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The Path: Updates, Journey & History

Love Yourself 101 / Where Is The Love?

Our birthright is ours, to have and to hold, to become and to unfold, live and die with, and in that passage, to relinquish and pass on. In the story of being a human being, our birthright, the energy we are born with that can fuel such an ambitious journey, is Love.

Love is the perfect energetic food, fit for human consumption, digestion, and expression. Love is a synergistic match to the human essence, our soul. It is the spiritual aspect of ourselves that links us to the Source, the true Mother/Father of us All––to God.

Love nurtures us and embraces all that we are, without exclusion or judgment. It instills in us a sense of the positive and the possible, the willingness and the doable, the creative, and the expressive—all the ways in which we can shape and manifest a reality built on the joy of being alive.

This 'birthright Love' is the original, umbilical link to our real home, to the wholeness of who we are, and to the Oneness of all living beings. It is the place, beyond this life, where we shall all return, to the Source, to ourselves and each other. This 'birthright Love,' this pure and real Love, is the Love we lose when born into this reality of Fear. Love, based on Fear, is the love that strives to replace our loss. In truth, it is just Fear dressed up to look like Love.

When I was a little girl, age 10, I wrote my first ever piece about Love, very much like this one, to my parents. After dinner, I asked if I could read something to them, which was very important. It was something I was sure would change all of our lives forever and for the better. What I was about to share with them were my feelings about love, mine for them, and theirs for me.

I hoped and prayed that once they knew—I knew—they did not love me, it would release them from the terrible burden of having to pretend as if they did. I was sure my parents would experience such relief, knowing that I no longer expected them to care for me as their child. Simply put, I said I wanted to leave their home and go to the place where 'the Love' was.

As I read the letter, I felt such an unburdening, a letting go of a secret I had held for the past five years. At the age of five, I first realized that things were not as they seemed to be. My parents were becoming strangers to me. Their love felt like lies, something false covering up something else I did not recognize or understand—their fears. The more I read, the more excited I became at the prospect of leaving, finally being in the presence and under the guidance and protection of people who would understand me and my 'sensitive nature.' These people would welcome me and be proud of the loving and caring young woman I was soon to become.

Well, with applying just a bit of imagination, anyone besides my 10-year old self could have easily predicted how this was going to turn out. The first response was from my father; his anger and rage spewed forth a litany of harsh and angry words—the very ones I was seeking to escape. I never understood why my mother chose that time, of all times, to praise my writing. My father's anger only intensified, and he told me I was forbidden to write another word—other than my homework—while I was living under his roof.

I was scorned and punished for my ungrateful and selfish heart and sent away to my room. Although it was not my intention to do so, and they would never let me see it, I'm sure I hurt my parents by the things I said. It was at that point I realized my feelings were dangerous to me and others. For everyone's protection, I would no longer allow myself to feel them. So, my life did change forever, after all. It was at that point I began to think my way through everything, including my feelings.

Like many parents, my parents kept us clothed, well-fed and made sure we took advantage of all the educational opportunities presented to us. For the most part, we had a stable home and a predictable and reliable schedule that fostered a certain continuity and constancy in our lives. Parents clothe and feed their children, educate and discipline them, instruct, guide, and protect them, to keep them safe and out of harm's way. All of these acts are their offerings, their evidence that they do, indeed, love them. These things can, most certainly, be given and received as acts of Love.

However, while children, as young beings new to this life, need to be taken care of, they are more aware of their feelings than the things parents do for them. It is the interaction with these feelings that begin to inform and shape their perception and understanding of Love. They start to wonder whether or not they are loved, and if they are lovable beings. As the light of their own 'birthright Love' begins to dim and diminish, and with no one to teach them how to keep it alive by loving themselves, children start to view and experience Love as something that can be scary, unpredictable, unreliable, and unsafe.

It is especially true when it comes to parental discipline and the methods used to ensure a child's good behavior. Parents need to ask themselves whether or not physically hitting, or mentally and emotionally debasing a child is a loving and appropriate action. Moreover, whether the damage done to a child's feelings of personal safety, dignity, and self-respect is an acceptable trade-off. Disciplining a child with these methods, and calling it Love, sends a message that continues to play out in abusive adult relationships. We tend to repeat the behaviors that significantly impact us as children, and act them out in our adult lives.

As we develop a deeper understanding of where this Fear originated, and when we were most severely affected by it, we can begin to look at what we can do to change our lives forever and for the better. By learning to love ourselves, we have the opportunity to return to our original, 'birthright Love.' By opening our hearts and embracing our child within, we can take responsibility for healing ourselves and for choosing the Love that we want to share with our children, with our beloved ones, and with the world.

Listen to the audio version at 'Let's Get Inspired!.'


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