Just before I began writing this book, I came down with the flu. Breathing was a struggle, and the pain in my body was unbearable. I was so ill for so long that I didn’t think I would ever recover.
I let go of all hope of surviving – I had no choice.
I soon came to realize that my lack of hope was actually a blessing. Having given up, I could accept what was being presented in that moment – the possibility that I was very sick and might die. With that acceptance, my body relaxed and, for the first time in a long time, I was able to pray.
With all of my heart and soul, I asked for understanding as to the purpose of this illness. After a while, I felt warm all over, and I experienced something kissing me. Every aching muscle was being kissed and loved and soothed. I felt so full, so loved, and so blessed. I had received an answer to my prayer and my feeling of having been abandoned in my illness dis- solved. I saw that I really am in a relationship with God,as we all are.
Our relationship with God is no different from any other in the sense that we must learn to communicate our heartfelt needs, as we would to anyone whom we love and who loves us. The sense of being kissed has never left me and it has become one of the barometers to indicate my receptivity to God’s love. After “the kiss,” I began to heal very quickly. As I was recovering, this book was conceived.
How can we bring the kiss of God into our daily lives? How can we love ourselves as God loves us? My illness taught me that surrendering to what is, along with seeking a higher understanding, can take us to God. We must truly desire to discover the higher reason for every situation that we are in. If our desires and goals are strictly material, then we might find it harder to access a more refined state of consciousness. If we see the world as objects and circumstances that we must acquire, change or manipulate, or if we think our true reason for being is to attain some worldly desire or goal, we will miss the small, quiet voice inside of us that always seeks to expand our perspective.
Entering the magic doorway means living every moment in relationship with God or our higher Self, recognizing that every little event or circumstance reflects the quality of that relationship. How do we treat each person we meet? Do we uplift them with our love, or judge them as inept or a bother? How do we respect our living space? Do we see it as a temple for God or a place to crash or show off? How do we work with others? Is our ego in control or our love? How do we treat our own mind and feelings? Do we treat them with respect as we would a friend? Do we listen with an open heart, or do we get angry with ourselves for having bothersome feelings and thoughts? Do we wish they would go away, and then distract ourselves so as not to feel them? How do we nourish ourselves? Is it with good, balanced food, or is it with food that creates chaos in mind and body? These are only a few examples of how we can contemplate our lives, moment by moment. In so doing, we open the magic door to the wisdom of the inner Self, and see everything we encounter as another reflection of God.
Unconditional acceptance of what is, and the intention to know the truth, is the key. Feeling victimized by life is forgetting that we truly have all the power we need within our hearts. Every moment at its essence is another opportunity to enter the vast love of God. Memorable events such as marriage or childbirth are obvious avenues, but so are “ordinary” experiences such as a visit with a beloved friend, a flower, a beautiful scent, a rainbow, a pebble, a warm blanket, nourishing food… Even events we might judge as tragic, such as divorce, the death of a child, a terminal illness, and other kinds of losses can take us to God. Whether we experience wealth or poverty, joy or sorrow, warmth or cold, chaos or quietude, our judgments must be set aside and the moment itself must be embraced with an open heart. With our love shining, all distinctions, positive and negative, disappear, and all that remains is the constant, unchanging kiss of God.
Meditation Keys – The Kiss
See every object, person and situation in life as your own God Self, abundantly presenting you with the opportunity to enter the magic door.
Spend an entire day respecting everyone – friend, stranger, or “enemy.” Respect every object you encounter – your car, your house, your computer, a pencil, a stone… See how that feels.
Become like a child again, exploring this world with eyes of wonder, as if everything in it were brand new.