What is Standing Between You & Love?
What is standing between you and love? This is a question for each of us to ponder, probably on a daily basis. This question has impacted me greatly from the time I heard Clare Loughrige ask it during an Enneagram training seminar I attended in June.
Is there someone in your life that you are struggling to get along with? Is there someone you don’t particularly like? Is there someone that makes you bristle or just plain drives you crazy? The person doesn’t have to be someone you personally interact with or even know, to ruffle your feathers. Have you ever stopped to wonder why it is that you feel this way about the person? What is it that stimulates this response? What is standing between you and love?
Unfortunately, it probably has more to do with you than you would like to think. Ouch! That revelation is a bit uncomfortable, okay, let’s get real, it’s a lot uncomfortable!
So, what might happen in the world today if each of us stopped to consider this question every time we felt our feathers get ruffled? What if we recognized those feelings as red flags, and what if instead of reacting to them with our standard, ingrained responses, we stopped and searched deep inside ourselves to discover what the barrier that stands between us is really all about. What is standing in the way of showing love to that person?
Is it a differing philosophy, or maybe a wound from our past, that stands in the way? It could be any number of things, but it often stems from fear. Fear loves to magnify and distort our differences. It likes to create a wide expanse between us that appears to be an impassible canyon. I believe it is because fear understands that if we came together and utilized our differences as an asset, we would be a tremendous force to be reckoned with.
Who knows...maybe we could learn to appreciate our differences instead of allowing them to carve out an ever widening chasm. Maybe we could come together with our different perspectives and varying lines of reasoning to inspire creative ideas that lead to discovering new and better solutions for our communities, our country, and even our world.
This question has challenged me to look deep inside myself and discover more about why I react the way I do. I believe discovering why is the first step in making lasting change. I am welcoming this journey, although it can be rough and even painful at times. It can be uncomfortable and even scary to embrace our true self. What motivates each of us from deep within is often a mystery, even to us. We are often completely blind to it.
I believe we have the potential to change the world if we would be willing to unlock the mystery that dwells inside each of us. I believe each of us already possesses the key to unlock that mystery. The question is, are you willing to be on the lookout for the red flags, and are you willing to do the personal work necessary to discover what is standing between you and love?
May each of us have the wisdom to recognize our ruffled feathers as red flags. May each of us rise to the challenge to discover what the barriers are that stand between us and loving others. May we then have the courage to break down those barriers and build bridges across the great divide.
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Rev. Clare Loughrige, is a church planter, pastor and social activist. She is a formally trained Spiritual Director, author of three Enneagram Books and President of the International Enneagram Association (IEA) Great Lakes Chapter. As a credentialed Professional and Teacher with the IEA she has developed a program that certifies Enneagram instructors in the Harmony Triads. Loughrige is also cited as a recommended Instructor with First Analysis Institute of Integrative Studies, Loyola University Chicago. In addition to Clare’s work with Spiritual Communities, she currently serves on boards for Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, and Sexual Assault Services Calhoun County.