Note: This post was originally published in August 2016. Modifications have been made to the original post. This post also appears in our June 2019 newsletter. Get future newsletters by subscribing here.
Love has this amazing ability to spiral out into the Universe as a ripple effect. And love is something that all humans can draw on at any given time, in any given place, especially when others are in need. Our planet, and all the life it supports, needs love to ripple out in waves more than ever right now. But figuring out how to create such waves from a place of positivity, empowerment, and trueness can be puzzling and even debilitating. The first step in practicing the ripple effect is realizing that it starts with you.
I believe that love is not something we receive from the outside, but instead, something we find from within. Finding it, however, can be tricky. We must let our ego slip and allow ourselves to be present in the moment. This is not about what we "should" be doing for someone or something else. Instead, it's about believing in the inherent goodness of love and realizing that all of us are deserving of love. Only when we tap into our inner love in such a way, can we return the kind that genuinely radiates out into the world.
I always admired my parents for this gift they had of reaching out to those in need. But, I'm not sure it was always from a true place. By that I mean they were somewhat guilted into practice, as we all are, by norms and voices that say we should give to others. So, one of the first things you can do to practice the ripple effect is unravel the judgmental voice that we should do something. Now, this is a hard thing to tackle. I'd like to tell you a story of my own ripple effect experience in the hopes that it helps you create your own ripple.
"Love has this amazing ability to spiral out into the Universe as a ripple effect."
In 2016, I received a phone call from someone letting me know that a family member of mine was in jail. We didn't always have the best relationship growing up, but I knew then that this person needed my love. But before I could support them, I needed to forgive them. I worked on it and worked on it, both personally and with the professional help of others. But, that practice was worth it because when I drove to visit my family member in jail, I was able to meet them with unconditional love and support. This was the beginning of our journey to an amazing friendship and connection, which spanned beyond just us.
As I opened up my heart to this family member, they in return were able to open up their heart to their fellow inmates. One of those inmates continues to feel that ripple effect today. 'David' (as I'll refer to him here) has been incarcerated for 25 years and has many more to go, as he is carrying out a life sentence. I didn't know much about David other than he was friends with my family member, who told me that David often wanted to just 'give up' because he thought nobody cared about him.
One day, to David's surprise, he received a letter from a total stranger – me! I don't remember why I wrote that first letter and I'm not sure it really matters. What matters is that he felt love and connection from that letter. According to David, he felt as if God was saying, 'see I am worth it - you are loved!'
It's important to practice fully opening your heart and letting our ego-self and consciousness go – in that moment we can feel what true love is. We are not separate from one another. All living things are connected here on this Earth, sharing the same resources among one another. We could all use some strong, bold, and impactful ripple waves of love. So, start practicing. Let's keep the ripple going until it's a wave that has such force, we are all riding it together.
According to David, he felt as if God was saying, 'see I am worth it - you are loved!'
PS: The ripple is spreading – David received a surprise letter for the first time in 28 years from his son!
I have worked very hard on my life up to this point (this made me giggle). I wonder what that really means. Anyway, I have many life experiences that have shaped me and allowed me to be on a journey for this elusive feeling of peace. Up to this point, it has been somewhat of a push/pull and ego driven endeavor to become a person that my children will feel in their hearts; that I was truly a good mom and person. My mom died when I was a teenager and at the funeral, I remember thinking, who are they talking about? The perceptions I have of my mother were not theirs and so it felt false to me. I felt ripped off - jealous of something they seemed to have with her that I did not feel I had. I now know that is not the truth, but at the time it was so strong. I vowed to explore and strive at being a better person for my kids and my future grandchildren. The dysfunctional patterns can stop, but once again I have worked very hard to change my character patterns. Have I arrived? Well, honestly I can say I am done striving, or trying to arrive anywhere. It did serve me having to take this journey from an ego driven agenda place. Now I am ready to just BE.
If I died tomorrow would my kids, listening to people sharing at my funeral, agree with their perceptions of me? I am not sure that would be the case, but I am ok with that because it is their journey to figure out that it is all a projection. I truly feel love for them, from every cell of my body and heart. I did the best I could with those moments in time, as did my mother. I know that my mother loved me from ever cell of her body and heart and did the best she could with the moments she had on this planet. So the letting go of what I “think” my mother did or did not do for me is a wonder gift I found within myself and I feel peace in the letting go.