What is the Difference Between Conditional Love and Unconditional Love?

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Love – This is a word that is very frequently used in every language to describe our emotions ranging from something as relatively trite, such as, “I love your shoes,” to something as deeply significant as a mother saying, “I love you” to a child in the most vulnerable moment.

 

 

Is there really a difference between conditional love and unconditional love? 

 

 

The answer is, yes.

 

 

What is conditional love?

 

 

Conditional love is a polarized emotion, meaning that it has an opposite emotion.  The opposite extreme of love is hatred.  Conditional love comes from ego and  generally focuses on someone (like a romantic partner, child, parent, friend)  or some thing (like a house, a car, or a job).  When we love someone conditionally, we tend to want them to look, act, and think in ways that fit our own paradigms and expectations.  We hold others accountable to our expectations in order to qualify for our affection.  If they act the way we want them to, we express our approval; if they act contrary to our wishes, we withhold our expression of acceptance of them, usually in some form of anger.  Conditional love polarizes our internal thought process to believe, “I am right, and you are wrong, so I think you should see things my way.”  As soon as begin to judge someone as being right or wrong, it is our cue that we are not in a space of unconditional love because we are perceiving that we are the authority for someone else’s life.  This ultimately results in a power play for everyone involved because it focuses on control, which typically elicits a defensive reaction from the people whom we are trying to change.

 

 

Another version of conditional love is passion, a term we use for the sexual feelings we have when we meet someone with whom we have “chemistry.”  The term “falling in love” is a revealing expression indicating that we sometimes lose ourselves when we are involved in a passionate romantic relationship based on conditional love. Possibly, this is because we are looking for another person to complete us rather than looking to share our whole self with another. “Looking for our other half” is a statement that strongly indicates we are seeking to make ourselves whole through someone else, rather than working on ourselves to become more of who we truly are.

 

 

When someone acts in a way that vastly deviates from our expectations or does something to hurt us or someone we care about, we can transform the emotion of conditional love to the complete opposite end of the spectrum – hatred.  Hatred is a very strong emotion that is rooted in fear.  Hatred is extremely destructive and wreaks havoc on our mental, emotional, and physical well being.

 

 

What is Unconditional Love?

 

 

Unconditional love is neutral and has no opposite polarity.  The source of unconditional love is Spirit; therefore it is available to everyone without discernment, and there is absolutely nothing we need to do to qualify for it.  Unconditional love comes through to us at a soul level, beginning at the level of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness, and radiates divine light to everyone and everything.  When we make a conscious decision to choose thoughts based on unconditional love, it does not mean that we agree with everyone and everything.  It means that we consciously commit ourselves to expressing respect, kindness, and cooperation to everyone and everything in our environment.

 

 

Unconditional love is not something that happens to us or outside of us.  It is the life force of energy within our very being and is ingrained in every cell of our bodies.  We don’t have to search for love–we ARE, each one of us, the physical embodiment of unconditional love.  Because unconditional love is life energy, it is formless, infinite, constantly in motion, and unconditionally available to us 24/7!

 

 

Unconditional love has a positive effect on our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual state of being, creating truth, joy, beauty, health, harmony, and everything in the world that is in our greatest good.  The benevolent, compassionate nature of universal love flows through us and blesses everyone and everything it touches.

 

 

When we open our hearts to receiving and expressing the love of the universe, we feel expansive and radiant.  We automatically rise above the limitations of fear because unconditional love is infinitely more powerful than fear; in fact, unconditional love is the most powerful force in existence.  There is no amount of darkness that can blot out light; yet the tiniest amount of light can overcome darkness. This means that no matter how dark and chaotic our lives may seem at times, we can find comfort in knowing that our earthly world is always held within an infinitely larger context of universal love and light.

 

 

Remembering that we are each created in the energy of divine love gives us great inspiration and renewed hope that we each have the power to bring our own unique expression of unconditional love to the world, which brings healing to everyone and everything we touch.

