Circles of Love

Widening Circles 2

As my heart opens
In widening circles
I see more
The beauty of creation

In ever widening circles
My soul senses
The flame
Of a lovingkindness

It is befriending me
In widening circles
This is the deepest love
Yet I hunger for more

In ever widening circles
Forever and ever
This Love is

For all

Inspired by Rilke

Hope – What if…

Hope displayed by Anemone flowers

What if I tell you there is hope, there is always hope? Would you blame me for just conveying the biggest cliché? The all-time-high lie that we tell people when they’re suffering and can’t find their way through the wilderness of sorrow? But what if, what if it is true?

The worrying monkey-mind often keeps repeating these terrible and fear inspiring “what ifs”. What if this is what he thinks of me? What if I am going to die from an awful disease? What if the plane falls down? What if I won’t pass this exam? What if I am going to loose my job? What if I can’t find help for my problem? What if there is no goodness in this world? What if, what if, what if….constantly repeating.

Another cliché is, yes, I have been there too. Like that’s very comforting in the middle of the deepest pain? And maybe it’s just something people say anyway to give others some false comfort, or even in order to turn the focus on themselves when the other person is the one truly suffering? But again, what if it’s true?

What if there is hope? What if I have been there? What if I’ve been to this really dark place where I had no hope of returning to the living? Would you believe me if I told you about it? Would it be an important message to you if you are the one now that has gone all dark?

I am telling you, whispering softly and shouting loudly again, THERE IS HOPE!! Yes, I’ve been there, and yes, I have returned, even though I didn’t think it was possible. I gave up everything, but something brought me deeply back to life. Back to colors and back to the joy of living.

Now I am sensing this energy breaking barriers within, and this river flowing again from within to without. Now I want to express myself and share the good news! If you will listen, dear, beloved, of God. There is hope! There is I way through! I know some of you don’t think so. I did too. But was surprised by the help I found. Reach out, and next maybe to your complete surprise, you’ll find new life from within and all around.

Blessings and new light to you, as you journey true your deep pain and darkness. There will be light again! There is hope! Always!

PS! Reading other posts on this blog, may partly help you find your way. This blog has followed me through later life, and what I share here is mostly from my own experience or inner longing.

Love Last

Love last

Earlier I have written posts called Love First and Love Now. Now I have to write a post called Love Last. This is probably for some the most controversial of the three posts, since it communicates an inclusive view on the afterlife and eternity. So if you want to hold on to your traditional view of Heaven and Hell, or if you would like not to be provoked, read no further. And for the rest, keep your minds and hearts open.

We have heard that the Christian message is the Gospel, also called the Good News. Now in my later years after going through valleys of darkness, the thinking, reading, listening and rethinking has brought me out into an open landscape of, in my view, truly good news.

Karl Forehand, a friend of mine and an author of several books, and among them the book Apparent Faith, asks the question, can God’s love be any less than the parent’s love for his child? The point is that a parent would do anything for his/her child and never give them up or leave them for good. Why would God leave people for good and let them go to a place called hell? A parent would never do that. Why our Creator?

Let’s get things out of the way, I do not believe in hell as a place in the afterlife anymore. I believe there are enough hellish experiences and suffering in people’s lives and in our world. Going to hell for an eternity (eternity!!) makes no sense. And heaven for just a few chosen faithful people, is that truly heaven Off course both Karl and I are only trying to find answers that make sense, and off course we do not have “God’s mind” and understanding. So we can’t claim we get it right 100 percent. But some would not even want to work with the question, and some would rather hide behind the biblical phrase, “God works in mysterious ways”.

I already mentioned Apparent Faith by Karl Forehand. Another good read is Love Wins by Rob Bell. I think Rob has the same message in Love Wins, that I try to communicate in this post, Love Last. I would also say, for the Gospel to be truly good news, it must be good news for all, it must be all inclusive. Love must win in the end. I do think Richard Rohr’s book The Universal Christ also speaks about this.

