I had a vision of what someday will be. I saw a wave of love, compassion, and healing emanating from God spread around the world leaving the earth enveloped in a soft glow of divine energy. Peace and tranquillity permeated the awareness of all living things. The rotation of the earth seemed to quicken with excitement, just for a moment, in response.
It was a vision of a world in perfect harmony. There was no more suffering. People treated each other with dignity, respect, generosity, and kindness. No one was left cold, hungry, or without shelter.
The planet was vibrant and healthy. The air was clean, fresh, and fragrant. The animals came out in the warm sunlight to play, unafraid.
I am confident that one day these things will come to pass; such is the destiny of humanity and planet Earth. Each of us must do all that we can, here and now, to make that vision a reality. Each of us through our actions, attitudes, and the example we provide can begin to bring about change in the small slice of the world in which we live. Our individual efforts will have a local additive effect which over time will spread geographically and eventually exponentially.
A friend recently asked me, “How does one sustain their spirituality?” The answer to that question will be somewhat different for each person. Some may say that participation in religious practice and/or community are needed to sustain one’s spirituality. Those things can have role, but what we’re addressing here is a continuity of spirituality throughout everyday of our lives.
For me, spirituality is not only a way of living, but also a state of mind. It is that state of mind or spiritual presence that is the key to sustaining one’s spirituality. In some ways it is like being in a constant state of prayer or contact with God and the spiritual realm.
As we move through our day, we should always be silently expressing our gratitude and thanks for every little thing we see, experience, and receive. We should strive to always be present and to take notice of the many expressions and beauty of God all around us. We should allow feelings of love and compassion to come forth naturally, unfiltered by the intellect or prejudice.
When we do these things; when we allow our spirit to express and commune with God and His holy spirits, we find ourselves in a constant state of grace, happiness, and bliss.
With regard to those directly affected by disasters such as the recent hurricanes and the earthquakes in Mexico, I think it’s important to maintain the right perspective. These events can lead to great suffering and many people lost all of their possessions. But in the midst of this, it is important for those directly affected to reflect and give thanks to God for what was, for what and who survived, and for what will be, going forward.
After the devastation of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines some years back, a journalist came upon a man standing in front of a pile of rubble that was once his home. He asked the man how he felt about the destruction. The man simply said, “Blessings, [God’s] blessings.”
These events often bring out the best in people. It’s as if they have had a spiritual awakening or renewal and realized who they really are and how they are intended to live. We heard about neighbors helping neighbors and how volunteers flooded into devastated areas to help any way they could. Others organized or contributed to the collection of relief supplies.
These acts of love and compassion are expressions of one’s spirit. They give us joy and happiness like nothing else can. For some, experiencing a disaster is a life-changing experience and they make a commitment to always help people whenever they can as they go forward with their lives. For others, their old ways of living quickly return and sadly, an opportunity for spiritual transformation is lost.
Love and compassion are not mental processes; rather, they are an expression of the spirit. Follow your heart and let them flow freely without thought, fear, or any other product of the mind. Do what comes naturally and have faith that you are being guided. Be of the conviction that the actions to help others compelled by the expression of love and compassion (of the spirit) always will be healing and nurturing to the soul of the recipient.
The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles that expands upon the message above.
Charity that comes from the heart is an act of love and compassion where the spirit reveals itself in all of its divine glory. It raises us up ever so slightly so that our feet seem to lose touch with the ground, if only briefly. With each charitable act, a wave of happiness and fulfillment washes over us and for those few moments, we understand the meaning and purpose of life. We realize that our joy comes from giving of ourselves—our spirit-selves—to others.
But too often these moments are fleeting. When our feet touch the ground again, we find ourselves yearning to soar once more, free of the constraints, obligations, and selfish desires of the physical life. But it is not our time to fly away just yet. We must prove ourselves worthy of wings.
Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton
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If I am a child of God, then what is the essence of my divine nature? How is my divine self revealed?
I believe that the divine self is manifested by the spirit and that love and compassion are spiritual attributes. Therefore, one way in which we reveal our divinity is by expression of love and compassion for all things.
Compassion is not an attribute exclusive to people of religious faith. In fact, it did not originate in religion; rather, it is an aspect of our in-born divine nature. It is an attribute of humanity. Everyone has it, but we often get lost from time to time on our life path and stray from our inherent loving and generous nature. What is important is that we recognize that the spiritual gifts of love and compassion are at the core of our being; that when we express these qualities, we are revealing our divinity to ourselves and to those whose lives we touch.
Nothing is more rewarding or more important in life than sharing these spiritual gifts with others. What is important in the pursuit of meaning in our lives is that we all aspire and strive to express our divinity in various ways on a daily basis. It is through these actions that our divine self is revealed.
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in the first instant of your being
I laid a burden on you,
which, if you now accept it
by the power of my grace,
can be for you as light
as a billowing cloud.
You see, I desire your arms
to be my arms, open
wide for all in need of
forgiveness and compassion.
your legs to be my legs,
carrying you to where
there is a need
for your special gifts.
your hands to be my hands,
creating beauty to inspire
and delight, your fingers
to be my fingers, pointing
to the paths of truth and
reconciliation, your heart
to be my heart, flowing
with love like a fountain
over a dry, brittle,
You, perhaps, are confused
that I call this burden light.
It can be light because
burdens are made heavy
by anxiety over control
and results. But I tell you this day, that if…