Divine Love: How To Give And Receive It

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Leanne Surfleet

“L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle” is one of the most impacting lines of the “Divine Comedy (Paradise)” written by one of Italy’s most highly revered Medieval poets, Dante Alighieri. Dante’s literary masterpiece has touched the hearts and lives of its readers for centuries worldwide. “Love that moves the sun and other stars” is the epitome of divine love — a love that is so powerful that it illuminates the universe in the most unimaginable yet pure way.

Applying this sentiment within our own lives in a contemporary context, we too can achieve Dante’s wisdom in a simple yet meaningful manner starting with ourselves. In a season of giving, we search to find the best gifts outwardly — material based in which we can wrap or stuff into a gift bag hoping that the recipient appreciates our efforts. However, once a gift is given, it is out of your possession and placed into the hands of another. It no longer becomes yours and it’s up to them to either enjoy or reject it. They can re-gift it, return it, or cherish it forever.

Holiday gifts aside, when we take the “risk” to give to others in general, it’s not in our control of how they will respond and react. The recipient may or may not give to you, but that’s okay. It is in our control not to take it personally. By gently walking away, we know that if indeed we gave it with positive intention and authenticity, we accomplished something that feels good. The act of sharing your abilities, talents, thoughts, and time with others in turn is a gift in itself. One that enriches your being and empowers you to reveal a piece of your heart.

From the time of our birth, we have been intertwined in various types of interpersonal relationships — familial, romantic, platonic, collegial, but the most significant relationship is the one that you have with yourself. Giving yourself the gift of learning about what moves the sun and the stars in your own universe can allow you to find the love and validation you have been seeking all along.

If and when you make the decision to love yourself, you will transmit it to others and they too can learn from your example. It becomes a collective exchange. Each of us has our histories and unique variables of pain, suffering, happiness, and wholeness. We interpret the world through our eyes and our experiences both internally and externally. But universally, in some way or another, we give and receive love. One’s perceptions and beliefs about love are just as unique and different as each individual.

There is no right or wrong way to love. It’s something that can grow, shift, change, and mature in its own time and context. Letting love in and letting it go can be as simple as the air we inhale and exhale… it’s something that is a natural function that we don’t normally think about. At times it could feel laborious and other times gentle depending on the circumstance — but it’s something that exists for as long as we’re living. Breathe and illuminate — give life to the love that can move the sun and stars within your own universe and to those who live in it along side of you. TC mark

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