I say, we are created by love first, to live our lives in love now, and early (for some too early) or late we will find rest in eternal love at last! People and the Bible talk about the good road to be a small road. But what if this small road actually is very wide, if we only had a change of heart and understanding? I will not go into details here in this small text, but also remind us all, of the words of Jesus, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms”.

Off course not everyone chooses the path of love in this earthly life. There are many reasons and explanations for that. And there’s only one Judge. Yet, can you imagine being judged by the Lover of Souls?

If there’s any truth to going to a spiritual reality in the afterlife and for an eternity, I do think people also somehow choses their direction after death. And for those now living a life in pain, of evil and destruction, why would they not choose or search for love and restoration in the spiritual realm? Would a God of Love really close the door for all eternity? Sorry, if this makes you think, I am lost and far gone. I feel safe that I am not, and that’s enough for me.

I believe we are eternal souls and the bodies are our huts. Our deepest selves are also the Spirit of Love and of God. This Spirit will, at least when it freely can, and when it is released from our decaying bodies, travel back to the Loving Source it came from.

Love first, Love now, Love last, I do believe this is for all of us. Yes, it is all inclusive! Yes, the Bible even talks about a new heaven and a new earth, a great recreation. So salvation is not only for you and me, but for all, even for the whole Earth and the whole of creation. The Colossians talks about everything (every single thing!) coming together in Christ! This for me, is the good news. This gives me hope. This casts out fear of living and fear of death. It is true freedom! I truly believe in a loving Creator or even Creational Energy loving us all. This love is as the Bible talks about, strong enough for a earthly life, but also even stronger than death.

Last I would add that coming to these thoughts and conclusions in such a way that I can see this as the Truth I believe in, has not been an easy road. Still, I do believe it is a road from fear to love. It also is a road into freedom and the joy of living now and with a real hope for the future. It’s like the the prodigal son coming to his senses and knowing he had always belonged to this his Loving Father. It is the greatest news for all! All you truly need is love, and love is first, and it is now and yes, it even is the last there is and will forever be!

Blessings!

Union

rivers to river again

Today I am thinking about the beautiful word ‘union’. For me this word has a deep meaning. First and foremost I have my whole life longed for a union with God and truth. I do believe this longing for union with the Divine, is in the heart of every man, whether we acknowledge it or not. I also believe we all, regardless of faith or beliefs, experience smaller and greater unions throughout life. In my mind I picture union being a giving and sharing of love.

A giving and sharing of love is not dependent of wisdom or faith. The only requisite is being human and being able to be vulnerable and open at times. If we are to experience union with something or someone, there has to be an openness towards the experience. Also an openness and acceptance towards ourselves first and then others second.

Since union and loving union is about giving we need to know what we give. In order to give from ourselves, we need to know something true about ourselves, accept ourselves and love aspects of ourselves.

Union is beautiful, it is a giving and sharing of love, a giving and receiving between at least two persons or a person and beauty of some kind. Union is seeing your own beauty so clearly that you enjoy sharing it with someone or something other beautiful. Again, this is dependent on acceptance and the gift of vulnerability.

A good friendship is an example of an union. The closest friendship and deepest union, can only develop through openness and daring to be vulnerable. A deep friendship between humans, or humans and animals for that matter, can be a symbol of the deepest union man can experience in life, and eventually in death, the union with God, the All-loving One.

Looking at the image above makes me think of people and different aspects of life as smaller or bigger rivers. The rivers are always flowing, always alive, either wildly or softly, but always moving. Since rivers are about movement, it is always a continual giving of life. All the smaller rivers can join the bigger river or lake and then become rivers again, before they are back again. All are part of this union, this never-ending circle of beautiful life.

Maybe you are not with me on this whole vision, but please follow me on this. You are a river of beautiful and vulnerable love moving towards others and other things, desiring acceptance and union. And do remember, in order to unite, we must love and accept ourselves. Only then can you give yourself and receive the other in true union. Now, are you ready for a reunion!?

