It is yet another week and I am glad to be able to share with you all yet another inspiring topic. I hope you all are faring well.
Today we embark on a topic that I can say is more of a bitter pill for many spiritualists and needless to say, not very much desired. The topic of tough love, unlike Love is one that many spiritualists fear a lot for many reasons. However before we delve into the topic proper, let’s see exactly what we mean by tough love.
Tough love is an expression of love which though difficult to accept is very beneficial for the advancement of whomever it is shown. For aspiring spiritualists or even practicing spiritualists on our various paths of faiths, we all know that purification is a very fundamental part of raising our consciousness. There are many methods by which one can purify one’s self, either internally and externally or even by both. External purification includes having a bath and putting on clean clothes while internal purification includes praying. There is however another method of purification that comes either as a result of very high mercy from the Supreme Lord or as a result of our deviations.
When we deviate from our spiritual vows and are lackadaisical in our spiritual practices, then sometimes we get chastised either by our spiritual mentors or by higher forces. This chastisement which may seem harsh a times is what we describe as tough love, as it is meant to bring us back to our spiritual practices and help us keep focus. One may liken this to a citizen who is fined for parking wrongly on the street. The idea is not just to get the fine out of him but to help him remember that he is responsible not only for his life but that of others while he is driving. Similarly the objective of tough love from say a spiritual mentor, after our deviation, is not to minimize us but to help us raise our consciousness to what we actually are.
This first aspect of tough love even though hard to accept is somewhat easier than the second aspect, which is as a result of very high mercy from the Supreme Lord. There are times when the Supreme Lord out of his causeless mercy decides to help a soul here to reunite with him faster in his abode. In order to bring about a quicker reunion between the soul and the Lord, the Lord makes certain arrangements which although seemingly tough are meant to purify the soul here quicker and help him return to the Lord’s abode. This type or category of tough love is quite difficult to accept because many spiritual practitioners have a difficulty recognizing it on time and even when they do; it is difficult to accept that the Lord is allowing them go through such intense purification.
A good example from the Bible is the story of Job, who went through so much tough love but became exalted afterwards because he allowed the tough love to purify him and bring him closer to the Supreme Lord. In the Vedas we have the story of Sudama Vipra, a dear friend of the Lord who was so impoverished that he could barely even feed his family. In such a tough state of intense poverty his wife asked him to go see the Supreme Lord. Sudama refused initially as he didn’t want to ask the Lord for anything, however reluctantly due to his wife’s pleading he went. The Lord met him and upon his return back home he was immensely blessed and very opulent.
In the story of Sudama, we can see that for seasoned spiritual practitioners even when the Lord puts them in a very difficult situation in order to purify them, they do not complain or try to fight the situation. They accept the situation seeing it as the Supreme Lord’s will and as a means to further purify themselves. The Supreme Lord on the other hand doesn’t give this tough love to just anyone, because it is very special and considered like a fast track to returning to his abode, and thus only those very dear to him get such special mercy.
One may wonder but why put someone in such a tough situation just to purify him? If one has ever seen an Olympic Gold medalist or a world champion train, then you may have an idea as to why the “push” is necessary. At the end of the day, it is the practitioner who is glorified and not the Supreme Lord, and this is what the Lord wants; that his devotees are glorified. Gold is rid of impurities only when subjected to high temperatures and when the process is over, Gold comes out pure and free from impurities. In the same vein, because the devotees of the Lord are like unrefined Gold, the quickest way to rid them of all impurities is to subject them to the Lord’s tough love.
The Lord does this because he knows his true devotees will pass the test and come out even more glorious than before. There have been times in my life when I have felt the “squeeze” and even felt like it was too much to bear but at every step in the process there was some reciprocation and because I had accepted the events in my life, I knew that the Lord would always be there. Whenever the tough love phase passed, there were many realizations and considerable spiritual growth.
This is not in any way to blow my horns or to sound holier than thou, but to reassure all spiritual practitioners that; blessed are those who receive the Lord’s tough love, for pure love of God awaits them soon”. In order not to create any ambiguity, we must be able to discern when we are going through trials as a result of reactions to improper actions and when the Supreme Lord is actually trying to use us on a higher dimension. The intelligence to discern the difference comes with solid practice and understanding of the revealed scriptures.
I shall pause at this point to allow you reflect and share this with others. Till next week when we meet again, do follow for more.