Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Always falling into love

Love... to be in love... I don't know that I can speak about love with any sort of authority though I have been privileged to witness some masters, some great lovers, not only of the romantic variety, and teachers of love in my life.

I can write about love from my imagination, through the lens of my finite being, of this place and time and from my experience of love and of the absence of it.  Much of my current pursuit is to find myself experiencing love as much and as often as possible.  Simple but not easy!

I want my life to be an experiment, a laboratory for all sorts of flavors, textures and qualities of love. I want my experiences to be ones where I easily tap into the abundance of love that is possible in every moment.  We are conditioned to identify and operate from an assumed scarcity when it comes to love.  We are taught to believe that some love is superior to others, that love is hard to find and that once we've got it we have to hold on for dear life.  What I keep coming back to and what my greatest teachers keep driving home is that there is no scarcity of love.

But why does it feel so challenging to experience love sometimes?  Because there is love that is easy and love that is hard. There is a reason that most love stories end with the first kiss.  This is the love that is easy, intoxicating, exciting, new.  This is the love that we can most easily identify because of it's intensity. There is truly nothing like the feeling of being in love.  It is amazing but like all incredibly desirable experiences, it can become an obsession, a fixation and an addiction.  Part of love practice is to acknowledge that sometimes love is easy and sometimes love is hard.

Can we practice love even when it is hard? Love feels harder when things are stale, stagnant, when we are grouchy or hurt, when there is a breach of trust.  Love is also hard when we dislike or feel indifferent towards someone.  These are all our greatest opportunities to practice love.  These moments of challenging love are when we can make love something we do and not just something that happens to us once in a while.

Practicing love amidst hardship, loneliness, boredom is where the challenge lies.  It is a noble pursuit to be infusing love into all the parts of our lives that feel tricky or sticky or rough.

What does this look like?  I am certainly not advocating for a blind denial of negative experiences or feelings.  Spending our time wishing things were different is in many ways antithetical to love practice.  Love and honesty absolutely must go hand in hand.  Honesty about what is present is the first step.  Can we hold space for all that we experience and approach our experience with as much love as possible.  We first love ourselves enough for our experience to be okay and valid.  We create space for the experience and spend time responding with clarity and gentleness.

So we act with honesty in the moments where love feels hard and then when love feels easy?  "When Shakti strikes, surrender with a smile."  We have turned the soil, planted the seeds and done the work and all that remains is to enjoy watching what will grow, blossom and evolve.  The brilliance is that we really do have the great privilege to experience love all the time.  Notice the easy moments of love in each and every day, take these moments in fully, they are there...  Perhaps in the perfect cup of tea, in the music that makes your soul soar.  Dive deep in to the love of the lingering hug from a friend, the moon, the sun, a deep breath or the feeling your body moving.

When we make love our practice, both when it is easy and when it is hard, when we allow more space for what is present now, for the relationships that exist in our life, this inevitably helps us to see that love abounds. We always have the capacity to be in love.  It is a choice, a practice and a surrender.  Love is not a substance to be acquired and it doesn't have to look a certain way.  Love is abundant and our work is simple.  Keep remembering love.  Keep acting from love. Keep being in love.