Freedom isn’t choosing to do whatever pleases us at the expense of others. It is to be anchored in an unshakeable truth and in our values, allowing grace to tear away the prisons we have built for ourselves, made from choices of fear and past hurts that disempower us.
Power isn’t defined by our ability to attract and control others through physical attributes; gifts of eloquence, charm and charisma; or talents and positions of influence. It is a gift and responsibility to help others see their own true value and self worth through the eyes of authentic love.
Love is never about pursuit, or needing someone else to fill what is lacking in us. Nor does it involve caring for others beyond what we are called to. It is more to do with respect for ourselves and our boundaries, so as to protect and sustain the people and things that matter, from which real freedom can mature and flourish.
As I continue on my daily journey towards knowing myself and learning self mastery, I hope that my reflections can serve as an affirmation to those who walk the same road, and struggle with loving themselves, regularly sabotaging their own happiness just as I have in the past, and are still battling to overcome it. May you take courage, and have faith.
My Mission: To Love
Excerpt from Meditation #1 at Seven Fountains, Chiang Mai: Silent Retreat (Exodus 3:1-15)
My encounter with I Am, and confirmation of my mission in the Chapel of Ignatius.
On the issuance of Moses’ mission in Exodus 3:9-10 – “I have heard the cry of my people, so now I am sending you to Pharaoh, for you to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
So I asked, “And what of my own Mission? I always wanted to know but I have been confused. Is it to be an honourable man? To serve in community?”
A voice from the depths of my heart asked back amidst the silence. “What do you fear the most?”
And my answer came. “TO LOVE.” I Am replied, “And that is your Mission.”
I hadn’t realised till now but to love (authentically) has always been my greatest fear, and I have never been able to do it because I have yet to encounter and receive it.
Yet all my greatest life experiences be they happy or sad were connected to it, and intertwined with lessons about it. The very purpose of my entire spiritual journey is fuelled by the very desire to understand it. Everything that has happened in my life till now finally started to make sense like a jigsaw coming together.
Then I Am spoke in my heart and I wept uncontrollably. These are His words with amazing clarity even when I couldn’t stop crying or think clearly.
“My dearest John, you are so precious to me, and I love you so much. You still do not know how much you mean to me. I cannot imagine my eternity without you, and that’s why I gave you life. John, my most beloved disciple. Michael, my captain and finest warrior.”
“And so you will be my messenger to the world about what Love really is. I have given you a unique capacity for emotional suffering and compassion, a capacity to love others so great even in what are seen as unforgivable and intolerable situations that most would flee from and could never understand.”
“That is why you feel your emotions intensely all the time. It is a blessing from me, not a curse. And through the experiences I have given you, by your mistakes and sufferings you have found me. You know what I Am (Love), and what is not of me.”
“And I Am sending you out into the world with a special mission because the world has turned away from me. They have found cheap imitations and made idols of who they think I Am, but you have seen the truth because you have seen me. This mission is designed for you because there is no one else like you in this world who has lived the life you had.”
I responded out of fear, “Who am I to receive such a mission?” On later reflection, I realised that my response paralleled that of Moses’ in the following verse, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
“I shall be with you,” I Am said. “And by this sign you will know I Am the one who sent you.” The sign which I seek would not be revealed immediately, but will be revealed and made visible in the fruits of my mission which He has promised I will bear witness to.