“Suffering is one of the four noble truths. It is a given – a fact about our existence. Why would I resist it?” I asked myself this again last night as I was going to bed.
I resist because when I accept it feels like I consent. It feels like I am welcoming more. I’m saying it’s ok for bad things to happen to me. Acceptance feels like conceding to not getting my way. But that’s not what it is at all.
When you accept it it loses its power over you. You become greater than it. You grant it passage because you are beyond it. I spent several minutes contemplating acceptance as I lay in bed. I drifted off into the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a while.
Today I am inspired by love. I am remembering Corinthians 13:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
When you love you partake in the reality that we are one. When you love someone who is unkind to you, you transmit this self-knowledge to them. You choose to experience the true nature of your relationship even with they stubbornly resist it. This is the only way to improve them. Don’t reason with them, don’t argue with them. Love them. Love is inescapable unity; it draws all people into our ultimate reality as one.
Eastern philosophies often emphasize renunciation, silencing desire, and giving up one’s own ego. These practices empty you of what you are not. But to know what you are, you must love all unconditionally. Only then will you realize your true nature. The feeling of love is the experience of the boundless and limitless self that is one with all things. It is the only thing that ultimately exists.
God is love. Why do we say this? How do we know this? Because God is the ultimate unity of all things. He is self-sufficient and complete because He is all and more. When you tap into this vibration you experience your participation in it. The little you may come and go, but the eternal aspect of you is ever-present in God’s love.
As I sit and meditate today I ask myself, how often do I experience love? Could it be that I hardly ever experience it in its full glory? I love my family and love my friends, but do I ever sit and resonate with this feeling? Do I cultivate it in my life? I know for sure that I have spent hundreds of days dwelling in turmoil – have I spent one single day dwelling in love? I’m reminded of 1st Peter 4:8
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
As I sit in meditation I ask to be shown true love. I am filled beyond my capacity. I extend this love to everyone in my life. I linger on those who are more difficult to love. The vibration is brilliant. I realize in this moment what an unusual feeling it is for ordinary life. How rare it is to encounter one who loves.
I sit for a full hour in effortless bliss. When my timer rings, I hit snooze and sit for twenty more minutes.
I will do my best to carry this vibration into my activities today.