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LOVE




"Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all." (Whitney)

Love is a pervasive force in the universe, not just a silly human emotion. Love is the key to living in harmony with each other and with the rest of nature. Love is to allow oneself and others to be as one is, and to live as one naturally lives.

Love is to perceive the essence of people and things and life, and to see and appreciate the value of all things. Love is to go beyond separation and difference and abstraction and language and to feel the unity in all of existence. Love is to participate joyously in the dance of life, to hear the music of evolution, to feel the pleasures and pains of the journey though life, to see the beauty in all of the world.

Whatever you give away today, or think or say or do will multiply about tenfold and then return to you. It may not come immediately, nor from the obvious source but the law applies unfailingly, through some invisible force. Whatever you feel about another, be it love or hate or passion will surely bounce right back to you in some clear (or secret) fashion If you speak about some person, a word of praise or two, soon, tens of other people will speak kind words of you. Our thoughts are broadcasts of the soul, not secrets of the brain. Kind ones bring us happiness; petty ones, untold pain Giving works as surely as reflections in a mirror. If hate you send, hate you'll get back, but loving brings love nearer Remember, as you start this day and duty crowds your mind, that kindness comes so quickly back to those who first are kind. Let that thought and this one direct us through each day. The only things we ever keep are the things we give away.

Our lives are patchwork quilts of mismatched fabrics, all stitched together by an invisible seamstress. The tattered, blood-red scraps of quarrels, the beige of pastry crust baked on Saturdays in a grandmother's kitchen that always smelled sweet, the brilliant colors of our happy moments -- picnics and sunsets and laughter -- all these are necessary pieces of the tapestry of our lives, even our cold, white doubts and emptiness. All the colors of life sewn together with the green thread of growth. We are a mixture of feelings and experiences. Often, we want to cut away a square of painful memory. But without it, our quilt would lose its beauty, for contrast would disappear. If a piece is removed, the rest is weakened and incomplete. When we cling to pain we end up punishing ourselves.

Leo F. Buscaglia

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Painful situations, relationships that hurt us, memories of experiences that pinch our nerve endings, need not imprison us. However, we are seldom very quick to let go of the pain. Instead, we become obsessed with it, the precipitating circumstances, and the longed-for, but often missed outcome. We choose to wallow in the pain, rather than learn from it. And we salt our own wounds every time we indulge the desire to replay the circumstances that triggered the pain. Pain can't be avoided. It's as natural as joy. In fact, we understand joy in contrast to the experiences of pain. Each offers breadth to our lives. And both strengthen us. Our maturity is proportionate to our acceptance of all experiences. In retrospect we can be grateful for pain, for it offered us many gifts in disguise. If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, but have not love, I am a housekeeper - not a homemaker. If I have time for waxing, polishing and decorative achievements, but have not love, my children learn of cleanliness - not godliness. Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh. Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window. Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk. Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys. Love is present through the trials. Love reprimands, reproves and is responsive. Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood. Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart. Before I became a parent I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I glory in God's perfection of my child. As a parent there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is love.

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TRUE LOVE

"True Love is not a painful obsession. It is not taking a hostage or being a hostage. It is not all-consuming, isolating, or constricting. Unfortunately the type of love most of us learned about as children is in fact an addiction, a form of toxic love. 'I can't smile without you,' 'I can't live without you,' 'Someday my prince /princess will come' are not healthy messages. There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship - it is natural and healthy. Believing we can't be whole or happy without a relationship is unhealthy and leads us to accept deprivation and abuse, and to engage in manipulation, dishonesty, and power struggles."

~Singing Earth~
 
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Spiritual is the Kindness found all over the world.... A soothing touch in the dead of night, When pain and fear take fanciful flight.... An arm to hold onto when steps start to falter, A prayer whispered quickly when breathing is altered... Speech without words, tears without pain, little to lose, the world to gain.... Listening carefully to tales of woe, Feeling the pain, letting it go.... A moment of time, a smile so bright, Laughing and sharing, a touch so light.... Raindrops and sunshine, and morning dew, A moment of love, given to you and to me.

~Singing Earth~
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LISTEN FOR LOVE

There are times when we are timid and shy about expressing the love wefeel. For fear of embarrassing the other person, or ourselves, we hesitate to say the actual words "I love you." So we try to communicate the idea in other words. We say take care or don't drive too fast or be good. But really, these are just other ways of saying I love you. You are important to me. I care what happens to you. I don't want you to get hurt.

We are sometimes very strange people. The only thing we want to say, and the one thing that we should say, is the one thing we don't say. And yet because the feeling is so real, and the need to say it is so strong, we are driven to use other words and signs to say what we really mean. And many times the meaning never gets communicated at all and the other person is left feeling unloved and unwanted.

Therefore, we have to LISTEN FOR LOVE in the words that people are saying to us. Sometimes the explicit words are necessary, but more often, the manner of saying things is even more important. A joyous insult carries more affection and love within the sentiments, which are expressed insincerely. An impulsive hug says I LOVE YOU even though the words might be saying very different. Any expression of a person's concern for another says I love you. Sometimes the expression is clumsy, sometimes even cruel.

Sometimes we must look and listen very intently for the love that contains. But it is often there, beneath the surface. A mother may nag her son constantly about his grades or cleaning his room. The son may hear only the nagging, but if he listens carefully, he will hear the love underneath the nagging. His mother wants him to do well, to be successful. Her concern and love for her son unfortunately emerge in her nagging. But it is love all the same. A daughter comes home late, way past her curfew, and her father confronts her with angry words. The daughter may hear only the anger, but if she listens carefully, she will hear the love under the anger. I was worried about you, the father is saying. Because I care about you and I love you. You are important to me.

We say I love you in many ways- with birthday gifts, and little notes, with smiles and sometimes with tears. Sometimes we show our love by just keeping quiet and not saying a word, at other times by speaking out, even brusquely. We show our love sometimes by impulsiveness. Many times we have to show our love by forgiving someone who has not listened to the love we have tried to express. The problem is listening for love is that we don't always understand the language of love, which the other person is using.

A girl may use tears or emotions to say what she wants to say, and her boyfriend may not understand her because he expects her to be talking his language. Thus, we have to force ourselves to really listen for love.

The problem with our world is that people rarely listen to each other. They hear the words, but they don't listen to the actions that accompany the words or the expression on the face. Or people listen only for rejection or misunderstanding. They do not see the love that is there just beneath the surface, even if the words are angry. Simon and Garfunkel wrote that very haunting song, The Sound of Silence. It goes ten thousand people, maybe more. People talking without speaking; people hearing without listening; people writing songs that voices never shared, because no one dared disturb the sound of silence.

It is a terrifying picture of our modern world, a world without communication and without love.

We have to listen for love in those around us. If we listen intently we will discover that we are a lot more loved than we realize. Listen for love and we will find that the world is a very loving place, after all.

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Love Yourself

When you feel yourself starting to beat yourself up about something, there's a very simple technique that can help ease it. Pretend you are your best friend. How would you talk to your friend? You would never tell your best friend the things you tell yourself. You'd never treat anybody the way you treat yourself.

You wouldn't talk to somebody you love that way, would you? Give yourself the compassion, friendship and support you would to anyone you care about.

Treat yourself like a friend.

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Mary Engelbreit heart tube from The Tubes

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