Is it possible to love too much? No. But it is possible to become quite taxed in our giving. Some are in situations that require constant care for others. For some, it is not possible to hand the situation off to another to get a much-needed break with any regularity. These can become high-pressure situations easily and frequently. Situations like this make a peaceful mindset imperative. In fact, it might be helpful if we take the attitude that those situations are actually intended to help us return to peace. As unlikely as it sounds, it is possible to be at peace in all situations. It is important to remember that our reality is within; our peace comes from within. That doesn’t necessarily remove the situation without, but knowing that peace is always available. We can make a shift in mindset that reminds us that we live from within, not as victims, batted around by our circumstances. This world is a time for learning and situations like these help us to learn how to live within, how to be at peace, and how to extend love.
I could see peace instead of this.
There is a very helpful idea from A Course In Miracles that says, “I could see peace instead of this.” This is always the case. We can always choose to return to peace, even when the outside world is bombarding us. When we have that foundation of peace, we know what to do in every situation. We know how to give and how to serve others. We know what to do and what not to do. Peace is necessary for love; they go hand in hand and cannot be separated.
Some believe it is necessary to perform acts of service in order to get something out of it. Giving becomes something to do in order to receive a reward. That reward may be a good feeling or it may be recognition from recipients. As we turn to love from our past of selfishness, it is natural to seek the reward of feeling good from giving to others. But it is possible to bypass becoming a being of love to making a contest of “giving in order to get”.
Joy is our natural state. Love is our natural way of life. As we leave our self-centered lifestyle we naturally desire to give. As we become more giving, we experience the joy of being love. That comes from within. We can become obsessed with finding reward as if we are searching for gold, doing and doing and doing trying to hold on to that feeling. But love is peaceful. In fact, peace is foundational in order to be loving. That peaceful state allows us to know or feel just when and where to give. It is not about piling up good deeds so that we can feel good. That is a recipe for disappointment. More is not always better.
This is one article, but will be spread over the next three entries due to length.
Is it possible to love incorrectly? It is possible to serve and give in ways that are not truly love. There are those who believe that they must give more in order to “go to heaven” or to be good enough. It is possible to perceive that we have done something to “lose our salvation”. One of the issues with religion is that it can cause us to believe that we have done something to merit condemnation. As a result, we feel that we have to do something to make up for where we have gone wrong. This is false. This is completely false. Belief in separation, belief that we can do something that will make the creator give up on us, is unfounded. We are already good enough. We are a perfect creation and that cannot change. We can experience heaven on earth. We don’t need to become a guru or a “spiritual person”. We cannot make up for our mistakes and, what’s more, we don’t need to.
Technically speaking, giving in order to be good enough is dualism. It is attempting to get something for ourselves from without. Love flows through us from within. “The kingdom of heaven is within,” remember? All we need to do is reconnect to love. When we settle down and trust that we are already perfect, love will show us when and how to give. We can leave our guilt for past sins, realizing we could never sin, and know the joy of being who and what we really are: love.
People often ask why a loving God would create a world with so much pain and suffering. The answer is, she/he/it wouldn’t. And didn’t. We have actually caused all the pain we have ever experienced. What’s more, we can leave the world of suffering in the blink of an eye.
The world of chaos we are experiencing is a product of believing that we need to get all we can or we will be lost. It is a world of I am better than you and you’ll see that in the end. It is a world of haves and have nots and most are have nots. It is a world where we fear that if we don’t do enough or get enough then the worst will come about, whatever we fear the worst to be. It is a world we made up in our minds.
The reality is the world is perfect. We might not see a perfect world, yet, but we could. The nice thing is that it doesn’t require years of meditation or traveling to consult with a guru in a distant land. What is needed is simple. It might not be easy, at first, but it is simple. We simply change our mind to become a being of loving and serving instead of getting. If we commit to this totally, we will never experience this as a world of chaos again.
We believe that giving is sacrifice. This is only the case when our mindset is one of getting. As beings of love, we can lose nothing. In fact we actually receive by giving. This is the law of cause and effect. This is the law of love. When we give, we receive. This is a simple statement, but it is the exact opposite of what most of us currently believe. It is the opposite of what we do and how we live. We live in a world of using and networking and “what can you do for me?” The idea of giving runs counter to the world we currently experience, the world where everything we’ve tried to make us happy has failed.
The creator of this world is love, and creates by extending love. We are created to do the same. At some point we lost sight of this. We began to believe that we needed to get and hoard in order to survive. But survival is not what this world is about; it is about experiencing joy. That is what we no longer do. But when we switch our purpose from getting, back to sharing and giving, we return to the world as it was created to be: heaven on earth.
That world has never really left us. We have merely lost sight of it. Here is where faith is involved. It takes faith to believe that we will be taken care of if we change our focus from getting. But we have always been taken care of, in spite of our attempts to take care of ourselves. A creator who is love could never forget the creation. The creation will always be cared for.
Each pang of suffering tells us that we’re doing it wrong. Each one is a reminder that we have made a mistake in our thinking. We can remain on the path of self-torture. No one will make us change. But, we do have an option.
The one thing the ego does not want is for us to discover what we are really here for. We have invested our whole lives to becoming. We are becoming successful. However, success, in the thinking of the ego is an end that can never be reached. But as long as we go on striving to improve ourselves, the ego is content. The ego, being illusion, cannot really understand that we can never get enough to be fulfilled. We cannot study or work enough. We can’t get enough money or stuff, or have a good enough career. We fail to understand why we never really find lasting joy when we meet our goals. In reality, pursuit of happiness in this way is a cycle that never quite provides the fulfillment we expect. But it’s all we know. So we continue as we always have.
There are those seemingly magical times when we get a glimpse of the joy we believe we were destined for all along. But when we return to our pursuit of getting, believing it has been the source of that joy in order to try to keep the feeling, it is gone. Our source is far different. You might even say it is the opposite. Our source is sharing and giving. Our purpose is to allow our source to share and give through us. In this only will we find fulfillment. We cannot be different than our source, but seemingly every effort we have made in our lives has been to become different. We believe we are separate so we do everything possible to become better and right. We have created a self that cannot exist. This self, or ego, can only exist in our minds, and it can only exist as we give it the strength to exist by pretending it is real and attempting to perfect it.
This separate self will go along on its roller coaster as long as these words are never heard, “To have, give all to all.” It never wants to hear that happiness is dependent upon being like our source. So we ignore the words. But it is too late. We have heard them and experienced their truth. We have felt that giving brings joy. But it makes no sense. How could it be possible to have by giving? Once again we return to getting and becoming. And again we are frustrated and unfulfilled. The other “self” we have created has escaped, and life can go on as we’ve always known it.
To have, give all to all.
As long as “to have, give all to all” is merely a concept, we are safe in our misery. If we begin to apply it, live it, our separated “self” is doomed. How can giving and serving and being kind be right? This is absurd. Doing this is the opposite of what we have been taught. It is the opposite of what we do and the opposite of who we’re trying to become.
And then a light comes on. These are the opposite. If they are the opposite of what has never been fulfilling, then maybe there is a chance that this is the answer. Our source is giving, like a spring of water flowing over. If we are like our source, we will be in harmony. We will once again experience that glimpse of joy that has been so fleeting. Only this time, it is possible to know that feeling continuously. We know what we have been doing for so long has not worked, but we are scared to do anything differently because we are never told anything else. What we have believed is so powerful, so obvious, so overwhelming that is seems that nothing else can be true. But it has never worked. It’s worth taking a risk to see if there is an alternative. After all, what have we gained so far?