The transformational power of giving love
“Those that are hardest to love need it the most”
True, heartfelt love is one of the strongest emotions in the world. It has the power to transform and open up lives to the joy that is around each and every one of us. It is amazing when you find that love within yourself, and absolutely beautiful when you choose to let it overflow and share it with those around you.
As you may have started to notice, many of the experiences and learnings I have had came during my time at camp. This, again, was no exception.
For the first couple of weeks at camp, I felt quite unsettled. You know that feeling that you get when you just haven’t quite found your feet yet and aren’t quite fully comfortable, but you can’t put your finger on why?
I distinctly recall a conversation with one of my good friends back home, Anthea, who was helping me through the trials I shared in my first blog post. I was focusing so hard on myself and trying to shift where I was at that time, but she challenged me to get out of myself and give in service to others. While that hadn’t really resonated with me at the time of our conversation, all of a sudden it seemed to be incredibly relevant at that moment and I realized what I had to do. The best way I could serve others at camp was to open up my heart and give love. Specifically, giving love in every word I spoke, in every interaction I had, in every gesture I made; I gave from my heart, without looking for anything in return. Every morning before breakfast I would write, “give love” in black marker on my forearm as a constant reminder of my intentions.
The more I became conscious of my intentions the more I was becoming aware of how it felt. I could really tell when I was giving love because I could feel it in my whole body. Sometimes, if I felt somebody really needed it, I would focus on sending it straight to them- seeing it flying to them straight from my heart, wrapping them in a pinkish-green light.
Having the intention of giving in all of my interactions with others allowed me to be especially present, which helped to foster deeper connections with others. By changing the focus to what I could give, rather than looking for what I could receive, I began to feel a real joy throughout my body. I noticed that the more I focused on giving completely, I not only felt more joy, but also a deeper feeling of self-love. I became increasingly settled as I continued in the practice of giving, leading to greater relaxation and lightness in myself.
While reading The Light Shall Set You Free during camp, I stumbled across the quote:
“Those that are hardest to love need it the most.”
The timing could not have been more perfect. At that very moment, I was looking after 14 year-old boys amidst their transition into young adulthood. I would be lying if I said there weren’t a couple that were quite hard to deal with. Reading that quote forced me to open my eyes and look at the whole picture; in doing so, I changed my attitude and approach on connecting with them. Instead of being a hardass all the time and constantly telling them off, I held firm boundaries and approached them with love and compassion. By the end of our time together, these boys had softened, didn’t feel the need to act out as often, and, most of all, started showing signs of giving love to those around them as well. Seeing this was one of the most rewarding parts of camp.
I know that this will sound quite cliché, but if each of us can find it within ourselves to give as much love as we can, to whomever/whatever the world puts in front of us. We WILL change lives- especially our own.
Love and Light