Heart to Heart

My dear readers and fellow Martial Artists,

Once again, congratulations to TKD Times on its 30 year anniversary, and congratulations to the outstanding Masters who founded this magazine, GM Jung WooJin, and GM Eun Kim, at a time where most people didn’t even know the true meaning of Martial Arts and had only heard about through Bruce Lee movies!  We had an outstanding anniversary celebration in Iowa, and I felt deeply proud and happy to be the MC of the evening.  But that will have to wait for another article!
Lately I have been thinking about the power of love a lot.  What exactly is love?  It is very difficult to summarize and define, because love is everything!  Everything is summarized by the word “love.”
Hear me out please.  Don’t worry; this isn’t going to be a philosophical discussion.  Here I am going to share my personal experiences of the word ‘love.’

Since everything is a manifestation of love’s energy, there are many many different expressions of love; in fact they are so vast as the universe itself.  That is why you use the world love when you talk about your relationship with your spouse.  The love you felt in that holy moment when you exchanged vows, and the love you feel when you passionately exchange energy…your love may feel different ine ach instance, but it’s still love.  You also feel love – but a different kind of love – when you talk about your relationship with your brother or sister.  The love you have for your mother and father is different yet again from the love for your siblings.  What about the love you feel for your pet?  It’s a special love, isn’t it, somewhat different than the others?  The love you have for your friends is different yet again.  And when you are out in nature, and you are moved by the sight of the stars and galaxies in the sky, the beautiful sunset, the sight of the mountains capped with snow under a brilliant blue sky, isn’t that a feeling you could call love?  How about those actions you take, when you have to do something that requires you to be unselfish, when you have to forgive, sacrifice, or show loyalty and devotion under pressure?  Isn’t that also a form of love?  Think about times when you have been sad, depressed, or hurt in some way.  Did you notice that there was still something within you that gave you hope, that made you desire healing?  That was a love that you were feeling for your own self!  You wanted to help yourself in the same way you would have helped someone else with love.  What about when you feel yourself reaching for a deeper understanding of questions about life, questions like “Who am I?  Why am I here?  What is the purpose of life?”  These questions are also an expression of love.  These questions are God’s love encouraging you to find out more about yourself.

But what is the love behind all these expressions of love?  What is the primal love that manifests as all these different expressions of love?  That primal energy is God’s love!  All the different expressions of that love that we see and feel in this world- I call Gods’ breath!

God’s love is as close to us as our own breath, but perhaps you haven’t stopped to look directly at it.   People may have lived by a beautiful lake and stream surrounded by mountains and woods, yet never taken time in their busy lives to stop and look at them, and just spend time admiring and appreciating the beauty right next to them.   But then when developers come, and start mowing down the trees, polluting the stream, and building skyscrapers that block the view of the mountains, suddenly everyone remembers something is missing.  They start to remember what they had!  Suddenly the value of those things becomes crystal clear and the beauty, now a thing of the past, is cherished more than ever.  Perhaps too late.

Love is like that.  We already know much about love in some of the most common everyday experiences, so much so, that we don’t even think of them as love.  We naturally overlook them by taking them for granted.  That twinkle you see in dogs’ eyes and their wiggling dance of joy when they greet you coming through the door…the merriment and laughter of little children as they eagerly learn to walk and talk for the first time, and return their love for you with smiles of recognition…the spring in your step, the magnetic, fiery energy you feel when you are inspired, enthusiastic and growing and developing in your work and relationships. The trust, caring and sharing you experience with others who validate these feelings by returning them to you…the heartfelt desire to create beauty, wealth and abundance, to feel pleasure, to nurture and protect your family, your associates and all of nature…the longing to reach for something more infinite in your awareness, more divine, more holy, to understand the largeness of life and to understand how death is a meaningful or purposeful part of life…all of this is God’s love moving through your being.  If and when you have all this, is there anything more you would need to feel whole and satisfied with life?

