We are given so many opportunities to show love. I have come to learn that caregiving for someone or something that you love, in their time of need, is by far the most rewarding of these opportunities.
A few years ago, one of my friends lost her husband to ALS. She cared for him for many years. As I reflected on their relationship, rather than being sad that their last few years were spent taking care of her husband, I saw what a wonderful opportunity it was for her to show how much she loved him and for him to receive her love. She said that he was always so incredibly grateful for what she was doing for him. Both of them were receiving each other’s love as she cared for him. When you get to care for someone or something, it is a gift for both of you. You get to show love and they get to feel loved. How beautiful!
I recently read a book, Celestial Traveler, about a man that had a heavenly experience after a serious snowmobile accident. He encountered Jesus who asked him to tell people to love everything and believe in him. Jesus urged the man to spread the word that he was the way, the truth, and the life. As the gentleman retold his story, he said, “We must love everyone and everything.” This hit me because at that time, I was not fully loving my senior dog Abby who, I’ll admit, was driving me crazy with constant accidents and requiring a lot of care. My energy and compassion level was running very low, so my tolerance for Abby wasn’t very pleasant. I took care of her, but made it more of a duty than an act of love. When I heard Abraham, the man with the heavenly experience, say that you must show love to everything, I realized that I wasn’t being very kind to Abby, nor was I “acting in love”. She’s been a very sweet dog and I wanted to show her love. I decided to look at taking care of her as an opportunity to show my love. Believe it or not, it’s actually made taking care of her a lot more pleasant. It’s become a game to figure out how to get her to take her meds and what food she may like to eat each day. I enjoy petting her and giving her the reassurance that I will take care of her. I guess the saying is true that love does change everything.
There are a lot of things and people in our life that drive us crazy from work, work colleagues, children, family members, and friends. Even our daily tasks such as laundry, dishes, cleaning, going to work, the commute to places, and our “to-do” list can cause us angst. If we change our perspective to love and gratitude that we have the ability to do what God has asked us to do, everything changes. What a blessing that we are able to give and receive love. Whether you are the caregiver and the care receiver, what a blessing to have that opportunity. Whether you get to ride your bike or fold laundry for your family, what a blessing that you physically can do that for yourself or for others. When you see everything you do as an act of love, everything changes.
When given the opportunity, give and receive love. ~ your inner guide
Voyage to HEAL Weekly Focus
Stretch: Let’s work the jaw in a way you never have before. Go wash your hands first. Rest your elbows on a table, possibly elevate them if needed for comfort, and place your thumbs on your upper molar teeth. Gentle squeeze in or out, whichever feels best for you. Hold this and feel your jaw soften gaining more flexibility. For the lower jaw, place your thumbs under your jaw for support and your middle fingers on the bottom molars. Either gently squeeze your fingers together or apply pressure in or outward on the lower teeth. The mouth is one of the keys to good health and decreasing tension in the body. If you tighten your jaw, you will notice that the entire body tightens as well. Give this stretch a try and see how your sinus cavity opens up as well.
Exercise: We did this awesome exercise in Tammy Reed’s Kundlina yoga class in which we extended our arms out to the side, imagined that we were pulling something really heavy toward our chest as we bent our elbows and moved our hands in toward our heart. The object was so heavy that our entire body had to tighten as we did this. Once we got to our heart, we softened and opened our arms out to the side again. Give that a try for 1-2 minutes. As you do this exercise, think of how we create our own resistance and can make things hard. As you open your arms, let go and say to yourself, “I choose love”.
Habitual change: Elbow, elbows off the table. This is not a horse’s stable. Do you rest your elbows on the table while you eat? I do! Who cares! Sometimes, I’m tired and I need the support. If you need the support, take it. This includes, walking sticks, canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs, extra railings on both sides of the stairs, and grab bars. Too often I see people abandon assistive devices or refuse to use them because they want to do things as they normally had done. Unfortunately, this puts your safety at risk. Also, not giving your body the physical support it needs means that you won’t move “normally”; thus, causing abnormal movement patterns and placing yourself in awkward positions that cause facial restrictions. There is no benefit to pushing aside what you physically need. If you need the support, love yourself, and graciously take it.
Enlightened Perspective: Love changes everything. I choose to love.
Journaling Option: Where in my life do I have the opportunity to show love? How can I genuinely do this?
This week’s blog post directly correlates with week 12 of the Voyage to HEAL The Meaning of Life. We are all on such an interconnected Voyage to HEAL. May we unite and all feel the peace and love that flows through us from our Lord Jesus Christ. Let peace flow through you and then unto me and out to every heart you touch. Come start your Voyage to HEAL.
Godspeed on your Voyage to HEAL.
*To listen to Abraham’s full recount of his heavenly experience, visit www.celestialtraveler.org