by Michael Rawls
“If I speak with tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal… Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude… And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”
Unless my soul is connected to my heart, what I do will not be nearly as effective – that is what the 13th chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians teaches me. It goes on to instruct me not to be irritable or resentful, to rejoice in truth, to be patient, faithful, to have hope, and the strength to endure everything that life can throw at me. That is a pretty tall order.
If I close the door to what I feel, it cuts off the vital currents that activate my thoughts and actions. It also cuts off my perceptions of the dynamics behind my emotions and their purposes in my life. Emotions are currents of energy, and an awareness of these currents helps me to understand and deal with my emotions. Keeping my heart closed and disconnected also cuts me off from the emotions of others, and places a wall between those who love me and myself. Being aware of my feelings opens my heart to a path of reverence, a higher path. Love connects me to myself, to others and to the Deity in ways that the ordinary senses do not. Where my mind interprets information from my five senses, and forms some connections, love allows me to see the intimate connectedness of all things including non-physical reality.
For many years, I lived my life without much reflection, only occasionally asking myself the deeper questions of life, but not sticking around for the answers. Seriously considering the deeper meanings of my existence would have obligated me to change. I eventually became aware of the overwhelming emptiness in which I lived, and my seeming powerlessness over any of it. The first law of motion states, “a body in motion will remain in uniform motion until it is acted upon by a force.” Not allowing myself to feel prohibited those forces around me to cause a change in where I was going. Eventually, I banged into enough difficulties and dead-ends to realize that change was required of me, and it was time to stop ignoring the signs.
It was time to feel the feelings, time to learn how to nurture and love and care for myself, so that I could be of some use in the world, especially to others about whom I cared. Making only one choice was the force that was needed to cause the changes in my uniform motion on the road to nowhere, the choice to live consciously. Recognizing when you are at that sort of fork in the road is vital to one’s growth beyond the average trudge through life. There had been dark days, absent of light and love. The remedy for the absences and darkness in my life was presence and Light. It was a matter of choosing to walk the path of Light, even though it is a difficult journey, because that way leads to wholeness and peace – and love. Acquisition of authentic power requires heart.
My first order of business was to learn to recognize and fully know what I really cared about, or what I really should care about. I had to level with myself about the kinds of things I feel, and the emotions they generated. I had to allow myself to feel my Creator’s love, too. I am still learning how to show love to others in kind and patient ways, to love them fully and without expectations, to love them truly and without a thought of control, and to love them enough not to let them control me. And most of all, I had to do the work which love called upon me to do, work upon myself, and on behalf of and to the benefit of others. Being aware, recognizing, knowing, caring – living consciously – was not all there was to the process. It required me to express it – right out loud and right away.
I had stuffed feelings long enough, both the good feelings and the bad ones. Immediately clearing the books when the tally is made is just good business. Pay the bills when they come in. Expressing my love and joy for life to my Creator through prayer and patient listening to my inner voice is another thing that should not be put off until a convenient time. It should be done when the thought or the blessing or the lesson comes to me. Right now, and right out loud. One’s faith or love may go without saying, but it should never go unexpressed. Affirmations of what I want to attract to my life, what I believe in, what and whom I love, gathers so much authentic power to me that it is sometimes hard to comprehend. By not saying these affirmations out loud, I ignore a vital, living source that the Universe uses to deliver gifts and blessings from above back to me.
If love is all there really is, it simply must be the source of our being. Do not wait until you have no voice to express it. Don’t put it off until it is too late to have a positive effect in your life and the lives of those you care about. Acknowledge the love, the feelings, the heart and the blessings in your life and the lives of those around you: say it right now – out loud.
Feel that authentic power with your heart. Then give it away!