By William DeVore 

I dedicate this petal to you my wife for you are the fertile ground in which I grow. Thank you for all that you have taught me.



A time for us some day there'll be

When chains are torn by courage born of a love that's free,

A time when dreams so long denied can flourish

As we unveil the love we now must hide.

And with our love through tears and thorns

We will endure as we pass surely through every storm,

A time for us some day there'll be, a new world,

A world of shining hope for you and me.

Partial lyrics from "A Time For Us" (Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet, 1968)
Artist: Johnny Mathis - Words by Larry Kusik and Eddie Snyder and Music by Nino Rota

We live in a time of great upheaval -- the world is changing so very rapidly. Our global population is skyrocketing and there are many opinions around, both pro and con, regarding whether food production can keep up. In either case, millions of young children die across the globe each year due to starvation and/or related diseases, never having experienced a day without hunger. Is something happening?

Some suggest, on the other hand, that the problem of starvation is not really about food availability but rather more about poverty -- if the starving had more money, food would be available. The United Nations Development Program estimates for example that over the world, well over one billion people currently live under conditions of profound poverty. Is something happening?

Apart from disease, poverty and food concerns, what are the long-term implications of the drastic changes the population explosion and related economic developments are creating within the world ecosystem? What will be the long term effect of increased greenhouse gas emissions, fertilizer and pesticide usage, conversion of the forest and jungle habitats to agricultural usage, air polluting emissions, consumption of non-renewable natural resources etc. No one, of course, knows the answer to all of these questions, but we do know that when ecosystems change very rapidly there are usually drastic effects in the future. Is something happening?

In the west, a kind of post-industrial sickness -- somewhat like an eating disorder -- is becoming rather pronounced as we move into our third or fourth generation of consumerism, consumption proceeding at a rather frenzied (desperate?) pace as the marketing establishment does their best to give people what they think they need. For many however, almost as quickly as new experiences/objects are "gobbled up", they are "regurgitated" (as evident in the problem of post-consumer waste and divorce) to make room for more of the same. Is something happening?

Many of course sense that the pattern of desire, consumption, and dissatisfaction is cyclical and feel increasingly apathetic with regard to the promise of fulfillment through materialism. Knowing of no alternative however, and in many cases having lost touch with the branches of their cultural heritage, the bewildered blow here and there like fallen leaves with many becoming entangled in the thickets of addiction in the hope of escaping the emptiness of their lives in excessive activity, preoccupation, or the oblivion of substance induced euphoria. Is something happening?

Still others seem to be turning to more extreme behaviors in response to frustration regarding a world that is perceived as futile, unfair, and uncaring. Deep-seated feelings of alienation, rage, inadequacy, and hopelessness are quite prevalent and increasingly manifested in a destructiveness (both self and other-directed) which, on a global level, threatens the very existence of our planet. Ethnic genocide and terrorist activities have become commonplace. Mass suicides and school shootings are in the news. Is something happening?

I personally believe that something is happening. Indeed, the world seems to be moving to a crisis state and I believe it may be useful to consider that out of crisis, transformation may often ensue. More specifically, I believe that we are living at a time when a global gestational cycle is ending on the Earth and that with this ending comes a significant degree of turmoil along with the possibility however of a whole new way of living -- a new beginning for Humanity.

In this regard, I believe that large masses of people on the Earth are experiencing an urgency at this time for a different kind of life in a spiritual sense but that many have little understanding of what is happening to them or what to do about it. To demonstrate, imagine for a moment that you are a gestating infant and the labor process has started. You are experiencing uncomfortable pressures but don't know why. Imagine also that you are somehow able to see what is happening to your mother on the outside but you don't have any awareness that she is your mother and that the two processes, your birthing and her labor, are connected. You watch her labor while feeling your own pain, and are fearful, having never experienced anything like this before.

