The Power of Love
Q&A with Sister Jayanti Kirpalani, Director Brahma Kumaris Europe and the Middle East. A program was recently held at Brahma Kumaris Quezon City center and was attended by a variety of participants ranging from students, office workers, parents and more.
Question 1: Can you give us concrete, practical examples on how to practice loving one's self.
Sister Jayanti: Every time you have a negative thought for yourself, catch yourself. 'Oh, I am no good', stop the thought! Even if someone has told you you’re no good, stop. Just think I am that being of love, of peace. You change the bad thought to 'I am that being of peace, of light, of love.'
I forget it so I have to remind myself, 'I am good'. When you say things like 'oh there is something always wrong with me', just stop! Then ask yourself what is it that what went right and you will remember the many things that went well with you, what is right. It is the negative conversation that goes chattering away inside that begins to pull me down, then I begin to believe it. But it’s not true because I, in my original form I am good, I am light. There is truth here and I have to remind myself.
If I put myself in a limited perspective in the sense that I see myself according to my gender, age, profession or any of these external things, then it is very easy to be negative about the self. If I come back to that awareness, not just the thought but actually allowing that thought to stay with me so that it becomes part of my natural awareness and consciousness that I am spirit, invisible but real. So keep on shifting. Things will pull you down in the consciousness of the body but you have to take yourself up. The world is ready to pull you down, there is no one out there who will pull you up except you and the Divine. And so to come back to the self.
And the second thing is I don’t have too many thoughts. One is to change the quality of thought and the other is to realize that my mind is racing and rushing, which based on reactivity - I am just reacting. I don’t need to do that, let me give myself space and begin to slow down the speed of my thought. And when you slow and give space then you are able to choose which quality of thought you would like to have.
Question 2: If there has been fighting and a strong exchange of words, and I try to make amends or say sorry but it is rejected, how can I use the power to love if I am ignored?
Sister Jayanti: That’s the price to pay for heavy-duty reaction. Yes, it’s to be expected that the other one will stay away they don’t want to be hurt again and even though you’re saying I am sorry, they know your habits are very strong and so they can’t trust. You have to bide your time and just send loving, good thoughts to them. And just be patient. Just by being kind - looking out for them, giving them a little bit of attention - they’ll begin to trust you again. Because trust has been destroyed by the reaction.
Question 3: I do have love for my children and I am a full-time mom. Why do I feel burdened? Why do I feel I am not growing? What can I do?
Sister Jayanti: I am here but I think about there. I am not present. I am there and I probably am thinking about here. Again I am not present which means that we try to think about another situation. I’d love to have a career, I wish, I wish I wish I wish, but no. At some point in time I may chose taking care of my children. This becomes my career. This is my place of learning and my place of growth. And so seeing what it is you can do in terms of spending time with yourself especially when you are home. I know that one point in time somebody made a list of what a mother spent to care for others. A father would go to work and spend 8 hrs 9 hrs a day. But a mother has to be caring for other at least 18 to 20 hours a day. This was the time in the 70’s when somebody said that women should be paid a salary for what they did at home. Really, serious. But it didn’t go very far because who can afford to pay a mother? Nobody can afford to pay a mother. That’s a fact. So, if I have those moments in between, in those in-between moments I can check those things that I’ve been talking about. How could I have responded differently, what could I have done differently? Then at the end of the day, asked yourself the question what did I learn today? And every day brings lessons to learn. Ahh, I was with somebody a little while earlier and she is 85 years old now and she was sharing her experience of learning. And that’s what keeps her young and healthy. And so, just remember that whatever my age is there is still plenty more to learn. Life is a life-long-learning. That’s what life is all about.
Question 4: There’s a question from a student, someone really young. How do we find the power to love in something that causes pressure like school?
