Some believe that the only thing our souls carry after we leave the body is the love we have given while we were in human form.
They are not referring to romantic love, or to syrupy gushy sentiment, but instead to agape: the love that, according to some, is the very essence of the divine. The Quakers believe that there is Light (or some of God) within every person, and it is that Light that is honored when we extend love towards another.
Here is an interesting challenge:
Take a quiet moment to reflect on your lifetime only in terms of the love you have generated so far.
Then, if you feel especially brave, take a look at the love you could have generated, but chose to resist.
Once I had the pleasure of knowing a woman with a very pure soul. Her work took her to foreign countries where she interfaced with people in high places.
She told me about attending a political event in an unnamed country where she was among the dignitaries who sat on a podium. They were forced to listen to the speech of a powerful, important leader. Everyone pretended to applaud him; to have done otherwise would have serious consequences in that particular country. The speechmaker, was a cruel man who was guilty of heinous, abominable tortures and terrible crimes of the worst sort.
As she listened to him speak, rather than hold him in judgment, she decided to open her heart and extend agape love to this unlovable man. What she realized surprised her. When she softened her heart, she saw clearly that he was a man of immense gifts. The extent of his gifts amazed her. She also recognized that in his lifetime he had seriously misused these gifts.
Rather than hold him in judgment for his behavior, however, she felt a rush of God-love for this man, and sent him blessings.
While she will never know what effect, if any, her love may have had on the man, we do know that when we send thoughts of opposition to others, it makes them even more defensive. Attack and angry words create mean, stubborn resistance, while love opens doors to transformation.
Miraculous results can occur if even a few people send unconditional love to an individual rather than condemnation.
The catch is that the love we generate can't be about who is right and who is wrong. We don't send love to someone in the hopes that they will see things our way! Agape love puts us all on an equal playing field.
Think about the politicians you dislike. In today’s world, nearly all of us have politicians with whom we disagree. Sadly, our disagreements are becoming increasingly vehement, and are frequently accompanied by name-calling and character assassination.
What if we were to open our hearts and hold those politicians with whom we disagree in the energy of love rather than condemnation? What gifts would we see in them? (Please note that this does not mean becoming deluded or accepting unacceptable behavior, nor does it mean becoming a rabid fan. It means looking beyond someone’s acts to the light within that we all possess.)
If, after looking at your life and assessing the amount of love you have generated, you find that you have fallen a little short, don’t worry. Fresh chances abound!
Opportunities to enter into love are with us every moment, regardless of how poorly or smoothly our lives are going.
Every single person who comes into our conscious thoughts, and even every living organism we encounter, can offer us a new start: the chance to enter into the consciousness of love.
(c) M. E. Raines, 2012
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If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy the whimsical short story Transitions, Trees, and Cottage Cheese by Mary Elizabeth Raines, now available on Amazon for Kindle or for downloading.