This is exactly what I believe has begun to happen in our time. Our bodies are wombs within which we -- as a collective Humanity -- have been gestating for a very long time. At present, I believe that many are prepared to transition and are being assisted by their spiritual helpers -- as midwives so to speak. Indeed, my sense is that some on the Earth have already completed their birthing process, others are moving along somewhere in the birth canal -- caught between two worlds -- and many others will soon begin to "move". As anyone who has experienced childbirth or been closely connected with someone who has can tell you, the end of the gestation time can be difficult and the labor process itself quite arduous. I believe that many of the difficulties we are seeing on the Earth at present are an expression of this fact. As the momentum of this process picks up, I imagine that there may be even more significant disorder on the Earth related to the sheer numbers of individuals "going into labor" at the same time.

With the emergence of Humanity into the New World however, I believe that all will be well in due time and that the difficulties of the gestation and labor will eventually come to be regarded as a blessing as the true beauty of the children of the One God becomes apparent and the dance of celebration ensues! More specifically, I believe that the separateness which has existed for ages between our Mother Earth, Heavenly Father, and all life dwelling hereon will be no more with the renewal and that, as a collective Humanity, we will be both reunited in one consciousness and also uniquely and beautifully individual, each contributing our personal "truth" to the Collective. The Earth shall regain her once majestic splendor -- her garden restored -- as part of the coming evolution and she will happily nurture each of us, her flowers, as our proud Sky Father lovingly embraces all within his protective shroud.

This is the vision -- to all of this and more I believe we may look forward. The challenge of course is to get there. The birthing process can be difficult although we have a great deal of help available to us -- both within and without. It is my deepest hope therefore that each one may remember and reclaim their birthright in this time -- the time of our deliverance.



I'm personally convinced that those of us who are feeling the call to birth have probably been experiencing it our whole lives on some level -- known it in the form of a pronounced and enduring sense of unfocused longing, unclear life purpose, or nagging dissatisfaction. I also believe that each of us that feel the "pull", wanted it this way -- made a choice prior to our physical birth to eventually participate in a process where working on the "outside", we would join forces with our guides and spirit selves, on the inside, toward the ends of individual and global awakening.

In many cases, the change in perspective and lifestyle required develops in response to crisis -- a "wake up call" so to speak. Many people for example have endured (or will endure) very difficult experiences of different types that have opened (or will open) them to whole new ways of perceiving themselves, reality, and the Divine. Examples of such crises are near death experiences, health crises, and profound experiences of loss. Some readers are probably recovering from such, or similar, traumas or have only recently experienced them. Regardless of how or when one comes to a sense of urgency for a different way of living however, the most important thing is for one to make a conscious choice to explore a new and more fulfilling path. For many, the hardest thing about making the choice is not being able to trust that a new and more hopeful way of living could ever be a reality. The following information is provided therefore in the hope that it may encourage any who have such doubts.

Let us begin with a most profound truth -- Love is all there is. This, of course, may seem unlikely given the seemingly great diversity of forms existing in what we call reality. The point here however, is that undergirding everything is one essence that is herein referred to as Love for lack of a better word. A wise spirit once wrote, "reality is what you make of illusion." I don't know her name and so cannot properly credit her for the quote, but her message was that we create our own realities. This point may also may seem rather unlikely perhaps and without trying to explain, I will simply add that we not only create our own realities but that, as spiritual beings, we also create collective realities on many levels for different reasons.

In this regard, long ago as a collective Humanity, I believe we made a choice to experience a kind of separateness from Love although, in truth, the connection was never lost. How could it be lost if Love is all there is? Having made this choice however, a great diversity of paths through separateness were embraced so that we might experience the reality of separateness (the illusion of imperfection) in as many ways as possible and then, after a predetermined period, release the pain of our experience, consolidate our wisdom, and be renewed in Love. I believe furthermore that the predesignated time for the birthing has come.

I also have the sense that some of the Collective Humanity made choices that would result in a strong likelihood of them forgetting the truth of their enduring connection to Love. This splitting of Humanity -- into those who would forget and those who would not -- was anticipated. Those who would not forget, ironically regarded as primitives by many in the west, developed and maintained a variety of nature-based cultures rooted in Love, seeing life in everything and never loosing their experience of connection to the Earth and Sky. In the latter part of this season of the Fall, these people have suffered greatly for their unwillingness to forsake the "old ways", many having joined the ranks of the lost" in consequence. Happily however, many that lost their way are beginning to return home now -- are donning the "shawl" of remembrance -- as those who so silently remembered over the ages are now speaking out on the significance of this time.

