"Either everyone is raised up or no one is."
--The Universe to me in a reading with my friend CF in 2006
At the time I received this reminder from the Universe I didn't really have any idea what it meant. I knew it was somehow pointing out my tendency to judge and exclude, to put myself on a pedestal above others in intelligence, spirituality and common sense, but back then I still thought that was where I deserved to be.
Everyday since has been a wake-up call in that department and I think I am starting to realize that I really don't know much. No one does. At the same time, we know it all. We have inside of us the potential for everything in the Universe if we can just allow ourselves to access it. Sometimes we can; more often we cannot. Such is the life of a human being.
But sometimes, if we are lucky, we do get glimpses of the all-encompassing Oneness of the Universe. I got one such glimpse last week on the day of my "ah-ha" moment about heart vs. head.
Once I understood that the answers I am looking for are in my heart and not my head, I started to work on dropping into my heart to see what I could find there. For some reason that day it was pretty easy to get there.
I took three really deep breaths and I focused on my heart. All of a sudden it was like a room opened up in my heart that I could rest in. I sat down and got comfortable there.
The thing I noticed first was that there was a lot of love in this place. A lot of love. And it wasn't head love; it was the real deal, heart love.
Head love is the love we normally feel, the love that is talked about in books and in
movies. It comes from what we have been taught about who is worthy and who is not, what is attractive and what is not, what is to be desired and what is not. True love, real love, pure
love comes from the heart and it is universal, eternal, unstoppable and
does not discriminate
I put this love to the test. First I thought about those I say I love in the world outside the heart - my husband, my kids, my family, my friends. Yep, I loved them in my heart too, but it was different. It was a purer kind of love, a love that did not depend on what they did or how they treated me or what kind of a mood I was in that day. It just was.
I decided to go one step further. Was there love in there for people I did not like, had bad feelings about or was still holding grudges against from the past? I thought about a few of these people. People who had hurt me. People who had wronged me. People who had ignored me or made me feel less than. Yep, I loved them too.
I kept on going. Could I find love in my heart for the most heinous of criminals, the wrong-doers, the evil ones of this world? I thought of kidnappers, child molesters, Hitler. And, yes, there was even love in there for them!
When I dropped into my heart I finally understood what the Universe was trying to say, what other spiritual teachers have said, that no one is irredeemable, no one is excluded, no one is outside of the love of the Universe.
Doing this and feeling love for everyone - those I love, those I hate, Hitler AND Ghandi - felt like a glimpse into the heart of the saints and masters. They LIVE in this place. They are somehow able to find this room and stay there so that when they go out into the world everyone they meet feels this love.
That, to me, is what it means to be enlightened.
I have been trying for the past few days to get back there. I have not succeeded. But I am determined to keep trying, to keep dropping into my heart until I find a way to stay.