Loves In Order
A big Hello from a big state! I'm writing this a few days before you read it since I am in the middle of my cross-country drive from S Oregon to Florida. I have been in Texas with a wonderful friend while I'm adjusting to "losing" two hours as I travel from west to east. By the time you read this, I will have journeyed on to New Orleans and Tallahassee, Florida with my final destination being the Treasure Coast of that state (Atlantic side). It will be nice to spend time with family there, especially my 92-year old Dad. The last two weeks, and the ones ahead, have had me thinking about this week's MQ:
"We sin when we have our loves out of order."
- St. Augustine
What's really important to you? As much as this changes over time, I've been intensely aware this past year of what matters to me. The situations and events have probably caused us all to take assessment of our lives. I think I recently heard Oprah, on a podcast, ask the questions, "What have you learned you can live without?" and, "What have you learned you cannot live without?" and she added, "...during this pandemic." What does this have to do with your loves and having them out of order? Let's explore it a bit ...
Have you ever heard someone say they love money? Personally, I do love money and what it allows me to do, however there can also be a love of money that makes one greedy, selfish, and inconsiderate of others.
What if we love food or drink to the extent that it becomes unhealthy? Some people love television or game apps on their phones that take over most of their days. Sometimes we can get caught up in a love for shopping and accumulating things which at its worst can lead to hoarding.
According to Google, "in a religious context, sin is a transgression against divine law. Each culture has its own interpretation of what it means to commit a sin. While sins are generally actions, any though, word, or act considered immoral, selfish, shameful, harmful, or alienating might be termed 'sinful'." St Augustine said we sin when we have our loves out of order which I interpret to mean when we give most importance to those loves I referred to above. When we start to think we cannot live without television, the apps on our phones, shopping, excessive food and drink (especially unhealthy choices), and whatever else grabs and holds us in its power, while not serving us, then we are out of alignment with our souls.
I know this is true because I have been there. As I look back now, I can barely comprehend how I could have been caught up in what I saw as priorities while I was starving for true connection. Somewhere along the way I "learned" to pursue things that truly did not support or nourish me. When that happens, sadly we often think it's because we just haven't had enough of them and we attempt to fill ourselves with more. We believe that we cannot live without whatever it is.
Let's look at what's important in our lives NOW. I know that I have an enormous love for my children. It's always been there (although it feels larger than ever) yet I haven't always expressed it. I am sad about some of my previous behaviors and I choose to demonstrate and communicate my love every chance I get every day.
Love for my family of origin ranks high, especially as we all age. Celebrating my father's 92nd birthday this week is a blessing.
Working with more vigor than ever to incorporate healthy habits into my life and communicate that to others and to help them has become a love. It includes nutritious eating, keeping my body moving, cultivating a good mindset, and asking for help when I need it and doing it all with compassion. Passing along all that I learn so that I can support someone else is a big piece of that.
Ultimately, understanding what has the most value to a rich, fulfilling, soul-centered life is what I'm constantly looking for. I cannot live without love for myself, my children, other family members, treasured friends, people I encounter every day and life in general. This is what it means for me to have my loves in order and this is what I wish for you.
Is there anything in your life that feels "out of order"?!? Hit me up for a chat firstname.lastname@example.org Maybe we can sort things out together!
Sparkles and Love,