Love Now

Ireland Love

Love was First

Love is Now

It is what you long for

To be

Aflame with Love

#

Love is Eternal

Eternal Is Now

All around

Without

And within

#

No Barriers

No Barricades

No Borders

Love is

All there truly Is

#

Love

Deepest Desire

Deepest Well

Everlasting

Everflowing

#

Infinite Love

Embrace it

Be embraced by it

Surrounded

Fills every Crack

#

No need to Lack

Open Hearts

Open Souls

For the Spirit of

True Love

Love First

Field of flowers

You have probably heard it said, you are loved through Christ. Since Jesus paid the price you may walk free. You say, amen hallelujah, thank God for His love and sacrifice. God hates sin, but now, by His grace and because of Jesus on the cross, He can now look at me, accept me and love me. All this because Jesus became the perfect offering. When God looks at me, He sees the Lamb of God. God loves you in and through Christ. Surprisingly I am asking you if this message can in fact be harmful? How can this message really limit your self love, self respect and then your love for your neighbour? When the message is that God can’t love you if it wasn’t for Christ, there may a problem.

Yet, the Bible also tells us to love God and man, in the same way we love ourselves. But do you really, truly love yourself? Self love is a bit of a taboo, and often looked upon as egotistical. But what if it is crucial before all the other fruits of the Spirit to grow is that you begin with love, love for self, love for God. Can you see that if God can look at you only through Christ, he is not looking at you at all!? And how can you love yourself alone, if God needs Jesus to do so? But what if Love came first? Love for creation, and Love for you, since you are a unique part of it?

Genesis explains that God created life and everything. He breathed His very Spirit into us through our nostrils. This is how you became alive, God breathed is Spirit of Life and Love into you. Now this Spirit flows from your within. That’s the Good News! God loves you from within!! You have this River of Love within you!

Remember, Genesis also tells us that God’s creation was good, and even when man was created God said it was very good. Can you say that to yourself, I am very good!? Can you truly say that? Isn’t that what God is saying? Humans are the greatest in my creation, it is the crown? Is that how you look upon yourself, God’s crown? If God was asked, show me what you are most proud of and fond of, when it comes to your artistry, your creation, what would the Divine say? Wouldn’t He point His finger in your and other people’s direction and say, YOU!?

God loves you, He, She, the Trinity, They love you! In 2.Peter it even says that we are partakers in the Divine Nature! How can that be? These news, are almost too good to be true! And isn’t that the surprise of grace, it is almost too good to be true? But that is if we think in our human way. That God loves us and looks upon us as very good, is God’s true perspective. Love always comes first! But wait, you say, you are only telling half truths, your missing the greater picture. You, say, man is sinful, and every evil desire lurks within man. God hates sin, but loves humans.

I ask you, does God only love what is perfect? And does God need someone perfect to die, to love us? Whatever God did, He did it because He already loved us, right? Still, maybe we are the ones that need this scapegoat? Do we need someone to put the blame on, so we don’t have to face our own sin and darkness? I am not saying man is all light. I know that for sure, just by looking into my own heart. But I am saying we need to get the start right, for you, for me, for our children, for everyone.

God loves mankind, He LOVES you and He loves His creation. It is His pride! With this Love He breathed Life into your very within, before you were sent into this world to live your unique life, the best way you can.

I ask you to sit for a few moments in silence. Ask yourself, do I love myself, in the same way God loves me, His crown, His masterpiece? Then let yourself sink into His love, a Love that embraces you in your completeness (goodness and badness), in order to free you into true self love and love for others.

It is there for you, the River within, the River of Love.

Love first, always…

Are you a listener and likes to be read to – go here to find an audioversion of this text:

Love First audiofile

Note: If you are interested in the topic of scapegoating books by René Girard may be of interest. Poems of Rainier Rilke are also great, and even his book “Letters to a young poet”. Last, but not the least, I would recommend reading Richard Rohr’s books, i.e. Fallling Upward and Immortal Diamond. Even though I don’¨t quote any of these authors directly, I think I am indebted to them.

