Aham Prema (I am Love)
My wife came home troubled last Friday evening. She was eating dinner at a pizza joint and heard a mom verbally abusing her 3 young kids at the table next to her. "Shut up. Shut the f*** up. I'm not afraid to make a scene. I'll f*** you up right here. I don't care." And on and on it went. In situations like that, you often wonder if this is how the mom talks to her kids in public, what happens in the home?* At one point in the evening, the littlest girl, maybe she was 7, went to the bathroom by herself. Jenny ripped off a piece of the napkin in front of her and wrote, 'you are brave and wonderful' and handed it to the little girl in the restroom. Who knows what the little girl will do with that napkin, but what I wonder is, what if that one moment changed her life? What if she keeps that note forever to remind herself that she's brave and wonderful despite what anyone says about her? What if she tucks that note away in a safe place and pulls it out any time she's scared? I'll never know...
Some people are told they're not enough as kids (LIE)...that they don't matter (LIE). Some people live their lives thinking they're not worthy of love...that they don't deserve to be loved (LIE). Some people miss out on real connections when growing up, and it makes it harder to make those real connections once they're adults. It's uncomfortable when you're feeling loved and cared for when you never learned what that felt like as a child. The world is often a scary place. The craziest thing about this paragraph is that I grew up in a house where my parents were there for me and loved me well and I still struggle with all of these lies.
Combine all of those lies in the paragraph above with the fact we're so connected now. Facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest. Our lives are filled with pretty things and people's amazing adventures and gorgeous looking food we don't know how to make. Add the comparisons/jealousy/envy/feelings of inadequacy together and we find ourselves stuck in a shame whole. A shame hole is a place where we have no self love, we believe the lies that our ego tells us and we feel less than enough because everyone else is having a damn good time at their perfect life, and we're stuck thinking we're never ever going to have that life.
I've been there. So many times I've been there. I know I'm not alone when I say I've often believed the lies. I've got caught up in a world based on lack and not abundance. I've got caught up in a world of negativity, so much so that I ignore all the positive things in my life. I, too, have dug my own shame hole. It comes right back to love, and the fact that anything meaningful in life comes from a place of love. But it's easy to lose sight of that when we feel unworthy, or never learn what true love is. We start to seek this love from places outside of ourself, because we see others having so much fun, and we want that. We find a break in the shame hole with meaningless sex or drugs or accumulating likes on social media. And we find some peace in those things so we crave more of them. Those things make us, for brief moments, feel like we matter. But those things come from external places. Love is not something we should be looking for outside of ourselves.
There's hope, friends. There's hope. It all starts with a Sanskrit term, Aham Prema. Aham Prema means I am Love. We will never have a full, whole, joy-filled life until we realize that love comes from within. We come from love, we live through love, and when we die, we'll go right back to love. When you adopt a mantra of Aham Prema, I am LOVE, and believe it, inside your heart...you know that no one can ever take that love away from you. You literally are love. Anything else is a lie.
Close your eyes for me for a minute. Take a few deep breaths. You are, right now, alive. Lean into the present moment. It's there you'll find a deep TRUST in the fact that love has guided you to right here, right now, right into this moment. You can deny love, you can push it away, you can ignore it, but love will still be there. Love will always be with you on your life journey. Imagine what your life can look like if you live from the I AM LOVE space going forward. This love is always available to you, whether you access it or not. Revel in that love, and live out your days with a grateful and wide open heart, knowing you're alive, you're imperfect and nothing else matters but... I AM LOVE.
I wish I had the opportunity to go back and let those kids at the pizza place know that no matter what anyone told them, they are love. And their existence is love in action. I know I can't possibly tell that to everyone, nor would everyone believe me when I said it. I understand it's a hard concept to grasp, but what I can do is constantly leave little reminders wherever I go. I can bring the Aham Prema concept in real life through my actions. In turn, I hope others see, they too, are love, they are loved, and they matter. I am love in action...so are you.
*Note: We all have bad days. I don't want to pass judgement on this mom. She might be a wonderful person who had a really bad day. I'll never know. I only share the story because it troubled my wife and relates to the post.