I often get stuck in my ideas and experiences of Love.
Recently, I’ve come to understand that there is great Humility to be had.
I used to function from a place where Love is supposed to ‘give to me.’ There was often an expectation of receiving specific positive or pleasurable experiences from it, and when that didn’t happen, it felt like a ‘lack of love.’ So, I would seek it elsewhere, angrily and often begrudgingly. I was constantly exhausted, and it was usually someone else’s fault.
That is no longer my understanding.
In many ways, I give thanks for this new understanding to the Lake I live near and the many species of birds that plunge into it.
We all know Water is life-giving; this is because water is alive. As it flows through us, we are in relationship with it – whether we are conscious of it or not. When we are unconscious of our Waters, we dump; this is true of our lakes and oceans and the waters within us – our emotional and intuitive being. When we are conscious, we take great care and discern what goes in and what does not – because we know that every choice in a relationship has a natural consequence.
We have all felt dumped on, and we too, have dumped on others. We have walked the path of being polluters and enablers until we realized something profound and fundamental that we missed or lost.
I had the blessing and benefit of attending a Native Water ceremony. At the end, we were all sitting in a circle with our Lake, and a quiet man looked out at the Waters and asked, ‘What can I offer you when you offer me Life itself?’
The quietness that erupted from this question stays with me, for the answer is in wordlessness.
This is how I learned what I was missing in my relationship with Love; Humility. I was overly concerned with what I was getting, and when I did ponder what I was offering, I’d get stuck in the shame and guilt of being part of the human-polluter chain.
Relationships with family, lovers, friends, and even the Divine, what I believed to be my work, service, or purpose in the world, all mirrored this.
It would show up in small ways, like expecting a behaviour, an action, or an outcome from a person, experience, or situation. It would show up as a feeling of dissatisfaction, even when I got the desired result because it never entirely ‘filled that hole within.’ I was quick to judge myself in these moments, further entrenching myself in belief systems and ideas that were nothing to do with Love.
Here is one of the places where we get to see how our Self-Love practices are serving us –
Are we in judgment or forgiveness?
Are we learning or staying stuck in the old and possibly rigid?
Are we genuinely functioning from a place of relationship, or is this a one-way street?
Sometimes the quest for self-actualization can be a harsh one.
We want to be better.
Sometimes we succeed.
Here is where Love, Humility, and Forgiveness become the foundations of our growth.
Because, why are we actually ‘actualizing’? Is it not to offer more of our essential selves to Creation? For Creation to know us, as we know Creation?
Evolving the Self because something is bad or wrong or less takes immense Courage.
Evolving the Self because we remember and know who we truly are, takes great Love.
We evolve from this place because we are part of a living, breathing planet. We are children of the infinite universe. We are having an experience of Creation.
From this place, polluting our bodies, minds and lakes makes little sense.
Certainly, we may witness others doing so, and then, possibly for the first time, we have a choice in how we respond to these violations.
Whether the response is anger, education, understanding, presenting options – the truth is that we have the power to choose our own experience and how we press impact onto others, not by force, but through consciousness.
Even Anger, a choice rooted in deep love and protection consciously expressed, is far more powerful than anger, the reaction because someone wronged us.
We then understand that Love is truly a transformative Power.
While in the collective consciousness, we experienced the power that came from fear, lack, greed, guilt, and control.
Now, Power is different because its source is different. After all, we are directly plugged into a part of the Universe’s infinite source of Love.
Remember that argument you had with one you love, where both of you are so convinced that the other is wrong?
Or that time you felt so powerless and helpless watching someone make what you believe to be the wrong choice?
Or wanting to connect or mend a relationship so badly, yet being unable to for several reasons?
Not quite the experiences resulting from infinite universal love, are they?
But they are still experiences, our fuel for learning.
When we move, breathe, and walk in Love, we have the option of seeing the outer world as a reflection of the inner one.
When we come up against something difficult, we may first ask ourselves where this lives within us; We come to know ourselves better that way.
We offer ourselves space in the density of the moment, perhaps a breath. And then, instead of reacting, we act. We move into consciousness.
As there have always been, there will be times where it isn’t about our inner world, where the outer world will require our fierceness, our light, and our immovable truth – at all costs.
How much we resist or falter in this will tell us the nature of our inner being as it meets the outer world.
Relationships with other people as such are a fascinating universal complexity.
We have all had moments where we are firm in our resolve and our truths, and then the phone rings. We get two minutes into a conversation with our person, and we unravel faster than yarn from a kitten’s paws.
Personally, my problem here was that my resolve, in these instances, did not come from Love. They came from some idea of rebellion and self-preservation. By nature, they had to be rigid and stubborn. So, conversations and relationships had an undertone of force and someone not feeling seen, heard, or as they mattered.
When we come from the Love, we know our power and ourselves. We free ourselves from the rigidity of mind-created structures. We celebrate flow in natural change, so we aren’t resistant to it. We understand that our power comes from space and discernment.
Eventually, my conversations and relationships had room to breathe and space to turn corners and find new avenues. Huzzah!
Offering oneself fully to Love sounds like something Mystics write about in poetry. It is indescribably beautiful, and tears of joy stream from the eyes for no reason but Life itself.
It is, however, more terrifying than I had imagined.
One reason for this is that we have pretty warped ideas around Love, giving, receiving, showing up, honouring self while honouring others, being alone and together.
Another reason is that we have been taught for centuries to look for differences and divide ourselves. It simply hasn’t been safe to Love at these depths for most, or we have been distracted by someone else’s power struggle.
Many of these issues exist because many world religions and states corrupted the knowing and feeling of Divine/God/ Universal Love, and as such, the love we have for each other as peoples and for the natural world.
If your quest for self-realization leads you here, you will face all this and more. You realize that of all the choices we’ve had, Love was never one of them because it is the stuff we are made of – whether we acknowledge it or not. Lack or stuck-ness were momentary perceptions on a longer winding path.
Moments then become a space of observing where we truly are in the Inner and the Outer meeting, what we Offer, and what we Receive. What some ‘other’ did or said, or did not, loses its hold, and we gain Peace and Power. Truth and change become as natural as breath, most of the time at least.
When I used to think of the man at the Water ceremony, I wondered if he ever got an answer to his question. I now realize that the answer to questions like that come all the time, every day. If we are attuned, we recognize them as life’s miracles – in gratitude for a drink of water offered, in the sparkle of a snowflake and the receptive listening to our divinity within.
If you could get rid of yourself just once.
The secret of secrets would open to you.
The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe
Would appear on the mirror of your perception.