Live Full

Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Featuring: Rev. Richard ROGERS
Week #4 in the 7-Week Series, "A Year of Love"

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Okay; you guys ready? So, I’m going to start with a “so.” So, do you consider yourself a positive person or a negative person? How many of you [laughs] think it’s better to be a positive person than a negative person? Now, how many of you would think that you’re a positive person? Raise your hand. How many of your family would think you’re a positive person?

Alright, so here’s your … I’ve got homework right out of the bat. I want you to ask a couple of people that you just love and trust: On a scale of 1 to 10, how positive do you see me? Right? [Laughs] Because I have this belief that maybe — just maybe — we’re not as positive as we think we are. Because, in our little inner world, right? We’re just like rainbows and unicorns, right? We’re just positive! And I’m not sure how much that actually gets translated to the words that come out of our mouth.

Because it’s not just enough to feel all positive and gooey on the inside, if it doesn’t get shared with the world in a positive fashion, so that others can also experience our positivity. True?

Now, the next question then becomes: How do you define if you’re being positive? Like, what’s the benchmark? How do you know if you’ve reached that level where you can say, “You know, I really am just a positive person!”?

Do you know who Rhonda Byrne is? She wrote The Secret, The Power … you know, the movie. She was the force behind all that. She defines being positive as talking about what you love. That the sign of being positive is when you’re regularly and routinely talking about what you love.

So, by definition, if you’re not talking over and over again about what you love, you’re not really being positive, by her definition. So some of us, I don’t think would really match her definition of being positive, because maybe once or twice a day — maybe even not even that — do we actually talk about what we love.

And, for some of us, if we were just constantly talking about what we love, we would have to find a new family. [Congregation laughs] Because they would be like, “Oh, what happened to little Mr. Goody Good? Or little Miss Goody Good?” Right? Because they think we need to have more of an edge than we’d really have to have.

So, if you’re going to talk about what you love … If that’s going to be your dominant conversation in the world: about what you love … And the whole idea of what you speak into existence; as you speak what you love into the reality, that it’s going to come back to you 10-, 100-, 1,000-fold, what would be the requirement about talking about what you love? To speak about what you love, you’d actually have to know what you love. Right? Speaking about what you love actually requires that we are conscious enough to know what we love. Because you can’t speak about something that you love if you’re not really sure.

And some of us aren’t always very clear — not only about what we’re feeling — but what we want. And, more importantly, what we love. We’re really clear about what we don’t want. Right? We’re really sure that we’re really … you know, what we don’t want. But we’re not always quite as clear about what we do want: what we really love. And I want you to see — because this is a challenge. I want you to really see that it’s going to require more work on our part to be a voice over and over again for what you love. I love that!

Like, I put that on Facebook. I love my life! And as I put it out there, I was just curious what the response would be from other people. Right? And I’ve had an interesting week. You know, my mom was in the hospital for most of it. You know, I was busy. And I started a new class. And just all these things. And I realized that, in the midst of all of this stuff — in the midst of all this busy-ness — that I love my life. And that’s such a great feeling! Right? Because there’s been times in my past where I’m not sure I could say that! Like, that I wasn’t really having the best time! Right?

But I’m committed to being a voice for what I love. Now, I love to be busy! I do! I mean, I thrive on it. My wife calls me a “shark.” [Congregation laughs] Because she says sharks have to keep moving. And there’s this knowing that, if I’m moving, I’m happier. Right?

And I want you to really look tonight at what you love. Not what’s “okay” … or what you don’t want. Or even what you’ve tolerated in the past. But I want you to be a voice tonight for what you really, truly love.

Because if it’s true that what we speak comes back to us 10-, 100-, 1,000-fold — if what we’re putting out into the Universe comes back to us over and over again — don’t you want to be talking about the thing that’s the most important? Don’t you want to be talking about the thing that really fills you up the most?

Do we have our slide? They’re there. See all three of those circles are a representative of a soul. [Laughs] This is not a scientific diagram. [Congregation laughs] This is more of a metaphor; it’s a simile. It’s kind of like a soul, right?

And so the one on the right. Left. [Congregation laughs] [Laughs] The one on your left. Right? [Congregation laughs] The green one! The green one is a soul full. Right? And I want you to see the moments, the times, in your past — maybe it’s tonight! — where you felt like you were a soul full. That you were full of love; you were filled with God; you were filled with joy. You were a soul full. You were just full! Right? That life was “green.” Life was good; it was growth. It was healthy. Life was expanding.

And then I want you to think about the times in your past where you’ve been a little bit depleted. Right? Where you felt like you were just a little empty. Right? And what happens to those times when you feel a little depleted?

