Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Love and Fear

I've been contemplating love a lot these days. Jerry and I will be attending a Love Intensive in Ben Lomond during Valentine's Day weekend and I'm really looking forward to that. It's been too long since I've done an Intensive and I can really use a tune up.

I bought several books while on holiday. One of them is The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's a simple little book where he does a lot of repeating simple understandings about life, love and relationships. It also contains a lot of simple and powerful wisdom about love. He talks about how people live either on a Love Track or a Fear Track in relationship. I know this one. It's a constant choice. My experience in life has been that I can't love and fear at the same time. The thing is though, I find that the more I open to love in my life, the more fear I have to face. It's interesting. It's also scary and challenging. I've had a lot of fear programmed into me and it doesn't just slink away with its tail between its legs the more love and happiness I allow into my life. Rather, it seems to rear it's ugly head in defiance, continually enticing me with the opportunity to invest in its nonsense. It still traps me a lot.

It all comes back to being in relationship with real people. I can't love and control people at the same time. I either love people for who they are and the choices they make and choose to either be in relationship with them or not--or I take their choices personally and create unhappiness when they don't do what I want. I know that true happiness comes from within and when I allow my happiness to be based in the external (another) I am setting myself up for the fall. Yes, the fall. I know this fall intimately and have suffered many a bruise and broken bone in relationship.

I'm practicing living in the moment. Because the moment is where true happiness resides. My breath is the greatest tool I've found to keep me in anchored in the moment. Everything is perfect in the moment...mostly. The biggest challenge I've found with the moment is when I'm experiencing physical pain. It's very difficult for me to not resist the moment when the physical pain is intense. Fortunately, I haven't been experiencing much physical pain these days and relatively speaking, I suppose I haven't experienced much of it in my life. I'm grateful for that because I don't seem to do physical pain all that well.

I'm much more expert at emotional pain. Ha! Not that I do that well either. I've experienced a lot of it in my life for sure and I'm sick of it. It's self centered and self created and quite frankly, unattractive and pathetic. I know, I know. Compassion. Miguel Ruiz talks about our self-created pain in The Mastery of Love. He also talks about our self-created hell (our lives and relationships.) Been there. Done that. Don't like it. Want to be done with it. I've come a long way. I grew tired of living in an illusion of mind fuck nonsense. I'd rather live in heaven, thank you very much.

So today, I'm watching what is and breathing through it. I kinda feel like a drug addict who is in the 12-step program. Just for today...just for today I will not use another to project my fear onto. Just for today I will not create unhappiness in my life by taking another's choice personally. Just for today I will live in the moment and appreciate this incredible beauty that is my life.

One of the aspects of love that I've been contemplating is the difference between simply loving someone and being or falling in love with someone. The distinction I make is a blurry and spurious boundary/definition that I've created in order to keep up some illusion of safety. I feel grounded, powerful, and safe when I'm simply choosing to love someone. I feel vulnerable, needy, and fearful when I'm in love. My clarity (or confusion) on this matter seems to be related to the idea of choice/no choice. There is a contrast between the experience of loving someone as a conscious choice as opposed to the experience of being swept away on a wave of in loveness. Rather than choosing to love, it feels more like love chooses me and I try to just surrender it. Like I said, I'm confused with this notion. I feel in charge and in my power when I'm choosing to love but when I'm in love I'm more prone to neediness and becoming dependent on another to behave in a particular way which includes giving me a certain amount of time and attention that I need to be happy. The gist of this delusion about being in love is believing that my happiness comes from an external source and therefore it depends on another giving me what I want. When I'm choosing to love, I'm very much in touch with the source of my happiness as coming from within.

I'm pretty sure that what happens for me is that when my heart opens to greater and greater levels of love, and this love pours into my being, I get afraid. Why do I get afraid? I'm inexperienced at handling the full potentiality of love--similar to getting too high on pot for instance. The love seems to function as a light that shines on all my old patterns of relating where all this fear lives in hiding. The love light forces the fear to come out and be seen. The fear brings along attachment and I get this attachment all mixed up with love. I'm just a baby lover and I'm doing the best I can here. For me, being in love with someone is very connected to being attached to them. Attachment doesn't bode well for enlightenment or love relationships that are based on freedom and truth which is what I seek to create. And of course this brings me back to the illusion that my happiness is attached to another giving me what I want.

So just for today, just for this moment, I choose love over fear and I choose to breathe.

1 comment:

Greenwoman said...

THat book sounds good and you sound good. A spiritual study in action. Thanks for sharing your journey. *smiles*