Love lit my soul and wiped out my memory. Nothing is the same and nothing is different. No more search because I am the search, I am the question and the answer. Nothing to look for and nothing to find. Love lit my soul and wiped out my memory.
This morning I am grateful for every grain of sand, every rock and flower. I am grateful for the birds and the sky. I am grateful for humans who are capable of showing love, being love, choosing love. I am grateful that love is the dominating power, the force that makes everything happen despite all our planning and doing. I am grateful for everything that is alive, vibrant, searching, growing, expanding, evolving. I am grateful that I am a part of this miraculous web of being.
I bring this gratefulness everywhere I go, to every situation: I'm grateful for the smallest, most mundane and for the biggest, most divine.
One thing that people often forget to be grateful for is their drains. Yes, their drains. Drains are amazing. But often it's not until they stop working that you realize how grateful you have been. By then the gratefulness you didn't notice has turned into a very definite annoyance. That's why I decided to appreciate everything that just works, the things you never even notice – the smallest, most mundane and the biggest, most deeply divine.
What I noticed then is that when things go wrong, they can't disturb me. How this is possible I don't know. But I'm grateful and appreciate it all.
It's a privilege to be able to love someone just as they are, whether they deserve it or not. It's a privilege to feel your love expand even when others show their less attractive sides. Love has nothing to do with perfection. Perfection is only an idea in the human mind. To grow above and beyond likes and dislikes is love.
What is love? Love is the enormous grace of having been born to this Earth. Love is to be able to observe Earth from a human perspective. Just by being born you are loved, loved into existence. It’s easy to see only suffering or to focus on things or people we think we need to acquire in order to be happy and feel loved. But love is not a thing to be proud or jealous of. Love is absolutely free and available at any moment.
Love is not confined to our bodies. Love is free, it knows no boundaries, no language, no religion, no skin color. We are born with a totally free capacity to love and be loved. It’s there, always. Treasure it, nurture it, discover its endlessness. Remember that you are a miracle. Your love matters. Your feeling of love matters. It makes a difference. Let it be free in you. Let it be free outside of you. Love needs to be given. The more it is given the more it grows. It’s easy to give love. You can give love to the sun, the moon and the clouds as well as to animals and humans. Don’t underestimate the enormous power of giving love to everything and everyone. Giving love is a way of being. It’s a revolution. Happy Valentine's Day!
Everything I write on this blog is first hand experience.. I decided early on that every word I publish here has to come from my own experience, from my heart. I have had many teachers in many shapes and forms. I am grateful for what they have taught me and for my heart remaining open in even the most difficult expereince.
It’s not my job to create theories or state “truths”. Truth is. Nothing needs to be said about that. It’s my job to convey experience, to inspire others to investigate for themselves. Don’t believe me. Test me! I write what I know and not what I have heard.
But now that I’m writing about death I sidestep that vow. I’m obviously not dead. I have never died. I have never had a near death experience, and I am not immediately dying.
My only experience with death his that of a close friend who died and second (or third?) hand experiences from others who have lost loved ones.
Technically we are all dying. We all go towards death every single moment. It’s just that some of us can maintain the illusion that our lives will go on in eternity while others cannot. If you are dying from a disease – how can you fool yourself? You will have to face your mortality. You will have to face that you are soon stepping into the unknown and most likely (this is a guess) you will quickly learn what is important in life.
Most likely you will learn a lot about life in death. Much more than others who are not aware of death and dying. Death teaches about life. Death teaches about love.
While you live in good health it’s fairly easy to pretend, or forget..This plays in well with our habit of taking everything for granted. I take my health for granted, my loved ones’ health for granted, my lifestyle for granted etc. And we keep on running towards goals that we think will make us happy.
When the only moment for happiness is now. Not later, not before, but now.
We take life for granted and we take all the wonders of this world for granted. If you stop and think about a seed, for example, if you really go deep into it – how can you not be blown away? If you think about a sperm and an egg merging and creating a new life – how can you not be completely dumbfounded? When you think about that you get to experience this universe from an earthly perspective – when it would be much more likely for you to not exist AT ALL - - -
We are so tiny. You could have been stardust instead. But you are a human being on planet Earth. You have a heart and a brain. You can move around independently.
