The love revolution starts within. I think we all already know that, however the application of such a concept isn’t always that easy. I’ve met very few people that don’t have a fairly active inner critic and who genuinely love all of who they are deeply and completely. Even those of us with ample self-confidence have parts of ourselves that are difficult to fully accept.
Those who know me will agree I’ve always been hardest on myself. Perhaps that is why I’ve written and spoken about the inner critic; it’s certainly an area where I could consider myself an expert. Those who resonate with what I write are likely also seekers looking for a greater understanding of themselves and the universe.
We are also typically that segment of the population with bookshelves full of spiritual and personal development writings. Over the years I’ve accumulated tremendous wisdom from my readings and — whether I’ve finished a book or not — I’ve usually experienced some degree of personal growth through my studies. There are usually at least a few “ah ha” moments in almost any discourse of merit.
To date, however, there have only been a handful of books where I felt a definite deep energetic shift. Energy shifts don’t always manifest as a positive experience, especially if they come rapidly, but they usually indicate an expansion of our spiritual being. In researching the topic of energetic shifts, I found a list of symptoms and was amazed at how many of them I experienced when I started reading Matt Kahn’s new book, Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You
Hands down, this book has created a faster shift for me than anything I’ve read. In spite of the discomfort of some of the physical symptoms coming from such a rapid shift, the expansiveness of my heart feels absolutely amazing and wonderful. His message is pretty simple and straightforward — not necessarily anything new — but the way he suggests applying it really hits home.
The deeper I move into this teaching, the easier it is for me to remember everything happening is for my highest good. As Matt puts it, “As your heart opens, you are able to see how every circumstance and detail of life has been created only to help you grow on a spiritual level. Whether you know it or not, all orchestrations, encounters, and outcomes are created by the Universe as a way to help you expand to full capacity and realize the truth of your divine nature.”
There are so many gems in this book I could fill this blog with quotes. However, I could never do justice to the totality of the message by separating out those parts I found beneficial. I suppose the bottom line is my desire to share the simple message: “… in a Universe of endless questions, love is the only answer.”
In the early part of this book, we are invited to create a personal love statement: finding those words that we wish we had heard. “Whatever you never heard from someone else or wanted to hear more often becomes the words you offer yourself.” I spent two hours one day with my hand on my heart simply repeating “I love you” to my heart. That may sound silly, but in my hunger for love, acceptance and approval from others I knew it was what I needed to give to myself.
Later he expands this to how we interact with other people. I found myself saying one of my personal love statements to people I’d meet: “You’re amazing.” I became more conscious of slowing down to really look people in the eye in order to acknowledge the divinity in each and every one of us. I’ve always been someone who delights in making the over-worked convenience store cashier smile, or in giving a cheerful hello to a stranger on the street, but in the busy-ness of life I often forget to be consistent in this practice.
I have been thinking of how I carry my own personal love arena with me wherever I go. Like an energy field that stretches out all around me, this visualization helps me keep returning to loving whatever arises. Sort of like if we’re on a cruise ship, every time we pull into a new port we’re usually abiding by the rules and regulations of that particular country … but if everywhere we go, we bring our own arena with us, then anyone and anything that comes to us has to travel through this love.
I won’t pretend that it’s easy to maintain this state of love. When I first started this blog, my computer crashed and for over 48 hours it looked like I had lost all the data on it. Many articles, poems, and writings that I had not backed up appeared to be gone. What’s there to love about that experience?
As it turns out, there was a lot to love. My experience reminded a good friend to back up her computers. Then I ended up in a 30 minute deep conversation on the phone with the Apple support tech who really needed to be reminded that the quality of our life has to do with the way we give meaning to and interpret the events of our life. Everywhere I go, everyone I talk to, all that I encounter is all a part of a divine plan and I am learning to lean into it and trust it.
I often say that it is our belief systems that determine what we make of life. The question that accompanies this is whether the belief that we are holding ‘serves’ us. Does it add to the quality of our life or does it take away from the quality of our experience? Whether or not it’s true that things happen for a reason, it’s a belief system that serves me. It makes my life more manageable and my day-to-day experiences filled with more compassion, love and joy.
This life, this journey, is fascinating. As I continue to embrace the mystery and let go of my need to have it all figured out, I am led into more magic and joy. That feeling is not contingent on what is happening externally. Whatever arises, love that.
I’m not saying that stuff isn’t going to happen which feels awful or feels completely unloveable. What I am saying is we can choose to have compassion and love for whatever is coming up for us. We can love our fear, our anxiety, our anger, or our frustration. We don’t have to become it but whatever is happening and whatever we are feeling presents us with an opportunity to choose love.
I certainly don’t have it all figured out. I suspect I never will. But I’m committed to remembering to carry my love arena with me whether I’m in the stormy sea or at a calm port. My experience is dependent on no one but me. The power is in recognizing so is yours.