Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Exercise For Love (How to)
I Still Use It, Letters are a Great Exercise!
All Kinds of Love
We all know the first thing that comes into mind with “exercise for love” is making love. Maybe we change it to “exercise with love”. Well that does not fix the problem. How about the “exercise of love”. Oh well. So in Exercise for Love it also carries the notion of doing something in order to love more fully. Our brain and our heart need to exercise for love. And you have the notion of actually being in better physical condition from birth.
I was writing about “Cooking for Life”. It just keeps coming back at you. The more love you put into cooking the better the meal and the better the meal of life. So how do you grow that love to put into life and into a bowl of soup? Point blank; you practice it and get a good work out in trying to stay “in” that space and action of loving.
Just like physical acuity and thinking, we are born with a bit of love. Not all that equal in the eyes of man but equal under the eyes of our Love God. So we embark on a sort of “How to”.
If you would please ask yourself what you have been practicing to help you love better? My first one is that cliché’ of mindfulness. I do two things all day long. I talk/pray with God and I pay attention to acting in and out of love. Pretty easy because they are basically both the same. Oh yes I get angry sometimes and treat God and people without love. I reckon the real practice of love is somewhat just that. Getting back on the field and trying to do even better.
Now to be sure my favorite exercises are; Jumping to conclusions, taking a leap of faith, running around like a chicken with my head cut off and going back and forth. Those are not wise exercises for love. Quite the opposite.
Here is one that is debateable all night long. Taking the road less travelled. The trouble is that if everyone did it out in nature where would the critters and plants grow. Stay on the beaten path so as not to disturb another’s habitat. My wife gets concerned when I act too strange even for me. The problem is that strange for me is normal for you and her.
Loving God is a Good Start
Sunrise and Rise and Shine
Love People in Their Life Issues
So we come to a “How To” area of consideration. How do we actually begin or strengthen our Love work out. Now you can do anything in the name of love. Of course you don’t just get to say that is why you did it or are doing it. Pronouncements and proclamations of love are darn near the opposite of love.
I like it when people shout their love from the highest mountains and I probably say “I love you” over 15 times a day. I don’t shout it out much. But how to exercise may surprise you. Grunting and yelling really do help get you stronger with activities. In the gym I thought the muscly did it for show, so I asked a trainer. Unequivocally and he was adamant that it did. So what may appear to be showing off and getting attention when yelling your love – it may just help you make your love stronger.
Well we would have to believe at least partly love is a physical deal. In the Bible there is a cool part that teaches us generally; Before you go about preaching to someone feed and clothe them. What good are proclamations if you have not at least helped him in his survival.
Social distancing is amazing as we stretch ourselves to share the love. So I go for a walk and see my neighbors. I have a mask on and will not get too close. So I have to wave hard and verbalize in order to spread the love.
In the grocery store we now sometimes get to close or someone blocks things like before. I noticed more “excuse me” and “Oop sorries” as we all forget or do not pay attention to these new ideas. There is in fact more social pleasantry.
I remember when we first decided reusable shopping bags were the way to go. I had to remember to bring them into the store. Then it became mandatory by some law. You would see people walk up to the grocery store doors and then do a turn around to get their bags from the car. It took some getting used to for most of us. And then not using those little produce bags had to be learned also.
What are we practicing here? I suggest love of others and love of our environment. Pretty cool?
Learning to Love Our Environment
Shine Your Light in Gratitude
Live the Love
I suggest that in the gym as you gradually get into shape you increase both you repititions and amount of weight. Probably a no brainer thought to a healthy degree. I also suggest on your health walks you gradually increase time/distance and the speed at which you walk. In getting in shape for hiking I also gradually increase the weight in my backpack.
Sorry but the workout for love requires that you keeping pushing the limit. Start out loving someone. Next start loving yourself. Next start spreading the love. Then start loving your enemies. Yes we know that most say that you have to love yourself first. Wrong it is easier to love someone else to start. Little tiny ones love mommy naturally long before themselves.
Points of Order
You may find my observations at a grocery store short sighted or based on limited data. Well you would be wrong. I hang out there to observe. Been doing it since about 1994. Shoot, I have been known to fake a shopping list just to write down notes. I would say it took about 5 years before I could do it without putting my social values to work and judging harshly. I got so good at it that for a few years I was hired to pick Juries partially using those skills. The greatest key was to figure out who would get along with whom. The love versus antagonism theory.
Listen up for a second as people ignore this issue and just cope instead of growing. Aches and pains. The elder we get the more we rely on medications to ease the pain in our older bodies. Fair enough. If you try and are lucky enough to have been around awhile. You can also have love pains and aches. It is all part of the exercise. Of course the younger the harder the failures. The more the weight the more likely soreness.
Now I have never taken an opioid for pain except maybe during Chemo Therapy. I understand it can really numb the pains and also that it is really addicting. Look at me, I am addicted to writing and the above people watching. I sure am not going to risk opioids. So it is more stretching and yoga for me. (Gentle yoga only, thank you ;-) Well you have to find healthy ways to deal with the pains associated with love. Part of the regimen for exercising the love. And we must expand our capacity for love as in filling the heart with love so no room for anything else.
Well meditation and prayer exercises the quiet inner us. But it is clear we have to act also lest the muscles of love atrophy. The true opposite of love is apathy.