“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your spirit. This is the highest and greatest commandment.” But the other is the same: ” You should love your neighbor as yourself.” Bible, Matt. 22
Jesus answered this when asked what was the highest commandment. And these two same commandments contain all the relationship variants that exist: the relationship with yourself, with your neighbor and with God. The next one is everyone: the neighbor, the colleagues, the stranger, your child or partner. Love, just like yourself. You cannot love others in any other way than the way you love yourself. And if you don’t really know and love yourself, you are looking for love, but you won’t find it permanently outside of yourself. However, if you actually know yourself, you can only love yourself.
Then you also know that the other person is also lovable because he / she is like you. Yes, at the deepest level there is no “other” at all. We love the neighbor as our self because he is our self. We are a son of God. We can start loving ourselves, others or our Creator or Creation. As long as our goal is love, love will grow in other areas.
Love is not the romantic feeling that apparently brings people together in this world. It is more like falling in love with your own ideas of love and togetherness. Real love is the substance of God. It is what actually holds everything in the universe together. And it is what we are since we were created in the image of God. We are the loving thoughts of God wrapped in body clothes. We often forget who we are because we identify too much with our “clothes” and the things in this world.
Forgiveness brings us closer to the experience of God’s love – His eternal love for us and our love for our Creator. For many people who have not learned unconditional love in the family (and who has?), it is a necessary step on the way to love and to be loved by God. God is not far from us. Yes, He is really everywhere because Spirit is everywhere and God is Spirit.
“Father, You stand before me and behind, beside me, in the place I see myself, and everywhere I go. You are in all the things I look upon, the sounds I hear, and every hand that reaches for my own. In You time disappears and place becomes a meaningless belief. For what surrounds Your son and keeps him safe is Love Itself. There is no source but This, and nothing is that does not share Its holiness, that stands beyond Your one creation or without the Love Which holds all things within Itself. Father, Your Son is like Yourself. We come to You in Your own name today, to be at peace within Your everlasting Love.”
A Course in Miracles, Lesson 264