Dear Love… Please be with me as I explore and offer You…
A New Reality
I’ve been volunteering as a facilitator for The Alternatives to Violence Project (A.V.P.) for close to 20 years. It’s a process developed by inmates at Green Haven Correctional Facility (in NY) and Quakers after the Attica riots.
It started in 1975 and has spread all over the globe and into all sorts of settings. I tried it, initially, because I believed in the healing power of community, and I’d heard it was a very transformative community building activity… and free!
The process is amazing… a bona-fido soul-workout of the first magnitude! My first three day workshop graduated me from “Nearly Noelle” – the best “Affirmative Name” I could come up with for myself (from one of the many exercises) – to “Newly Noelle.” I mention this because I was recalling something I often heard, in the beginning years, while experiencing the deep, connected and near-blissful sense of being One with every other participant in every single workshop: “…But this isn’t the real world.”
Then… I had to agree. We did seem to be doing something completely out of the ordinary. Something more real and meaningful and valuable than anything I was experiencing on the other side of the three foot thick walls enclosing that particular maximum security prison.
It’s taken awhile, but once I had the idea that life could be that lovely, and connections that meaningful, I started inviting a new reality. I stopped allowing the prevailing consensus on “reality” to hoodwink me… I started seeking and finding evidence for something entirely more worthwhile. And (thank you God!) I found friends, teachers, organizations even entire movements doing the same thing!
What if, once enough of us (created in our creative Creator’s image) come to a new consensus of reality… it begins to prevail? Lots of people think that’s what is currently happening… What if… (Yes, Song time!)
Only Love is Real …?
There’s a world out there; there’s a world in here
Oooooo, we think we know which one’s the real world
We justify our fears; we get to cry our tears
All because we think we know the real world
And all along… we’ve been wrong… Only love is real!
The love that I want to see in the world is right here in my heart
And looking from in here, everything is dear…
The comfort I want to bring to the world is right here in my heart
And sharing what is here brings everybody near… Only love is real!
We’re holding tight a dream, that loves to break our hearts
Oooooo, we chose to think that it’s the real world
And yet it only seems it’s made of broken parts
Oooooo, that ain’t the truth that is the real world
All along… We’ve been wrong… Only love is real!
All along – thank goodness we’ve been wrong… Only love is real!
The pain and the suffering that I see is right here in my mind
That’s where I will find, everything unkind
The blame and the judgment that I feel is right here in my mind…
Keeping me apart from Heaven in my heart
Only love is real….
Only love is real…!
* * *
This can be argued ad infinitum – with huge “FACTS” and “LOGICAL EVIDENCE” on the “winning side” – but who wins if this is not the Truth? We all win if it is… and if we’re wrong, we still get to feel a lot better in the meanwhile! A Course in Miracle question is “Do you want to be right, or happy?” I thought that was worth thinking about until I came up with the “right” answer! (It made me happier!)
I Love you. You are everything to me because there is no Heaven without you in it. The teaching I adore says we can take our sweet time noticing we’re in Heaven; we’re free to remain fixated on the painful reality we invented… but God would never put us in hell. We do that ourselves.
The “essential” this touches on is…
1) Belief Believing brilliantly – or at least better!
2) Energy Managing/releasing energy
3) Skills Gaining inter-personal skills/learning to be authentic
4) Presence Becoming ever more aware of NOW
5) Service Love!