Learning is an ongoing and delightful part of my life. I love to learn, to gain new insights, to grow. I choose to learn in all aspects of life because no matter how much I know—it only a miniscule amount compared to what there is to know.
Every year I make effort to attend a course on personal or spiritual growth. I just completed a 3 day course in Sedona called Celebration of Life. Great title, huh!! The course was held in Boynton Canyon in Sedona. Beautiful beyond description. A perfect place for discussions and reflections of life.
One of the speakers was Neale Donald Walsh— a kind man whose message is one of love–pure and simple. He says that 98% of people living today are focusing on 98% of things that don’t matter!! He says that what does matter is love: love of God, love of others, love of self. Period.
Now, that’s easier said than done sometimes. Especially the latter one. He believes that God is love—and that all of us are a part of God, and therefore, we are love. I agree. And yet, in life, it would seem that we struggle to love one another. Jesus Christ told us to love our neighbor AS our self. He didn’t say, “love your neighbor rather than yourself”. He didn’t say, “love your neighbor better than yourself.” In his infinite wisdom, Jesus knew that in order for us to truly love another we had to love our self first.
But, I don’t know about you—but that’s pretty hard for me to do. I seem to find all my faults, waste time and energy and soulfulness on the mistakes I have made, and be more critical of myself than anyone else. That, certainly, does not exemplify love of self.
Love of self does not mean personal aggrandizement. Love of self means that that one realizes, accepts, and honors God’s love as the example of the ultimate unconditional love. And, then, once we understand that God loves us—one could ask the question, “if God loves me, how dare I not do the same?”
If we love ourselves; if we love our neighbors; and if we love and honor God and realize the message of love in the teachings of God, could we not move toward a more peaceful home, place of work, city, state, country, world? How could we kill someone we love? How could we not reach out with a caring hand to someone we love? How could we not be kinder when we realize that each person with whom we interact is a beloved one?
Peace is not a mysterious “something” that is “out there” for someone else to create. Peace begins in our own mind, in our own life, and in our own hands.
Be a forever learner. Learn about love. Learn from wise teachers. Learn how to connect more powerfully with God, with others, and with yourself. Perhaps this is the first step we each can take to create peace in our own lives—and to be peacemakers on earth. Peace on Earth. Good Will to Man.