And now I want you to think about a time when you were scraping bottom. Has everybody had that experience at least once in their life? Where you were just scraping bottom? Where you were just bone empty? You were down to the bottom two little shakes? And you know kind of where you are, because when you begin to feel depleted, you start to get a little cranky. Right? Have you had that experience? Where you notice you’re getting a little depleted? You get a little cranky?

And we talked about Jesus, last week, about cursing the fig tree and it dying. And it’s that place where you feel a little depleted.

And then we get to the place where we just feel empty. And then we start saying things like, “I gave you the best years of my life” or whatever it is. Where we’re just at bottom.

Now, I want to share this in the context of our commitment this year to be a year of love. When you’re at green — when you’re full — is it easier or harder to love the people around you? When you’re full, do you find yourself more generous with the energy within you? Right?

When you start to get a little depleted, do you get a little bit more judgmental? A little more cranky? Like, a little bit more careful with who and how you love? And then when you get depleted, we’re like … we’re just done. Like, “I don’t care. Good luck; God bless you.” Like, we just want to go home, pull the covers over our head and be done for the day.

And the thing that’s so important about this is: when you’re a soul at green, your soul is actually expanding. You know, that’s one of the things I teach over and over again. I really believe that the human soul does only one of two things: it’s either expanding or it’s contracting.

Now, when you’re at green — when you’re full — your soul is expanding to hold more and more God. When you’re depleted, it kind of just stays where it’s at. But when you’re empty — and if you’re empty over and over again; if you spend more and more time feeling empty — you’re actually a soul contracting. You’re actually getting smaller. You’re actually holding less and less good. Because, if you’re a soul at empty, you don’t need all that room! Because you so rarely get to full that your soul just actually contracts around your emptiness. And your light gets dim. And everything just gets harder. It becomes more and more difficult.

And so, in this year where we’re talking about love, would you be willing to make a commitment that you’re willing to stay full? That you’re willing to be in that place of talking about what you love, feeling what you love? Really downloading more and more good? Downloading more and more God? Staying in that place? And one of the things I want you to check, pretty much every day, is: On a scale of 1 to 10, how full am I today? How full am I?

You know the difference between a car that’s on empty and a car — if it’s exactly the same car — and a car that’s on full? You know what the only difference is? If you had a car that’s on empty … Do you know what the only difference is between a car that’s on that and a car that’s on full? How far it can go. That’s the only difference!

If you’re running around on empty, you’re always looking for where’s — you know, if you’re only putting three bucks at a time in your gas tank — you’re always looking for the next gas station. Right? Because you can’t go very far. You’re actually always focused on just getting by. Just getting your needs met.

And, as you’re living from a place of full, you actually can do greater good. You can be a greater service to the world. You can actually be more loving. You can actually be more helpful. Everything in your life gets better when you’re full.

I remember there was a time when I had graduated from college. And through college — in that period of my life — I was just trying to keep enough gas in the car. Has everybody been there? Where you’re just trying to keep enough gas in the car? Right? So you just kind of go as far as you go, and you scrape through the coins and stuff to see how much gas you can get in?

And then there was a point where I had my first really good job. And I remember that I made a personal commitment to fill up the tank every time. Now that may not sound like a big deal to you, but to me [laughs] that was crazy! That I grew up in southern California; I knew if I filled up the tank, I could get to San Diego and back at any point! That was like: my world just got huge! It just became so expanded, because I was able to fill up my tank over and over again! And that I paid for it, not my daddy. Right? That I filled up my own tank.

That was such a powerful moment. It may not sound like that to you, but for me it was a place of freedom. It was a place of power. That — as a man — I felt like I had arrived at a whole other level of my experience. That I was a man. That my car was full! And I could see how many times I let myself in my personal life, and in my inner life, get too depleted. That I got too drained. And then if there was a need, if there was a problem, or if there was a challenge, I didn’t have the wherewithal to meet that situation, because I was too depleted.

And I noticed, over and over again, as I — as a soul — became more and more full, my tendency for drama became less and less. That there’s this inverted relationship. When I’m empty, my drama level goes really high. [Laughs] Like, I have, like, just an amazing amount of drama I will tolerate when I’m empty. Right? Because it just seems so normal, right? Because you’re just … You’re in that scared, running place.

But when you’re full, it’s like, drama’s not very attractive. Right? And you just … it’s just not attractive any more.

“I choose to live full.” Will you say that with me? [With congregation]: “I choose to live full.” One more time. [With congregation]: “I choose to live full.”