We desperately want to make ourselves bigger by becoming something, being ”something”. And forget that it is in just BEING that we are immeasurable. We run away from our mortality when we could sit down and invite it, when we could let it teach us about all the wonders of the world, about love and meaning.
I have chosen to live in wonder. I have chosen to see all these little small things in my life. It has led to a life that is so full of beauty and wonder that I sometimes just melt and explode at the same time. How the sunshine touches a leaf, eye contact with a stranger, the blueness of the sky, the wildness of my feelings, and even the sorrows of my life. They have their own special beauty.
In choosing wonder you will sooner or later have to face your mortality and your deepest fears. Or rather, the other way around: In facing your mortality you come to live in wonder. This facing is not pretty. True. But you will go through it and in doing that you will learn something about life and love.
Life and death are inseparable. Desire itself is life. Blind desire for something is running away. Pure desire is a blessing. Pure desire is surrender, love, God.
When I think about my own death I feel that it will be a blessing if I am allowed to die with awareness. I hope that I won’t die in my sleep. Just like I gave birth to a new life in full awareness I want to die in full awareness. Of course, if I get very sick and suffer extremely I might change that wish. I don’t know. But if you take away physical suffering, I wish that I can die slowly and with full awareness.
I have come to believe that dying can be a beautiful experience. I have come to believe that if you face all your fears while living, dying will be easier. The transition from life to death will be smoother. Because your fear is your resistance and resistance always creates suffering. You might be right in your resistance, death might be unfair, but at this point right and wrong is irrelevant. Even fairness is irrelevant here. That hurts of course. But the sooner you can let it go the closer you will be to love.
Dying is of extreme significance. If you live your life in unawareness you will die in unawareness. That seems to me the biggest and saddest waste. I have noticed, by experience, that when people die they leave a gift to the living. It is your choice to accept it or not. The most obvious gift is the heart opening in the middle of grief that I have seen time and time again. The dead teach us to love one another. Death opens up for love among the living.
Apart from that there is a myriad of other gifts that will be unique for you. A relationship with a dead person never ceases. Just like any relationship it grows and changes and deepens. This too is a beautiful gift.
You are so endlessly loved and embraced.
To go on loving despite rejection is perhaps one of the most difficult things a person can do. To not fall for hatred, anger, self-pity, depression, fear.
There are many levels of rejection. Rejection by a single loved one. Rejection by the family. Rejection by work. Rejection by society. Rejection by the world. Rejection by God.
How do you go on loving yourself in the face of rejection?
How do you keep your self worth?
How do you avoid rejecting like you were rejected?
How do you keep on trusting?
There are no easy answers. Important questions never have any easy answers and the answer has to come from you, your own source. No one can teach you how to do it. Or if they can, you won’t be able to hear it. You have to find out by knowing – and loving - your own heart. Start by loving, or start by knowing. The end result is the same.
It will hurt. Everyone who tries loving in spite of rejection will feel the hurt.
Don’t reject the hurt. Rejecting the hurt is rejecting yourself. Again.
Embrace the hurt in a way that makes you feel loved. Give it time.
You are the only one who will know how to do this. Try. Try again.
I want to remind you how loved you are. I want to remind you that you are precious and adored beyond belief. I want to remind you that there is nothing you need to achieve, that you are good just the way you are. I want to remind you that you are protected and taken care of. I want to remind you that everything you love is protected and taken care of.
You are free. You are off duty, so to speak, off the hook. There is nothing that you are required to fix. If you are, you will be given the means and the knowledge how. There is nothing you need to despair about. You are in good hands. Remember to trust, no matter what. Remember that you don’t know, you simply don’t know. Which is a good thing. Be grateful for that.
I want to remind you that what you think is a fault in you isn’t a big deal at all. You are already forgiven. Now it’s time to forgive yourself.
