With our minds we can assert that God loves us, but what are the markers within us for knowing that we are loved? That we actually feel loved by God in every cell in our body? We are not transformed until we realize that we are loved, until we live in and with that love.
The first marker is peace, a relaxation at the core of our being. Just knowing that we are loved, really knowing it in the whole system that constitutes who we are—body, mind, heart and soul—means that we no longer have to strive to make things happen for us. In a very real way it takes us out of the center of the universe and puts us in the category of everyone else, because we no longer put so much energy into making sure we get enough attention, enough “press” so to speak. It no longer rests on our shoulders to prove that we belong here, in this place, at this time. So first there is a sense of peace around who we are—warts and all.
Secondly, there is a kind of spaciousness within, a sense of belonging wherever we go. Since we don’t have to prove our worth to anyone—I are loved!—there is more room to be who we are than there was before we really felt loved. We relax into the arms of the Beloved, feeling that we rightfully belong there, The iffy parts of ourselves begin to show themselves on the surface, kind of testing that we—all of who we are—are loved. And as those parts of us too are embraced, again we relax into the state of being loved. There is a sense of expansiveness around all that we are.
Thirdly, when we feel loved, we naturally extend love to others because no competitive feelings arise. We are no longer like siblings in a family of man each vying for our parents’ attention. If we are really feeling the love, we are feeling our own worth and are able to extend that out to everyone else. No competitive feelings arise, because there is, in God, love for everyone.
Fourthly, our anxiety about not belonging, about having to prove our worth, about things not going well for us, about being judged and more, just dissolves in the love extended freely to us. Without anxiety we relax, really relax, maybe for the first time in our lives, since as newborns we first cried out our distress at being born, since we experienced the first stage of falling in love with another human being. There is an interesting lack of distress in us, so that whatever happens no longer seems to pose any threat to us. We know for sure that no matter what happens—and I mean anything that happens, we know that we will be okay. We reside in trust.
Fifthly, there is no need to justify who we are or what we believe, there is no defensiveness arising in us, no matter who is trying to goad us or challenge us. We just are who we are, and if someone does not agree with us, we are still fine. We do not feel rejected when someone rejects what we are saying or doing. We know that we are loved for who we are and that’s all that counts anymore.
Then in all that we say and do, we are co-creating with God, the Beloved, who wants us to realize all that we were created to be. So, as naturally as the sun rising every day, we are led to the next right step for us, and the next and the next. We find ourselves to be finally capable, not through striving, but through relaxing into Eternal Love, of loving ourselves, our neighbors, our enemies, and all of creation.
So how do we come to the place where we truly feel God’s love in every cell in our bodies, to where we live in peace, relaxation, spaciousness, in trust and co-creating with God? We put ourselves in God’s hands. We put God first in our lives. We ask to feel his/her love, because that is how we were created to be. And God, Eternal Love, will show us the way.