 

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandra

 

What We See in Others is a Reflection of Ourselves

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You may have heard it before, but it is such a strong statement:  “We can only see things within others that we see within ourselves.”  I think this is one of the most challenging spiritual lessons we are here to learn.  When I first read this statement in a spiritual book many years ago, it seemed very odd to me.  Like most people, my first response was, “Surely, I do not act like a lot of people who annoy me and push my buttons.”   Interestingly, I find that when I facilitate spiritual classes, this statement typically elicits the same response from most others.

 

 

Everyone you meet is your mirror.  Why is that?

 

 

We come to understand ourselves best through our relationships with other people. We can only be triggered by something we have experienced ourselves. The traits we tend to dislike in others are usually the traits we do not like about ourselves.  We then tend to judge and criticize these characteristics.  This calls to mind the analogy of pointing a blaming finger at someone.  One finger is pointing at another person, and three are pointing back to ourselves.

 

 

When certain characteristics in someone’s personality trigger a negative reaction from you, there is something within you that is coming up because it is ready to be healed.  Usually, it represents issues from your past that have gone unresolved. An example of this would be constantly attracting people who betray you in close relationships because you have not dealt with a parental abandonment issue from your past. What you are seeing is a manifestation of your belief that you cannot trust anyone with your feelings. Here is another example:  You are someone who has a constant need to prove to others that you are “right.”  Chances are you will attract people who strongly disagree with you because they also have the need to convince others to see life from their perspective.  Also, if you dislike controlling people, most likely you dislike some bossy tendencies within yourself.

 

 

Every person we meet in life is showing up at the perfect time in our lives to reflect something we need to heal within ourselves. The people with whom you interact are showing you who you are and ultimately providing you with an opportunity to love yourself. Since our mission is to discover what we don’t love and learn to love it, the people who get on our nerves the most are among our greatest teachers.

 

 

When you find yourself triggered by a person or situation, ask yourself the following questions: 

 

 

 

    •    “What is this person teaching me that I need to learn to become more whole?” 

 

    •    “Do I behave like this now?”

 

    •    “Did I behave like this in the past?”

 

 

Believe it or not, forgiving YOURSELF is the most effective way to disengage from negative interactions with people.  We can only love and accept others to the degree that we love and accept ourselves.  When you make it a habit to learn from your relationships, eventually you will discover that you can observe negative traits within others without judgment and without getting hooked into someone else’s drama.  If you discover that you are in a relationship with someone who habitually abuses you in some way, it is sometimes healthy to limit your exposure to that person or to avoid their company completely.  This serves you well only after you have embraced the lessons that you have seen reflected to you through the relationship, followed by choosing to forgive yourself and the other person.

 

 

The good news is that the desirable behaviors we see in others is also a reflection of ourselves.  When we predominantly choose thoughts of love, we live in a reality of love.  In other words, as we focus on our light within, we bring out the light within others.

 

 

We came to this earth to return to the remembrance that we are ONE. Everyone we meet has come into our path to help us to remember this.

 

 

Do you find it challenging to believe that what you see in others is a reflection of you?  I welcome your thoughts.

 

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandra

What Can I Do To Help Heal the Disasters and Tragedies Within the World?

 

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Monday’s news of a massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, that devastated thousands of homes and demolished an elementary school, speaks to all of us.  Pictures of the broken remnants of  homes, cars, trees, and roadways looked like tinker toys haphazardly torn apart and scattered to the wind. At least 24 people were killed, including 9 children.

 

 

Looking at these pictures and hearing and seeing broadcasts of people sharing their heartbreaking stories of losing all their material possessions, and in some cases their loved ones, goes right to the heart.  What also typically accompanies this deep feeling of empathy and compassion for the pain and suffering of those who lost their lives and property is a feeling of helplessness.  The more we follow the media on disastrous events such as this, the more our emotions of fear intensify, causing us to feel even more powerless to help those in need.

 

 

Of course, it is only human to be disturbed whenever disaster and tragedy strikes  because we are spiritually connected, so what hurts one of us affects every one of us in some way.  On the other hand, because of this spiritual connection, it is also true that every one of us has the power to have a positive healing effect on others.  With this in mind, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE by adding to the healing energy of the world.

