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Published! “Accepting ‘Gift of Love’ makes us forces of good in the world” Faith Matters column

Accepting ‘Gift of Love’ makes us forces of good in the world

Recently we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a day which many enjoy but which some dismiss as a “made-up holiday.”

Regardless of where we may stand on Valentine’s Day, one thing to consider is that where there is great love, there is great awareness. Awareness, as most spiritual traditions suggest, of love, kindness, empathy, and treating others as we desire to be treated.

Yet, if we are truly honest, it can be challenging at times to express such “enlightened” qualities with those with whom we feel at odds. With those who push our buttons. Sometimes, frankly, it seems that we’d rather slap them than hug them. At such times, it is necessary for us to practice the Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

As human beings, everything we absorb into our consciousness is filtered by our thoughts and emotions, sometimes leading to inaccurate perceptions and hindering our ability to acknowledge and express love. Sometimes our “mixed” emotions even lead us down the road of intolerance.

Tolerance lets us accept the fact that people are different and that not everyone is going to think, believe or have the same values as we do.

Tolerance allows us to let others follow their own path. It lets us connect and build relationships with people who are different from us.

Tolerance does not mean, however, that we blindly accept actions of those intent on harming us or others. In such cases, we speak up. We stand for love, for kindness, for a more caring world. Instead of pushing against what we do not want to see in the world, we stand for what we desire to see.

Years ago, my beloved spiritual mentor, Jerry DeShazo, wrote a poem that has impacted my life tremendously.

I Agree Today To Be the Gift of Love.

I Agree to Feel Deeply Love for Others Independent of Anything They are Expressing Saying, Doing, or Being.

I Agree to Allow Love As I Know It To Embrace My Whole Body And Then to Just Send It To Them Silently and Secretly.

I Agree to Feel It, Accept It, Breathe It Into Every Cell of My Body on Each In-Breath And on Each Out-Breath Exhale Any Feeling Unlike Love.

I Will Repeat This Breathing Process Multiple Times Until I Feel It Fully and Completely Then Consciously Amplify in Me The Feeling of Love and Project it to Others As the Gift of Love.

This is My Secret Agreement No One Else is to Know It.

— Rev. Dr. Jerry DeShazo When I choose to follow and act upon the Gift of Love, I radiate a different type of energy to the world. In response, people seem friendlier, kinder, more loving and peaceful. Where does a better world begin? It begins with me. It begins with you. It begins with remembering that at our core we are all LOVE.

In the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

Rev. Dr. Mitzi Lynton is the lead pastor of Unity of Tempe. Services are 10 a.m. Sundays at 1819 W. Drake, Suite 101, Tempe. All are welcome.

Faith Matters

Rev. Dr. Mitzi Lynton Guest columnist

‘The Gift of Love’