Transformative Power of Love

on October 30, 2014

As Fall comfortably sets in around us, trees beautifully colored and the sound of leaves softly falling onto the ground, we begin to reflect on what it is that needs to also fall out of our lives. Autumn is very much a time of deep reflection, of letting go as we see some of the seasonal plants we planted die, the trees beginning to be stripped naked, squirrels scurrying about to begin collecting their food for the winter preparing for the cold weather to approach.It seems to be all about dying.

Fall is a time of death in preparation for rebirth. This is the cycle…..birth, death, rebirth, death, rebirth….and on and on it goes. Plants die but blossom again….trees stand bare to then redress themselves. Even within our own bodies, cells die to then regenerate. Birth, death and rebirth are around us every day, every second, every minute in every aspect of our lives, even the smallest of incidents. One breath dies; another is born. In our yoga postures, we surrender/die to one pose to then flow into the next. One cannot exist without the other. Without death, including that of our physical bodies, life would grow old and stale. It would lose its charm, its mystery, its joy. Death of anything brings new opportunities to press the refresh button and start again. If your job isn’t fulfilling, is not something you’re doing with enthusiasm, you feel a loss of creativity, of productivity. Bringing death to that job brings birth of a new opportunity! If leaves didn’t die, we wouldn’t have compost. If we didn’t bring death to certain chapters in our lives, new ones wouldn’t be written. Life and death are synonymous. They are the equation, the formula for regenerating ourselves, our lives, our attitudes.

Transformation is healing. It is bringing death to a wound within us, a pattern within us that brings us pain and suffering. Transformation/death is letting go of self-cherishing, of self-centeredness that keeps us bound to that which ultimately is creating our wound. However, it’s not an easy thing to do for any of us! We are so caught up in everything that we “do” and that we think we must “have” that we don’t allow ourselves to surrender. Surrendering is allowing the death to take place. When we give ourselves permission to let go of self-cherishing, we open ourselves up to the experience of understanding that we are all in this boat together. We are all seeking happiness, love, peace. We begin to connect to the Divine Love that brings about a transformative effect upon ourselves and others. Brings to light a quote by Paramahansa Yogananda. “Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine Love is without condition, without boundary, without change.” When we surrender and allow Divine Love to flourish within us, we become more acceptable, more forgiving and understanding of others. Easy task? No. Because it requires a death, a surrender, and so many of us, no matter how miserable we may be, find death, surrender, change difficult. And why? Because of the uncertainty, the fear, the letting go of feeling that even in certain circumstances, we at least have some control. But it is this Divine Love that heals.

So……..a few weeks ago I watched a somewhat silly movie called “Warm Bodies.” It was a goofy movie about zombies, and one zombie in particular who was still attached to his “life,” per se. But the message that I got from this movie was strong! A goofy, silly movie that made me think of the incredible transformative qualities that love has. I won’t bore you too much with it, but just feel I have to somewhat summarize it to get the message across. This teenaged zombie (male) falls in love with a human girl because he killed and (excuse the graphic language) ate the brain of her boyfriend. When they do this, they gain the memories of this person. He then feels compelled to protect this teenaged girl from the other zombies and he brings her to where he lives. There he still had music and other things that teenagers love, and the two of them enjoyed an evening together listening to music, her trying to teach him to speak again, and he wanting so desperately to respond. They fall in love. As the story unfolds, the rest of his zombie friends see this love and become affected by it. The zombies begin to change. They begin to become more human-like again, but not entirely. Long story short, the two teenagers, through the power of their love, are able to transform the zombies to become more acceptable in society and the “humans” to become more tolerant and understanding of the transformative nature of what the zombies really were. They begin to co-exist together. And everyone lived happily ever after!!!

Yes, a goofy, corny movie, but it really makes one think about how love can transform the ideas, the attitudes, and even the nature of another. It begins with love for yourself, connecting to your higher Divine Love, surrendering to self-cherishing, and yes, dying to a part of ourselves. This heals us, opens us up to the many joys of life, the beauty of what this intelligence called life truly is.
Is there pain and suffering in the World? Yes, there is. There are horrors that go beyond our comprehension. But through the transformative power of love we find that place within ourselves where we can shield ourselves and find compassion, and instead of responding with even more anger and hostility which serves to only make matters worse, we can instead send the power of love. Doesn’t mean you condone behavior or live idealistically under a rock, but you try to find a place within yourself where you don’t allow the darkness to overshadow your own inner peace. “Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.” (Paramahansa Yogananda).

The World will always be what it is, and these are the challenges that we face as humans. The polarity of life. But likewise, we are the beings that we are, and in order to find happiness for ourselves, we connect to what the Buddhist call our Bodichitta mind, that of love and compassion for all sentient beings, and who knows……maybe the zombies will become more human and we can end up living happily ever after!!

During this time of the energy of Scorpio/transformation, meditate, contemplate on someone who maybe has done you harm. Begin to imagine that even they have a desire for happiness, for love. They have a family. They have those who love them or maybe who don’t. They have their own issues. As you contemplate this, you may begin to start having a sense of understanding that hey, this person is just like me. Maybe they don’t walk my same path but their desires as a soul are the same. Maybe you begin to feel compassion. Examine your own self-cherishing. What was harmed? Your sense of “Me?” Is it your judgment? Your sense of control? Your own sense of what you believe is right or wrong? Just examine.
In yoga…..yes, savasana is the pose of the month!!! Surrender to each pose completely. Surrender to the breath.

Happy Halloween and enjoy this wonderful video about the healing power of Love!

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