“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend”. Martin Luther King Jr
We learn about love from day one. Or we learn about the lack of it. Vast amounts of research has been published on parenting and love, so I’m not going to go into that. We just know that our earlier years are key to our approach to love as adults. Yet, they are not an excuse to keep going when we know our learned conditioning isn’t healthy or loving.
What I’d like to focus on is how we use love to protect ourselves, but actually, “is this love” as Alison Moyet would say? This is coming from someone (me) who has been quite mediocre when it comes to relationships but I like to think that I know better through trial, error and age. I think the old adage, “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again” is best in my case with a hint of “keep trying until you’ve exhausted yourself”. There are many humorous sentiments around this suggestion…. I giggle as I go through some of them. It’s lovely being on my own these days as i learn to love myself all over again, comfortable in my own skin, opening those portals so that I can allow the flow to reach others from a rested, wiser soul.
We find it very uncomfortable to talk about love sometimes. It’s the one subject that some may think is too ‘personal’ but I like to think that all subjects are open for discussion because in order to experience growth, we tackle the uncomfortable through meaningful experience. After all, it is just life. Likewise, people get squeamish when we talk about intimacy. Again, it is a natural part of life. The animal kingdom don’t get squeamish. I like to engage in ‘taboo’ conversations, just breaking the packaging on that neatly wrapped ‘box’ which has sat in the garage for years, reveals all sorts of helpful findings.
I love experiencing love. I love my family, friends, colleagues, I even love the stranger in the street who gives me a big warm smile. I believe that it comes from the same source, chakra, shakti, spiritual energy. I let go of all my hang-ups which were centred around my sexuality. I just loved, everyone is free to love, no classifications, no restrictions, no prejudices. In the end, whatever the gender-age- monetary- education- cultural-sexuality gaps, the spiritual flow remains the same. “Live and let live”. We still live in an era (unbelievably) of arranged marriages in many countries and forced belief systems.
I was fortunate to attend two weddings in 2020 …with almost complete strangers. The first wedding I attended was by default in Toronto’s City Hall with two young people who needed a second witness. Why they didn’t have their family or friends there was not mine to ask, I was only too happy to help out.
Then in November 2020 I was once again called upon by a visiting Surgeon and his wife to witness the renewal of their vows at Plantation House, Saint Helena Island. It was a beautiful event. Thank you.
I was told a story of a couple who were wed in NYC and the lady did not tell her parents about her husband because they would not have approved. All the secrets, lies, pretence for many years, especially around holiday seasons etc when she would travel back to her own country…..how does anyone think that a healthy, loving, kind connection will flourish from secrets and lies? We bow to convention and we hurt and hurt others too. We can be told a million times that it will never work and we don’t listen because love conquers all right? Well that depends on our understanding of love surely? The Beatles say, “can’t buy me love” but there are some folks who think you can. Is this love? If this works for people, crack on, who am I to judge?
The issue is with love that when we experience pain, we close up. Some of us experience such pain that we never love again (intimate relationships) and this is so very sad. Some of us play it safe and choose a partner who we feel will not disrupt our near perfectly protected world, someone we can control(the box in the garage). We are all programmed to love deeply with the highs and lows, trying to stop it creates a cocktail of toxins internally.
We may not realise that we are only releasing a small portion of the spiritual energy that we have to love, especially if our conditioning has not allowed us to feel wonderful unbounded love. I will never put a lid on love because it is the greatest source of joy, peace and happiness. Whatever the challenges, living a life full of love is worth all of that. I don’t just want to live a life which suggests safe and formalities. I want a love that is felt, that is so potent that words or deeds don’t need to express…….simply a connection from heart to heart that removes fear, that stands the test of challenges, that is kind and respectful, that does not keep a record of wrongs, that is attentive. Think I’m crazy to want all this? That’s what convention tells us……normal is more lows than highs. This isn’t about money, materialism, sculptured bodies and faces. All these things are external and will in time change.
I have friends who question themselves constantly because they don’t love themselves enough to see the work that needs to be done before jumping (with desperation) into that next relationship and the next and the next and the other person can ‘smell’ it from a mile away. I’ve been there. Our self-doubts and lack of self-love and respect does not bode well for others paying us the same love and respect.
We were having a conversation on Saturday around the table at ‘Horse Cottage’ about love and as the voice does, I spouted out about ‘loving intelligent, probing conversation’ with a partner. In the end, this is all the by-product of love but we know that we won’t sit there every minute of every day probing and discussing, how exhausting. Yet, what first attracted us to someone sometimes becomes an ‘annoyance’. Is this love then in the first place?
If we don’t give love, the chances are, we won’t receive much of it as its a two-way street. We may start off giving love and then as soon as someone hurts us, we close up and that’s the end of that. To train ourselves to ‘stay open’ even when we experience an uncomfortable situation can bring incredible growth to relationships. It is why I cannot and will not hate or despise anyone family, friend or foe. This blocks the flow of love from my heart to others. It is quite easy (as I found out) to fall into lust in an intimate relationship and stay there until (normally around the six month – 12 month mark) I would feel completely smothered and unhappy with the person, I wasn’t happy within, that was the real issue. It’s also quite easy to fall into something and stay there for a long period of time just because I am afraid of being on my own.
Along the way, I have met many folks, I have also said goodbye to many folks. I am very grateful for everyone who came into my space and taught me something about life and love. It continues to be a beautiful experience and not one that I want to taper…..I would like to keep experiencing the journey, what fun! I have learnt much from friends and family who have weathered many years together and are still deeply in love zillions of years later ha ha ha….
When we hurt each other, it is that we are hurting, our experiences may have caused us so many blockages in the system. We know how to love but we keep closing up and allowing the fictitious voice of past experiences to control our flow. It doesn’t mean that we don’t love others. Emotions, thoughts, behaviours…they don’t belong to the individual, they are a passing fad promoted by painful conditioning. If we knew better, we would do better.
I’m not suggesting that we stay with someone as they look for us to be their punch bag. I have loved people beyond the determination of our connection, I still do, the end doesn’t mean I have to turn nasty and stop loving. I just don’t need to share their space anymore but love from afar.
Spiritual beings are complex, add layers of thinking, emotions and egotism into it and it is why so often we find ourselves in broken relationships, fractured family feuds, tearful goodbyes with friends etc… I write this blog because I have experienced and seen so much in the way of ‘this will do for now’ relationships, where couples, families, friends etc are just barely keeping it together. I wanted more…..I wanted to believe that love isn’t as erroneous as it seems in so many walks of life. There are the good news stories and I have seen them, heard them, felt them.
All I know is that there is no other option than to remain open, to keep loving and to live our best life with the people that truly understand selfless, powerful love. No shame, no embarrassment. Why be ashamed of big, cuddly, kind love? Even when we get it wrong and try and try again.*giggle*