I want to remind you that it’s not your job to judge and condemn yourself. It’s also not your job to judge and condemn others. You don’t know what others are about. You don’t even know what you yourself are about. Which is a good thing. Be grateful for that.
I want to remind you that what you think you need to be happy is not what will make you happy. I want to remind you that happiness is within your reach, every moment of the day. You are happiness itself, joy itself, love itself. No matter what.
I want to remind you that others are just like you. They want love, they want happiness, they want freedom, joy. Sometimes it gets a little distorted. It’s no big deal. We are humans. Humans fail. We try again, there are endless chances in a lifetime.
Just remember, every time, how loved you are and how tenderly observed.
You are never, ever alone. You are constantly adored.
I’ve been thinking of truth lately. What is true in life? What is false? What is it in my life that I can always trust?
First I came to the conclusion that joy and love are the only things in life that are really true – they help us transcend ourselves. I then thought beauty does that, too. Often neglected, or judged as superficial, beauty is important because it opens the heart to love and joy. It expands the heart.
Life has a funny – or not so funny – way of showing you what you need to see. A turn of events showed me clearly that even the idea of joy and love can be false and, as we all know, beauty fades. Things break or get worn out, things are sometimes taken away.
I found that while love and joy may be true in essence, the mind has a very distorted way of understanding and interpreting the world. The mind has an idea of what love is, an idea of what brings joy and then gets disappointed when that idea doesn’t work out.
Mind makes love relative and joy elusive. Mind isn’t capable of absolute love, unconditional love. For that mind needs to be transcended.
Mind somehow recognizes the essence of beauty and love, a faint memory perhaps. Mind searches for it, longs for it, thinks it has found it but discovers again and again that it wasn’t what it seemed. It was all an illusion.
What’s left then? What can I trust? What is the simplest, purest form of life? Where is true love, true joy, true beauty?
So I came to the conclusion, which others have come to before me: the only truth is my sense of being, my sense of presence, pure beingness; the I completely free of all descriptions such as age, sex, nationality, etc.
This sense of being never changes over the course of a life. It has always been the same. When I was three it was exactly the same as it is now. In thirty years it will still be the same.
This sense of I is identical in all humans and I think in most animals, mammals at least. It’s often overlooked. The world is loud and the spirit speaks silently. When this sense of I recognizes, and is recognized back, by another sense of I there is pure joy and pure love. Blessed are those who experience that.
Interestingly, just holding on to your sense of I brings love and joy. So I’m back where I started. Love and joy are true. Only this love and this joy aren’t depending on the world outside. It’s there as soon as I feel my beingness. It can never fade or disappear. It’s always with me. Only I can step away from it or forget about it. It never leaves me.
It’s holy. It’s what makes us supremely equal. It’s what makes us divine.
What is love?
Is it something I want, something I give, get or is it something I am?
Is it something I need, something I deserve or something I have?
Or is it something I can never understand, something vast and ungraspable?
Is love a feeling or is it a fact? Is it a state of mind or a state of heart?
If it is a state of heart, then what is the heart?
Does love have an object or is it really an objectless subject?
Is love nice or is it indifferent to who and what I am?
Does it need a subject and an object to even exist or is it objectless, limitless, eternal?
If love needs an object, is the quality of that object a condition for love?
If love is conditional can it then be called love?
If not, then what is conditional love?
Is love something you do, feel or attract?
Is love more a noun or a verb?
Is love beyond all categories?
Is love silent or is it loud?
Is love possible to know or is it nameless, unknowable?
Is it a luxury afforded those who relinquish all, or is it something you learn while working selflessly for others?
Is love indifferent, accepting and undiscriminating or does it call for certain qualities?
Is love romantic or practical or both? Is love sentimental, actual or possible?
I don’t know.
Can love be that?
I don’t know.
Can love be all of what I am, all of what I don’t know?
So I experienced some divine love. Always so sweet. Like honey in my veins. Simple and relaxed! No big deal. In the beginning it was hard to stay there, in love. Even the smallest provocation could cause the delicious feeling to evaporate.
