The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair. But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not. Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance. (Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation)
Infinite love creates our hearts in such a way that only infinite union with infinite love will satisfy the desires of our hearts. (James Finley paraphrased)
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Jesus)
Is it possible that Jesus was telling us about how things work in the universe? Is it possible that our only happiness in found in infinite love? Could it be that we’ve been confused?
I wonder what motivates us? For me I was motivated and driven by performance. I used to be very task oriented. Study for a test, achieve a new goal on the job, climb the next rung in the ladder, become more important in an organization…. and so on. So many of our human systems are performance oriented. Our motivation within these systems have us focused on self, a false self instead of the only thing that will satisfy us, love.
Even in our religious systems we often get confused and distracted by performance and we miss love. Divine love manifests itself as all of us connected as one great expression of love and instead of living from that truth we create structures that actually contradict that truth. Religion can be one of those destructive structures. The divine reality is all around us if we could just pause and look and see.
Instead resting in love, we want to possess. We want to control. We want the universe to obey our understanding instead of letting the universe teach us her wisdom. We could be motivated by love, pure divine other-centered love but we chose manipulation and maneuvering.
Am I too harsh?
Why are we jealous? Why do we fear? Why do we blame? Why do we hang on to offenses? Why do we take? Why do we harm? Why do we insist on finding our value in the opinion of another? The list goes on and on. Our motivation is wrong. We aren’t made to possess and control and take. We were made to give and give and give. We were made for infinite love and become infinite love and embrace our eternal union with infinite love.
Jesus taught us that. His followers knew that. One particularly influential follower said this:
Discover God himself as your inexhaustible inner source; he ignites you with both the desire and energy that matches his own delight. (Paul of Tarsus)
Within us all is the motivation that will lead us to satisfaction. Our innermost voice is the divine voice of love. Once we stop trying to take from people, our innermost self will be elated to give. Once we stop trying to control people, our divine center will express endless freedom for others. Once we stop living from fear of separation or rejection or abandonment, our internal love force will overflow into our ego-centric self and set us free from our selfish.
What motivates you? Whether you admit it or not or feel it or not or even believe it or not…love motivates you. Love made you. You are love. Love is what holds it all together. You are motivated by love, divine, other-centered, unqualified love. Rest in that truth and let your selfish fears depart from you in a powerful expression of innermost motivation, love.