"You can open as love and live as love, even though you are not fully received by those you love. You can open as infinity and offer your deepest truth, even though your gifts may be refused by those you want to serve. You can live as openness even though your daily life may seem tawdry in light of your heart's deepest shine."
This quote so hit me as I felt I had been living it "word for word" all of 2011. In all sorts of ways and with all different types of people.
In life it is easy to be in love and to fall in love. These are all symptoms of "romantic love" and as wonderful and as beautiful as it feels, it is not they type of love that stands the test of time.
That is because the deeper form of love will always have to emerge from the ashes of "romantic love". Romantic love blows out when triggers show up and break the illusion that the other person is "perfect in every way".
No one is perfect. We are all human beings with human failings. We will forget to pay attention. We will get caught in our own stuff and forget to feel into those we love. We will become so consumed with our own attachments and getting what we want that we override others. There is always a situation that will purposely make us let go of the shallower level of romantic love and be forced to reach deeper within to find the true meaning of love.
One of my great teachers said, "Love is Choice."
What that means is that you choose love in each and every moment. You choose to practice love when everything in your mind wants to scream, fight, blame, and hurt those who you perceive as not loving you.
There are moments when our perception is flawed. There are moments when someone is loving us by not giving us what we want or by not allowing a distortion in our perception to continue. In the moment that they tell us the truth, it does not feel loving. But under the trigger it is very loving.
What is even harder is when you feel as if someone is not loving or seeing you. And yet, you choose to practice love regardless of the other person's behavior.
This is what I personally find the most challenging. I have spent a year with many people having situations and circumstances show up that, in my mind, seemed to be not loving in my direction. They either were not seeing me, not seeming to care about my feelings and situation, or were making their circumstances more important than my feelings.
I must admit that rarely in my life do I get hit with a lot of people that care about me doing this all at the same time. Especially those that I call "family".
It was a great test to stay open and to choose to be loving regardless of what others were saying or doing. I must admit that it was tremendously difficult because I had also gone through one of the biggest shifts in my life by moving, selling my home, starting my business in a new way and trying to find my pathway in an entirely new circumstance. It is in those moments when you think you need the most support and love. But what the universe created for me to learn was for me to instead be dropped into a hole and regardless of how much I asked for help, I got nothing.
It was quite startling.
Over and over again, I was left with no one to talk to and no one to share with. Everything I attempted to share was either rebuffed, taken out of context, or ignored as inconvenient to them.
I think part of it is that in my line of work most people come to get help and support from me. Rarely do I ask and truly need support. It is in those moments that you realize who your friends really are. And it is often shocking as to who is really there for you when the chips are down. It is a good wake-up call.
There were all sorts of excuses and ways that people minimize others feelings and situations. The variety was amazing.
But in the midst of sorting all this out, I once again realized that the core pattern of my personal wounding is also the core strength of my gift.
In my case, my wounding is not feeling heard in my family. In this situation I was once again, not feeling heard by my spiritual family. Then I realized that my gift is that I always hear others. I spend all day listening deeply to peoples words and stories. It is my gift. When someone is in my presence, I allow them to feel and experience being heard. That is because it is so important to me. I have learned to manifest my entire presence and to bring my consciousness in its full awareness to the moment in which I find myself.
The problem is that it is not appropriate to expect others to do the same. Each of us has a wound. And that wound creates a particular gift. The wounding is the fuel for the desire to give the gift that we never got in our life.
That piece of awareness allowed me to step out of my personal upset and begin to look at giving my gift and to discern what others were attempting to give as their gift. Because in the giving of their gift they were being as loving as they knew how in that moment.
That allowed me to see that, once again, we are all love in many forms and perspectives. We cannot expect others to give us what we want. We can only allow them to give the gifts that they have to give, given the present state of awareness in which they find themselves.
And eventually love wins. Though with some of my friends it has taken over a year of me being and working on being conscious love for them to finally step out of their distortion and illusions and finally see me. I am finally seeing that they have a new awareness that I am being love. Even if my love is filtered through my wounding. I am being as much conscious love as I know how to do in this moment. And moments change. Through practice I will become more and more aware of how to be the expression of conscious love.
Love is not easy. Love is a choice. True love expresses itself in times of challenge and hardship. True love never goes away. In my heart I love each and every person exactly the way that I have always felt them. The love I feel for everyone and every thing never really goes away.
It is easy to get mad and cut off love. To just say, "I am over you. I am done with you. I claim my power back and I don't need you any more."
But that would be a lie. In the deeper places of true love, love is eternal. It is unchanging. It is a connection that is beyond time and space. Just because someone chooses to not reciprocate that love does not mean it does not exist.
I find it take tremendous energy to deny or not notice love's presence. I choose not to do that. I choose to feel the pain of someone not loving me. I choose to love anyway. I choose to not discount the love I have shared with anyone. My heart is solid in that.
But it is very painful to stay present with that love. It hurts to feel the anguish of that love or the experience of the loss of that love and still choose to be the beacon of hearts presence and the timelessness of love regardless of what anyone else does or what anyone else says.
I have learned a lot about my heart and the strength of my love. So can you.
Take the risk and live as love and light, not anger and heat. You will grow in ways that astound you.