Being nice may seem loving but it can be driven by a diverse range of underlying motives such as wanting to be liked, fear of rejection or wanting a favour. All of these motives are weak and inherently do not work. Trying to be popular never gets the result. Trying to be loved never makes us loved. Trying to get respect never makes us respected. Pacifying and being conciliatory towards damaging people does not turn them into well-intended, trustworthy creatures.
Intention is everything. Is there love in what a person says or is there underlying ill-will in their words? Intention will determine the destined outcome of any situation. The same kind words from one person can be a healing balm and from another person, a sweet poison. The same harsh words from one person can be malice and from another person, save a life. The intention behind the action or thought is always what makes it weak or strong, effective or ineffective, healing or powerless.
To be truly loving and kind means to honestly and genuinely have the highest good of the person at heart. This can manifest as soft or confrontational. It depends on what is being dealt with at the time. In the end, anything which carries the power of true, unselfish, and courageous love will have the power to protect, heal, and transform. Everything else is fraught with problems. The way that a spiritually-oriented person offers love may not always be conventional. He or she may say things that other people do not understand. They may, sometimes, seem strange or harsh. They may, other times, seem very soft and kind when other people do not think it is appropriate. People can find such a person unpredictable and even illogical. A spiritually-directed person sees so much more than other people. He or she sees the intentions behind other people’s words and actions and responds to that. Generally, others cannot see the same thing and so they can neither understand nor predict the actions of the developed soul. There is a certain respect and, sometimes, nervousness which develops as a result.
A self-contained person has no need for idle conversation. Idle conversation is the fabric and hallmark of socialising. Others may not understand one’s lack of enthusiasm about engaging in socially acceptable but, generally, trivial conversations, dinners, get-togethers, and outings. However, when the situation calls for it, such a person can be the master of human convention and conversation. One of the attributes of Abraham Maslow’s self-actualised person is that while capable of creating excellent quality relationships, he or she will often choose a small group of a trusted few.
In terms of happiness, the great requirement is fulfilment of our own destiny, to do our best with what we have, and to meet the challenges we are called upon to meet in this lifetime. That will bring us happiness and contentment. Add to that a growing capacity to love and accept love, and one’s happiness and contentment simply magnify. It is enough to be oneself, do what we can, like what we instinctively like, learn what is within our grasp, and practice what is in our own heart. There are always many behind us and many before us. To look either way too much will only make us proud or hopeless. We are who we are. That is enough and God asks nothing more.
This article is from The Love of Devotion