Monday, July 25, 2016

What I Learned in Love

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." -1 John 4:18

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring." 
-Oscar Wilde

I keep thinking more and more about the reality and importance of love in life. As more happens to me (more personal growth, more business success, more financial independence), I look at what has changed in my life over the past few years and has allowed me to grow myself- as an artist, human being, and business owner- to get positive results, and I know with such certainty it is the addition of love to my life that has both opened every door and broken every chain.

But I don't mean love from something or someone, or my idea of love, or even my human experience of it. I mean love itself

When the Bible speaks: "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love," (1 John 4:8) it says something so simple about love that is so hard to find in this world which continues to rely on human, conditional, temporary definitions and concepts of love. These are the definitions I have found myself dropping (sometimes to the amusement and judgment of other people), in favor of the kind of love I know God has to offer.

Sure, I can know a lot about the mind, I can know a lot about thinking, about how people think, about psychology, about myself; I can know a lot about the physical nature of the world and the literal way that things, humans, groups, governments, societies, nature function and work- and of course I believe these things are great to know. They enhance our knowledge set and make us informed, contributing, intellectual members of the human race- and I think that's great, and necessary.

But I ask myself, apart from knowledge of all that: what is it that makes me brave?

What gives me the courage to live? 

These are the more essential questions.

The mind, thinking, psychology, science, sociology- anything else that gives us insight into the nature of life, purpose, function, and meaning- eventually fall short in their ability to provide a substantial definition for the purpose of life, and they eventually break down in their ability to awaken and sustain anything within us the way love does.

Love has been the thing- the awareness of God and the eternal presence of His love as the natural state of being we were created to embody- under which all these other concepts have fallen, and yielded, and been enhanced.

Ultimate success comes from love.

Bravery comes from love. The courage to live comes from love. 

Love takes us down the only road really worth going. Love makes us brave. Choosing God's love means I have learned to choose to love out of the unchanging awareness of the gift of what God did for me- not out of the scars of what other people have done to me. Christian love completes the shift from 'I love if someone is loving me back,' to 'I love because I know the only One with any real authority over my life already does.' So I'm free to purely love everyone. 

When what we give comes from an eternal source- from the awareness that we are constantly receiving- there is never any deficit or lack (and so bravery- and the absence of fear of failure- is a natural byproduct). It's the only way to live with your soul fully alive in this discouraging world, in these difficult times, and still be a source of light and joy in what has become a self-reliant world of a lot of darkness, hopelessness, and fear. 

That is what it has been like to keep seeking God. You find love, you find love, you find love- you find this overwhelming, never-failing, always-constant Love- over and over again- until eventually, that Love, and all your total dependency on it- makes you brave.

Brave enough to live. Brave enough to create. Brave enough to talk, and go out, and be seen.

Brave enough to belong to something, and so brave enough to love back.


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