A Womb for Love

Further to yesterday’s post, each of us has the opportunity to create in ourselves a fertile and safe womb for the spirit of love. This is a matter of both mind and heart and it is the primary purpose for which our consciousness was designed.

Now some might say that this is easier said than done. There are so many reasons why man’s heart might be inhospitable to the spirit of love, especially when you review the written record of love’s treatment over the last several thousand years, but in the end each one must choose for himself whether or not his heart receives, protects and gives birth to the spirit of love.

To provide this womb you must first come to terms with the fact that you are worthy of giving residence to the spirit of love. But caveat lector, the resistance to so doing runs deeper than you might think. Despite love’s superabundantly forgiving nature, very few men in the written record have humbled themselves sufficiently and approached the matter with sufficient honesty to actually receive the full forgiveness of the spirit of love.

Man loves to implore God for the forgiveness of his transgressions, but God has already forgiven him. So if receiving forgiveness is not a matter of asking for more, praying harder or making public displays of repentance, then what is required? More of the same will not likely create a new and more desirable result, so why not take a different tack?

The different approach I would like to suggest to you today involves recognizing that you must be honest with yourself before you can be honest with God. Once you are honest with God you can begin to be honest with those around you. It is a simple sequence, but oddly man has avoided this approach like the plague…maybe because it works?

So how do you come to the point of being more honest with yourself? For starters, I think we can all agree that it is relatively easy to be empathetic to your own plight, to be mindful of your own condition. You are in your own skin, after all! But have you thought much about taking the next step, that is, from empathy to self-compassion?

Compassion is said to be the radiant action of love, the helping hand which is extended after another’s plight is perceived empathetically. You likely understand many of your problems and could, if asked, itemize the stressful or disconcerting elements in yourself and your life, but have you come to the point of extending the forgiving, intensifying and reconciling spirit of love to yourself? Do you truly love yourself?

By this I do not mean do you love yourself as a narcissist would love himself in a conceited, disconnected or self-important way, but do you love yourself because you are loved by the spirit of love? Do you love yourself because you recognize that you are here to magnify love into the world around you? Do you love yourself because you have come to terms with the fact that you cannot give what you do not have?

I read an interesting research article which looks at this matter from a slightly different perspective, but one that may shed more light on the requirements relative to developing a stronger sense of self-compassion. Here is what the authors had to say:

Self-compassion entails three fundamental components: (1) extending kindness and understanding to oneself rather than harsh self-criticism and judgment, (2) seeing one’s experiences as part of the larger humanity rather than as separating and isolating; and (3) holding one’s painful thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness rather than over identifying with them (Neff, 2003a, p. 224).[ref]http://scholar.google.com/scholar_url?hl=en&q=http://www.researchgate.net/publication/224775186_Exploring_self-compassion_and_empathy_in_the_context_of_mindfulness-based_stress_reduction_(MBSR)/file/9fcfd50a6927618c5e.pdf&sa=X&scisig=AAGBfm2BT2F29w8Dt7-HDZC-VFOP8Ha49Q&oi=scholarr. Accessed Monday, March 17, 2014.[/ref]

Self-compassion opens your eyes to the fact that you have been loved all the way along. No matter how cruel, heartless or thoughtless you’ve been, self-compassion gives you a glimpse of how the spirit of love sees you. Self-compassion, properly applied, turns up the heat in your heart and that heat, in turn, begins to clarify your sense of self.

Many people make the mistake of defining themselves by how they feel, rather than doing the work required to begin to see who they really are at the core of themselves. Self-compassion affords you a bit of respite from the roller coaster existence caused by not knowing who you are or why you are here.

If you continue in this work you will soon find yourself being more honest with yourself than you have in the past. And once that is in place…look out! You will start to be more honest with God and in turn, the world around you. Once this pattern of fundamental honesty is in place, everything changes.

16 thoughts on “A Womb for Love

  1. Colin

    It seems to me that a lack of self-compassion is really an escape mechanism from having to make real, substantial changes toward being a person that expresses the spirit of love. When you screw up and then judge yourself harshly, the pressure is taken off the consideration of why you might have made a mistake, and is re-routed to a feeling of self-anger and judgement, which burns up all the energy that could have gone to changing what was wrong.
    Self-compassion is not wishy-washy or milquetoast, it simply allows the energy that is required for change to be focused in a way that burns out what needs to go but does not harm the things that need to be nurtured.

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  2. Joy

    It was good to come home and have time to ponder your post today and all the comments. I can see more clearly now Gregg how shame actually prevent one from been honest with oneself, with God and consequently with anyone else. If there is an unwillingness to forgive oneself, or love oneself there can be no forward movement. Such a great consideration Gregg, I think I’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg relative to it. Thank you!