Now, the first thing that happens is you really have to convince somebody that it is a personal choice. Because most of us don’t feel … Like, “Well, what if I got to pick full? I’d pick it, but I don’t really get to pick it. Like, I have to just get by with what I have.” No! If God is infinite — if the Universe is infinite — you can be as full as you want to be! You can be expanding every day! Every day your soul can be bigger than it was the day before.

Because, in our Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily …” Now, was that a literal statement? Was Jesus’ greatest teaching literally true? When he said the kingdom of heaven was like yeast placed in bread, was that literally true? If that was literally true, then only bakers would get to heaven! [Congregation laughs] Right?

So when Jesus is teaching, his greatest teachings were not “literally” true; they were a metaphor. They were similes. They were illustrations of something that was bigger, and he was trying to describe it in a way that the people of his time could understand.

So “Give us this day our daily bread” isn’t just about bread! It is about being taken care of. It’s about: every day there’s more than enough to meet all of your needs. And the more that you’re opening to a greater expansion of the Infinite — the more that, every day, you take a time for prayer and meditation to get filled up again — the more everything in your life is better. It’s blessed. It grows. It’s green. It’s expanding. Because you’re green! Because you’re expanding! Because your life is getting bigger and bigger and bigger! And it all starts from the place of your inner life.

You know when you’re depleted. You know when you’re running on empty. Like, sometimes we think that we go too far. You know, we talk about burn-out in our work or in our family or in our life. And really, burn out isn’t that we went too far; it’s that we didn’t let ourselves get filled up along the way.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Holy Spirit, fill me up! Like, actually put yourself in a place on a daily basis that allows God to fill you up. “Give us this day our daily bread.” So that your soul can be full and expanding day in and day out.

So let’s look at what doesn’t work. Right? There are a few things that just don’t work. Right?

So when you’re feeling empty or depleted, how much does watching hours and hours of TV help fill you up? It doesn’t right? For most of us — unless it’s Ted Lasso. Have you seen Ted Lasso? Ted Lasso is adorable. Right? But unless it’s Ted Lasso, for most of us — when we’re binge watching 14 hours of TV overnight — we don’t come away from that thing, “Oh my gosh, my spirit is so full!” Right? It just doesn’t work. Right?

Two: the other thing that doesn’t work is whatever your addiction is. And I hope you know what your addiction … Whatever your addiction is. Addictions don’t work. Right? They don’t fill us up. They don’t help the process.

And the third one that just never works is junk food. One of the things that I’ve noticed about myself is: as I get more and more depleted, my craving for sugar goes up. Has anybody else had that experience? That when I’m emotionally tired or when I feel depleted or when I feel empty, Bosa Donuts sounds fabulous! [Congregation laughs] And the fact that they built one within a mile of my house I thought was wrong at every level. Right? Right?

So what does work? Right? Being unconscious doesn’t work. Worrying doesn’t work. So what does work? Right?

Well, for me, one of the things that really allows me to feel filled up is hiking. Is nature. LIke, even just going to the park and just being in all that nature, and all that good energy. Nature has this ability to fill us up. That, when we just place ourselves and surround ourselves in nature, sometimes it’s just even in our own backyard or our own space. Where we get to be surrounded and enfolded in nature. And we just get to feel nature’s energy just trying to fill us up.

The second thing for me that really is a transformative thing is water. When I’ve had a tough day at work, or when I’ve had an emotional experience, or when I’ve helped somebody go through something that was really heavy, for me swimming or a shower or a bath … Really, that water just cleanses my soul. It washes away all the emotional debris that I couldn’t process or didn’t have time to process.

For me, meditation is also effective.

And laughter. Right? I want to see if you can just make yourself laugh. [Congregation laughs] See? Isn’t that great? That we don’t even have to have anything to laugh about to laugh? That just … [Laughs uproariously] Just saying that we choose to laugh, we can actually call it out! Because there’s something about your body jiggling that is healing for your soul! [Congregation laughs] It is! Laughter is healing! Maybe not as much as meditation, but it’s right up there! Right? It is transformative! It heals us.

And five: your special thing. Like, I hope everybody knows what their special thing is. Whether it’s music or crocheting or baking or … You know that thing you do that feeds your soul the most? That is your activity that takes you back to your Source.

Music. You know, there’s nothing like a good polka to really just reset your soul. Right? So good music. Right? Just resets your soul and lifts you up and makes us feel better.

And then connecting with friends. For me, there’s probably a handful of really close friends that I have. And all I have to do is talk to them on the phone, and I feel better. Do you have a friend like that? That, when you talk to them on the phone, you just … You come away from that experience always just feeling better?