 

 

What Can I Do To Help?  

 

 

The following is a list that offers some suggestions as to how each one of us can make a difference by adding to the healing energy of the world.  This entire exercise takes only a matter of minutes:

 

 

1)  Limit your exposure to the media coverage of tragic events

 

Being aware of the world news is important.  Of course, we need to know what is going on so we can be intelligently informed of the condition of the world around us.  However, if you continue to be glued to your TV and stay focused on media recounts of tragedies and disasters, you are very likely to become mesmerized by the drama.  This causes you to stay stuck in fear. When we are in fear, we are powerless to make positive changes within our personal lives, as well as in the lives of others.

 

 

2)  Set an intention of love and healing

 

When things in the world are upsetting you, stop for a couple of minutes, take some deep breaths and imagine the energy in your head is moving down into your heart.  When your energy is focused in your heart, you are shifting from focusing on the fear within your mind to the love within your heart.  Think of someone or something you love – it could be a person, an animal, or a beautiful aspect of nature such as a sunset, blue skies, or flowers.  Allow yourself to feel the energy of your heart becoming more expansive and filling your body.

 

 

3)  Remind yourself that you are connected with Universal Love 

 

Imagine that there is a beautiful cord of brilliant white light connecting you with an infinite field of love and light.  Remembering this will help you to feel more peaceful, hopeful, and innately powerful.

 

 

4)  Use your imagination

 

Envision the situation and location that you would like to be healed, such as in this case, the area of Moore, Oklahoma and all of its inhabitants.  You may perceive this situation in many ways.  Perhaps you will see darkness, feel heaviness, or envision people who need help.  Whatever you sense is OK – It is simply becoming evident to you what is calling to be healed.  Now imagine everything and everyone you are perceiving is in a bubble of brilliant white light, connected to the Source of Universal Love.  Ask that whoever and whatever you are perceiving is blessed by the love and light of the Universe.

 

 

5)  Trust your intuition

 

You may sense many things, such as light, colors, images, and tones.  There is no need for you to logically understand what you are seeing or feeling.  If you have set the energy of your intentions in love and healing, whatever comes through your imagination is your unique contribution to the healing of the people and situations you have intended be healed.

 

 

6)  Release from the process

 

Take a deep breath and gently let go of whatever you are working with.  You do not have to stay linked to the situation.  In fact, by helping in this way, you are likely to feel much more peaceful and loving.  Also, remember that you can return to this healing process anytime for anyone and anything.

 

 

7)  Take Action

 

Constantly talking about the disasters and traumas of our world does little good. Instead, take action in whatever ways you feel guided to do, such as: making financial contributions, joining prayer groups, volunteering to help clean up damaged areas, donating food and clothes, to name a few.

 

 

Remember, every tragedy and disaster is an opportunity for each one of us to assist with the healing of the world by focusing our attention on divine love and light.

 

 

YOU DO MAKE A TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCE!

 

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandra

Gender Equality

 

This is an image in red of the gender symbols with text that says Gender Equality

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This past Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day, which we associate with the feminine role in our society.  We are now looking forward to Father’s Day on June 16, which we connect with the masculine role within our world.  Since we are presently in the gap between these two gender-associated holidays, it feels like the perfect time to discuss a topic which is currently getting a great deal of attention and publicity:  Gender equality.  

 

 

Gender equality, is also known as sexual equality, equality of the genders, and gender neutral. All of these terms imply that men and women should receive equal treatment. The concept is based on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and the ultimate aim is to provide equality in law and equality in social situations, especially in democratic activities and securing equal pay for equal work.

 

 

There are presently two books on the New York Times Best Seller List that are delivering powerful messages about the importance of gender equality: Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, urges women to pursue their careers without ambivalence. The other book, The Athena Doctrine, by John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, discusses how the feminine values of nurturing, listening, and collaborating are redefining success for both genders. It is very interesting to note that Sheryl Sandberg is a woman advocating for females to invoke more masculine qualities; and John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio are men calling for business to incorporate what is viewed as feminine values.