Wounds

“Everybody hurts” is a well-known and popular song by REM. I guess one reason is that it resonates with most people one way or the other. We all hurt, we all have been hurt, and we also hurt other people. It is a circle where many spend much of their time and life.

We all need to experience love. And the less attention and love we were shown in our early days, the more we crave it when we’re older. No wonder the Christian focus on the Father heart of God is very popular both in preaching and reading. Most of us have been wounded by our parents slightly or deeply. And I guess very often the father is most lacking in love and acceptance. This partly because the feminine and nurturing side of men has been less embraced and therefore less developed. It’s not only the women who have suffered in a patriarchal society.

But okey, we are all wounded, so what can we do about it? I believe we need more love, acceptance and healing. If we open our eyes and realise how wound driven we are in our actions, it is possible to experience a deeper satisfaction, not only through the love of a Higher Father, but through the experience of self love. Self love has a bad reputation, and sadly, because it quiet different from self worship.

It is therefore paramount that our suffering and craving, leads us on a road through our blindness. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, especially when what we’re looking for is the love we lacked in our childhood.

Before we can bring the deepest and purest love and healing to others we often need to love and heal ourselves. This process consists of developing an acceptance and love for ourselves, and at the same time a realization that we are deeply loved by the Love that gave us life.

This healing I am pointing too, has no easy route. But a good way to start is to take a deep look at your wounds. Not to fall into the wounds and drown, but sense your wounds enough for you to be able to both grieve, forgive and accept them. This involves forgiving others, but very often also, since you may be quite grown up when you truly see this, it also includes forgiving yourself. I guess many we will be in this process for much of their lives, if they want to grow in love. Still, at first, it’s important to start, to embrace more and more of the pain, so you may grow through so much of it that you become free enough to be of more help to others, instead of clinging to people and things for love and acceptance. You may even become a much needed wounded healer as Henri Nouwen wisely wrote about, and the love grown out of wounds eventually becomes a gift to this often hurting world.

We need to come to our senses and to ourselves, as the prodigal son also had to do, in order to direct his life towards the great Source of Love again. And like this lost son, we often get lost in craving love from things and people, that cannot give us what we now must give ourselves, and what we also must receive from our Mother, Father God. A Divine presence that waits for and even chases us from around and from the deepest parts of our souls.

Ask yourself today, what drives your actions the most today? Is it the lack of contentment and a need for lost love, or have you walked the valley of grief and forgiveness, and come out of it, with a new or renewed selflove? At least, stop blaming and pulling yourself down. What you have not received, you cannot pass on. Those wise words I leave you with, and at last an important reminder: You are loved ❤️

Now and Forever

Open my heart wide, so I may see
Open my heart wide, so I may let go
Open my heart wide, so I may know
You, my Lover and Love

Help me bow down deeply, so I may drink
Help me stretch far, so I may pluck
Help me sit down quietly, so I may dine
Last, help me walk gently, so I may bless
With You, my Lover and Love

Now and forever

Overflowed by Life

At the beach yesterday I witnessed the image above of stones and overflowing waters. Tumultuous waves were overcoming solid ground. Rohr (Falling Upwards, great book!) speaks and talks about a lever to stand. The lever is needed at different times in our lives. Some times outer pressure or inner turmoil are overwhelming. It feels like drowning.

I’ve been through times like the mentioned above on several occasions. Last not so long ago. I lost my zest for life and had no drive or motivation. It felt like I was overcome and lost, as in my last poem here, “I gave up and gave in”.

If you have read the whole poem though you have realized I have yet to draw my last breath, and gracefully things ended on a good note. I am meant to live and there’s still meaning and renewed meaning to be found in life, mine included. But for a long time it felt like the image above. Out of control, with no escape in going through the pain and darkness. Part of the reason for my troubles were great grief in my life, since I have slowly been losing my mother to early dementia. There has been other things too, among those an earnest search for truth and the deep desire for love and union with Spirit.

