It was the message from my dream and while I don’t remember much of the dream itself, the words kept floating through my mind as I awoke.
I remember being at my computer, typing. A man walked into my office and told me I had to write 7 Ways to Love. You mean I have to write about sex? (Funny where my mind goes in my dreams!) He laughed and said, Dream big. What are the ways? I asked, but he had left and I found myself on a beach, water lapping at my toes, sun warming my skin. The view was limitless. The sky arching towards earth, blue on blue where it met the water’s edge far off on the distant horizon. I was on a sailboat, the wind filling the sails, blowing my hair. I had one hand on the tiller and the fingers of my other hand skimmed the surface of the water. For all the wind filling the sails, I felt lazy, relaxed, calm. There was an island. I sailed towards it.
And then I awoke and as sleep left me, the words came into my mind, Dream big.
7 Ways to Love.
- Soften your heart. Don’t hold onto the angry edges of regret and fear and stories of how others hurt you. Soften your heart, let it breathe freely.
- Give of yourself. Quit thinking about what others can give you. Focus on what you can do for others. Consider your gifts and share them freely, without looking for the ‘return on investment’.
- Trust. Love is always present. Love is all around. You are an expression of love in the human form. Trust that love is with you, in you, around you always. You are safe in Love’s embrace.
- Be compassionate. When feeling frightened, scared, worried that ‘someone will hurt me’, move into compassion. (goes with softening the heart) Remember that we are all struggling to find love, find that special someone, feel that special someway, know that special feeling. We all struggle to understand, ourselves, love, being loved, being loving, feeling less than, other than. We all share in the unknown journey of what it means to live life free of fear of being vulnerable and intimate with another.
- Stand true to yourself. Don’t bend your values, beliefs, personality, desires, dreams, goals, don’t bend what is most important to you to fit someone else’s belief of who you should be, what you should do, how you should act. Stand true to yourself in all things. Be the “I” of your truth and if the winds should howl around you, stand true to the ‘eye’ at the centre of the hurricane and do not let the winds pull you off your course. In the same way, let others stand true to who they are. Do not attempt to change them to fit your needs. Create the space for them to be their best self and you be yours.
- Stand in the broken. Be willing to feel the pain, know the hurts, experience the sadness. Don’t push ‘negative’ feelings away. Let them flow. Conversely, don’t hold onto the feelings that hurt you — anger that lasts more than 10 minutes is not anger of the present. It’s anger that has connected to something in the past. Let it go. Let it flow free. Give yourself room to apologize. Let go of being right and choose always to be ‘real and present’ even when your mind is screaming, Danger! Danger! You’re going to get hurt. (Trust in yourself. Trust in Love.) Know that now is not forever — unless you hold onto the broken pieces and never let yourself heal in love.
- Forgive. The shortest route to Love is through forgiveness. Forgive the past. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Forgive. You don’t have to name what you are forgiving. Adopt an attitude of forgiveness. When painful memories arise, repeat to yourself, I forgive. and let the painful memories be washed away by the healing grace of forgiveness. There is only one place painful memories exist — and that is in your mind. They are of the past. Cleanse yourself of the pain. Forgive. And when in doubt, move into Compassion. It fits hand in hand, heart to heart with forgiveness and love.
I awoke from a dream this morning that reminded me to Dream Big. I didn’t know what the 7 Ways to Love would be.
Trusting in the process, they appeared.
How cool is that!