Embracing LoveWe have all had experiences where the scent of a flower, the sight of a bird in flight, a smile, or a simple act of kindness has evoked feelings of love to such an extent that all attachments to being a time bound self are swept away. In the absence of self-centered references, the mind is open and ready for anything, even the recognition that there is nothing to do, and everything to be. And, that, being simple and simply being is a profoundly loving and respectful gesture to us all. At the risk of anthropomorphizing the compelling shift in awareness from a personal to a universal perspective, such a transformation reveals the supportive embrace of the formless source of everything in the universe. Its clear and ongoing invitation is to totally capitulate to the timeless and boundless rhythm and flow of existence. Gracefully resisting the urge to do or change anything about the content of the moment opens us to ever-subtler layers of being within the absolute. We can literally feel the beckoning call to shift attention to something much, much grander than reactive patterns of behavior that flow freely within the clarity and stillness of our undivided nature. The light of unfiltered awareness inevitably over-shadows all ignorance about the nature of love; similar to what happens when you shine a light into the darkness.
Unconditional love is neither personal nor conceptual, but the direct and intimate outflow of the life force that infuses everything with life. This absolute version of self clearly expresses its undivided love for itself by both animating life, and expressing itself as a unifying presence in the world. The unconditional nature of love is revealed at the expense of our deepest held limiting beliefs and fixations about the relative nature of love. It’s important to point out that the full experience of love cannot be found in any of the meanings or labels that we place on it, or stories of love through which we filter our experiences of it. Separation from love is not possible, but does appear to exist when attached to a story of lost love told and heard from a dualistic perspective. Another common but mistaken belief is that if we stop looking for love it will never be found. The truth is that love is everywhere, all the time. The separation from unconditional love is over when we are so in love that we encounter it everywhere that we look. It is also obvious that true love is not the opposite of anything, including hate, and can only fully blossom when there is total self-abandonment to the here and now. The natural outflow of unconditional love is felt as a deep sense of communion with others that can and must change the world from a place that is driven by self-interest, to a world full of an unselfish concern for the well being of all.
There is very little life and freedom in relationships that are mired in unconscious patterns of behavior. If that is the case, the way that we conduct our lives tends to be highly personal and reactive. True love transcends the labels that we use to distinguish ourselves from others, as well as the expectations that we place on the outcome of love. Those very labels and expectations are what prevent an unobstructed view of the harmonious nature of life. The way to become intimately familiar with the essence of love is to resist the urge to follow the mind’s tendency to personalize it. You know, the kind of overwhelming love where the personal self starts to deconstruct, as we comprehend that there is no separation between the object of love and its undivided source. A significant transformation from a personal to a universal relationship with love materializes, particularly as we start to recognize our permanent self everywhere. We discover that rather than looking for more love to come our way, it is wise to indiscriminately share our love everywhere, and all the time. Only then can we completely open to an ease of being that is revealed when we unabashedly extend love without any hope or expectation of receiving anything in return.
It is a huge relief to finally understand that we are part of an undivided ubiquitous life force that animates everything. Realizing that we are already whole and complete and that love is everywhere exposes our attachment to the story of being a separate self as the misunderstanding that it is. Most of us just come to a point where it just makes no sense to follow the misguided belief that what is actually boundless is rare, or that the nature of self is limited. As attachments to relatively unconscious views of the nature of love and self are revealed, we spontaneously start to treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated. Another interesting discovery about the limited and relational version of love is that when we consciously allow it to flow through consciousness, it collapses under its own dualistic weight into its original omnipresent nature. It is self-evident that this majestic source of life is perpetually celebrating itself by manifesting everywhere. Knowing that everything in life as part of the same eternal jewel is the ultimate expression of that love.
The Rose – Bette Midler “It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance. It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance. It’s the one who won’t be taken, who cannot seem to give, and the soul afraid of dyin’ that never learns to live.”
Sky Blue and Black – Jackson Browne “You’re the color of the sky reflected in each store–front window pane. You’re the whispering and the sighing of my tires in the rain. You’re the hidden cost and the thing that’s lost in everything I do. Yeah, and I’ll never stop looking for you. In the sunlight and the shadows and the faces on the avenue. That’s the way love is. That’s the way love is. That’s the way love is. Sky blue and black.”