Imagine living with a full heart, ready and able to step into each day from a place of contented strength and purpose. What might that look and feel like?
Brene Brown, in her book "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" imagines this for us and invites us to explore living 'wholeheartedly.'
I want to explore this with you as well and discover how living wholeheartedly can help us in our spiritual lives.
The first point that Brown makes in this regard has to do with love. She writes: "Love and belonging are irreducible needs of all men, women, and children. We're hardwired for connection--it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The absence of love, belonging, and connection always leads to suffering."
This truth may make it seem that now is the worst time to grow in this regard. We are living in a self-isolating world and being forced to give up intimate connection with others. This is challenging to be certain. But it is also an opportunity to pursue a love that is foundational to love itself.
Jesus is the epitome of love. His presence on earth was the expression of God's love to humanity. He came to invite us into a kind of life that perfectly reflects wholeheartedness. It might sometimes be tempting to think of Jesus as coming to inform us of the rules and regulations of right living, but if we think that was the main reason we would be wrong . .
Jesus was motivated by love and invites us to receive, experience and share this same love.
And love changes everything.
Talking with his disciples in John 15:9 Jesus says, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love."
This is such a powerful expression of love that transforms us into wholehearted people. Jesus was loved; he came to share this love; and we are invited to live in this love every single day of our lives. This incorporates Brown's description of our greatest needs: to be loved and to share love. But the importance of knowing the love of Jesus is that this love is unconditional. We don't need to earn it. We don't need to perform in order to deserve it. We don't need to be a champ to win it. In fact, the nature of this kind of love is that it picks me up when I struggle.
I think this is timely for us because we are living in times when it is so very easy to struggle. I want you to be reminded, or maybe realize for the first time, that the love of Jesus for you is the exact thing you need to not only get through your day but to actually begin to live wholeheartedly.
I want to challenge you to consider two things for yourself today: 1. Take a moment to ask Jesus to show you what his love for you feels like and let it sink in. 2. Allow yourself to believe that this love is meant to move you to share it with someone else. If you do these two things you will begin to see what it feels like to live wholeheartedly.
Many, many blessings to you on this good day.