Once again I found myself lost. The terrors of the world had crept into my mind, threatening to pull me under its tide of hopelessness. My heart had become constricted by the iron bands of fear and despair. “How have I found myself here again?,” I thought. I was overwhelmed by the brokenness of this world and at a loss as to what to do about it. I had lost touch. Lost touch with the hope and vigor that I was once filled with. Lost touch with the innate beauty and divine nature of life. Lost touch with myself. The voice of guidance was growing dim within me. My anchor was losing its grip. I felt directionless, and less and less confident in my ability to progress forward.
Perhaps this feels familiar to you. Perhaps you know this place just as intimately as I do.
We live in a world that makes it frightfully easy to spiral into these places, where perspective becomes polluted with fear and confusion and hopelessness. Every day there are new tragedies, and new reasons to feel afraid, to become angry, to give up.
What is the solution? What do we do when the light within begins to fade and life loses its spark? How do we cope when we lose sight of the path ahead, and all sense of guidance becomes drowned out by the roaring noise and stimuli of this world? And how can I, one small human in a vast sea of life, make a difference in a world that is so in need of help?
In a world that feels endlessly complex and broken, my proposal is that the answer to even our greatest problems could be bewilderingly simple.
Sounds cliche doesn’t it? Perhaps even a little cheesy? Come with me. Let’s explore just how powerful the effects of love can really be.
I have a challenge for you. Every time you feel unsure of what to do, whether it be how to handle a conflict at work, how to respond to an offense, what to say to the guy you’re crushing on at school, how to spend your time, or what to watch on Netflix, I invite you to listen for The Voice of Love. What would Love do in this situation? I think you will find the answer to that question is much more readily available than you might anticipate. If it doesn’t come at first, keep trying, keep asking. I assure you eventually the answer will come. When it does, follow it just as an experiment and see where it takes you. You might be surprised how informed that voice is as to what is the best decision for you.
It has shocked me what I have discovered by carrying out this experiment myself. I have found that this Voice of Love always leads me to my joy. As long as I follow it, the spark of life remains kindled within me. It leads me to the answers I seek in mysterious ways. By listening to it, my relationships thrive. I am exponentially more effective in my work and studies. I am more receptive to knowledge and understanding. Love makes me more confident. It dares me to take risks I wouldn’t normally take. It inspires me to have the courage to go after my dreams. As I peer through the eyes of love, I feel inspired by even the simplest things. I am more creative. I find the desire to give more generously and serve more selflessly growing inside of me like an unquenchable fire. Peace breathes steadily through me. Here’s an interesting one: when I hold the intention to walk in love, the people around me seem happier and treat me with more warmth and honesty. It becomes easier to connect with those around me and develop new relationships.
The truth is it can be easy to fall out of the practice of love. We live in a world that keeps us constantly busy and overwhelmed by distractions. It turns out, love sometimes requires conscious intention and effort to engage. Other times it can feel like the most natural expression. You might agree that puppies and babies seem to have a special gift of re-sparking the fire of love in even the coldest of hearts. But there are days when your partner forgets to turn off the lights before leaving the house for the 10 billionth time, or perhaps you just got laid off, or maybe there are individuals in your life who seem to have made it their life’s purpose to tear you down. Love doesn’t seem so easy and natural in these instances, does it? And yet it is the very thing our soul needs, in every instance.
Love builds on itself. Yes, we may fall out of practice at times, but it is amazing how quickly momentum can build after just a few simple acts of loving-kindness. Perhaps you’ve experienced this yourself on a particularly gloomy day when life felt empty and grey until the cashier at the grocery store gave you a warm smile — you know, the kind of smile that pours out from the heart. Love, in even the simplest form, is like a ray of sunshine to the soul. Its warmth stirs you back to life. And before you know it, you’re smiling at the janitor on your way out of the store and he joins you under love’s warming rays.
Love is a daily practice. Some days we are better at it than others. It is peculiar that the more we feel love, the more we want to give it away. It is a force with a mission to embrace and unite everything in its path. It is a force that heals, transforms, awakens, and liberates all who come in contact with it.
Take one look at the news or social media, and it is overwhelming how quickly hopelessness can set in as the state of the world is presented before you. War and natural disasters on one side, diseases such as depression and pride on the other. Is it reasonable to hope for a better future? Is it even worth trying? Can I possibly make any real difference?
We can never possibly comprehend just how far and wide our impact reaches. We are all so much more connected than we could ever imagine. Everything we do has an effect that ripples out across the entirety of humanity. Hearts, communities, and generations—all influenced by who we are and what we offer to this world.
As I make it a daily practice to cultivate greater love within myself, I have been deeply humbled as I’ve witnessed what The Voice of Love can do for the world. As I continue to follow its guidance, I behold the world around me transforming in glorious ways. Love breathes healing into every situation, every relationship, every moment. It strengthens communities. Its very presence makes the impossible become possible.
Feeding the Hungry
I have found love to be the only thing that truly satiates the soul’s hunger, and the soul of the world is ravenous for love. The problem is the world seems to have forgotten where to find it. In fact, the world seems to have forgotten why it’s even so hungry in the first place. This malnourishment is manifested in compulsive obsessions with seeking money, power, social status, materialism, physical beauty, etc. As many of us have discovered, none of these things could ever truly fill us.
There is only one thing that can fill us, and it is right at our fingertips. At all times, love is pulsing through us. It is the very substance we were made with. All that is required of us is that we soften our hearts enough to receive it. As we do, we will be inclined to share it, as this is always what love asks of us. As we share love, those around us will be healed, and they too will be inclined to offer it forward. This is the pattern of love. This is the answer we are seeking. Imagine how the world would change if we all gave ourselves more fully to love.
Your open heart is the difference this world needs. The Voice of Love is calling for you to enter into its fold; waiting to liberate you from your wandering. It longs to calm your storms, to heal your wounds, to quiet your fears. I believe that whether we know it or not, we have been searching for this voice all our lives. Don’t stop searching. We may become lost, again and again. But love will find us, again and again. Follow it. Eventually, it will bring you back home.