 

 

Everyone has both a masculine and a feminine side

 

 

It is important that we do not confuse this topic with perceiving that this is a battle of male vs. female. Whether we are male or female, and no matter what our sexual preferences are, everyone has both a masculine and a feminine side. This is the yin/yang energy that has been referred to in Asian cultures for thousands of years.  There are certain characteristics that are inherent within both masculine and feminine energy.  Masculine energy (yang) deals with the strength of the self and the value of your own life.  Some of the qualities we attribute to being masculine are:  power, aggression, survival, focus, and decisiveness.  Feminine energy (yin) is more tuned into the value of the life of others and letting others take control of their own lives.  Some of the qualities we associate with being feminine are:  intuitive, gentle, nurturing, compassionate, and responsive to the needs of others.

 

 

For thousands of years, the collective energy of our world has been primarily masculine in nature.  Business, in particular, has been dominated by masculine energy because it has been focused on competition, power, and the bottom line. While up to this point in our evolution, this predominance of masculine energy has been appropriate in order to survive, an excess of masculine energy is being reflected in our social problems of greed, violence, and crime.  This is not to say that masculine energy is bad – far from it!  It is an extremely important component in our society, but we need to realize that it is imperative to maintain a balance of masculine energy as we bring in more feminine energy.  The key word here is BALANCE.

 

 

The fact that the issue of gender equality is moving to the forefront of our attention is an extraordinary sign that humanity is evolving to a much higher perspective than we have been in the past. We are being called upon to integrate the masculine qualities of focusing on the strength of self and being action oriented with the feminine qualities of being compassionate and responsive to the genuine needs of others.

 

 

The energy of Universal Love is a perfect balance of feminine and masculine energy.  While the world around us may seem pretty tumultuous right now, we can find great inspiration in knowing that we are beginning to integrate our masculine and feminine qualities internally and externally.  As we each discover the balance of masculine/ feminine energy within ourselves, it is being reflected in the conditions of our outer world.  Humanity is beginning to move out of polarity and into our spiritual truth of ONENESS!

 

 

I welcome any stories you choose to share regarding your struggles and successes on your personal journey toward gender equality.

 

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandra

What IS the Difference Between Religion and Spirituality?

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This is a question which comes up in conversations quite frequently.  Although the terms spirituality and religion are often used interchangeably; they do not mean the same thing.

 

 

What is Religion?

 

 

Religion is a social structure, created by humans, based on a system of beliefs, attitudes, and practices. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the Universe.  The ideologies of each particular religion determine the ethics, religious laws, and preferred lifestyle of its followers.  

 

 

There are many different religions in the world.  Most of them have chosen a particular path to follow in our eternal human quest for deeper truth and love.  We may choose to belong to a particular religion due to family tradition, life experiences, a desire to associate with a community of people of like mind, and many other personal reasons.  

 

 

What is Spirituality?

 

 

Spirit is the life force energy of unconditional love that connects all of creation.  The root word of spirit is the Latin word spiritus, which means breath. Remembering this helps us to release the illusion that spirituality is an esoteric concept separate from our physical reality or that it is exclusively attached to any specific religion.  It also helps us to realize that there is no such thing as a “non-spiritual person.” Because spirit is the breath of life, it is an innate part of who we are at the deepest level of our being. 

 

 

We do not need to “do” anything to be spiritual. 

 

 

Whether we belong to a religion or not, every human being has a soul connection to Spirit. We do not need to choose Spirit, nor do we need to do anything to be chosen.  Like breath, it simply is.  We each have a direct spiritual connection with the unconditional love of a Higher Reality.  We are each free to choose whether we want to acknowledge this Higher Reality or to deny it.  We are also free to decide how we want to perceive it.  There is nothing we need to do to qualify in order to be worthy of  this connection, and it is not necessary to have an intermediary to access it.

 

Spirit is the essence of Unconditional Love.