So if you’re experiencing grief and outer and/or more inner turmoil, know that I have been there. Hell is not a place in a God-willed afterlife. God’s love is for all, it upholds us all, whether we recognize it or not. Hell is also at times circumstances here on Earth, whether it is outer war and suffering, or inner turmoil and loneliness deep within. Fortunately, at the same time, heaven, God, God’s kingdom are also here on Earth, all around us and deep within each and everyone. This includes you, no exceptions. I also do believe with Rob Bell, that Love Wins (book recommended!). If that makes me an universialist, I am guilty of the “heresy”.

The Spirit of Christ lives within us and our bodies groan for freedom and union for eternity. Happily, this is something to be embraced and experienced in the now, if only in glimpses. Can you sense your inner Spirit calling you? Are you overwhelmed by the life you have lived so far? Maybe what we need when there is no solid ground to be found, is a surrender to the great vast Ocean? At least a surrender to the River within that Jesus spoke of to the Samaritan woman.

Now I dream of new projects and a future for contemplation in my country and across the globe. I connect with what Rahner supposedly has said, that the future Christian is a mystic. I truly believe that. I want to be among them. I do think more and more people will see and find the path of contemplation. Nothing else than contemplating the mystery of the Divine and beholding and experiencing its beauty can satisfy our hunger. Would you like to join me on this often messy but also blessed journey?

Blessings on your day and your further travel – never forget you truly are the beloved of the Great Lover! Even more, when darkness leaves you blinded.

#Knowing

Norwegian winter landscape

I believe in a knowing that you can experience more and more by listening to the small voice within and by walking the path set before you. This is most likely a path that at times will bring confusion and despair, but also hope, love and grace.

There are ways for you to grow from being governed by your ego to being more and more guided, led and held by this inner knowing. The poet Rilke once wrote or said “the only journey is the journey within”. He is both right, and wrong. Wrong if his words are taken too literally. I truly believe in the journey within as a journey we are called to take, especially in the afternoon of life. Richard Rohr inspired by Jung writes about the first and second half of life in his wise book “Falling Upward”. When I say that understood too literally the words from Rilke can be “wrong”, I mean that there is always a need for balance. We need to look both outside and inside.

For me going cross-country skiing or hiking in the mountains are great ways to observe beautiful landscapes and God’s magnificent creation outside myself. At the same time these seemingly outside-yourself-experiences are also inner experiences. The beauty that I see resonates with something deep within me. What I see outside and around me connects with and gives birth to a knowing within me. So, the journey within is in a way the most important, but we also need to contemplate the beauty outside to experience a connection to our inner life and to spirit.

It is true what Augustin said “my soul is restless until it finds its rest in you”. As we grow up spiritually and connect with God’s spirit and our deepest self within we find a knowing and also a rest.

All of us have different life stories. Some have experienced very close and loving relationships when they were children and just beginners on their journeys. Others have experienced more troublesome childhoods, loneliness and a lack of true love and embrace. All of us have our own journeys to take. For some it may take many years to grow into this deeper knowing. Some also have to go through therapy to get there.

No matter what, I believe in this deeper knowing which becomes an intuitive knowledge of eternal truths and a knowing of true love. The knowing you experience makes dogmas less important and even less true, because truths that we know within are often simple and universal. The first and most universal truth I think, is that the universe is filled with love. We as well as the whole universe are created out of love. We are created and also placed in this world by a Love.

What about all the pain and suffering you say? Where is this love that you are talking about? For myself, life has noe been an easy walk either. All I can say today, I see you. Yes, there is great suffering and pain in this world. Yes, there is great pain and loneliness in our and other people’s lives. Still I believe that the deeper knowing we can experience is a knowing that tells us about a Love, a Love greater than anything else.

Let us just leave it at that today. Know that you are loved by Love, and knowledge of this Love can also become part of your inner knowing!

Feel free to comment!