Always Remember to Love

I’m in an unexpected frame of mind. I began my blog on June 14th  last year, my heart and mind filled with love and light from receiving a few moments of grace that allowed me to feel how much God loves us and our living, loving, life-giving-and-sustaining Mother Earth. Most of the daily posts since then have been filled with my thankful and enthusiastic response to Love, with me often feeling guided by something higher than myself, something beyond my own understanding. Some people have commented how much these posts have meant to them and I feel so much gratitude that there is something I, disabled by a chronic illness, can do to make a difference in others’ lives. It has been a life-changing answer to the call of my soul.

Yet, I haven’t had any comments from people who have suffered, and continue to suffer, tragic losses, and I’ve wondered how my posts strike them. Do they hate the entity/people who hurt them? Do they believe God loves everyone—even the worst of criminals? Do readers believe God loves the bankers who have broken the economy and spirit of the American people? Do they read a sentence and, disgusted, click away from these posts? Do the posts trigger something inside them, something that helps? I don’t really know the answer, but I confess that for these last few weeks, I have questioned my own faith in a Higher Purpose, and I now understand how people might feel lost and separate from our Creator. It’s an important insight, having nothing to do with who or what God is; it is simply a reflection of my spiritual growth process.

What is the source of my problem? I don’t know for sure. Is it the thousands of homeless people living in tents on frozen ground in our community? The escalating stress felt by my neighbors in this low-income apartment complex and how they take it out on their children? The fact that our state is a billion dollars in the hole and is planning to make severe cuts to education (when we’re already 48th in spending per pupil), cuts that include higher education, just as my daughter is preparing for college? Less funds means less students admitted. (This doesn’t include the reductions that our counties and cities have to make to their education budgets, due to loss of tax revenues and the money the state has demanded from their coffers.)

Or is it the impossible-to-grasp suffering of the Haitian people—200,000+ dead, a million homeless? Can we at all sense what it’s like to lose your parents, your spouse and/or children, your siblings and your home, your workplace, your community, food and water, in an instant? Is it because I won’t be able to watch my son play college football in the fall because the school is so far away, or that I miss him and his brother so much? I haven’t seen my red-tailed hawk friends in a while and I miss them, too—though a young one has come by a few times to say hello. Is it the state of my health, the never-ceasing pain and lack of energy and stamina? I don’t really know, but I don’t think so. It could be all of it together, I suppose—but my daughter and I have shelter, water and food, I have befriended some of the kids here who catch Max and me outside to talk, natural disasters have always happened, and nearly every state is suffering with loss of revenues.  So, what is it? A test of some kind, I guess. Do I really mean what I write here? Do I apply this unconditional love to myself, my beloveds and our lives, other people, including those who don’t seem to deserve love?

Last night I visited A World of Words, a blog by Sven Eberlein, a teacher of love and truth, with a focus on the spaces between soil (ecology) and the soul (love). His latest powerful post is about the discovery of oil and what drilling for it has done to the people of Nigeria. The people live in oil; it is in their soil and food, their water, their bodies–and they don’t live long lives. Did you know Nigeria is the third largest supplier of crude oil to the people of the U.S? Eighty percent of the government’s income, 1.5 billion dollars each week, comes from this oil, yet the Nigerian people live in squalor, wading through oil from pipe breaks and oil spills, day after day after day. Try to imagine raising your children in crude oil. They have a new president, though, a man who cares about his people, and this is cause for hope. I hope you will click on the link to read the whole piece by Sven and to see the pictures. Go just to see the pictures.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I made a comment there last night that reflects my doubts:

This brought me to tears. What a piece of writing–all that info shared in a matter-of-fact manner that allows us to draw our own conclusions. But you’re right–the pictures do speak so loudly. I’m in a mood these days that makes me want to scream when I see pictures like these. I can’t fathom how this debasement of fellow humans is even possible. I feel like deleting my blog where I keep writing that God loves all of us. How could these people ever believe there is a God?

And I wanted to share Sven’s response:

Oh Pam, please don’t despair. As you know, if God only stood for the things that make us humans feel good, things would certainly look a lot differently. But God is in everything and everyone, even the things that hurt and suck. And just because God is in it doesn’t mean that it’s okay or good. In fact, it becomes even more important to try and change things, and a big part of that is to be kind. Not everyone can go to Nigeria and put out the flames, but we can show that even if we can’t directly change the situation, we care. Also, it’s important not to diminish our own problems and struggles, there’s a lot we can do to heal ourselves and those close to us. Remember the enlightened warrior, ready to do as much as possible, but never lose your heart, your spirit, or your faith in humanity. Also, on a sidenote, it seems that Mr. Jonathan truly is a good human being, and so maybe there will after all be some meaningful change to the situation in Nigeria. We’re all in this together….always remember to love!

“We’re all in this together . . . always remember to love!” Thank you, Sven. I will love even when it seems impossible, especially when it seems impossible. And by the way—your words would make a great poster. Think of what you could create with your loving heart and yours and Deb’s amazing photos!