Yet, although God’s love is closer to us than anything else, too many of us have lost the awareness of this presence which makes life richly dynamic and beautiful instead of stagnant and stale!  Love has many flavors!  Many ingredients.  Even if you think you know everything about love right now, I invite you to take some time with me to see if there is more you can discover about love, more you can experience, more you can utilize in your life.  I guarantee you that your search will reward you.  It isn’t possible to know too much about love!  Knowing more only opens the door to more fulfillment.  Even if you feel you are already fulfilled, then ask what more you can do for the world around you greater love?  Who else can benefit from your increased understanding and awareness of God’s love?
As a teacher of Jung SuWon, a Martial Art that embraces not only physical skills, but also mental, emotional and spiritual skills, I have the opportunity to interact with many different types of people of all ages and all occupations.  When people come to me for training, many times they are looking to improve their life in some way.  It may be something as simple as the need for weight loss, or it may be as challenging as the need to change the state of a marriage, an environment, and occupation, or a personal trauma such as rape or physical abuse.  Whatever the situation, almost always these problems are resisting a cure because of someone having lost an awareness of their natural love or from misunderstanding and misdirecting the presence of love in their life.

Unfortunately, our world is now filled with social and environmental forces that seem to aggressively hide God’s love from us.  Our natural love, when we let it be, when we feel it and acknowledge it, tends to guide us into actions that produce harmony, peace and joy.  Most important of all, our natural love gives us a feeling of personal power to create whatever we need to feel and express our wholeness and completeness.

But constantly, daily, hourly, through all different forms of media in the world, we are aggressively bombarded with suggestions that we are not sufficient or complete human beings.  Never mind your own natural feelings, “the forces seem to say.  “Use these electronic games and movies to excite your feelings with violence and killing!  Listen to these music videos that stimulate you to desire wanton sex and violence.  Watch these new programs that keep you stirred up by telling you about out-of-control crime and violence.  Pay attention to this advertising that keeps you busy needing and pursuing certain kinds of bodies, clothes, food and possessions that will give you worth.”  On and on.  Everywhere we look, these pressures, coupled with ordinary life disturbances that upset our equilibrium in one way or another, can easily result in a gradual withering of our natural sense of love.  Before we know it, we find ourselves unhappy, feeling lost, out of touch with ourselves, repeating mistakes over and over, living a life we never wanted.

And sometimes we don’t even recognize that it’s love that is missing.  We may just feel “under siege” somehow, changed for the worse somehow, where suddenly we feel life must be simply endured instead of joyfully lived!  And this state may deteriorate even further into a desire to just die, to become hostile, aggressive or abusive or at the very least, to stop trying, to give up, to just let all the hopes and dreams and aspirations that once lived within us quietly evaporate.  We can become so numb that we actually start believing that we really do need stimulation from electronics, drugs, sensationalism and sex in order to feel anything at all.  Worse still, some people can become so numb, they can’t really feel it when they do something destructive like hurting themselves or hurting others emotionally or physically.  Think about all the senseless killings of children killing children, and mothers killing their sons and daughters. 

Of all the factors that produce these actions, numbness is right at the top, making it possible for these things to take place.  When you can’t feel yourself, you can’t feel the effects of what you do to another.  This is where evil begins.

You man find it hard to believe, but love can restore everything!  Real love can do this.  If you are someone who has lost of sight of love and all that love freely gives you, I want to help you get it back.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I have proved this is possible in my own life, which is why I set out to share my ideas with you, my readers!  Yes, very likely I will be asking you to change or sacrifice some of your attitudes and beliefs about yourself in order to transform your situation.  But you’ve already tried it your way, haven’t you?  If right now you’re not satisfied, then I am offering you a different path which you can try.  You haven’t got anything to lose.  If my way doesn’t work, you can always go back.  I promise you that everything you have right now will still be there!  But why not give what I am saying a chance, and see if it is possible to truly change your life into one that is full of love and peace.  Maybe much more than you have ever experienced. 

And next time we’ll explore further how to do this!  For right now, work hard, and stay positive, and keep repeating to yourself “HE CAN DO, SHE CAN DO, WHY NOT ME”

I love you all!  May God bless and protect you.
From heart to heart

Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim
Chairman and CEO, O

AUG. 22. 2011. TaeKwonDoTimes.