A new story from The Hero’s Journey for The Daily ZU – read the full story at www.thedailyzu.com

We can’t really know what love is until we love ourselves. We won’t let that love out until we let that same love in for ourselves. It’s the same love, whether it seems to come in from a lover or from a friend or out from ourselves toward a brother. Love is within and flows from us. It pours through us, but ceases its decant until we empty ourselves of it by pouring ourselves into yet other vessels. And along the way we take some for ourselves.

Deep down within ourselves, Love and who and what we are are indistinguishable. Our intuitions, our innermost selves, are love. Some of us call this God, but it’s not necessary to. It’s impossible to define where it leaves off and we begin. How can you tell the bud on a twig from the tree itself? Where does one end and the other begin? Is not the leaf a part of the tree? And as much as the leaf has its life in the tree, the tree would not be but for its many leaves. God is simply the name some of us give to the tree. The budding leaf is the name we give to ourselves.

And so anyone who claims to love God and to love others but hates themselves is lying. And to love God while hating your sister or your brother, even one among them, tells an equal falsehood. We either nourish ourselves with the nutriment we receive through the limb, and pass it on to that in the branch which extends out beyond ourselves, or we fall off and perish. We either gather sunlight and convert it to nutrients for the rest of the tree, taking a little for ourselves before we pass it on to the whole of the tree, or we crisp and die.

Love by its nature is shared and extended equally to all, including ourselves. It is shared within through the act of our receiving, for love needs to share itself. It is shared without through giving, for the tree grows, and love is infinite expansion. We need to pass on the love we receive, and so to multiply it. We are channels for the whole. Unless we pass on what we receive, we die.