The Gift of Love
by Robert Sidell, Rev., J.D.
What is the soul of love? In this world that we live we each search for love in a different way. One searches for it in a romantic relationship, another in friendship, another with family, and another in religion. But is there a kind of love that is available to all people, all the time? A love that can suffuse all of our relationships, and every part of our life?
The true love of this life is the love that is eternal, that is boundless, that pervades the very creation of life itself. Only when we find this love are we really free. Only when we have tasted that supreme joy, that unlimited possibility do we really find contentment.
As we begin to make this shift we find that we place less demands on the people that are around us. We begin to find joy in the simple pleasures of life: a sip of water, the reflection of the sun off of a puddle in the street, a flock of birds swirling into the sky.
The question then, is how can we bring this joy of life itself into a marriage or any other relationship in our lives?
1. Give Up Judgments. We must be willing to release judgment on ourselves and the world. This world has extraordinary beauty. But if we constantly judge it, constantly judge ourselves, then we really find ourselves cut off from that beauty.
Sometimes we may be surrounded by diamonds in the rough. We may find that the people around us don’t see life like we do. Yet within them is great beauty, and the potential for great love.
I remember once floating on the “lazy river” in Wet and Wild, a Water Park. I was surrounded by every kind of person, from every walk of life. Suddenly, I was filled with a great love, a sense of oneness with all that were around me. It gave me a great sense of happiness, of well-being. Where once I might have felt cut off, instead I found love. Suddenly all of the differences in people melted away into a great bliss, the joy of life itself.
Truly, is this not the key to the future of the human race? Must we not learn to find this love within our hearts?
2. Look Beyond Appearances. Just as we must learn to release our judgments on the world that surrounds us, so to we must learn to look beyond the appearance of things. Sometimes we may appear to be in a difficult situation, where no answer presents itself.
The difficulty of the problem seems to cut us of from love, from peace of mind. Yet, if we can step back, take a deep breath, then suddenly we find the peaces of the puzzle coming together. A great flood of peace and love comes into our heart. But this can only happen if we can quit focusing on appearances as they seem.
We must cultivate a deep inner love, a deep inner peace, that allows us to see beyond the appearances of the moment. Then as we learn to do this we become more available to the experience of love, of joy, of happiness. We become open to the creative power of life to heal, to uplift, to steer us correctly. The burdens of our soul are lifted from us, and in their place arises the great love, the soul of love, the freedom that we have always sought.
3. Practice Selfless Loyalty.
What is love without loyalty? What is love without dedication that goes beyond our own self-interest? My wife has taught me so much about love during the course of our marriage. Sometimes, even when I have been self centered and inconsiderate (yes, unfortunately that has happened), her love, and dedication has been steadfast.
She has reminded me that much of what love is requires us to move beyond our own position, our own attitudes to truly love and embrace another human being. When we can grant that person unconditional love, and steadfast support, regardless of differences of personality, temperament or style, then we really begin to discover the soul of love.
For truly, if love cannot bridge the differences to the people that are the closest to us, then how are we every going to build a world that works for everyone? Is not love the great opportunity of this life? Do we not learn the most about love from the people that are the closest to us?
Whoever you are, wherever you are right now, I suggest that you see if there is some way to lovingly support your husband, wife, or other people that are close to you. Find out how you can be more loyal, more steadfast, in a selfless fashion. As you do this, you will find happiness, joy and love arising in your heart.
4. Learn to Shower Love On Those in Your World.
After all is said and done, what is the simplest, must powerful key to finding love in your life? It is simply to learn to give as much love as you possibly can to everyone in the world that surrounds you. Do not spend your life seeking love. Rather spend your life giving love!
We become what we give to life. As we grow spiritually we become less self centered, and spend more of our precious life energy giving love. But the great miracle of love is this: as we share more love, we receive more love. For we draw love from an inexhaustible resource. That love is really who we are, and what we are made of.
Only as we learn to reach within our own soul, and bring out love ever more deeply for the people in our world will we ever be free. Then as we do this we truly reveal God’s plan for the world. We become the incarnation of grace, the gift of eternal joy to the world. We find not only love, but peace abiding in our hearts.