Below are some special inspirational messages from our TLF Founders that we hope you find uplifting. If you would like to receive future special messages via our monthly newsletter emails, please sign up for our mailing list. Enjoy.
A few years ago, as I read through my morning group of incoming emails, I came upon a simple, yet unusual inquiry from a man in Guatemala. His name was Roland and he was from Sweden. He was seeking potential assistance from our organization, The Love Foundation, for a Mayan village that had been relocated because of a very destructive hurricane. He was endeavoring to help them with their basic needs as they settled near another village. I was intrigued; not just by the curious fact that a man from Sweden was in Guatemala trying to help some indigenous Mayans, there was something about the genuine tone and straightforward plea that captured my attention. I responded to Roland, and over the coming years, he would prove to be no ordinary man.
Even though we are a nonprofit, Roland's request was outside our scope and mission to provide direct financial assistance. Nevertheless, I felt an immediate sense of gratitude for this man's willingness to help these people and a heartfelt connection to his authentic presentation. I decided I would offer whatever other assistance I could. His subsequent reply began a journey of correspondence that continues today. In the wake of these ongoing emails between us, I have learned more about the plight - and the beauty - of this indigenous Mayan culture than I could have ever imagined. Roland is truly their guardian angel and at the same time, an amazing teacher and friend to me.
In that initial email proposal, Roland described the challenges a little village named Pacutama Dos, had endured. Clinging to the side of a mountain in Guatemala, this village was literally washed away as a hurricane-induced mud slide took what few resources these people had and sent them cascading down to the bottom of the ravine. Not only were their homes destroyed, the livestock, gardens and meager possessions were all lost. This village was economically poor before this happened and now they had nothing. They had to relocate to higher ground and this is where Roland magically entered their world.
Through his eyes, camera lens, and firsthand experience, he would share with me how these incredible Mayan villagers started to rebuild their community and their lives. Starting from scratch, they were determined to begin again and Roland was there to help in any way he could. His next email inquiry to me was also the source and catalyst of our new found collaboration and budding friendship - would I be willing to edit his proposals so that he could send them out to potential sources for funding? He felt his English, although good, was still grammatically out of order for western audiences and wanted to make sure he was understood. Naturally and joyfully I agreed.
So, with little more than an internet cafe and new friend in America, he began to unfold his encounters with the Mayans of Guatemala seeking aid for their benefit. With each new email there came a large assortment of digital pictures attached. Roland was capturing the very essence of these people just as they were. Perhaps this is what endeared me more than anything else to him. His requests were always one of pure compassion and never that of sympathy or pity. He conveyed things as they were, without an attempt to make it an emotional appeal. He let the circumstances and the photos tell the story as it was, without a sense of duty, obligation or guilt. This was unconditional love in action.
He educated me, and those that would eventually receive these email requests, with the villagers' immediate needs like basic shelter, kitchens and saunas (traditional Mayan bathing huts). He explained each necessity and why it was important to provide them as it related to their culture. Roland also described how they required warmer clothing and medication as their new home was much higher in altitude, and hence colder, than their previous location and how this was adversely affecting their health, especially the children. These were practical issues and Roland was determined to solve each one as best he could.
Within just a few weeks, he began to find funding for these basic needs and with each new email he asked me to edit, I saw how the involvement of one man could change the lives of many. He did what others were unable or unwilling to do; he honored the dignity in these indigenous people and worked to help alleviate their challenges. One by one, he found solutions to each predicament. He wanted nothing more and nothing less than to see them happy and healthy. This was his reward.
Of course, as he worked with this particular village, he also encountered Mayans from other locations, and the needs began to multiply. Roland shared how, like many nations, the indigenous people have been displaced from their native ways and forced into extreme impoverished minority groups. The government offers very little assistance to the Mayans in relationship to the larger Spanish population and as a result, not much is known about these once proud and wise people. Even their native language, along with the many dialects, has become a barrier to them since only the (new) Spanish language is officially recognized.