 

 

Because Spirit is the essence of unconditional love, discovering our spirituality is not something that happens to us or outside of us.  It is the life force of energy WITHIN our very being and is ingrained in every cell of our bodies.  We don’t have to search for love — we ARE, each one of us, the physical embodiment of divine love.  As humans, we are each a spiritual being in a physical body with a divine purpose for being on earth.  Remembering our spiritual connection is the underlying purpose of our journey here on earth. 

 

 

We are each on a different path to Oneness.

 

 

We are all on different paths moving toward the realization of the unconditional love and infinite potential of Spirit. Whether you have chosen a religion or not, the most important thing each one of us can do is to choose to base our beliefs on the qualities of kindness, respect, and cooperation within our personal lives and in our interaction with others. Respecting the differences within each other is essential for the well being of our entire planet.  It is the only way we can create a world of harmony and peace.

 

 

For thousands of years we have used our religions to call attention to our differences – even to the point of having “religious wars.” As humanity evolves,  these lines of separation are dissolving and religions are beginning to converge into the truth of our Oneness.  Indeed, there are encouraging signs everywhere indicating that many of the major religions are expanding the context of their beliefs and doctrines to welcome people of different cultures, race, creed, and socioeconomic status to unite through the common thread of unconditional love.

 

 

During times of crisis, we are increasingly seeing people of many different faiths, as well as people who have no particular religious affiliation, unite in prayer for the good of the whole. 

 

 

We are each a beautiful and unique piece in the whole puzzle – we are all a part of ONENESS!

 

 

I welcome any questions you may have, as well as your insights and experiences regarding the paths you have chosen to become more whole.

 

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandra

Forgiveness – The Greatest Gift We Give To Ourselves

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I have often shared with others my belief that forgiveness is the greatest gift we can ever give to ourselves.  This many times surprises people, because it is a commonly held perception that forgiveness is something we do for others – almost like a favor that we are doing for someone. Sometimes we perceive our forgiveness as a reward we will give someone if they apologize first or change their behavior to accommodate our expectations. 

 

It is extremely important that we understand the actual meaning of the word forgiveness.  When trying to accurately interpret a word, it is many times helpful to go back to the original definition as it appears in the dictionary.  According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, the actual definition of forgiving is allowing room for error or weakness; and the definition of forgive is to give up resentment.  When we remember that we are all fallible and that the only thing we have to lose by forgiving anyone is the self-destructive resentment and judgment we are carrying, we begin to see more clearly that the person who benefits most from the process of forgiveness is self.

 

Let’s discuss just a few of the many reasons that help us to understand why forgiveness is essential for our OWN health and overall well-being: 

 

Forgiveness is rooted in Self-Love – Self-love is the fundamental principle of all healing and the root of all compassion for self and others. When we hold on to anger and resentment with people from the past, we hurt ourselves by continuing to experience the emotions that are associated with these painful experiences.  This takes a heavy toll on our mental, emotional,  and physical health. It is also important to remember that life is a two-way street.  Either knowingly or unknowingly, we too have hurt others through our unkind words and actions.  We can only give to others that which we give to ourselves—so developing the attitude of being compassionate and kind to ourselves is a very healthy way to develop the habit of forgiveness.

 

Forgiveness creates harmony – It frees us from the need to be “right,” which automatically makes someone else “wrong.”  This attitude breeds constant conflict with others and within ourselves.  Every person who is in a disagreement thinks he or she is “right,” or there would be no discord in the first place.  By letting go of our need to be right, we are not admitting we are “wrong.”  We are simply being wise and compassionate enough to realize that we do not know what someone else is experiencing, what they are feeling, or why they have responded to a situation in a way that does not match our expectations. Simply stated, we are not the authority for how someone else thinks and acts, so it does not serve us well to criticize others.  By judging others, we plant the seeds to remain entangled in an unproductive drama that intensifies the struggle, rather than focusing on the resolution. 