For those on the other hand -- perhaps the left hand of Humanity -- who would, at any point in the gestation period, forget that Love is all there is, living would be about attempting to seek fulfillment within an illusory world where Love is not all there is. This destiny was also anticipated and chosen in a general sense, as mentioned above, as a difficult but necessary precursor to a well-grounded life as Children of Love. More specifically, the experience of living in illusion was embraced by some to provide a foundational wisdom regarding what can happen when the truth that we are all part of Love is forgotten. Stated in another way, exploring the illusion that Love is not all there is was chosen to provide an experiential basis for learning how to protect and maintain a true life in Love. I believe therefore that those who have forgotten will in time -- after all the pain is released and they have remembered who and what they are -- come to be regarded as the guardians and protectors of Love.



Based upon what has been described previously, I would like to put forth the proposition that all of the experiences of Humanity are valid ultimately -- have the potential to contribute wisdom to the collective consciousness of Humanity. According to the model described in Chapter 2, we, as a collective Humanity, made a decision to experience a kind of separateness from Love. We knew that it would be difficult from the beginning and understood that many would forget their true nature, doubt themselves, and seek. We also knew that all paths that seek fulfillment outside of Love are destined to fail. How could fulfillment be found in illusion?

This being so, it was the chosen destiny of those who would forget, at least for the period of the gestation, to experience frustration, failure, despair, and so on and, indeed, among those who forgot a consciousness of scarcity developed and, in time, true fulfillment came to be regarded as elusive, esoteric, and for the few rather than the many. Materialism in the broadest sense (the proposition that an enduring satisfaction can be achieved in separateness) took hold and as people lost touch with the Love within, the quest for a deeper sort of meaning came to be regarded as an external pursuit, falling under the purview of religion, intellectualism, etc. Judgements of worthiness became increasingly common and competitiveness a predominant attitude in a world where there is not enough Love to go around. Distinctions of good and evil developed, as many of the disenfranchised sought to find fulfillment outside the "system".

On the topic of evil, I would digress for a moment. My experience as a psychologist at one time, suggests that evil is a choice like any other path. Like other paths that seek fulfillment in illusion, evil too is futile however and tends therefore to be progressive -- there is a tendency to move to greater and greater extremes of evil over time in the face of perceived failure. With evil, life itself is ultimately seen as hollow and hope a falsehood, attributed to fools or those who would deceive, that must be avoided at any cost.

In this time moreover, many on the most radical path of evil are pursuing a state referred to as oblivion (a total loss of awareness) in order to escape the excruciating pain and utter despair of their lives. This state of oblivion, although not real in an absolute sense, is believed to be achievable through the experience of intense emotional and physical pain related to death and destructive activities directed at the self and others. Indeed, in the final analysis the leaders of the quest for oblivion hope, with compassionate disdain, to end all hope through the destruction of our Mother Earth and all who dwell upon Her -- to finally put the "pathetic and hopeless" out of their misery so to speak. Indeed, I believe that much of the seemingly incomprehensible and pointless destructiveness seen in our world today becomes at once understandable and obviously calculated in the illumination of this new light.

I would also like to emphasize what is perhaps obvious -- that the new life is also for the evil if they do so choose it and are willing to endure the hardships of the transition. My experience suggests that for the evil, the greatest impediment to liberation is a pervasive sense of being condemned and a daunting fear of hope. In this regard, I would simply mention that the only condemnation that really matters is that which is self-imposed, and this is a choice. True Love neither condemns nor judges but rather waits with open arms to receive all that have prepared for the embrace. The path back from evil can be long and treacherous and yet is finite in time. The promise of Love on the other hand is eternal!

Getting back to the original aspiration of this chapter then, hopefully what has been offered provides a tenable basis for accepting that every individuals life has intrinsic worth and something legitimate to contribute to the collective wisdom of Humanity, no matter how the world may judge him or her or how one may judge oneself. Without such an understanding, it may be difficult for some to open the heart to the "difficulties" of the past with self-directed forgiveness and acceptance.



