Have you ever thought about the idea of Divine Love?
We’re all familiar with the concept of romantic love. Romantic love is a feeling, an emotion that kicks off a cascade of chemical reactions and physical sensations in our bodies. And, like any emotion, romantic love ebbs and flows.
Divine love, in contrast, is a state of consciousness. It’s a way of BEing. It remains steady and constant underneath all of our emotions.
“Love is steady. It abides. It’s committed. Love stands by you. Love is also fluid – it meets you where you’re at and sees things differently on different days. And Love is spacious enough to take on new opinions.” – Danielle LaPorte
That’s the kind of unconditional, never-wavering inclusive Love we’re talking about here today.
Divine Love is like an ocean.
It’s vast and inclusive and unfathomable. It has room for everyone: the blobfish, the angelfish, the goblin shark, and the blue whale. It holds the ugly, the beautiful, the bizarre, and the things we haven’t got a name for. More than 80% of the ocean is unexplored and I think for many of us the idea of Divine Love is just as mysterious and distant.
If Divine Love is the ocean, then you are a single drop made of that ocean. You are Divine Love. And the ocean is made up of currents that connect and bring life from one area to another just as we have emotions that create connection – joy, happiness, love, vulnerability. And it has hurricanes that rage across the surface just like our anger, bitterness, hate, and envy.
It’s not helpful to pretend the hurricanes don’t exist (that’s spiritual bypassing). It’s equally unhelpful to define ourselves by our hurricanes and judge ourselves for having them. Everything is necessary, everything serves a purpose. We can feel and understand our hurricanes without being consumed by them and we can focus on the currents and stay in flow with life and Love as much as possible.
I love this little story from Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom because it explains it so well.
“The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this is terrible,” the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”
Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, “Why do you look so sad?”
The first wave says, “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”
The second wave says, “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.”
“Part of the ocean,” he says. “Part of the ocean.”
We deserve love.
We forget that we ARE the ocean, we ARE Divine Love. We are the drops of water that are all connected and together make up the ocean. We don’t need any religious gatekeepers to connect to Divine Love. And there isn’t a required amount of good deeds to deserve Divine Love.
It’s not out there – it’s in here. It has been all along. Encoded into our DNA. And always accessible through our hearts.
Everyone deserves this kind of love. Everyone always deserves more love not less. YOU deserve more love not less.
We, humans, struggle with this! We struggle to love all parts of ourselves. To love our limitations and our selfishness, our jealousy, and our anger. Because we’ve been taught only certain emotions and pieces of ourselves are acceptable.
And because our entire society is built around the concept of reward and punishment. It’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea that we always, no matter what, deserve Love. Even when we gossip. Or we’re unfaithful or we lose our cool and yell at our kids. And yet, Love is there, waiting to be invited into the pain and shame. Love never leaves you because you ARE love.
We get scared and push love away because we feel unworthy. Have you ever met someone who was truly loving and kind towards you and thought, “Wait, what’s happening here?” Someone who accepted all of you and made you feel safe and thought, “What did I do to deserve this?” It feels foreign and unfamiliar.
We sometimes end up self-sabotaging these relationships because feeling unsafe is so much more familiar. We know how to act and what’s required when love is conditional and you have to earn it. The “achieve the right amount of success but don’t shine too brightly, give until you’re exhausted without being needy, prove your loyalty without doubting theirs, and please don’t be clingy or insecure” obstacle course of earning love, is at least predictable.
Sometimes we self-sabotage these relationships because all this time we believed we didn’t deserve love. And we want to prove ourselves right because what would it mean for our past relationships if we had always deserved to be loved? And who are we if we don’t have to prove ourselves worthy?
“If you don’t love yourself how are you ever gonna love somebody else?” Ru Paul.
And because we have a hard time loving the pieces of ourselves that we don’t like we stumble when it comes to loving others too.
Can you wish for happiness for everyone?
- The friend that betrayed you
- The ex that left you
- The neighbour who voted differently than you
- The protestors who share different beliefs
- The murderer on the news
Can their happiness mean as much to you as your own? Can you wish for an end to their suffering? One eternal soul to another, can you wish them peace and healing and joy?
And if you can’t…can you love the part of yourself who judges others? Can you love the part of you caught up in a system of rewards and punishments?
If you’re not feelin’ the love…
The backdoor to Love is forgiveness. When you can stop wishing for the past to be different than it was. When you can truly believe that everyone did the best they could (even you) in the situation – there is a weight that’s lifted. And what rushes into that space where you were holding onto pain is acceptance and Divine Love.
RuPaul says we need to start by loving ourselves so let’s try a visualization together to bring in a little more self-love and self-acceptance.
Are you ready?
Find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. Take 3 slow deep breaths.
Think of one aspect of yourself you don’t like very much.
Where in your body does it sit?
What does it feel like?
What shape is it?
Does it have a colour?
Once you clearly see or feel it in your mind’s eye, picture it moving through your body to your heart space at the center of your chest. It’s okay if this takes a few minutes. Just keep breathing.
The doors of your heart are open. It can easily come inside. There is no judgment here. Only acceptance. Only compassion. Only Love.
Once it’s inside the safe space of your heart, ask what it wants you to know.
Ask what it needs to soften and feel safe?
Reassure this part of you that it is accepted. It is loved. And it is safe.
Take a few moments to just breathe and be with this part of yourself. When you’re ready, open your eyes and let your breathing return to normal.
How do you feel?
How does your body feel?
How does your energy feel?
If you try this exercise I’d love to hear about your experience. Drop me an email or ‘slide into my DM’s’.
Loving ourselves, ALL of ourselves isn’t easy but the more we connect with the Divine Love within all of us, and the more grace we extend to ourselves the easier it becomes to wish joy and love and acceptance for others. The easier it becomes to extend that unconditional love to those around us.
p.s. Your “heartwork” for the week – stop staring at your devices and get outside. Stare at the moon and the stars. Sunbathe (with sunscreen). Stand in a forest. Look at a mountain. Stand on the edge of a lake and feel that connection to Divine Love. Remember that you’re not separate, you’re not the wave but the ocean itself.