From his initial help with this first village, Roland's journey has evolved and brought him into many new circumstances as he has helped countless lives. Whether scholarships to help children get essential education, to finding doctors for extreme and critical health issues, he has moved every obstacle until he could bring them the help they required. His courage and determination has led to incredible results like getting the funding to create a lifelike artificial glass eye for a young girl who lost her sight in an unexpected household accident. Traveling sometimes for hours by bus, he has escorted patients and their families to the larger cities so that medical and dental procedures could be performed. He has obtained wheelchairs, had prosthesis made, brought food, clothing and gifts to the many villages. He even helped coauthor and completely and beautifully illustrate a bilingual text book to help teach the Mayan children the equivalent Spanish language.
Over the years, with each proposal I edit, Roland also unknowingly provides me a window into a world filled with a rich culture and wondrous heritage. Without our mutual connection, the email text and narratives, and the countless pictures (many hundreds at this point) I would never have had the privilege to learn and comprehend the Mayan culture as I do today.
I have not asked Roland what brought him to Guatemala in the first place - the question always seems pointless. What is important is that he is there and the world is better for it. Unconditional kindness knows no borders or boundaries; it simply comes from the heart and lifts the spirit of others as it is expressed. I know I am a better person for having interacted with Roland, the man from Sweden. I can only tell you that when I see the eyes and smiles in the pictures he takes of his Mayan friends, they are happy he is in their life too.
Love, light and peace,
Harold W. Becker
(Read or share this message from the original newsletter.)
The journey of life takes a new direction when we become aware of the power of unconditional love residing within our heart every moment. This awareness begins a new approach to life that leads to personal peace, natural harmony and genuine inner wealth. It also changes the very fabric of society as we begin to consciously express this unlimited love. Everything and everyone is noticeably affected by this energy as we move through our daily life with each step and encounter with one another.
Being conscious of love ignites the spark that makes all things new and restores the wholeness where we once thought we were incomplete. This is the energy and wisdom that bridges all the diverse worlds, thoughts and perspectives and restores our innate connection to all things. Love, and more appropriately, unconditional love is that which brings peace and understanding within where a moment before it seemed nonexistent and perhaps even impossible.
So how does one realize this simple change of attitude? It begins with a desire to know who we are as a being upon this earthly plane. It is a shift in perspective from seeking in desperation outside ourselves for fulfillment to turning our attention within. By beginning the process of conscious awakening, we start to notice and observe who we are in relation to who we think we are. This subtle shift brings enormous change in personal understanding. We see with new eyes, hear with new ears and perceive a parallel world that always existed yet was blocked out of our consciousness by our own limiting beliefs.
I am often asked, "How do we begin this process?" My response is that to ask this question means it has already started. Such is the nature of self conscious realization - we begin to ask new questions about life since we are no longer interested in the old habits we have been experiencing. For me, this is not necessarily a spiritual or philosophical journey; rather I liken it to a practical approach of common sense and deliberate effort to "know thyself" and with ever increasing self acceptance, to also "love thyself and all others without condition or limitation".
Each of us is a potent source of love when we allow this energy to express naturally. There is nothing we have to ultimately do, rather we allow ourselves to feel and be love. It is that simple. However, for so many, love is hidden under layers of hurt, trauma, drama, pain and suffering. Emotional memories, unspoken doubt, fear, resentment and a multitude of old beliefs often keep us from realizing that these thoughts and feelings have no real power over us. We give them power by living in the past and being afraid of the future. We ignore the love that is present every moment by embracing limitation. It is time to change that. It is time to release ourselves from our own self created bondage.
When we accept ourselves just for who we are we transform the moment into peace, security, harmony, joy and love. This process begins with releasing our limiting beliefs, past mistakes, lack of self worth, pride and ego through the conscious act of forgiveness. It is up to us as individuals to undertake this journey of healing and conscious awareness.
As we come to know who we are and why we act and react the way we do, we start to see ourselves in the faces of humanity. The reflection of hurt is our hurt, their pain is our pain, and another's anger is our anger, just as laughter and delight reflect our own heart. It is seen in the face of nature too. Her destruction is our destruction, her beauty is our beauty. Equally in our children we see our potential and in their smile we see our joy. These seemingly random expressions are our past thoughts seeking manifestation. It is our constant reminder that love is the answer and the question.
To see love in others, we must first know it in ourselves. We build a new reality in this present moment when we let go. We change the world when we change our personal perspective. When we choose love over fear, kindness over hate, integration over separation, and peace over war, we bring a new reflection to humanity... our loving selves.
Love, light and peace,
Harold W. Becker
(Read or share this message from the original newsletter.)