Sister Jayanti: Just look at it from the other side. Just ask yourself the question what would my life be like if I did’nt have this fortune and opportunity to go to school? There are plenty of children across the world, never mind the world, probably in Manila, probably you will find many children in Manila who don’t have the opportunity to go to school. And when you start appreciating how much opportunity education is giving you you’ll say 'thank you Lord!". You’ll appreciate your fortune. Maybe I don’t like the discipline but it’s important for me to have a container. And discipline provides a container. Maybe there’s one teacher I particularly don’t get along with. But school is not just one teacher. School is many people and then at some point when I start appreciating my fortune I will start getting along with that one teacher because my attitude is reaching them. They are reacting to my attitude. So, there are ways to deal with it.
Question 5: Here are related questions. How can you be positive when everything around you is negative? And, how can you say that the natural response here in this world is peace if chaos is very clear in nature?
Sister Jayanti: If I allow myself to be influenced by the negativity outside, and it is true generally speaking, it is quite a negative world, a dark world in which we live. That’s why there is a need to have discussions like this. I have a choice. I can either allow all of those to come inside of me or I can go on an inner journey and access those core values which are very beautiful and allow those to be expressed in my life.
Here’s an example. Here’s a boat. A boat is meant to be in the water. Right? But what happens if the water gets inside the boat? Problem. And we’re in the world but what we’ve done is we’ve allowed the world to get inside us. And so living in the world but being in touch with my inner world means I can share what’s deep inside of me with the world outside.
There are people who are cheerful it’s their nature. There are people who are optimistic, that’s their nature. And you see it in some but it’s possible for me to be like that too, because I have the inner resources to be that but I’ve forgotten it. So, I have to get inside and express those. It’s there within me and the reason why nature is in chaos is because human beings have been violent, aggressive and have disturbed the natural patterns of nature. And it’s there on the internet, human intervention categorically has caused climate change and the upheaval in nature and everything that we see around us. We are the cause and so we are experiencing the effect today. It didn’t start with nature. The starting point is me. I won’t even say us. All of us have taken advantage of nature and exploited nature. Time for me to return to simplicity rather than thinking of buying, buying, buying. And does using the earth’s limited resources going to create happiness, it doesn’t.
Go deep into yourself and find the happiness and simplify your needs. I don’t have to keep taking extra from nature. I can start giving good vibrations to nature, to support nature, giving respect to nature, giving peace to nature.
Question 6: You talked about inner journey and the importance of inner journey. Someone is asking, is there a case when one’s inner journey can change a person in a bad way?
Sister Jayanti: I haven’t seen it happen. What I have seen is a situation where people just isolate themselves and thinks that they are going to learn more about themselves in that way. But their consciousness is extremely limited and they are thinking of themselves as the physical being. Then I am isolating myself causing concern and worry for others and I am not helping myself. I become more and more selfish. Self-centered is different from self-awareness. Self-awareness is when I go on a journey inside which is different from just isolation. Going inside and connected with my core values and I come back to into the world and share those qualities. And so I become more generous and a better person. But I need that time for that inner journey to be in silence alone. I can be in meditation in a community, the support and vibration is wonderfull. But the actual journey is me and my own thoughts in my mind.
Question 7: This last question is very important. How do I access God’s love? Am I loved by God? How do I know this? It must be a great experience. And maybe this person is longing for that experience.
Sister Jayanti: Sit down and write all the things you have to be grateful for. I don’t know the majority of you but just from external appearance I imagine that life has been kind to you. Write down all the things that you have in your life that you can be grateful for. And when you do that for yourself, you will know that it’s not our effort but that it’s God’s love that has given you good fortune that is already in your life. When there is gratitude and appreciation, I am more open to experiencing love. When there is rejection and expectation it’s difficult to experience love. And the same applies to my relation with God.
Secondly, I would recommend that you experiment with this idea of exploring your identity as a spiritual being, the inner being rather than being boxed into your physical identity. Why? Because God isn’t a physical being. God is a Being of light, and to get into the same wavelength, because wavelengths connect. The radio transmitter in sending a message but my receiver is tuned to a different wavelength, a different frequency. And I say 'but I am not catching it!'. Well you’re not going to catch it. You have to tune your receiver to the right frequency. And so let me go to the point where I can be in tune, and that means coming into a spiritual awareness of my own inner identity and I think it’ll work.