Newsletter September 2006 by Cathy Combs

Love For All Seasons

Moving toward Fall Equinox recognizing equal night and day in our physical Universe. I'm sharing more ideas from Dr. Greg Baer's seminar on “Real Love.” He said, “There's no such thing as self-love! We can't give what we don't have!” This is quite a statement. He was asking us, “Who is the most frequent perpetrator of abuse?” His answer: Parents! We get our understanding of who we are from our parents. When our parents are angry with us we get the idea love is conditional! This is a very painful human lesson. In order to be healthy, happy, functional humans we must consciously review the lessons we unthinkingly accepted as children! We must forgive our parents. We must forgive ourselves and start again. We must move toward balance and wholeness, emotionally and spiritually! Dr. Baer spoke of the analogy of having a $20 million emotional bank account. If our account is full, that is, we've experienced enough real love in our lives, it doesn't matter if someone steals $2 from us! It's quite another experience if we feel someone has taken our last $2 and our emotional bank account is now empty! Dr. Baer makes a distinction between real love and imitation love. Real love is unconditional love! We love ourselves and each other with no conditions, no expectations! This is certainly a far different love than most of us learned. I call real love spiritual love; a love as expressed by the Divine toward us. Real love is a very special gift. It expresses a pure love that says I love you because I love you, not because I expect or need something from you! This kind of love is possible when we have done our spiritual work to fill ourselves from the inside out. When we have done that then we can abandon the “getting and protecting behaviors” Dr. Baer talks about that are expressions of investing all our efforts in imitation love. When we have invested all our attention in building up an image based on outer power and pleasure we really are empty and afraid! We spend all our time trying to impress others to keep the imitation love flowing, when in reality we have nothing to give and are not even able to receive! There is another option. We can fill our lives with real love. I do believe we can love ourselves to wholeness! We can focus on the times we've been loved and honored with no strings attached; when we've been valued for who we truly are! We've probably experienced many more of those moments than we realize. We must value ourselves in order to see them! I believe we can learn to love ourselves. Through conscious intention, therapy, self-help classes, spiritual practices like meditation and prayer, we truly can connect with God within us, that place in us that isn't impacted by our childhood traumas. We have an indomitable Spirit that is always available to us. It doesn't mean it's easy. It means it's doable in most cases! I believe that with all my heart.

Dr. Baer made many very interesting comments that are very important for us to consider as we celebrate this spiritual time of balance. He said people who have a great deal of success based on imitation love are the hardest to reach! He said most of our relationships are based on lying. We don't tell the truth about ourselves. We tell people what we think they want to hear so we'll get more imitation love based on praise and compliments, based on our experiences with conditional love as in “I love you when you're good, when you do well.” When we do that we're trapped! We're always chasing compliments, then we're addicted and there are never enough compliments because we're empty inside! He told the story of the king who had warts all over his face. He had everything a person could want but he was afraid people would laugh at him because they had in the past so he wore a bag over his head and he hid from sight. He was lonely and afraid. He threatened to kill anyone who laughed at him. Finally he went to a wise man who said to him, “King, you have warts all over your face.” The wise man said, “I love you as you are! I'm not any of the others who laughed at you!” From then on the king decided to risk that others would love him for who he was too! The wise man helped the king understand there are always people who accept us for who we are. As we give ourselves that same gift we build a circle of friends who love us for who we are. Then when people do laugh at us it doesn't feel like they've just taken our last $2! The point to me is there must be a balance between our inner and outer experiences. I do believe we must receive love from others, especially in those initial formative years of our self identity. We must give love to others as well. This giving and receiving must be unconditional! We must drop the need to control others. We must realize controlling others is based on the imitation love that says we don't value ourselves, that we're acting as if we're empty and afraid! That's a nightmare we don't need to continue! It's a sad and absurd waste of time.

Some of the gifts of real love are compassion, patience, kindness, and faith. I'm learning lessons of a lifetime right now about not taking things personally no matter how much they hurt. By not taking it personally I can look at the events as soul lessons. I can allow my rage and grief to soften so I don't boil my insides into oblivion. I can stay connected, balanced, and in relationship with the pain of my humanity. I can release and forgive what I do not understand in the moment and trust that somehow all things are working together with Spirit for my very highest good. It's a huge leap of faith at times! I'm working on it!

Relationship is the key to healthy, joyful living. Last month I attended a workshop by author and educator, Christina Baldwin, based on her newest book, “Storycatcher, Making Sense Of Our Lives Through The Power And Practice of Story.” Her workshop, “The Possible God: How The Story We Create Shapes The World We Live In” was an awe-inspiring encounter with the power of relationship. Christina is passionately devoted to circle work, building relationships with all people. As we restory our lives we can truly see people as they are, not just by our judgments of who we think they are! She gave the example of meeting a woman in an airport restroom and their experience of washing each other's hands as the woman said to her, “I'm beginning to feel invisible” and Christina saying back to the woman, “You are not invisible!” I had a chance to speak with Christina and tell her how happy I was to meet her and to hear of the work she is doing. I highly recommend going to her websites, or to experience the vision of this amazing woman for yourself. I was almost in tears listening to her stories of how transformative we are! There's nothing like the power of connection to transform our lives. She said, “Slow down! Be authentic: hold space for the possible God! Invoking meaning brings up feelings! Tell the good news! There's plenty of it!!!” Namaste, to you my sisters and brothers of planet Earth. Be well! Be whole! Love life! Come into balance and fully realize how precious and powerful we all are! Get to know the possible God as the Love and Joy of our heart and soul expressing Itself! Blessed Be!

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