Making the choice to consciously participate in ones process of spiritual renewal requires an expression of faith. Not the kind of faith that says, I accept everything without question," but more like, "Yes, I will take some time with this -- give this a look -- and decide based upon my own experience, if the message rings true." As part of choosing, it is also helpful to express a receptivity to guidance from one's internal helpers, and to ask for some assurance that one is not alone in this work. Choosing the path of rebirth feels like an embracing of the unknown and a degree of fear is always involved. Our Guides and Higher Selves have been with us throughout our lives, helping in ways of which we may have had little awareness. They are also helping now -- in this very moment! Indeed, whether or not we consciously choose to participate in this process of awakening, our helpers will continue to work diligently for our greatest good.

Please understand however that the vehicle for transmission of guidance and support may not be direct communication. Indeed, our helpers use very diverse methods for communicating and becoming sensitive to the messages is part (sometimes a frustrating part) of the birthing process. By way of illustration, I had a very interesting experience some time ago that demonstrates how subtle, and yet powerful, the communication process can be:


While walking in the woods today I came upon a turtle. Completely still, right in front of me it stood, legs and neck extended as if looking for something. I thought this peculiar and as I too stood still, felt as if we might be connected in some way.

As I look back on my life, I realize I've never been able to see much ahead most of the time, and consequently have never had a good sense of where I was going. At the same time I never felt comfortable where I found myself and was driven to seek; a peculiar combination and one that brought little sense of peace for most of my life.

When I was young, I most always felt inferior -- felt rather lowly -- and never stood up quite as high as everyone else in my estimation, though I was tall in stature. Socially everyone else seemed much faster, moving easily along on his or her seemingly clear paths through life. I always felt different and ashamed -- not good enough -- and never felt like I fit. As I grew into adulthood, I did become somewhat more comfortable with life having fashioned a protective shell of social sophistication that kept my enduring secret safely hidden.

About the time of my fortieth birthday I entered a time of spiritual crisis that eventually resulted in my beginning to put the experiences of my past together, somewhat like a jig saw puzzle. Holding each experience -- each piece -- in my heart has brought some pain which I've been releasing little by little over the years. With each fallen tear, the sense of inadequacy has lessened and I don't feel jealous of others as much anymore. I still don't feel like I fit in this world but have gotten rather used to it, seeing this as part of my path. I'm not very driven any more either although I'm still seeking -- enjoying the journey more these days and less concerned with arriving. My pace is still pretty slow to some -- I guess that's just me.

I still put my head way up occasionally, hoping to see a little farther down the road. I don't know exactly where I'm going but do see that I'm going home. I know that eventually I'll be happy wherever I may be.

I was walking through the woods today and came upon a turtle -- and found me.  

September 97

  It is also important to understand that each person's birthing process is/will be different -- in the same way that each person's path through the gestation period is unique, so shall each one's path through the birthing be unique. It is not advisable therefore to look to the experience of others as a model for the anticipation of what one's own process of transformation will entail.

One may, on the other hand, look to the experience of others for inspiration. A word of caution here however. The media publicizes and publishes material that it believes will be well received by its readers. Stories of individuals experiencing such phenomenon as transforming visions, psychic abilities, conversations with celestial beings, and journeys to other realms makes for interesting reading but does not typify the average individuals experience of rebirth. For many the process of birthing will not feel very spectacular and may include experiences of pain, doubt, and in some cases, failure. For some, the choice for spiritual rebirth may even elicit a powerful counter reaction within, resulting in the development of crisis in ones life. I want to articulate why this may be so.

The current world may be regarded as the placenta or interface between our Mother and each of us, Her children, and when the birthing is done it will no longer be necessary, having served its purpose. That of ourselves therefore (speaking spiritually) which has been dedicated to finding fulfillment through this world, anticipate its demise as we individually choose to become a partner in the process of the renewal -- in the ending of separateness. As we individually chose to die to separateness then, we are literally choosing to bring this world to an end and usher in the New World based upon Love. Indeed, Armageddon begins for each of us at the moment when we consciously choose rebirth -- to wage the true Holy War.

