Perspective is something we don’t usually know we have until we get a different one.
That said, there are those of us living under the impression that we love G-d, but fear we will never know Him. You might even feel a longing to have a “deeper relationship” with God or become closer to God by living a good (sinless or forgiven) life.
Most of us go through life thinking that when we die everything will be better. We’ll go to heaven and be with God and everyone who died before us will be waiting there patiently but some of those same “believers” wonder “what if” too. What if there is no heaven? What if there is nothing after we die and we’re just dead? If you want to find “heaven on earth” or know what it will be like when you die, you might consider a closer look at the phrase: “God is love.”
Oh, that’s easy, you say! And it is indeed. Could it be that the two words are interchangeable and more? Try this one for example: God is love. Love is god.
If this complicates things for you, consider this: You can say, “Jessie is pretty,” or “Jessie is loved,” but can you say, “Jessica IS love?” Could you consider a world where that statement not only makes sense but is elementary to understanding?
So when we are talking about God – just for now – let’s leave behind the concept of God as a person or the word God as a proper pronoun. For the purpose of removing the visual sense of God being an unknowable someone; an entity absent in our daily lives because we’ve never actually “met,” and with all due respect to our Christian friends, let’s not capitalize the word god from here out, unless of course it’s at the beginning of a sentence! Soon, you will see that god is everywhere you look, not just a grammar lesson.
If the word god is not a specific noun, then what is love exactly? Have we been living with the same notions about love? We all know love as a feeling – and we all know god as an infinite, inconceivable “higher being” but what if god is not some unknowable entity that you may shake hands with when you die. What if you had the capability of knowing god without having to go through the whole business of turning blue and feeding the trees?
The majority of us would not find fault describing love as a “good feeling” better experienced than explained. If the words god and love are transposable; the concept that god is a good feeling is perfectly acceptable except when we consider that majority of us have felt pain associated with what we consider to be love. This is why love as nearly all of us know it cannot be real love. Real love has no positive or negative – it is without judgment. Hmm. Sounds a lot like god, doesn’t it?
So what is love without judgment? When many people have children they say, “Ah! Now I know what it is like to love someone unconditionally,” or they may express it by saying, “I never knew I could love someone this much…I would die for my child,” etc. If you are lucky enough to have come to this realization by your children, you have been truly blessed.
If you are one of the few who have been diligent enough to find it in those you have not birthed, the concept of love will be easier for you to understand and you are halfway there. For those of you who have felt love between your teeth, tasted, touched, smelled, seen and heard love – you know it can be fleeting. But, congratulations are in order, for if you have seen such stirring beauty not in majestic snow-capped vistas but in the barren plains; if you have savored “the fruit of god” in the juices of a simple peach, then you have sampled heaven on earth. In that state, some say you are seeing through the eyes of god.
Maybe the trick is to have as many of these seemingly impossible moments as you can in this life. It is so easy to forget when the moment is fleeting but what if wasn’t anymore? Like anything we want to be good at, it takes practice. We can practice the art of being still and mindful in a quiet place so that when we are not it is easier to remember. Some will find it comes as naturally as brushing your teeth when the right tools are provided. Some will struggle and may require a cataclysmic event to awaken them. Some will wade through warm milk and some will drown in molten metal.
Some may never know love but from someone else’s eyes. It’s all a little disappointing isn’t it? The knowledge that it’s all up to us and there is no magic pill or button but the one we choose every day is a lesson not everyone is keen to admit!
My husband says he felt the happiest he has ever felt in this life at a certain time in a certain place – namely, living on the coast of Florida; before the death of his father. Like a good number of us, he equates happiness with love. Is he therefore incapable of love if is he does not live on the beach or travel back in time to a moment before the passing of his father? I certainly hope not!
How sad to think that one could never experience such happiness again. But he is happy now. So has his definition of happiness changed? Or has he just realized a different perspective?
Twenty years ago happiness was living with his parents with little or no responsibility, the future wide open and few regrets about the past. Now he is happiest when he is being entertained. Golfing, softball, television, you name it; he’ll try anything to get even a fleeting glimpse of happiness. T.V. is the easiest way to get everything he needs. Namely, a healthy dose of fear and a good laugh. This keeps him neatly in check for when he has to go into the office and exist inside a cube for 8 – 10 hours per day.
If we think happiness is a place or that love is just a feeling or that god is a person/feeling/destination you will only meet/get/arrive at when you die, this life will seem so much more complicated than it actually is.
You may move to the coast because the sea makes you happy, but what happens when one day you wake up in your house on the beach feeling sad? Confusion sets in. You may think: I left my friends, my family, to move to this place – now what? I loved that man/woman/cat/dog and now he/she is gone/dead and I have no love. If god is with me, how come I feel so all alone? It’s all about perspective, baby. It’s all about perspective.