Is there anything thats more sought after in our world than love? Yes many chase after money, power, fame and pleasure for sure but how much of that stems from the desire to be loved. If love is so important to us why is it that our intimate connections with others are often so painful and dissatisfying? How could something so incredibly beautiful and central to the human soul cause so much anguish for so many? In my journey and in the sharing that I have had the good fortune to receive from others the quest for love has beyond anything else been the central theme. Personally I don’t think there is any greater desire and yet many are unable to establish a consistent healthy connection with love.
A question I have continually asked myself for many years now is – what is love? In asking that question I have very clearly discovered what is NOT love. What used to pass for love for me is something I now refer to as attachment. In fact I’ve confused many things for love. I’ve equated love with security, lust, bliss, happiness, intimacy, pain, longing and much more. However I’ve seen that none of these things are actually love. Yet I know love because when all the things that are not it are removed something remains. Its very subtle but very powerful. Its not really something I can define but I feel it, deeply. Its magnificent, exquisite, limitless, joyful and about a thousand other words. I know it with the heart and not the mind. Not with my physical or emotional heart but with the heart of my very being.
This led me to the the next question which was – what is the source of this that I call love? This is in a way a more important question because even though many of us mix up love with other things we all know what it feels like, how could we not? We may be temporarily distracted from it or have forgotten the essential feeling which is love but I imagine every human being knows it at some level. But what cuts us off from it? It may be thinking its source is external. It seems that we often think that love comes from another person whether its our lover, partner, child or parent. We might also think it comes from some external deity or even from an object like a home or money. If we feel the source to be external its no wonder we have no much difficulty with love because all these external things are temporary and limited and ultimately not able to be controlled. If love is temporary, limited and uncontrollable, and we need it, we are kind of screwed.
But what if the source of love is not external at all, what if its at the core of our very being? What if whenever we felt a need for love we went inward to the deepest part of ourselves, and we were fully and completely nurtured? If we found love within we could then focus on giving it and sharing it with others rather than trying to get it from them. How would that transform our relationships, the relationship with our selves and with others? Well I can’t speak for you but I will say it changes it profoundly and completely in my experience!
For one thing we’d be able to forgive, to forgive ourselves and others for the selfish things we’ve done to get love. We would love ourselves and in loving ourselves be able to love others so forgiveness would come naturally without effort. How can anyone forgive without knowing love truly? For that matter, how can anyone love another person if they don’t first love themselves? Life would also take on a great peace and inner stability because that which we desire most we would already have in infinite abundance, no more desperate and endless searching. No more chaos of thinking we have found love and then thinking that we have somehow lost it because something external changed. We would also finally be able to truly be in relationship with others because not only would we have all this incredible love to share but in not needing love from them we would no longer need to project our needs and desires on them. We could see them clearly for who and what they actually are and appreciate the uniqueness of that without needing to change it. We could actually connect with each other from the heart which can only be done when we can meet someone unconditionally in the moment without any agenda. From this place true compassion becomes possible as well because through the channel of love we realize we are not separate beings and so the pain and suffering of others becomes an intimate experience. We naturally respond as needed out of a desire for service to that in others we recognize as being none other than ourselves.
Its ironic to consider that the greatest treasure any human being could ever conceive of is sitting right under our very noses. Waiting for us to stop searching, stop needing, stop distracting ourselves and simply discover it. Open to it. Be it. It could be that that would be so shatteringly profound and incredible that we would no longer be able to imagine how we lived in such limitation. Well thats what YOU are sitting on right here right now! Will you claim that treasure which is already yours? If not now, when?