That what I want us to see, right? Is that life is either life-enhancing … It’s either giving to us or it’s taking from us. And to really look at everything in your life to say: Is this adding to my life, or is this draining me? And what would happen if, more and more of the time, you spent time in those activities that were life-enhancing?

How many of you have a friend or family member that, when you call, you can feel the energy when you pick up the phone just being sucked out of your ear? [Congregation laughs] Right? You can feel the energy depletion. And as loving as you try to be, you can’t hang up the phone fast enough! Right?

And over and over again, what I’m inviting us into is just acknowledging what it takes for you to be full. You know, what are the foods that really support you? How much exercise do you need? How much sleep do you need? How much prayer time do you need? What’s the work that you need to do? Who are the people that you need to surround yourself with so that you actually stay full?

And not take it for granted that there is this possibility that, if we’re going to heal the world — really heal the world — all of us that are doing energy and light and spiritual work need to take our next step into a more expanded version of us. We need to become bigger lights, bigger presences, bigger energies in the world.

And it’s not like … What worked a year ago or five years ago or 10 years ago; that’s not who you’re called to be now. You’re not called to be who you were maybe even a month ago. We’re called to expand and be more good, more God, more love, more light than we’ve ever been before.

And if, right now, you’re feeling partially depleted or completely empty, we have to work on that! Because you’ve got good, important, spiritual work to do in the world! And if you’re feeling depleted, the world needs you to get full! The world needs you to stop for a moment and really drink in all that God is offering you so that you can be full with all that God is.

This is not the time where we need to be casual with our own life experience. This is a time for us, some of us, to double our prayer time. Or to double our time that we spend in nature or giggling or laughing or connecting with people that we love so that we’re, every day, expanding our fullness to be bigger and bigger and greater lights for God. This is it! Right?

So, in this year of love, I’ve challenged you to open your heart. And I’ve challenged you to see the greatness in one another. And accept each other for who you are. And I really want you to see that I need you full! Because the world needs more love.

So if somebody comes to you and they share their insecurities, their needs, their fears — whatever’s going on with them — and you say to them, because you’re not feeling full, “Oh, you shouldn’t feel that way.” How often are they going to run back to talk to you? Not too often, right?

Or what if somebody comes to you and shares their insecurities or their needs or their fears, and you say, “Oh, this is how I always do it.” And you launch into a long story of how you’ve overcome that problem. Right? How often do you think that they’re going to come back and connect with you?

Or what if somebody comes to you and says their insecurities, and you say, “Well, this is what you need to do.” Right?

That we’re not really moving the planet forward. When you’re full — and as you become more and more expanded — I want you to remember this talk. And I want you to remember that there’s only one thing you need to say to people: “I love you right there.”

Because right now in the world, people are really going through stuff. There’s real needs. There’s real problems. There’s real challenge. There’s real upset. There’s real heartbreak. And our only job — to the very best of our ability — is to love people right where they are. Not to tell them that they shouldn’t be there, or that they shouldn’t be feeling that, or they should be somewhere else. Or wanting them to be somewhere else. Our only job — for our kids, our grandkids, our nieces, our nephews, our parents, our friends, our co-workers — is to look them in the eye … And it doesn’t count if you don’t look them in the eye! To look them in the eye and say, “I love you right there.” I love you right there! And maybe, for some people, it will be the first time they’ve really experienced being loved right there. And that you’re full enough to do it.

I truly believe we have real spiritual work to do. The planet right now needs us to be full. This is not a time where we can get by with yesterday’s level of growth or expansion. We need to be full. The world needs us to be full. And when the world comes to you and asks for you to love them, I want you to remember these little words: “I love you right there.”

Will you say it with me? [With congregation]: “I love you right there.”

Not, “I love you in your potential.” But I do! Not, “I love you in who you were yesterday or who you’ll be tomorrow.” But, “I love you in the place where you are right now, and right where you’re struggling right now.” But it honors the individual when you just fully accept them right where they are.

One more time: [with congregation] “I love you right there.”

That’s it! “I love you right there.”

Will you pray with me?

I invite you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of God. And today, we’re going to love each other at the level that God loves us. People don’t have to be different than where they are; they get to be right where they are, with their fears, their insecurities, their concerns, their problems, their challenges. And we’re going to be so full that we can just love them right where they are. “I love you right there. You don’t have to be different from me; you don’t have to be better or worse. I love you right there.” And in that moment, they really feel it. They really know that another child of God has seen where they are, and offered them compassion right there. “I love you right there.” And so it is. Amen.

Copyright 2022 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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