Who Do You Love?
Is there anyone you love? Do you know what love is, what love feels like? In my world, to love authentically and deeply is to give completely with everything you are, your whole being, your heart and mind… and never ask for anything in return. Never ask the object of your love to give you something in return.
When you love something, say, chocolate or wine or a sunset, you trust that the feeling you get from the love of the object is as good as it gets, right? You don’t ask for more. When you hold a newborn baby, you love. You don’t ask that baby for something in return. You trust that the feeling you get from nurturing and loving is enough.
How did we come to lose our connection with what love is and turn it into something that it is not? How did we come to believe that we have a right to be angry with another … or that another owes us something like “good” behavior or adhering to our guidelines for success or loyalty or love or happiness? Why does a parent get angry with a child? Because they want their child to be or do something to fit into a particular pattern of what is acceptable to them, and the child rebels. When a child disapproves of the way they are treated, they revolt, rebel, sometimes violently. They have their own ideal of what they should be and through that ideal they wish to fulfill themselves.
Are you aware of your anger when someone in your world disappoints you? You are expecting something from them, a certain kind of treatment, and your expectation of them is not realized? You are depending on them for something – agreement, love, favors, whatever – and you are frustrated with them when your expectations don’t match the reality of the outcome… and your dependence breeds anger, perhaps even bitterness, causing conflict, separation, dissonance, disconnection.
Children know how to love, until they have been trained not to love. We know how to love even though we may have lost touch with what love is and what it really feels like to love.
If you are fortunate enough to share your life with a free child, one who is nurtured in a environment that allows him to love freely, watch him and learn how to love. Love is so easy and natural. A child so easily can show you with every cell of his being how easy this is. A child LOVES his mama and daddy and wants to share every waking moment with them when allowed to do so, he may love nothing but bananas for days on end, immersions into insects that seem to last way too long, baby dolls or imaginary friends, video games or building fires, scrambled eggs or dogs, hunting four leaf clovers or bird watching. A child so easily and rapturously immerses herself into what she loves, and her loves are changing, evolving, deepening or waning, all according to an internal timetable that only she has the conscious and unconscious wisdom about.
Experiment with love in the same way. What do you love right now? It doesn’t matter how small or silly or inconsequential or what others may think of your love. Love it and immerse yourself in that love. Allow yourself to feel what love feels like and watch where it leads you. Go there. Feel it again. Listen. Don’t pay attention to anyone else. Go where your love sends you.