Learning to love ourselves, God, others

"It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake;

A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. If only you could love enough you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world."

- Emmett Fox

Ah, yes. Love. We all need it, want it, look for it. How do you like your love? Unconditional? Or in degrees? Love your friends, love your car, love your sweetheart, love your enemies: is it all the same?

Love is simple and all there is. It is why we are here: to love ourselves, the great spirit and one another. The most common joy and complaint shared with me as a pastor concerns love. Stories of loving ourselves, someone else or our Creator seem to be joyful, difficult, blissful and challenging.

Oftentimes, what we see within ourselves we project out into the world and see in our brother. This way, we can focus on the log in his eye, not the speck in our own. Guess what? Log or speck - it is all the same. If you want to see more love in the world, project love when you believe don't see it.

Start small. This is a practice. Like learning to walk, you'll want to take baby steps first. If you have an unloving thought toward yourself, turn it around to a loving one. Be patient.

Once you experience success with yourself, it will be time to branch out to those closest to you. Strangers in traffic who seem to cut you off will be a long-term goal, when your love muscles are strong and practically automatic.

Worried there's not enough love to go around? Don't be. Our source and supply of love is endless. If you don't feel it, remember a time when you did. Getting into the feeling of love helps us extend it to others. The Beatles' tune "All You Need Is Love," or another song that embodies love for you, is a great way to jump-start more love in your life.

Happy Love Month.

• The Rev. Marie Hanson conducts "A Course in Miracles" workshops in Carson City.


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