Saturday, August 14, 2010
I did not realize until now how Love has gotten so beaten up, misused, and how it evokes, almost invites, so much fear, dread, mockery and ridicule.
You get none of it and people pity you.
You get an abundance of it and people think you are delusional.
I furrow my eyebrows in confusion. What is it that these people want then?!
It is frustrating sometimes because people have their own, personal versions of "love" and "how things are ought to be" in their minds. Because this is what they know through experience, vicarious or otherwise, they assume those same rules MUST apply to everyone else. This is the tradeoff to being cognitive beings. A lot of what we know comes from direct personal experience. A + B = C. If in our own lives, A + B is ALWAYS = C, then it must be the same truth for all individuals, too! But here is what I have been doing over the last year of my life, and not just in the Love Department either. I contemplate, challenge and experiment if A + B is indeed = C.
Here is what I have been finding so far:
1. There is an immense amount of fear attached to love due to obvious reasons. We all have had our hearts and our selves broken at least once. If you haven't, there's already too many movies and songs out there that will make you feel that you have. This is completely okay. They say this is the human condition after all.
2. But did it ever occur to man that there is a variety out there where you do not lose any part of yourself despite how much you give, but quite the contrary, gain something each and every time instead? Isn't this what unconditional love is about, the Holy Grail of all people who seek love - loving for the sake of love and not expecting to get anything at all in return?
3. Love is known to take us to places within us where we are happy, carefree, liberated, truly present, and in the moment. Especially in the honeymoon stage, couples are pretty much sharing a meditative space when they are together, if we take meditation to mean as pure, undivided attention and/or presence. I sometimes think it's not the person we grow attached to, but the wonderful feelings that this person spurs. Therefore, when there is any threat of that person abandoning us, we feel the irrepressible urge to breathe into a bag. We get scared shitless. We are terrified that we are never going to feel that way ever again, that we are going to run out of the happy hormones.
4. So if you consider #2 & 3, I come up with the conclusion that maybe we need to look at things differently. I think that we should never be left wanting for "love". We must cultivate it in our deepest core until it just becomes us. If we are always full on our own, by ourselves, then loving one person, ten people, a hundred people, will not take away from that love in us. Because love has become you. Do flowers ever fear of losing their fragrance?
5. And just to reiterate, I believe that to love someone, you must first truly love yourself. Many of us do the typical lip service to this one, and people underestimate how much work this really entails.
6. And assuming I was wrong from #1-5, and assuming that there will be so much bloodbath after we have loved, SO THE F*CK WHAT???!!
It is a great thing to have friends who offer different perspectives. They mean well and have the best intentions. They caution you against falling in love because they don't desire your (eventual and in their view, inevitable) heartbreak and suffering. People view the romantic kind of love as investing, almost losing oneself, in the other person and in the relationship. Psychologically, I was told that this type of projection is inevitable, almost necessary, at least in the beginning of any relationship. However, the healthy thing to do is as the relationship grows, people must grow individually too and carefully and painstakingly, each person withdraws his/her projection of perfection from the other person.
I have confessed, even publicly in this blog, that I have started to feel my heart stir again, like it has not done so in a long time, or maybe ever. I am touching something so real and raw again. And the difference is, this time, I don't feel the need to cling to it or possess it. I want to allow it to unfold on its own. I anticipated how people would react to that admission, and sure enough, they think I'm nuts. Some of them don't know how exactly to react so they resort to the least threatening approach and laugh it off. To me, this is the most insulting. Mockery of someone's feelings is a bit unfair, I think. And that is completely okay, because if I allowed my intellect to take the rein on this one, I would be thinking of myself as a biga** fool, too.
But here is what I have been surrendering to lately.
Love is not a function of the mind. It is a function of the heart. And as Blaise Pascal so eloquently put it, "The heart has its reasons for which reason knows nothing."
So I shelf my mind for now since it has been running my life for most of my adult life. For once, I am allowing my life to be lived from the heart.