Monday, February 3, 2014

It's Valentine's Day - Do You Know What Love Is???

It's Valentine's Day - Do You Know What Love Is???

"In almost every single context, every situation of our lives, our hearts are called for. And, we have this very funny habit of giving preference to certain people when it comes to listening with our hearts and coming from our hearts... and it is not allowed anymore. We can't just pick and choose who, with whom and how we function nicely and lovingly. That just creates conflict within ourselves and really drama where it is not needed." 
~Elena Brower (Chakra 4, Love and Be Loved)     
This fantastic call to loving action may seem easier said than done.  Some people are easy to "love," and some are painfully difficult.  The butterflies that occur in a new romance make it easy to "love" the lucky new recipient of our affection, and it is easy to "love" our friends with whom we share common world views or personality traits.  Yet, when we encounter a difficult person, or someone who has personally wounded us, we quickly withdrawal our "love."

The problem is not that we are incapable of loving, it is that we have not fully understood that love is.  
 True Love knows no conditions.  It is consistently compassionate, radically accepting, and perfect at forgiving.  You may find yourself asking, "Could it really be possible to learn to love like this?"

For most of us, this process will involve much more fully embracing self-love and forgiveness. When we can offer and accept a "no-strings attached" love for ourselves, a love that does not depend on doing more, being more, fixing something, or acquiring something, only then have we learned real self-acceptance.

And since we have all made mistakes, this acceptance requires a tender empathy that seeks to understand and hear the heart's deepest cries, hurts and longings.  When we embark on the healing that is necessary for full self-acceptance, we are forced to learn how to offer real compassion, forgiveness and understanding.  These traits are necessary if we are to shift from a "love" for others that is judgmental, selfish, entitled or fear-based, to one that is offered freely and is actual, pure Love in it's pure sense.

We can offer this real love from a heart that is healed from the breaks and deep wounds that have occurred up until this point.
When we care about ourselves enough to seek to understand the "Why" behind our perceived failures, instead of running from them, we can begin to accept ourselves as truly lovable. Then we can apply this same compassion and grace to everyone we encounter.  
We must realize that everyone is doing what they can to survive with the resources they have acquired up until this time, just like we were doing each time we sought to numb the pain that comes from a sense of self that is disconnected and hurt someone else in the process.   We must realize that people will deeply hurt us in their process of healing, or at least surviving, each on their own unique journey. 
 The key to being able to treat these people, the ones who have hurt us in small or possibly enormous ways,  with real Love is to recognize that their behaviors or actions that caused us pain occurred not because these people are, in their true nature, unloving or themselves undeserving of love - it is simply because they have lived in a world of choices, self-aversion and often deep suffering themselves and they still do not know any better way to cope than to continue to hurt themselves and others in an effort to avoid the pain. 
Any "wrong" against me is likely a reflection of un-dealt with healing, or lack of FULL and total self acceptance in the life of the person who is hurting me.

When we are unloving or hurtful to others, it is a wake up call that there is an un-dealt with inner need to return to our Loving refuge. Our unloving actions toward others may be some of our strongest pointers to an inability to sit with suffering, a lack of means to draw into the peace of Divine presence, or a lack of self-acceptance, all issues that lead to feelings of pain.

If we can, on a heart level, accept ourselves, and through compassion and grace, draw back into a sense of unity with our natural loving presence and connection to "the whole," instead of the entitled "I" or "ego-self," then we no longer crave things that numb the pain that comes from the false feeling that we are separate from each other, from our true nature, and the Divine Source of all goodness.   

When we learn perfect acceptance, we can graciously and completely accept and love others, no matter what they do or do not do, no matter how difficult or "unlovable" our minds tell us they seem to be.
To love involves choice and action.... and it becomes much easier to practice this "living and loving from the heart," for others when we first understand why we have felt (or buried) our own feelings of unworthiness and treated ourselves with judgment or hatred, instead of understanding and compassion.

When we can mercifully view our own actions through the lens of tender loving kindness, we will be able to offer this non-judgmental acceptance to other souls who are acting out because they are hurting.
Many people first experience a taste of this unconditional love with their children, but it is available for Self, for friends, for the checkout person at the grocery store, and with practice, yes, it is available even for our "enemies."  

If we are fortunate enough to receive an amount of hardship in this life that is so intense and so deep that our avoidance and numbing tactics become inadequate to soothe the pain... we begin to seek more diligently the heart-sensed presence of Divine and perfect Love, in order to survive in peace, to learn to love ourselves and others fully and to draw back "home" into perfect presence, acceptance and Love. 

Happy Valentine's Day to all - Please remember that you are not only loved... you are Love.  And that, my friends, is more than enough.
See you at Om,

Rachel Wilson

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