If God is Love, how do we come closer to God? It is simple; by allowing more love into our heart. This is allowing God into our heart. If our heart is closed, tense, afraid, bitter, resentful, then love cannot be present there. This means that God cannot be present there. Of course, we can think about God, pray to God, talk to God, but we will struggle to feel God’s presence, we will not be able to feel truly intimate with God, because there is no room in our heart for God, because God is Love.
Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is within. This is the kingdom of Love. A realm of peace, joy, compassion and deep gratitude. This is what we are all looking for, and we only need to look in the right place to find it. We have to awaken our heart and give it a more active role in our life.
Many people consider themselves to be devoted to God because of how much they pray, how much they thank God, how righteously they are living. These are important aspects, but what is far more important is helping others, being of service, being generous, showing kindness, non-judgement and selflessness. This is when our heart truly shines, as God intended it to.
We are here to help ease the burden of others, in any way we can, without expecting anything in return. This is truly loving thy neighbour, this is compassion, this is pureness of heart. And it feels so good to help others, to lift them up, to inspire them, to lighten their load, and see joy return to their faces.
This is what we are called to do; to be like Jesus, and be a fountain of loving compassion and care. This was the example that he set us, in order that we may follow it, and rise beyond the lowly human tendencies of greed, self-centeredness, apathy, intolerance and judgment.
We can all do this, and it all begins with becoming more aware of our heart; its caring nature, its desire to help others, its joyful innocence and enthusiasm for living, giving, sharing, inspiring. But we need to be more practical, rather that get stuck in our mind and rely on our thoughts to make us a more loving person.
We need to nourish our heart in practical ways, so that it becomes stronger; so it becomes the more dominant force in our life, rather than our mind. We need to do those things which feed the heart. Eat more natural and alkalising food, exercise daily, spend as much time in nature as possible, drink plenty of water and breathe plenty of fresh air; and most importantly, be giving to others. Giving our time, giving our patience, giving our listening ear, giving our love. Then our heart becomes stronger and it will influence all our choices, actions and communications in a more obvious way.
In truth, the more time we spend thinking, the more we get stuck in our head, and we lose our connection to our heart. We get caught up in the world of thoughts, and this is what entangles us and weighs us down.
All of our complex adult thinking: our judgements, our regrets, our self-criticism; all of our worries about what is going to happen in the future – they suck the joy out of our heart, and our heart tenses up in anxiety. Fear weighs us down like nothing else, and when you combine that with sadness, guilt and anger, you have a heart which simply cannot be receptive to God’s love, to God’s joy and happiness.
And we also have to willingly let go of the emotional baggage; to stop feeding it with our thought processes. We need to practice letting go of the anger and the angry thoughts which feed it, so that it stops poisoning our heart. We need to snap out of the sadness, which prevents us from growing, blossoming and bearing our fruit. We need to release the resentment, by forgiving others, and release the regret by forgiving ourselves. We need to stop punishing ourselves for not being perfect, and see the innocent child within us who just wants God’s love and approval.
Every child wants their fathers approval, because this is what creates the inner security that allows us to build a strong foundation as a functional, effective and loving human being. After all, we cannot be truly effective in this world if we are not loving. This is our purpose – to love others, to care for all creatures, no matter how big or small they are. This is compassion. If we see suffering, we know that through our compassion we have the capacity to alleviate that suffering.
The more we open our heart and care without restriction, like Jesus did, the more we can alleviate the pain of another, whether they are a human or an animal. Love makes no distinctions. Love just sees where it is needed, and it goes there, without reservation. This is the greatest compassion, and it is what we are all called to embody and practice, like Jesus did. Jesus was as a living example of the potential we each hold. The potential to forgive anything, as he did when upon the cross. The potential to care about everyone, no matter what their social status was, no matter how diseased and repulsive they may have been.
He is like an older brother, setting the example for us, showing us how truly beautiful, how loving, how caring we can be if we fully open our heart and allow God’s love to flow through us towards others.
So this is our daily practice, to move away from our mental judgements, resentments, worries, fears, doubts and everything else that brings darkness and tension into our heart, and bring our attention to the love that we feel for God, the devotion that we feel, the deep gratitude that we feel.
When we come back to this feeling of deep love and gratitude for God in our heart, our relationship with him deepens. The love is reciprocated and magnified exponentially, filling our heart with an even more intense sense of gratitude and love.
Of course, God doesn’t need our love, because God is Love. Be we all really need God’s Love, so that our heart can be healed, so that it can be restored to its full capacity. Only then can it be filled to the brim by God, so that it may overflow and be shared abundantly with all the people we meet. And so many people in this world are thirsty for God’s Love.
Just by being around them, you can give them a taste of it, because they can feel it emanating from you. Yes, you can share scripture, share God’s promises with them and tell them how much God loves them, but this alone can become overly cerebral.
People respond best when they can actually feel the love coming from us, when they feel the passion and the joy that God has inspired in our heart. If people cannot feel a genuine warmth coming from your heart, they may doubt the effectiveness of your religion. They may ask, “where is the love? You speak about it, but I don’t feel it.”
You see, people need much more than words. Words speak only to the mind, to the intellect, and this is fine if you are conveying practical information. But if you want to convey God’s love, a deeply heartfelt experience which every human heart is crying our for, then you have to embody it yourself, you have to be feeling it. How can you offer a love that you do not feel? You can talk about it, but there will be no substance behind your words, because the person listening to you will not feel it coming from you.
Hearts respond to each other. A joyful heart stirs up joy within the hearts of those in the vicinity, those who are close. They don’t even have to be receptive. Joy is contagious, and no consent is needed. It is like a guitar string. If you play one string on one guitar and there is another guitar in the room, the same string will resonate on that guitar also. This is called harmonic resonance. And our heart works in the same way. Because love is so powerful and so tangible, if there is one heart vibrating with God’s love in the room, other hearts will start to pick up its harmony, its perfect vibration, it’s resonance. They cannot help but respond.
This is why bringing love into our own heart is the priority, because then we really have God’s prize to offer others. This is what almost everybody is searching for, this is what their heart is desperately hoping to feel. This is God’s promise, the kingdom of heaven within. And the best way to offer it to others, is to be there ourselves. Then we can talk with true authority about it, because we are feeling and experiencing it. Then our words will have true power – the power to touch the heart of others, the power to stir up hope and faith and joy. The power to deeply inspire the hearts of others with the word of God, which is Love.
“Develop the strength of your heart”
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“We are but children, innocently longing to find our way back
to the world of joy, freedom and happiness we once knew..”