So I ended the last post about love.
Love somehow finds its way into all of my thoughts about life. I just cannot leave love out of the equation. I believe, wholeheartedly, that our purpose in life is to love. And if you’re thinking “love” like the cheesy, romantic, flowers and chocolates… go ahead and place those preconceptions into a little box and put that box into your closet. (How’s that? I was going to say, throw it into la basura, but I thought maybe that would be a little too harsh.)
Turns out love is immeasurably deep and profound. Go figure. So there really isn’t any way for me to get it right or even really justify it in a blog post. But I think I’m onto something… or actually, something has been onto me. In a trio sort of way. And I don’t want to let this thought escape, as many so often do when I do not give them the attention they’re due.
It is impossible to love if I do not know my self. My true self. Fully uncovering my true self is turning out to be a lifelong endeavor. And if I’m being really honest, I spent the first 30 years living a life that other people conceived for me. So much of my time and effort was spent on trying to look “okay” and earn other people’s approval and to project an identity that would be acceptable to the world. I can never know my self when I’m living this way. The only thing I know is that I’m really good at being someone else. I rarely took time to listen to my heart. I’m slowly beginning the process of reversing this soul-destructive lifestyle and lo and behold, these past 3 weeks, the same message came to me from external parties in a somewhat random and unpredictable way. The information contained in these sources is so profound that it requires serious contemplation in order to get at the deep places in our hearts. I want to share them in case any of you might be in a similar place and find these thoughts helpful in taking that next step toward love.
1. Geri and Pete Scazzero’s “I Quit“, Chapter 1, “Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think” – I attend a multi-ethnic church in Elmhurst, Queens, called New Life Fellowship. The church has been a conduit for much life transformation for me, and the latest has been this book that was just recently released. I just started to read it and I had a very hard time getting past the first chapter. I never read anything lightly, and especially in a life-application book like this one, it’s really important to let the concepts sink in before moving forward. I don’t think I have to say much about it, as the title says it all, but this chapter delves into some core issues more in detail. I don’t know how I’m going to get to the second chapter!
2. Anthony De Mello’s Talks on “How To Be Real” – This clip was sent to me by a self-proclaimed mystic a couple of weeks ago, and I could not sit comfortably while watching it. It’s a relatively short clip, but the contents are very concentrated and straight to the point. De Mello does not beat around the bush but says it straight-up: If you do not die to your need for approval from others, you cannot love. Don’t let his hairstyle get in the way of this message profoundly impacting your heart.
3. Don Miller’s Blog Post: “The Danger of Projecting an Identity” – I’ve been a fan of Don Miller for years, ever since I read his cultishly popular book, Blue Like Jazz. I really like his conversational writing style and honesty delivery on spirituality. He’ll be the first to admit that he’s not an authoritative religious figure and he’s often cited as a spiritually controversial person, but I personally think we need more Don Millers in the world. He tells it like it is and challenges traditional approaches to doing life, and I appreciate that. This particular post came just a couple of days ago and he lightly touches on the topic of projecting a false identity. A very relevant topic to the one at hand.
So there you have it. This is what life has been like for me lately. Tons of “coincidental” occurrences that I can no longer pass off as coincidental, as they are changing the way I am being shaped as a person.
I hope you’re paying attention, too. Cuz it could definitely be happening to you.