 

Forgiveness creates inner peace – A peaceful mind is a quiet mind.  Paradoxically, I think most of us would admit that we have cluttered minds.  Forgiveness promotes mental clarity by cleansing our minds of unhealthy, resentful thoughts from the past.  This creates the mental space for more expansive perceptions based on our spiritual values.  Our society is extremely focused on physical fitness and cleansing diets for our bodies; yet we ignore our mental fitness and the critical need we have to houseclean our minds of the toxic thoughts that we constantly recycle in our minds based on our anger and resentment toward others.

 

Forgiveness frees us to be in present time – Blaming others keeps us stuck in the past and reinforces thought patterns that create the same dramas in the future.  The only time in which we can create new realities is in the present.  Since our thoughts create our personal reality, why not choose to forgive the past and adopt a new way of thinking? Why look backward?  It’s not the direction you want to go.

 

Forgiveness shifts our self-perception – We can transform our perception of ourselves from being a victim of our circumstances, reacting to hurtful situations from the past, to one of being a student of life.  Seeing ourselves as a student of life means choosing to interpret all the situations we have ever had and all the people whom we have ever met as lessons that help us to learn more about ourselves, others, and life in general.  Since our perceptions determine how we experience everything in life, shifting from a self-image of being a victim to the more enlightened self-image of being a student of life empowers you to create new, more expansive realities that align with your desire to live the life YOU choose.   

 

Forgiveness, like any form of thought, can be consciously chosen.  While it can seem difficult at first, the more we practice forgiveness, the more natural it becomes.  We begin to feel better about everyone—especially ourselves.

 

Do you have a challenging forgiveness situation that you would like to share?  I welcome your comments and questions.

 

Love and Light,

Sandra

Trying to Make Sense of Violence

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© TheFinalMiracle/shutterstock

 

 

The bombing tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday, compounded by the recent shootings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and the Sandy Hook School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, has caused many people to ask some very big questions, such as:  “What in the world is going on?”  “What can we do to help?”  and “What is the spiritual message in all of this?”

 

 

As we all attempt to make some sense of these violent acts, let’s walk through these questions together, one at a time.

 

 

“What in the world is going on?”  

 

Humanity is in the process of an enormous transformation, beyond what we have ever experienced.  We are being called upon to create a new physical reality based on the spiritual truth of unconditional love. The opposite of love is fear.  The violence we are seeing is not being forced upon us by a vengeful God. We have been given the gift of choice – we can choose to focus on love or we can choose to focus on fear.  Our thoughts create our reality, so whatever we are thinking and doing that is not in alignment with unconditional love is now coming to our attention in a gargantuan way.  Violence is is a symptom of a social disease much the same as cancer is a symptom of a major malfunction of the physical cells.  Of course, it is only human to have strong feelings of deep grief and anger when we experience and witness these atrocities.  We need to feel these feelings to move through the pain.  But ultimately, as much as we would like to blame external circumstances and perpetrators of crime as the sole reason for violence, this does not get to the root of the healing. Because humanity is interconnected through Spirit, the true healing lies in each one of us taking responsibility for the fact that every one of us plays a part in forming the condition of our society.

 

 

What can we do to help? 

 

First and foremost, we need to look within our own lives. As Malcolm Gladwell states in his famous book, The Tipping Point, “the smallest things make the biggest difference.”  Resolving our personal conflicts in peaceful ways, being compassionate and non-judgmental, exercising random acts of kindness to friends and strangers, helping others in time of need, and honoring the divinity within all people by respecting our differences, are but a few of the ways we can personally make an enormous impact on the healing of the entire world.  We don’t have control over what others think, say, and do, but we do have control over how we conduct our own personal lives.  Just as one person can start an epidemic of disease, so also can one person start a movement of spiritual healing.

 

 

On a larger level, we can forgive ourselves and each other.  Yes, I said forgive.  Forgiveness does not mean we condone another person’s behavior, or that we agree with someone, or that we have given up. Far from it! When we forgive we stop judging, and we exercise the grace of surrendering our attachment to the pain and suffering of this world to a Higher Power. We can do this every day in every way by consciously choosing kind words and actions that are aligned with what we want to see, saying prayers, and meditating.  In other words, get in touch with practicing anything that allows you to connect with your Soul.  We don’t have all the answers, but we always have the opportunity to choose love over fear – and forgiveness is the highest form of human love.  When we forgive, we transition ourselves from being a victim to that of being in a position of strength and compassion.  From this higher perspective, we are in a position to genuinely be a support system to those who are the victims of violence. It is through forgiveness that we can bridge our present reality of fear to a new world of unconditional love.

