The growth of the soul takes many forms. It appears through numerous manifestations. It is given evidence through patience, caring, compassion, sacrifice for another, the upholding of ideals, being present to listen, offering selfless advice when asked, offering prayer on behalf of another. These are but a few of the manifestations of spiritual growth. But such evidence as may be observed is merely the result of one activity of the soul, and that is the growth of love.
Opportunities are important, but what do they lead to? They lead to your capacity to give and receive love. Both are necessary. You are aware of what it means to give love to another, but you are often indifferent to the implications of receiving love. When someone offers a hand in friendship and support, you must recognize that you are the recipient of love, even if it is not offered in the name of love. The fact that another makes an effort to do something which helps you is in itself an offering of love.
So often you choose to reject what others may offer because you may feel such offerings to be self-serving, to be given because of what the appearance shall be rather than for what benefit may occur. You must be willing to recognize the sacrifices that others make for your benefit. They may be friends, associates, students, teachers, professionals in the community, and so on.
So, too, is it important to offer love. It is more difficult to offer love if you have not received, for it is more difficult to give what one does not have. If you are to be more effective in enriching the lives of others, you must be more sensitive to how others enrich your own life. This does not mean that your enrichment is more important than the enrichment of others. It only implies that you must experience love in order to give it.
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