Wednesday, October 30, 2013

love the idea or... love, the idea

We all want love. We dream of it. We crave it. We seek it out.

The very idea of it becomes a thing of epic proportions. And as we wait for it, the bigger and bigger the idea gets.  Sometimes, it is a thing we fear and run from, either way it cultivates the same energy. Elusive or prolific, it gives birth to more ideas of love.

And when we perceive it to come, how easily it moves us to distraction, how easily we get carried away, how easily our mind molds it into the thing we’ve been waiting so patiently for or we’ve built up so greatly. We are such visionaries, sometimes, seeing/creating only what we like to see.

So, how do we distinguish love that is real from that which we have, in part, made up?

When my last relationship ended, I couldn’t quite get past how one person could profess such a great love and then, after a lot of silent internal deliberation, take it back. Was it all a lie, I asked myself? Was what we experienced as love a false representation of one?

(I’ve also been on the other end of this human equation, and I can honestly say, neither end is easy or pleasant.)

And perhaps there are no easy answers to such questions.

Love itself is unanswerable. It is both the question and the answer; it is complete. It is accountable to no one. It exists everywhere and its power is immeasurable and mysterious. It is infinite and unending.

But when love “ends” and seems so disappointing, what is that? Where does that come from?

What I am learning is not to blame love--which is guileless, it is innocent. But, rather, to recognize that my experience of it is limited because I’m human, and that those who I love and who love me are human too, and in our limited being-ness we experience love in an imperfect and limited fashion.  Most of us do our best, and many times our best will fall short of the perfection that love is. We, as human beings, are inconsistent; we stumble, fall, make mistakes; we also get up, dust ourselves off, and try again.

Love is different from the idea of love. The idea of love is mind-born. If “love” is something that we think, then already there is something not quite right about it. 

Real love is much more subtle than that. It is not experienced with the mind but with the heart. And not even the physical beating heart, but the more subtle energetic heart center. Love is an energy, not a thought.  

Love is not what we think it is; it is what we feel it is. But when we seek to define it, this feeling, we use a language that is not the language of love, but the language of ideas, and many a time our ideas are based on the way we think things should be.

And a good friend pointed out just this last summer, as I was moaning about how I thought things “should be,” that there is, really, no such thing! Love, simply, is. Not an easy thing for the thinking heart to accept, but there it is.

And it’s a whole new challenge; this feeling love, experiencing it just as it is: in essence, it is great, always present but also changing and transforming because those around me, including myself, change and transform. I’m learning—sometimes with great difficulty--to just feel it, not to judge, not to discern, not to categorize, just being with it and, in turn, letting it be with me, another act of surrender, another way of being.      

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