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  • Writer's pictureDoug Weiss

How do you know?

Have you ever been in love for no good reason? I am not talking about being in lust, or in like; I mean in love. It does not even have to be with someone—although that is the most common experience. We can find ourselves in love with life itself—with a sunrise or sunset, in love with a moment that kindled a breadth of emotional response we thought ourselves incapable of feeling.

To be clear, I am not trivializing love when I say we can love a sunrise. Maybe it lacks the romantic context we tend to associate with the word—but the depth of what we feel is anything but trivial. What is this feeling, and where does it come from? Well first we need to look at what feelings are—and how some emotions can create false flags in our lives.

We’ve all seen parodies of the super logical Mr. Spock type of personality—and it is a part of our cultural paradigm that at heart all the cool and aloof attitudes such characters express are merely an artificial construct shielding them from their inner selves—the touchy feely selves that at the end of the drama will assert themselves as they reveal their inner humanity.

Stop and think about this for a moment. Isn’t it a bit remarkable to you that humans should think that being logical is somehow an obstacle that must be overcome? Why do we think that humanity must be a balance of logic and feeling? Why in our stories is love so often the key to unlocking characters higher and nobler selves? Love conquers all? Love of another, love of humanity –pick your favorite aphorism; these are just a few of the ways we depict that nobility of character that inevitably comes shining through to carry the day. Is there some ancient DNA built into us that is the cause of these feelings? Why does this theme transcend every human culture since man began telling stories?

On the other hand, we know—and those who are students of mindfulness will tell you, that emotions are like Hollywood sets—mere facades created out of our own fears, doubts, desires and needs—and allowing them to rule our lives is the path to ruin—depression or worse. How do we reconcile these two ideas—emotions as self-invented fictions and the conviction that love conquers all?

Before I attempt to address this question—one I have thought about a great deal, I want to say just a little more about that experience of Love. I am capitalizing it here for emphasis—because it is a feeling that transcends all other human emotions. It can sneak up on even the most hardened of us—suddenly we feel overwhelmed, moved by an experience, a sight, a touch and filled with something so beyond our normal state of being that, even if for just an instant, we know a sense of peace and contentment that surpasses anything else in our lives. Be honest, you’ve felt that at least once in your life, haven’t you?

So where does this come from—is it just an emotion or something more. I would tell you it is most decidedly something more, something well beyond the ability of our minds to manufacture. The reason it can sneak up on us is that it does not entirely come from within us but from without, from God—that mysterious being I keep talking about as if he and I were on a first name basis. That God.

What we are feeling when we have those stunning moments is his universal truth. He loves us, and that feeling channeling through us is like a lightning bolt that touches everything in our presence—our loved ones, our families, colleagues, friends, even—especially all mankind. That feeling is so much larger—more expansive than anything we are capable of on our own, that even the most jaded of us must realize this is not our own invention. And when we do feel it, we feel, the way God does. We feel what it is to be in his presence, to want for others what we ourselves are feeling, peace, forgiveness, acceptance….in short, Love.

So, the next time that feeling steals up on you—go with it—bask in it, savor the moment knowing He is standing there beside you filling you with the best of himself—his very best work.

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