Saturday, May 11, 2013

We Are The Beloved

"The soul of the soul of the universe is Love." ~ Rumi

When you or I meet someone new, what is the first question that we are asked and often ask in return? "So, what do you do?" As in , what is your job?  For a few years now I have thought that this first question isn't an appropriate one. A more fulfilling and personal answer would come from the question, "What is it that you are passionate about?" Why do I say this?

  1. We are not what we "do" for employment.
  2. We are not what we do in our spare time.
  3. We are not what we can do artistically.
  4. We are not what we can do athletically.
It is so very hard to break out of this mentality when we live in a society that places so much value in how we make our money. It is so hard to break out of this mentality when we see athletes breaking records or artists climbing up the Top 40. Then we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, "What the hell have I ever done?"

Instead, a question that needs to be asked by each one of us is "Who am I?" This might bring up a lot of heartache and pain: "I'm a nobody," "I'm a failure," "I've never succeeded at anything and I never will." Most often these are messages that have been within us for a very long time and they've stuck.

But one thing that I have learned (and I admit there are many days when I forget it) is that it is not what we do that defines us, it is who we are. Some people may say that it is the other way around, that "by your fruits you shall know them," and there is some truth to this. But I believe that everything comes back to how we view ourselves and in turn the rest of humanity.

This is what I believe: 
  1. You and I are the Beloved of God (insert Divine, Spirit, Father, Mother, Universe in here if you use different language to describe God). 
  2. Before we were even born, and helpless, we had been stamped with the mark of Love.
  3. There is nothing that can separate us from this love - not a lover or a parent or a friend who told us we were worthless, no act of abuse or bruising word.
  4. This love is not based on any feat we must accomplish. Look at those in our society who are severely handicapped and can seeming "do nothing." Does this make them less valuable? Of course not. Each of us is equally loved.
  5. This love is not based on religion, economic status, race, sex, sexual orientation, or age.
  6. There is nothing that we could do more or less to be recipients of this Love. 
Be easy on yourself. Be kind to your self. Try to take a few moments each day realizing that you are truly, unconditionally loved.

Mark Andrew Nouwen