My experience also suggests that the more one has invested in this world, the greater the counter reaction of fear is/will be when the choice is made to become a conscious partner in the working. Each person who embraces the birthing is vulnerable therefore to many new and unusual influences from within as part of the process and I have included some cautions/guidelines below in the hope that they may be of some help to any who are prepared to brave the crossing of the sometimes treacherous waters of the river Jordan, leading into the "promised land".

Walk before you run.

Sometimes people have experiences related to this process of rebirth that are unusual or experience insights that they feel must be shared with others. Go slowly. Remember that our worldly advocate, the ego, is monitoring everything in the background, looking for opportunities to promote you. If you feel fearful about nonaction -- a sense that if you dont act now, you might miss your chance -- its probably the ego knocking at the door with a promotional contract. Simply say "Thanks, but no thanks " while considering that there will be plenty of time for sharing your beauty when the birthing is done. After all, we are eternal beings.

Avoid breaking commitments that you have made to others.

If you feel you must however, do so only after great deliberation and after discussing your reasons with those who are in your trust in this regard.

Avoid activities, people, and situations that may incline you toward lapses in judgement that you might later regret.

Remember that each persons birthing process is unique.

Trust your own process. Don't get caught up in comparing and judging yourself and others. My suggestion is to try to leave behind everything you've ever learned about what the process "must" entail as you embark on your journey of self-discovery.

If you're functioning in a helping capacity, you've got a special problem to deal with.

The best advice I can give is to get some help. Seek a consultant you can trust, preferably someone outside your own (but in a related) profession who is familiar with this type of process. And if you're certified in a particular specialty that has standards of practice, don't try mixing in your new insights unless they are compatible with accepted practices. If you wish, you can share your new awareness in a different context, where you can make it clear that you are not speaking from the standard perspective within your profession.

Part of the birthing is about discovering your own "truth".

This means discovering and consolidating the talents, wisdom, and beauty you have become during the gestation period. Your helpers will guide you to different types of experiences, activities, people, readings, didactic and experiential leanings, etc. for inspiring and opening you to the discovery of what and who you are. Choosing activities and experiences for exploration is an individual process. Ultimately, listening to your heart will be your guide. Until you're well tuned in however, choose carefully. Remember that we are subject to receiving messages from different aspects of our being, some of which may have different ends in mind than a rebirth to Love. Some guidelines follow:

  • Avoid anything in the name of spiritual growth that will hurt you.
  • Avoid anything in the name of spiritual growth that will hurt another.
  • Avoid anything in the name of spiritual growth that will hurt the Earth, Sky, or any form of life that lives hereon.
  • Avoid all extremes. The spiritual birthing is a natural process. I'm convinced that, once we consciously choose to participate and are working in concert with our spirit helpers, the process can go along gradually and without major crises developing. I personally do not encourage anyone to use methods of self-exploration that require or induce unconscious states for the working. My own sense is that if a person must be unconscious to do a certain type of work, they are not ready for it. Under such circumstances, people can be traumatized. Conversely, when a person is ready, they are able to do their work -- consciously. That's not to say that there will be no pain -- just that it is manageable. In summary, the one big area that can create problems for us is our own choices. Therefore, choose carefully, avoiding all extremes.
  • Avoid anything in the name of spiritual growth that is based upon a fear of not being accepted by another.

The people you seek out as helpers should optimally not exhibit any of the following characteristics:

  • Claim to be the vehicle for all truth
  • Claim they have the "truth" and the "key" to the new life and will give it to you for a price of any kind, explicitly stated or not
  • Claim there is only one way to the truth and the new life and are not tolerant of other approaches
  • Claim or imply that there is a hierarchy of worthiness in the New World to come
  • Claim or imply that the truth and the new life are not available to everyone who would so choose and walk the path
  • Are critical and pushy rather than accepting of you and your pace
  • Try to make you do anything against your will
  • Claim or imply that they are somehow more worthy than other teachers
  • Are overly rigid in their approach
  • Don't "dance"  



I want to say here that I believe in life now -- it was not always so! Most of us grew up believing that we are supposed to have happy lives and that when we do not, it reflects some kind of failing on our part, our families, etc. In consequence, many of us lost faith in ourselves early on and/or eventually found it necessary to give up our faith in God. I struggled for many years with the dilemma of trying to find a way of reconciling the proposition of a divine and loving presence operating in the universe with the seemingly contradictory reality of a world often seen to be brutal, judgmental, and even hopeless.

