Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Rose, By Any Other Name

William Shakespeare’s character Juliet made the point so aptly…
...that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

A rose would still be the sweet and beautiful flower that it is no matter what name was assigned to it, or what we call it. If we applied this same thought to the concept of God, we could eliminate many of the differences in the world. All too often we look at religious ideas only as they relate to our own rituals or specific belief system, names, and stories. We sometimes forget that our widely chosen book, the Bible, tells us, “God is Love”. And God, The Almighty, The Creator, under whatever name is assigned or what specific rituals are attached, is still wherever there is love. Likewise, anything that is in the energy and emotion of pure love must be the same as that entity or being that we choose to call God…Our sweet rose (God) will remain just as sweet if it is called by any other name. What matters is what it IS (love), not what it is called.

We should understand that God exists in all things that are born of the essence of love, even if it this love is practiced under the names of Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Universal Life Force, Reiki, or any other label that might be comfortable and true to others but unfamiliar to us. Even if it has no name at all, but is simply the energy of pure love, then God is there. I believe that healing comes from that pure love energy – what I like to call “God-energy” (but can respect under any other name). When we are in the presence or vibration of pure love, our healing will occur…we will have our miracles. It is for this reason that Jesus was such a powerful healer...He could love all beings, without judgment. He possessed the knowledge that we are capable of creating our own miracles, and gave the directive to, “Ask, and it shall be given you". That statement leaves little wiggle room and is very emphatic about what it says: that we should ask and know that it will be given…to KNOW that…to EXPECT it….to consider nothing less. It is our tendency toward judgment that prevents our healing, not just the judgment of others (although that is damaging), but also the judgment we put upon ourselves internally …that we are never quite worthy of God’s love, we are never quite good enough, that we probably don’t deserve what we have, that there is probably some punishment awaiting us for not measuring up. In our search for God, we often look for our flaws rather than our goodness, which is opposite of what He does, and therefore only leads us away from feeling that unconditional love that is ready and waiting for us. In seeing our shortcomings, we cannot begin to imagine that God would bestow upon us any gifts of healing…any ability to create miracles for ourselves or those around us…so we rarely ask and expect it. We entirely forget to ASK, so that it can be given to us, but instead wait to see what comes our way.

Our path to true healing (of body and soul) begins and ends with love… casting out judgment and loving ourselves, loving one another, reaching out to another in need without expectations or demands in return. It is not an easy thing to do because our minds have been trained to measure ourselves and each other, but it is our true path to God. We cannot reach God through reciting scripture, or simply following rigid rules…if God is love, we can only reach Him through love…pure love deep in our hearts, unencumbered by judgment and fear. Open your heart to unconditional love and you will open your life to God…to miracles…to your greatest self. Allow yourself to love the stranger, regardless of perceived flaws, and to love yourself, in spite of your assumed mistakes or inadequacies. Focus simply on the sweet smell of the rose, rather than what it is called or the details of how it got here, and you will find your joy.

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