 

 

What is the spiritual message in all of this?  

 

Because we are human and we live in a world of separation, we need to see what separation (fear) looks like in its extreme form in order to comprehend the crucial need to come together as ONE. Have you noticed the extraordinary capacity people have to help one another during tragic events?  Some of the ways in which we see this are:  medical professionals tend to show up out of nowhere, police and fire officials immediately respond, spectators jump in to help anyone they can, even at the risk of their own lives, strangers volunteer to rebuild lives and properties, and people reach deep into their pockets to make financial contributions.  During these trying times, we have learned that we need each other.  We have also learned that prayer is much more than a religious experience – it is a human experience to connect with a Higher Power.   Never before have so many people of different faiths, age, race, and nationalities come together to unite in prayers for the healing of humanity.  When we are in desperate need, we tend to put aside our differences and get down to what really matters.

 

 

We ARE getting it!  The common denominator for all of humanity is LOVE.

 

 

Love and Light,

 

 

Sandra

No Time for Yourself? You May Be Living From The Outside-In

We live in a busy world filled with enormous demands for our time and energy.  Whether it be keeping up with a job, juggling the responsibilities of parenting, learning new technology, or simply plugging through our own to-do lists, most people are feeling there are just not enough hours in the day for the necessities. Time for pleasure? Fat chance. Simply stated: Most of us are on overload.

 

There is a simple explanation, yet understanding what it means takes a bit more reflection.  It means we mold our lives to fit within the context of expectations of our outer physical world.  We are reactive to circumstances instead of creating our own realities. In other words, we live from the Outside-In.

 

This is an image of a woman trapped inside a box.

© Gemenacom

 

Some of the signs that you may be playing this out in your own life:

 

  • You spend most of your energy reacting to the demands of others
  • You define yourself by what other people think of you and your possessions
  • You neglect your own needs in order to take care of everyone else’s
  • You make decisions that are not in accord with your own inner values because you worry how others will react
  • You ignore your need to create the time and space to regenerate yourself

Changing the basis of your life from the model of Living From the Outside-In to the healthier foundation of Living From the Inside-Out may be easier than you think.  First and foremost, it requires a major change of perception. When you change how you perceive life, everything around you changes because your external reality is a projection of your own thoughts.

 

How can you transition to living from the Inside-Out?  Begin to prioritize self-respect and spiritual values, rather than recognition, power, and approval from the physical world.  When you begin to live from the Inside-Out, you’ll start to notice:

 

  • You spend your energy to create what you want
  • You recognize yourself as a spiritual being living in a physical world
  • You honor your own needs, which then empowers you to help others
  • You make decisions that are based on your inner values, with less emphasis on how they are received
  • You make self-nurturing and regeneration a priority

Why wait? Follow these four suggestions to begin living from the Inside-Out:

 

1)  Get up about 15 minutes earlier than usual and start your day quietly in ways that make you feel internally motivated, such as meditation, inspirational readings, or just breathing deeply and staring into space.  This is your “me” time. If you’re not a morning person, this can be done before bed.

 

2)  Start listening to your Intuition – When you get those flashes of imagination and gut level feelings, don’t analyze them – just allow them.  These are message from your soul to your mind.

 

3)  Spend time in nature, engaging as many of your senses as possible. This can often help you to achieve inner silence by showing appreciation for the beauty around you.

 

4)  Write down a vision of the things you would love to see in your life.  Do not judge whether it is feasible or possible.  Just allow yourself to dream and imagine.

 

While doing these exercises will not change your life overnight, practicing any one or all of of them will begin to shift your focus. In moving from reaction to action, you may rise above a world filled with stress to finally create the inner space of peace that you truly deserve.

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandra