“The real purpose of your life is to express the creation of God - to unfold the many departments of your mind which God has planned for you, and which will enable you to know and to do His will. When you know that there is nothing for you to worry about or to fear, you may then relax and feel happy. When you know that living, as God has planned it, here and now, is beautiful and that you can know just what God’s plans are for you, you will be really interested in living, won’t you?” ~Myrtle Filmore How to Let God Help You
The real purpose of our lives is to express the creation of God. That’s the sentence that really grabbed me in today’s reading. You and I are each the creation of God. We’re an expression or emanation of the One. Our purpose is to express God as ourselves and recognize it in everyone we meet. I have a sign in my office with a quote from St. Catherine of Siena. It says, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” We are each a way God comes to know itself better. When we express ourselves as we are intended to, we illuminate the world around us. God shows up in the world as each of us, and becomes ever more diverse as each of us. So, my invitation to you is to consider how you’re expressing God as yourself. Maybe it’s through love or kindness, maybe it’s through compassion or justice. In whatever ways you’re expressing God, recognize that everyone around you is trying to do the same thing as well. They may not be conscious of their expression and therefore aren’t setting the world on fire, but we each come to the knowledge of who and what we are in our own time and in our own way. Consider yourself ahead of the game.
“On several occasions, people have shared that they would like to have been able to finish business with someone who has since died. They wish they could have communicated the love, the connection between them, but now they feel it’s too late. Often this recognition of the incompleteness of relationship leads one to identify with feelings of helplessness and guilt. And we are asked, How do you finish business with someone who is no longer around? Of course the answer is always the same - one need not see that person to send them love. To finish business the other doesn’t even need to acknowledge your presence, much less the process you are sharing. It is our work to open in love to one another. This work is independent of results. It is done of its own and for its own sake.” ~Stephen Levine Who Dies?
Those last three sentences especially are so powerful to me.
It is our work to open in love to one another.
This work is independent of results.
It is done of its own and for its own sake.
Stephen Levine and his wife Ondrea sit with the dying and shepard the grieving. This means so much more in so many more contexts though. We have one thing to do, open in love to one another. They don’t even have to know we’re doing the work. We don’t even have to know them! That may seem odd. Why would I work to open in love to someone I don’t even know? Because they’re different from us. We’re told by society that we should fear those different from us, but when we open in love to even “the other” we discover that that is a lie. Fear only makes the situation worse.
So, my invitation to you this week is recognize where and why you might not be opening in love to another. Then try. See how you do with it.