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Excerpted from A Home for the Heart by Charlotte Kasl. Copyright 1998 by Charlotte Kasl. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Love can't be compartmentalized because it is central to your being. You can't turn on half a lightbulb."

  Charlotte Kasl, A Home for the Heart, Part 2

People often treat love like a commodity that you can turn on for some people and off for others. But you can't truly love your partner and hate your neighbor, or exploit the people who work for you. Love can't be compartmentalized because it is central to your being. You can't turn on half a lightbulb. You can dim it or make it brighter, but when it's on, the light shines equally in all directions.

Disconnection and separateness, nearly always stemming from fear, are the opposite of love. To be disconnected can be a dull anxious feeling of inner detachment that makes life seem mundane, superficial, and routine. 

We feel controlled by external events and lack an inner core that allows us to be spontaneous, fluid, and flexible. We see people as bodies, but not as souls -- they have form and shape and even beauty, but we don't feel their essence. 

When we are disconnected from our inner core, we are unable to absorb and be moved by beauty, wonder, and kindness. We hear music, but it doesn't make our heart sing. We see flowers, but they might as well be plastic. We touch someone, but there is no connection. When we feel separated, it's hard to trust that anyone cares, or could possibly love us if they were to see our hidden, shameful side.

We can bring ourselves back to love -- to the home of our heart-by remembering that we are all children of our Creator, sacred because we are alive. If we accept our intrinsic worth, we can give up the futile search for external validation and put our energy into developing our ability to develop our talents and strengths. 

We can also remember that we have free will. Because we are pure potential, we are not locked into our past, but have the ability to recreate ourselves moment to moment by our thoughts, actions, and willingness to experiment with new behavior and give up old rigid patterns that no longer serve our growth.

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