You know, bad news of some kind, an unpleasant encounter with another human being. Tiredness. Fear. Disappointment.
And love was all gone. Poff!
How do I remain in the center of myself without habitually reacting in the same old patterns? How do I stay in that love even when everything and everyone seems to be against me and my precious peace?
The simple answer is: nothing is against me, never has been, never will be. Nothing is against you either. Life happens. We react to it. The good news is, we can change our reaction.
I probably wouldn’t have agreed to that at all a few years back. Then it was obvious that things were against me and/or that others had treated me badly in one way or another. It’s not like that anymore.
Many things changed. Definitely not overnight. I didn’t follow any direction except from the inside. That took some time to establish. So exactly how do you do it? Well, now to the part that might make you stop reading:
There are no simple answers! Except the simple one above that nothing is wrong. But that doesn’t show you HOW to do it and as such it’s pretty worthless. Worthless until you are firmly established in your heart, centered in yourself. Then it makes sense. Until then it’s just an abstract idea.
No matter what anyone will tell you, there are no quick fixes. There aren’t even any methods. There are no How-to that fits everyone. The only thing anyone can do is to share how they did it and maybe someone out there will feel it speaks to them, too.
Here’s a little bit of how I did it.
First of all I made a decision that I wanted change no matter what. That is a vulnerable but necessary position. From there you allow change to happen.
From there I started walking, one step after another. Here are some brief hints about my path:
My path is LOVE. Growing love, difficult love, painful love, glorious love, exquisite love, comforting love, passionate love, flowing love, all encompassing love, transcendental love. My feeling of love, or lack thereof, is my greatest teacher.
My path is ACCEPTANCE. Acceptance of mistakes, failures, weaknesses. Acceptance of being unique and deeply loved for who you are. Acceptance of all others.
My path is RESPECT. Respect of all your deepest needs. Respect of others’ deepest needs.
My path is HONESTY. To be honest with yourself, with what you feel and want. Being honest with others is part of being honest with yourself. This takes a lot of courage.
My path is PATIENCE. Patience to continue walking in confusion, stormy weather, when you don’t know where you’re going. You continue walking because you know you can’t return to where you were. This requires the greatest courage. So much courage that all your energy is required.
My path is SURRENDER. Surrender to who you are, to your life, to God. This is beautiful and supremely easy. It’s easy because it’s nothing you can make happen. It will happen for you – when you are ready. But you can make yourself available for it.
Many people don’t want to change old patterns. Perhaps because it’s old and familiar. That is absolutely fine. Everyone gets to choose what they want. If you still are reading this you are most likely not one of them. But you will still meet many of them in your life. It’s best to just peacefully disregard. Let it be.
When you start out you are not going to be able to stay in bliss for extended periods of time. And you are not supposed to! You are supposed to integrate and see who you are. That often takes some time and some suffering. Your old defenses and structures most often wont leave without making themselves heard.
I won’t lie. It can be painful. This is where many people give up. They don’t realize that they are making enormous progress. They just feel the pain. Maybe they had grown in honesty and people around them didn’t like it. If you are honest with who you are it forces others to be honest with who they are. People who are not ready for this are NOT going to like that.
Keep walking. Persevere. Get up when you fall. Keep trying.
Little by little you’ll discover that you can keep standing in the storm. That wherever you are seems to be the eye of the storm. You stop falling down. You become aware of your reactions. You then stop reacting and start responding. You begin to see yourself with enormous clarity. Not only yourself but others as well.
Your heart starts to swell and soften, any obstructions melt away. Your love flows freely to everyone. Regardless if they deserve it or not.
Now love sticks to you like a magnet, you are in it, of it, for it, by it. It’s also spelled F-R-E-E-D-O-M. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and worth every step of the way.
Love always. Listen to your heart. It will tell you everything you need to know. Everything. Don’t doubt it.
Charlotte Brady about love, life, God, poetry, writing and abiding in the heart at every moment. This is where flesh is spirit and spirit flesh in raw unadulterated devotion. Life is worship!