“You Exist Because You are Loved”

“You exist because you are loved.”

These words popped into my head after work one day, out of the blue.

I remember right where it happened: I was starting the first leg of my pedestrian commute, walking block one out of eight. Headphones on, music loudly playing. And right as I was passing a giant, red-neon, laughing Buddha at the Asian fusion restaurant across the street – BAM!

“You exist because you are loved.”

So for me, this phrase of insight that came to me so unannounced and sudden is intricately bound with the image of a red, laughing, neon Buddha.

And now it is for you as well.

The meaning of these words might seem a bit backwards at first take. A little voice in our head reasons with us: “We can be born to a family and not loved,” or, even more sadly, “I’m/she/he/them are not particularly wanted or loved, but I/he/she/they exist!”

If I hold these statements in my heart, though, I don’t think they can be true. My heart offers a different interpretation.

“You exist because you are loved.”

IF you are here or have been here, and you are reading this, or if you are existing elsewhere and not reading this – my heart posits that you were meant to be there in that moment. Therefore, you are loved infinitely more than we can fathom.

This is a world of creation, and what is creation but a form of love?

That voice of reason, the shoulder man, is there again interrupting. Reminding me that we exist because of reproduction – a biological imperative. Nothing more and nothing less.

But I think there’s more to it than that, and the girl on the other shoulder implores me to hesitate in coming to conclusions. She is wary, skeptical – but tells me to listen to my heart.

So I chase the seemingly reasonable, logical, and analytical voice away. This voice of mine is rooted firmly into the realm of what can be seen and concretely measured. Palpably observed. And these words that I am contemplating defy a logic that could ever be measured, graphed, or perhaps even fathomed –  let alone scientifically analyzed and promptly debunked.

“You exist because you are loved.”

There is so much in this world that we don’t know, yet so much here that we DO know, if we would just open up. Recognize it. Imagine the unimaginable. See a world without divisions and separations.

Life – ALL of life – is here because it IS love; therefore, it is loved. It is all connected, and we are an integral part of it.

The shoulder voices ask me many things at once: Will we ever rise up and realize these truths? Will we let our hearts guide us as much as our mind? Can we pause our logic for a moment to imagine the unseen?

I hope these words catch you in your heart as they did mine. A little stumble, a double-take at the laughing Buddha. Opening your eyes a little wider, and an offering of peace of mind – and peace of heart.

May it be a little freer, and more loved, than it was before.

“You exist because you are loved.” And you love because you exist.

We Are Sailors

Does God consciously make decisions or pull the strings?

I think it’s more of an interaction. As we engage with God and life, this relationship produces actions and reactions, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Depends on the type of engagement.

An intelligent source that needs agents and directors to produce and create.

An intelligent source that flows, but needs winds to move it and hearts to guide it.

We are those sailors of the heart, but we are not just sailing with the wind – we are having a hand in its direction.

Helming the ships of destiny.

***

Here is another short story I wrote regarding this same theme – sailing on the seas of the heart. Something I keep coming back to again and again.

Fear: Shutter of The Heart

Is Fear the most dangerous thing of all? Does it really serve a good purpose, or is it hiding the true reality? The thing I find myself fearing is fear itself, and what it’s doing to us as a culture, as human beings.

What do we do when we live in fear? We shut down. When we act from fear, we literally process information in ‘life or death’ terms and activate our ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. This mechanism exists to keep us safe and keep us alive. But in doing so, our immune system shuts down. Our brains turn off. Creativity drains away. Infinite possibilities evaporate. Open arms and hearts close up, barring entrance from anything or anyone suspicious. We process only that information which benefits the situation and the final ‘fight or flight’ decision. Only that and nothing else. Why would your brain waste precious energy in a life and death situation trying to be creative and open-minded? Doing so might cost our life!

Yet even with all the life-saving functions, we were not meant to live in fear ALL of our lives – only for small instances where we needed to outrun someone with a club, think fast on the road, survive an encounter with a bear, or save a loved one from scary situation. But the fear response, and what it creates and does to us, cannot possibly benefit us if we are living it every moment of every day. A dark cloud looming overhead. This emotional force was designed to save our lives in short bursts, not to be endured for an extended period.

What a toll this fear is taking on our health and our hearts. Constant fear certainly will not nurture our souls so we may grow and evolve as humans.

It seems to me that fear cannot inherently exist where there is love. Real, infinite love. If you are operating out of love, you have no fear, only confidence of the moment and the person or situation in front of you. Fear accomplishes nothing; Love accomplishes everything.

Without fear, I really do think we can see things as they really are – and not through the lens of darkness that fear creates. What illusions might we be seeing that we are interpreting as real? That are only shadows from a deep fear in our mind?

Who plants the seeds of those shadows? How can we remove them, shine the light to reveal their true nature and source? Will an open heart reveal them, lift them from our shoulders?

Fear puts words into our mouths that are not our own. Fear ignites motivations that stem from false truths. Fear paralyzes us, but tricks us into thinking we are doing great things and protecting the common good. Fear does not encourage us to think outside ourselves and our own interest. Fear shutters our hearts and minds from infinite love.