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  3. David R

    Such wonderful elements here! I appreciate especially the clarification of what it means to love oneself. There is so much superficial and misleading nonsense projected on this topic, but to love oneself is a matter of letting go to receive the attitude of Love, of God, towards oneself. there is no ego in this, no narcissism, no self-delusion. Still, it takes something to come into full agreement with Love’s attitude, releasing all the pretenses and shields that have been so carefully maintained. And then, of course, there is the need to be willing to change according to what is seen and heard! Thank you.

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  4. Steve V

    I love this post. Sometime last week I had very similar realizations. To just be kind to myself. As I realized this there was a depth of relief from “trying” and a greater sense of relaxation. I wholeheartedly agree with your words today in allowing a greater womb of love to be increased through our integrated living and with all those inclining in this way. I give deep thanks for love finding expression on earth.

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    1. Gregg Hake

      If it is any consolation, Steve, I’ve known very few people who actually came to the point of being at rest with and in themselves. There is a certain desperation and an underlying ennui in the human condition as it presently is and each of us has to find ways to deal with the unremitting tension caused by man’s persistent refusal to yield truly, deeply and sanely to the spirit of love…in practical, specific and unequivocal ways.

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  5. Beth C

    Honest examination into our own state may uncover a sense of shame that makes us want run, duck, or cover. This is the critical moment. Anyone who moves successfully past this point at any time must do what you suggest – see himself through the eyes of love. Thank you for describing this so well and making it easy to see.

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    1. Gregg Hake

      Well put, Beth. We need more people on earth who know that they are worthy, who meet in themselves what must be met and who, in so doing, inspire others to follow their example!

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  6. Coco

    This exercise with self-compassion is an excellent subject for meditation. I appreciate your clear explanation and outline. While I’ve understood forgiveness was necessary for coming to terms with my transgressions; the third suggestion…” holding one’s painful thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness rather than over identifying with them” seems like the final hurdle to moving on and creating fertile ground in my heart.

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    1. Gregg Hake

      I loved that point too, as it outlines a reasonable alternative to the two choices commonly assumed to be the only choices with respect to handling painful thoughts and feelings: indulging oneself in them or hiding from them through denial. Have a great day, Coco. May you find the peace of a balanced awareness.

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  7. Troy

    This inability to be honest with God in a sense turns the temple of God into a house of thieves. A statement from the bible that I have spent time thinking about. If this was such a simple act, the history of the rejection of the spirit of love would not be so prevalent then and now. There is the first bit of compassion and forgiveness we can start with relative to our own inability to humble ourselves to the point of absolute honest reflection. We are a part of a much larger cycle of human dis function, with ample victories along the way.The act of forgiving oneself is primary and I appreciate how well you can de-mystify the processes of purification. I know ultimately though, no matter how well outlined the process is, it has occur in reality in the depth of my heart, and the individual hearts of your readers. Without humility and honest reflection, the pattern that has shown itself through history will remain embedded, nothing can change. I am and have been ready to provide a clarified womb for the spirit of love, what a privilege! I must be deeply loved to even be here at this time and offered the opportunity to come clear of such a disconnected and troubled state. This I will work with daily. Thank you!

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    1. Gregg Hake

      The lingering dishonesty of which you speak causes people to cycle in and out of prisons of their own making, Troy. They fear what might happen if they yield entirely to the spirit of love, so they keep a little out for themselves as a backup plan or an escape hatch. When they start to get uncomfortable (typically when the radiance of love starts to grow their worlds), they reach into their bag of old tricks and lies, in a conscious or subconscious effort to create a diversion so believable and defensible that no one – not even God Himself – could fault them for slinking back into the small, familiar, but painfully dull prisons of their own making. So unnecessary but so common. The worst thing about it, really, is not that the individual incarcerates himself, but that he effectively keeps the spirit of love imprisoned in heaven. The heart of the earth suffers greatly because of this one selfish, cowardly tendency!

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  8. Carrie

    This is what I appreciate about your post, that you have the beautiful way of bringing what you say into every day simple terms. It is so simple..Will I truly love myself? Will I have the self-compassion that you speak of here? Am I willing to forgive myself and know the worthiness of allowing the spirit of love to be in me first and then radiate out to those I encounter? Being honest with myself is the beginning…and honestly this is my true desire, so the answer to all of the above is “YES, I will” Thank you!

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    1. Gregg Hake

      The proof of the pudding is in the eating, Carrie! As soon as you admit to the possibility of loving yourself in a balanced and unaffected way, you catch a glimpse of the fact that you can love others in exactly the same way. We need one another, but the relationship is better established in love and compassion than through fear and the use of arbitrary force.

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  9. isabelle

    I never really considered the importance of impact of self compassion on my life and the world around me in this light. Thank you for opening my eyes this morning.

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