Divine, God, Allah, etc. I would like for this to be a universal prayer. For me, the Holy Spirit is the powerful force which guides nature. The essence of which is LOVE.
May I be filled with the Holy Spirit to be Aware of Love.
May I be filled with the Holy Spirit to Accept Love.
May I be filled with the Holy Spirit to Embody Love.
May I be filled with the Holy Spirit to Radiate Love.
Aware, Accept, Embody and Radiate. Allow me the time to explain each.
Aware. You must consciously work at being aware of Love. The 24-hour news cycle makes this difficult and there are bad things happening in the world. However, each day opportunities also arise to see love. A practice of mindfulness helps to create this awareness in each moment. If you follow my blog, social media posts or come to my classes, you know that I encourage this practice. I believe that now more than ever mindfulness is necessary to be aware of love around you. (If you want to get started, I have resources on my website for free guided meditations)
Accept. For me, this is difficult. We have all experienced emotional trauma in our lives. For some this trauma is apparent but for others it may have been repeated minor offenses, like a parent that used shame as discipline. Mine was adoption. For many years I didn’t realize it to be a trauma. But that experience, even as an infant, left me with a deep sense of thinking that I was unworthy of love. In my meditation practice each day, I work to let go of that trauma and open to love.
Embody. The traumas live in our body. Those achy hips are when you didn’t feel safe. The achy back is the fear of not having enough money. The pain between your shoulders blades is a broken heart. The tension in your neck is every time to didn’t speak your mind. When we hold those traumas in the body, it is difficult to fill with love. However, with meditation and movement like yoga we can work to let go of the trauma and pain.
Here’s an example of embodied love that you may also feel. Recently, my daughter loves to trade gentle kisses on the nose. At night, she gives me a kiss and then I give her a kiss. And then she falls on to her bed with a big smile and giggles. Does this evoke a memory? Do you feel it somewhere in your body? If so, you know what I’m talking about and you know that you want more of it.
Radiate. This is simple. When you are filled with love, you can’t help but radiate love. Even to the stranger at the store. Even when you hear the bad news. People have been telling me recently, “You look great! Did you do something different with your hair?” Truth be told, I had a hard summer emotionally, I’ve put on 5 pounds. and my hair is noticeably grayer. Though all of this, I work to practice mindfulness. I think what people are noticing is LOVE.
You’ll notice that I used the word “work” a few times. That is what it takes. Regular, consistent, work to take time for love.