Letting Go… To the Heart

In order to have control, we must give it up.

In order to have power, we must let go.

In order to rule, we must surrender.

Are these statements true?

I have been ruminating much on the meaning of these phrases for some time now, and I believe the answer is…YES.

It appears to me that a lot of wisdom is gained in life when we are able to let go of things we cannot control, to release the worries and the burdens that we carry in our hearts and minds to become freer to be otherwise. But when we let go of the conscious control, and hand our fate over to God or ‘destiny’ or what have you, are we really just gaining subconscious control? Do we hand over the reins to the heart intelligence? This, I believe, is where our true wisdom might lie…

Perhaps the world around us is intricately connected with the heart-subconscious in a way that is too complicated for us to comprehend. That they exist co-dependently somehow. If this is true, then there is no fathomable way for us to try and control this world with our conscious minds, as the conscious mind is only aware of a portion of our reality; a tiny sliver of our visible and perceptible world. Only the portion that we need to know and perceive in order to survive and evolve – no more, and no less.*

And yet the subconscious heart is the navigational system that we so desperately seek to have control of, but lies just outside of conscious reach. Maybe the only way to access this valuable information is to let go of the conscious desire, the conscious will of the ‘self’ and the ‘ego’ that is constantly dictating that WE NEED to be the driver of our lives. That WE are in control.

Instead, maybe we should hand this job off to the subconscious. To the heart.

Maybe if we want the greatest power and knowledge and peace, we should move to surrender our conscious will to the heart. (Which ironically, we have to do consciously…? Sorry, I can’t help but chuckle at that!)

Can the heart do the heavy lifting? Can the subconscious drive us to where we want and need to go?

I think it already is. Perhaps our conscious-reasoning brain is just getting in the way all the time!

 

*If this topic of evolutionary perception and consciousness is of interest, Google the work of Donald Hoffman, who studies consciousness, perception, and how we view reality. You can view his great TED talk here. Watching this video earlier this year really sent me down the rabbit hole!

The Way Within

Is all experience necessary and good? Even if it’s bad?

In the wake of so many terrible events in our lifetimes, both local and abroad, small and large, I ponder this. In my own experience I have learned things from my tribulations and come out stronger for it. Is this what awaits us? Coming out on the other side of these tragedies stronger and wiser?

Somehow I don’t think so, but I’m not sure why – I am usually not such a defeatist.

Is it possible that we are losing the ability to self-reflect on the impact and condition that these events create, and instead we just react? Impulsively react, over and over again, even if the situation is the same and we should have learned a lesson from it the first time?

I have found personally in my life that if I am not seeing a lesson, or finding the right conclusion or understanding, I will keep encountering this same obstacle until I have conquered it. I have a feeling, an intuition, that we will be struggling to conquer these societal tragic events for a long, long time unless we can find the necessary space and time to soul search and reflect on why these events happen. With our pervasive and increasing desire for instant gratification and sound bite information, I anticipate this to be difficult for us as a culture.

All great faiths, religions and spiritual aspirations that have ever existed emphasized some form or type of self-reflection as being integral to being closer to God or the spiritual forces of this world. Prayer, meditation, chants, ritual, tai-chi, yoga, song, daily study – all of these things are essentially the same: time to reflect, ponder and grow closer with the voices and aspirational flow within so that we may drown out the dictations and mindless distractions from without. Are we lost if we cannot see within? If we cannot make time to connect, pray, meditate?

Is this the way to the heart intelligence* we are so starved for and yearn for? The true place and path of healing and divine love? The only way out of this mess?

This topic of meditation has been popping up for me so often lately. I get the hint universe! I guess it’s time to put my thoughts into action and connect more deeply with the source force within.

*For more on my take of ‘Heart Intelligence’, go here.

The Seeker / Seas of the Heart

Beleaguered, he set sail. Flowing down the waterfall of existence.
Not sure of what lie ahead but breathtaking scenery, life unfolding in front of him as a petaled flower.
The spider weaves and teases his destiny. As its prey is caught in a silky veil, so are we.
Stuck in holes and crevasses tight and unyielding.
So dark and terrifying…
Why would they exist in the first place?

Journeyed far and wide, wondering in spirit, he found no real answer.
Only heart, and it was wedged wide open, eager to share his thoughts and life.
Weary, he fell into it. Collapsing with exhaustion and the hardness of it all.
Within the heart, he was lifted again.
Renewed.
Bounding in light and energy.

He knew then that no greater journey existed then the expansive, forbidding one that lie hidden in himself.
The journey to the core and fire deep within.
Here he found strength, laughter, desire and love.
The forces that work upon his life and move him when shadows loom dark and tribulations abound.

He knew then that he must have trust in this unknown, the key to this far-flung goal.
As the unseen is not provable, he must feel the proof within.
He must trust himself.
He must trust his heart.
As he navigates the mighty waves, sailing the seas and stars.
The seas of the heart.