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My Bowl
written by Deborah Lowrey

Growing up I had cried what seems an endless and vast ocean of tears. I once heard someone say that God knows exactly how many tears you have cried. I envisioned that somewhere in the universe lay a physical place that preserved all of our tears. And mine was the biggest, deepest, most vast ocean ever conceived.

I grew up in pain. I cannot remember a time in my life without pain. It was my constant companion. And a formidable one, at that. I truly thought that everyone's life experiences were the same as mine and that everyone else could deal with things better than I. In this, I perpetuated an unending, spiraling cycle of despair and pain. A failure. I'm the only one that can't cope. Everyone else’s life is better. They can do it and I can't.

Finding my self sitting on that toilet seat with a razor blade in my hand, I had found that I had access to this ocean of tears. Tears flowed. And flowed.

When I transformed my life, I found that I had replaced my tears, with love and happiness. And was blown away by the revelation that the ocean bed that had been carved by all those tears of my life, was now a place to fill with love and happiness. I flew with the heights of love as high as I had with the lows of my pain and despair. Not only did I discover that I could dry my tears of pain and hopelessness, but that I could replace them with the love and happiness that I had found. The love that I had found within myself, the love that was first expressed towards myself, I found now had a home in my life. It would never go away. And with this I discovered yet another revelation.

A bowl full of cherries. Make any sense? Probably not. Let me explain. Instantly after my first revelation about my ocean, I realized that all that I could possibly give to myself or others, had to start with me. How could I possibly give someone a cherry, if I myself did not have a bowl of cherries to give? How could I give love to another, if I did not have love to give to myself or have it within me? To love, you must have love for yourself first. For many reasons. But I have found that there is not an exception. This is a life truth.

If I wanted to be a giving person, I would have to first receive from myself and give to myself. Our bowl of cherries, or anything else that you wish, must come from within ourselves first. It is then that we are able to extend our hand, extend ourselves beyond ourselves and truly give to another. But only that which we have first. If we want to love, we must first love ourselves. If we wish to give someone a million dollars, we must first have a million dollars to give. You cannot give something that you do not possess.

But even better the revelation became. I realized that with each extension beyond myself, with each cherry I would give, it would come back to me many-fold. And my bowl became larger and larger. I could give more and more. I was floating on air again. Not only do I have love in my life. It just keeps getting better and bigger. The more you have, the more you want to give and you realize that you are spilling over because you have so much. It becomes a powerfully healing and positive empowerment.

So the next time you are asking yourself, "why didn't they love me", realize, they too, cannot give something that they do not have for themselves. And also realize that it is not because you are unlovable, for if you have love for yourself, you are never unloved or unwanted. You will never be without love ever again in your life.

So, what is your bowl full of? Is it full of something you would like to get back? The next time you 'give' to someone, remember, it always comes back many-fold. And love is the only thing you can really give and keep getting back.

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