I often drive down to the car park opposite the beach. It was here, whilst listening to the birdsong in my head, that I thought of you.
Watching the seabirds and surf I thought to myself: it’s true to say, if we’re in love or have ever loved, it never leaves us. It remains an extraordinary presence.
I thought about remembering being lonely. So lonely it ached. At the time, I didn’t even know, the ache I felt, was loneliness. Now, all I need do, is think of you. How you’ve found a way into my mind and settled there, as that constant presence, is what‘s so extraordinary. How did you do that? You did it because you knew I needed to be saved.
On reading this you might think these are the words of someone who’s found God. They are not. They are the words of someone who has found their self. This wasn’t possible alone though. He needed assistance.
Because of this, it forms in my mind, that true love, is actually a skill. To lift someone; to pull them up to a higher place, regardless of where you are, is a profound skill. The skill of love. Some might say that this is a natural aspect of human nature and cannot be taught. To this I say: “I can teach you.”
How could I possibly claim to be a teacher of love? I claim this because the ability to teach love, without actually knowing it’s so, is something we’re all capable of. All we need is the desire to empower another human being.
“If you have no wish to empower others, you’re missing out, and will potentially never discover true love within yourself”
Of course how we empower – by what we believe empowerment is – defines the purity of our love. For a rich man to give you money, for example, is no form of empowerment. Even when we’re not particularly wealthy, just giving money, can never be empowerment. If we do this it must be accompanied by the skills required to use that money wisely. Without that, what we achieve is the entrapment of dependency: the opposite of empowerment.
When we think of dependency, it’s possible to understand the power of Christianity. Many are dependent on this version and presence of love. Christians supposedly love Christ, however – and even though they may feel the presence of His love – how they love him back is flawed. How do they empower a dead man?
“The only way to empower a dead man is to respect the memory of His presence. Christians supposedly do this through living by His example. It’s my opinion, as long as there are children suffering in this world, all Christians are being hypocritical”
You might now ask: How can we ever possibly eradicate all the suffering of children? My response is to say, we can’t. However the ability to empower – to love – starts, when, at the very least, we open our eyes to the hypocrisy of religion. For religious leaders, to fail at recognising where our problems lie, is hypocrisy. They’re not doing their duty; their job, as they themselves, have prescribed it.
In addition, whilst any religious leader continues to live in luxury, they continue to fail at their faith. They fail at honouring the memory of their idol, whether that be their particular form of God, or indeed, Jesus.
It’s the same with all religions. The religion is there to serve the individual. If religion was the force for good it’s supposed to be, surely education ought to be the main driving. At one time it was. What was taught back then obviously reflected the times though. Surely, if religion wants to stay relevant, in the 21st century, it needs to get up to date with modern understandings of the human mind. They need to understand where modern man is stumbling. Instead, they continue to reflect this very stumbling, with their own poor communication skills.
“At its root, love depends on communication. If our communication skills are flawed, the message is confused”
It’s no good just saying: ‘I Love You.’ In order to communicate this fully, we must act on our feelings. Like the woman I overheard telling her child ‘I Love You’ and then backing this up by giving her son all of her attention. This happened in a cafe incidentally. The proprietors had the foresight to provide reading material for children. She read to her son, whilst also enjoying the environment, of the cafe.
Most others in the cafe enjoyed the children (calm and entertained) too. I particularly enjoyed witnessing her attentiveness. The empowerment of love, was not only in the words she used, it was also in the communication of her attention. In time when the adult is alone, without his mother, he will remember the attention she gave him, and this may well be enough to take his loneliness away.
How we love each other through empowerment is deeply rooted in how we were (or not as the case may be) empowered in childhood. When we think of religion and how Christianity in particular has created the presence of Jesus as a constant, it’s easy to see the attraction.
“What we must remember though, is the constant presence of love, is only there when we’ve been touched by it; when we understand it”
The child in the cafe was touched by the love of his mother through her giving him time and attention. Religion attempts to do this by teaching us what was shared thousands of years ago. Much of it irrelevant today. To be touched by the empowerment of love, we need to feel that it’s of value, now, today.
Many still need the anchor of their faith. The unfortunate reality of religion though, is many of the lessons are no longer relevant. Their anchor is a poor imitation of love. A true guiding presence is one that is relevant in today’s world.
On this note, finding love within oneself, is about understanding the mind. It’s about understanding, that as we grow, their are aspects of the mind that never die. The may get quieter, even to the point of not being heard at all, yet they never fully go away. Adults that were lonely children, for example, will always remain lonely (no matter what) until they understand what it is they were lonely from: the self.
It may seem odd to say we can be lonely from ourselves and yet this is exactly the case. So many of the difficulties we experience are due to a lack of this self-awareness. We constantly look around for something that will fill this void. Be it other people, drink, drugs or anything that will sufficiently distract us from ourselves.
“Sitting in the quiet is likely to be the hardest thing for the lonely to endure”
A lonely person sitting in the quiet is likely to become increasingly uncomfortable. They begin to struggle with the feelings their mind creates, yearning for the love and attention missing from their lives; their childhoods. Anything to get away from those feelings.
Once we’re made fully aware, of what we are in fact committing to as parents, childhood suffering will diminish. I can’t see religion helping with this anytime soon, what I can see though, is an educational programme that gently teaches the skills of love through empowerment. This will only ever be achieved through clear and clean example from the living, never the dead.
We may feel the presence of love, from those we’ve loved and lost, but the dead can’t evolve any further than the point and time at which they died. Something the religious choose to overlook. Let’s open our eyes and evolve.