Maybe We’ve Got Christ Backwards

Religion is personally a very tough topic for me, having felt burnt in most churches. Yet, here I find myself on Christmas Night writing about Christ and how I believe we’ve overlooked a very important message…

If Christ truly died for our sins, then that is where the martyrdom should end. Right? Then why do so many of us attempt to emulate Christ-the-Martyr in our everyday lives? Confused? Look at how we: downplay our successes, feel it is wrong to be “too happy,” fear God, fear abundance, and fear our own inner light and guidance (etc). How are we honoring the sacrifices (yes, plural) that Christ made for us when we are ourselves acting as martyrs?

After many years of spiritual practice and soul searching, I firmly believe that we’ve got this Christ thing completely backwards. His death and resurrection were to get our attention. His real message was to show us The Way back to our own Divine and Sacred Hearts. To me, he states this very clearly in The Sermon on the Mount found in both Matthew 5:43-48 and Luke 6:27-36

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? … And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? … Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Perhaps we fear this Love because we fear what it commands us to do. It is easy to love those who love us, and here Christ questions what reward do you have from this type of love?

Many of us habitually hide behind masks which once removed would unearth our own disdain for ourselves. How can we love our enemies when we can barely stand to look at, much less to love even ourselves? Yet, we see day in and day out that God still sends sun, rain and blessings to those who do both “Good and Evil.”  Here Christ is telling us that God, who is perfect/whole/complete loves EVERYONE. For you to be as God, perfect/whole/complete, then you must love your enemy, as there is no reward for only loving those who love you.

May we each open our hearts more today to love ourselves, to accept Our Divinity and to begin to love our enemies.  

Namaste

Love Them, Anyway

I keep feeling the call to love more and more; to dig deeper, to press into unknown territories, to pass through the anger and the fear, so as to love from a new part of my heart. Some people and situations make this easy. Others make it down right challenging.

“Love them, anyway,” the small quiet voice in my heart said when I started to call the guy who cut me off in traffic a jerk. “Love them, anyway,” my heart reminded me, even though they have said the same thing like five times, even though I had already repeated it back to them already. “Love them, anyway,” my heart whispers, even though their answers are short and curt when I am working to help them. “Love them, anyway,” my heart beckons, it’s easy to love the easy-ones-to-love. Now to learn to love the difficult ones..,

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This does not mean that I condone others’ behaviors. If someone is acting disrespectful, I can choose how I want to respond to protect my own integrity. It also means that I have the choice to not carry their names around in my head (or the labels I would like to give them), saying bad things and thinking bad thoughts about them. My thoughts about others also reflect the thoughts I have about myself…

So today, I’m learning to love others, anyway. Some people are easier to love at a distance. And yet, they need love just as much as anyone elseactually, I’d say the difficult ones need love even more. Hurt people hurt people. Love fills the wounds.


As I learn to love others, even with their faults and barbs, I am learning to love myself more and more, too.  So now, when I catch myself thinking what a jerk someone has been (and it had been happening more that I’d like to admit), I remove the word and do my best to see my interactions with them as a lesson…in compassion, for myself and for them. I also am sure to not call myself names, as well, lest the quote from Paul Valery (below) becomes reality.

quote-if-the-ego-is-hateful-love-your-neighbor-as-yourself-becomes-a-cruel-irony-paul-valery-87-23-69

Today, I set forth on a mission to learn to “love them, anyway.” It is my hope that you will join me. We will each grow in our abilities to love ourselves more in the end; each with a greater capacity for compassion. Let’s reverse the “hurt people, hurt people” fad by choosing to “love them, anyway.”

Yes, love them, anyway.

Namaste

Images: credits in images

 

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