I have of late arrived at such a place of reconciliation, believing now that inherent to our natures is a magnificent capacity for creative free will and that happiness is only one possible choice among many. I have also come to believe that we are seekers of wisdom by nature, loving to journey for the mere sake of the learning -- ultimately there are no bad "trips". There is only one question then that seems to matter when we are seeking to chart out new spiritual directions for ourselves, namely: What kind of consciousness do we wish to explore? The expression "attitude is everything" takes on a most profound significance from this perspective -- a sustained attitude always becomes our reality in time.

For those of us who wish to awaken to Love in this time -- to experience a consciousness of fulfillment -- a transformative attitude is considering that everything is as it should be! More specifically, if we did collectively choose to experience this illusory reality of separateness with all of its attendant difficulties, then everything about our experience is perfect, including the pain. As the young people sometimes say, "Its all good!"

Choosing to accept our experience of the illusion of separateness as appropriate is the beginning of its end, for when we stop investing energy in trying to make ourselves ok, we also stop frustrating ourselves. We are Children of the One God and Source of all that is -- we can either accept or deny this fact but cannot do anything to make it so! Frustration in this context may be regarded as a sleeping potion -- one that we may stop ingesting if we wish -- its up to each of us.

In principle then, the process of the renewal is a choice and is about a struggle to accept the appropriateness of life, which is the path back to Love. In practice, this journey is about coming to a place of self-acceptance -- the process of getting there is called meditation. Whether we are walking the dog, making love, sitting still in silence, or dancing, the task of meditation is to cultivate an attitude of unconditional self-acceptance in every moment.

People sometimes wonder if practicing self-acceptance means loosing all motivation, sitting around, and smiling all the time. I think it is not necessary to try to change ones aspirations or anything about ones thoughts, words, or deeds as part of this process -- simply go on living the best way you know how while seeking to accept yourself all the while. An interesting thing happens however as one begins to practice self-acceptance -- certain kinds of thought, word, and deed patterns begin to fall away naturally. Indeed, one of the benefits of the process is the gradual evolution of a clearer vision regarding what is appropriate activity for a given individual, enabling a gradual and gentle letting go of actions that were once valued but have come to be regarded as no longer desirable. In this way there does not need to be the fragmenting struggle of self denial, etc. and one is able to honor all aspects of the self -- of what one has become, including the ego -- as teachers that have served a noble and divine purpose rather than as something to be discarded. After all, if we had not lived our lives as we have, we would not be ready to go beyond.

I would close by reemphasizing that before all other things, a deep and abiding attitude of unconditional self-love may be the greatest aide of all for the spiritual traveler who wishes to return home after a long and arduous journey through separateness. An occasional fall is not unlikely along the way -- be ever prepared to forgive any perceived failings, get up, and move on. A Love that does not judge awaits every weary pilgrim at the door of remembrance -- with joyous expectation to celebrate and embrace. Love yourself therefore -- no matter what -- and awaken!


Once upon a time, distant as a forgotten dream, lived a little girl in a very strange land of mirrors. With no other people living there the little girl was quite lonely and very much in need of love. Having never known the love of a sister and brother or mother and father however, she believed that what she needed must be found in the mirrors and at a very young age began a journey -- a quest for the perfect reflection.

The little girl did not know, however, that the mirrors of this land were enchanted and whenever she looked into one her reflection was always distorted, causing her to cry. With pain in her heart, the little girl would invariably run off, seeking another mirror in the hope of finding the elusive perfect image.

