Friday, January 20, 2012

love without limits

Love. When all is well, it flows with ease. It is fluid and constant. There is no resistance. In such cases, we are elated and fulfilled. We love and are loved. The exchange is steady and supportive. Everything smells like roses.

But when it doesn't flow, is that love too? When you feel that stuttering quality in the emotion, that sense of resistance and inconstancy, there one moment, gone another--what is that?

In a recent philosophy class on the Dvaita school of Vedanta, my teacher Gandhanara Bhat spoke about how the darshana views "Truth" as something that doesn't change. That idea resonates with me. And for me, Love is a quality of the Absolute. It should not change; it should be eternal.

And yet, many times, it doesn't seem so. Again, what is that?!

Last year was an interesting one for me (um, just as this one continues to be so...). I was blessed enough to feel that steady flow and ease in love. It was amazing. Then, things changed and I became caught in a whirlwind of crazy emotions. For a while, I blamed love. I felt betrayed by it. I mourned its loss and felt its inconstancy. It was a storm.

Sometimes, I think: phew, glad that has passed! But what I'm realizing, however, is that the whirlwind continues. The storm still rages. I'm just more centered, less swept up. From this vantage point I think I am starting to see things more clearly.

And what I'm seeing now is this: that love, the real thing anyway--sans all the other crazy stuff that we mistake it for--is really easy. It's just that the other things that are not. We are fallible, changeable creatures, moved by our own human conditions: hurt, desire, fear, jealousy, anger, doubt, Ego...And these create challenges to our dear hearts. They create obstacles. They interfere with the flow. The confuse us. And we think, sadly: oh, this is love too.

So, what to do? The storm of emotions continue to whirl around me. Maybe it's abated some, but it's definitely there. I can still feel it rattling my windows. In the past (that includes the recent past as well), I have run from love, because I associate it with fear and loss and hurt. And yet, the results are unsatisfactory. It just garners more fear and more loss and more hurt.

We embrace love when its easy; and we shun it when it is not so. Why do we do this? I think when we love at times of adversity, then love is truly strong, anchoring us to what really matters, giving us shelter throughout each storm.

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