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Love Springs from Awareness

Usually I try to keep things light because, honestly, it's how I get through a day without my eyeballs constantly leaking.

But I read something that just blew me away this morning.

As we travel this road of life, there are so many people who cross our paths. Some of those people bring inspiration and love, making us feel whole and real and valued. Other take from us, maybe without permission, and leave wounds, scars, or unhealable hurts. Let's be honest, it's hard to love - hard to love those closest to us and even harder to love those who simply come into our lives through no choice of our own.

This morning, I read from a devotion book entitled Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Day by Day by Peter Scazzero. Today's reading included these words from Anthony De Mello, author of the book The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello.

"Love springs from awareness. It is only inasmuch as you see someone as he or she really is here and now, and not as they are in your memory or your desire or in your imagination or projection that you can truly love them, otherwise it is not the person that you love but the idea that you have formed of this person, or this person as the object of your desire not as he or she is in themselves.

Therefore, the first act of love is to see this person or this object, this reality as it truly is. And this

a discipline so great that most people would rather plunge headlong into good actions and service than submit to the burning fire of this asceticism...So the first ingredient of love is to really see the other.

The second ingredient is equally important to see yourself, to ruthlessly flash the light of awareness on your motives, your emotions, your needs, your dishonesty, your self-seeking, your tendency to control and manipulate."

I want you to let that sink in this morning. I wager that you find yourself somewhere on that spectrum of loving, be it toward your family, colleagues, neighbors, students, whoever. In an effort to encourage a little self-reflection, think about what might keep you from seeing the people around you as they truly are. What keeps you from being seen as an authentic human being?

As I look around at our world, shaking my head in disbelief at all the horrible things going on, I can't think of a better way to begin working toward a solution - learning to be aware of others' true selves and opening up to the process of trying to love them in their reality.

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