Furthermore, and to the misfortune of the little girl, the enchantment of the mirrors was not limited to simply distorting her appearance. No, indeed! For as she ran from one mirror to the next, her reflection was always left behind, trapped in the mirror where she had last gazed; with each lost reflection, the little girl's heart became more and more empty.

It went on this way for many years with the little girl growing to be a young woman. By this time, she had become quite empty and tired from the long search. She had also become rather desperate, never having found the love she sought.

Eventually a day came when the young woman, filled with frustration, ran at one of the mirrors, seeking to strike and break it. This aspiration, too, was to meet with only frustration for upon reaching the mirror and swinging, her hand passed right through as if it were not really there! Running from mirror to mirror she grew increasingly enraged, her experience each time the same. Finally, having become exhausted, she fell to the ground and wept.

After a time, she heard a voice speaking these words: "You shall find what you seek neither in the mirrors of the world, nor in their destruction."

The young woman, startled by the voice, lay quiet for a time. In a meek manner she then asked, "Who are you?"

"I am your guardian angel," was the response.

The young woman was surprised by these words, not having heard of such things. As she considered the message, she also grew somewhat angry, wondering why the angel had not spoken before, " If you are my guardian angel, why have you not spoken until now -- the time of my despair?"

"I have always spoken but you would not listen until now -- the time of your despair," said the angel. "Your journey has prepared you well, however, to listen, so hear now my words. Love cannot be found in the mirrors of the world for, as you have experienced, the pursuit of acceptance outside oneself leads only to emptiness in one's heart."

"To find love on the outside you must first have love on the inside. And for this you must now become a mirror unto yourself and reflect well upon the past for therein lies that which you seek. Most importantly, remember always to accept yourself, no matter what may come to pass."

The young woman was not completely sure what all this meant but somehow knew what must be done. She stood up and, in a single gesture, turned her back on all the mirrors of the world. At that moment, a great shattering of glass could be heard throughout the land and every reflection she had ever lost began to come to her in a procession across the sky.

A seemingly endless collection of faces from the past stood lined up before her, the first peering straight into her eyes. The figure, being distorted, reminded the young woman of her many years of seeking. A familiar sense of frustration and failure, heretofore constant companions, began to come over her once more. She felt unworthy and awed by the sheer magnitude of what stood before her. "Oh vanity of vanities! And all in the name of love!" she cried. "And now am I, who have known but failure, to face this infinity of sorrow, all born of my heart? No! I may not endure!"

But just then, as the young woman began to turn away, she felt the presence of her guardian angel and remembered: "...accept yourself, no matter what may come to pass."

With difficulty, the young woman continued to look -- to accept herself and before her very eyes, the distorted image before her became a most beautiful reflection and returned to her heart. And the same it was with the second, third, and so on, until the last of the lost reflections stood before her. This one too she faced and, upon returning to her heart, none remained apart.

With her heart now filled with the beauty of all that had returned, the young woman realized the meaning of her guardian angel's words. She knew that the foundation of love is a heart filled full and that a whole heart depends only on self-acceptance, no matter what.

The angel then spoke, saying, "Having established the foundation you may now build the house, which is to say having learned the importance of self-love, you may now learn what it means to love another. For only where there is self-love can there be the love of another. Likewise, only where there is self-love can one tolerate the love of another.

These words being spoken, the young woman found herself transported to a beautiful land where flowers bloomed and the song of birds filled the air. Most importantly, people rather than mirrors inhabited this land where she would continue her journey to love.

And so it was that the young woman found fulfillment on that day -- a heart filled full -- and danced merrily onward to new experience, accompanied by her guardian angel who joyously sang along the way:

"Love's the beginning,
Love is the end,
All journeys lead
Us back again."

"So Let us embark,
Let us journey anew,
And never forget,
I'm always with you."

William DeVore has a doctorate in counseling psychology although he is no longer practicing, having gone through a process of spiritual emergenc-y in recent years that has changed/is changing the direction of his life. His passions are currently writing and musical/vocal performance in addition to the daily work/joy of being married and supporting a family of four. He also very much enjoys talking to others about the spiritual significance of the special times in which we now live.

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