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14 thoughts on “Always Remember to Love

  1. I think we have all been in moments of doubt before. I have found that mine usually come when I let my circumstances dictate how I feel. This is such an easy thing to do and I have to once again learn Proverbs 3:6; “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Whenever I get off track it is because I have missed somewhere where I should be acknowledging Him. He is never the problem. He is always the answer.

    • Absolutely God is never the problem. Did I say that, because I didn’t mean to. I’m going to read the post again, in case and change that if I did. God is the answer, the beginning and the end, the middle, too, and every other way, place, and path–is God. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your wisdom and that you share it.

      • I just read my post again and have amended it–thank you for pointing this out to me–to say that it is my doubts I’ve been struggling with, not that God has failed. I don’t understand everything that happens, but God is the seed of light within each of us and is the one thing we can count on, no matter what. Thanks again.

  2. Wow, my dear cyber friend Pam, I’m so honored to have been the catalyst for such an amazing and powerful post! Your writing, compassion and understanding of the world both physical and metaphysical is just getting sharper with each and every post. I am so glad you and your big heart exist and bless us with both your struggles and insights.

    You know, we each get dealt a particular hand in this life, and the key is to make the best of that hand. My heart bleeds too when I see all the injustices in this world. I try to neither push it away nor eat me up. I’ve found the airplane analogy to be very helpful, where we’re asked to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before helping others, for if we can’t breathe we can’t help.

    And after reading this very touching post I’m even more inspired to explore the divine space of “enlightened action” and perhaps share some of the things I’m learning about fighting for change without losing the soft spot in your soul. Perhaps some sort of a manual for the soulful activist, I’m still chewing on some concepts, but I think it might be book material. See, just by writing this essay you have sent out a ripple that may not solve all of Nigeria’s problems but it keeps me motivated to shed a light on it to the best of my knowledge and power, and by extension and connection you are a part of that light.

    So I take a deep bow. Thank you for all you do for this world Pam.

    Love Always,
    Sven

    • I think, Sven, you are the kindest soul on the planet. A book on enlightened action for the soulful activist? You are exactly the person to write this book. You have so many stories to share, the places you’ve been, the amazing people you’ve met, how you navigated the minefields, what you’ve learned. And if this post partly inspired the idea–all I can say is WOW! And, can I be one of the editors? 🙂

  3. Pam, I’d love to have you as my editor, I love your writing and the way you’re able to get straight to the essence of a piece. That’s still one of my challenges, I get a little too wordy and long-winded at times…

  4. The sun is always shining – even when we don’t see it. God’s love is always there – even when we don’t feel it. He isn’t separated from us – it’s our thoughts, emotions and judgments that separate us from God. But we’re here as earthlings to learn our chosen lessons on this chosen planet. And we are ALL on that path, at different levels, and we simply have to accept that that is what it is all about. We have to KNOW and accept that God loves us unconditionally, and we also have to KNOW and accept that everyone of us has lessons to learn – one way or another. That’s it. No more and no less. Ranting and raving against this simple truth, being filled with judgment about the ILLS of this world – none of that helps. Even Mother Theresa knew she couldn’t help everyone die a dignified death, but she did take one body at a time, loved it, tended it and by seeing Jesus in it she served her purpose. And although it’s a great purpose, it’s not my purpose. My big challenge is to see Jesus in everyone, especially my husband who devotes his life to pushing my buttons (so it seems).
    I don’t know why, but last week was especially challenging. Maybe it just gets darkest before the dawn.
    In any case, let’s remember the basics of love and kindness and not get lost in the judgment of other people’s or nation’s spiritual lessons. We’ll just continue to pray for them and help in any way we can without getting buried in our judgments and emotions.
    love,
    anita

    • Hi Anita,

      I agree with most of what you wrote, except the last part:

      “let’s remember the basics of love and kindness and not get lost in the judgment of other people’s or nation’s spiritual lessons.”

      As we live in a more and more globalized world I don’t think it’s possible anymore to separate “other people’s or nation’s spiritual lessons” from our own. In fact, I don’t think we were ever separate from them in the first place, for we are all brother and sisters in the eyes of God. We are much more involved with each other than we’d like to think, and I think it’s important to be aware of that interconnectedness that sometimes brings great beauty and other times great pain. So, the purpose of my original article was not to judge, but to bring awareness to the people’s plight in the Niger Delta, especially since we have benefited so much from God’s great gift that happened to be under their soil. I agree with you that “getting buried in judgments and emotions” is perhaps not what’s asked of us, but sometimes feeling someone else’s pain can be a good catalyst for compassion and positive action.

      • This is an important matter, especially in our now-small world, to all human beings: Compassion or Judgment? Take action or stand aloof? I wonder, Sven, how many other conversations like this are taking place because you posted your Niger essay? Thank you for your very large heart and the wisdom you share with everyone.

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