Happy (belated) Valentine’s day all! Sorry for the lack of posts, but I am going through my own transformations and there are times for silence as well. (I actually wrote this on Valentine’s day, but got around to posting it now)
For this writing, I’m going to focus on a particular dichotomy that is pretty universal amongst our relationships and in ourselves. This is the conflict apparent in the following two statements.
- I love you fully and completely.
- I really don’t accept ___ about you.
(one example for the latter might be “I don’t accept that you want to back away from any issue that may cause pain or conflict”)
Again, this is very common – in fact it’s the stereotypical ‘I love you, you’re perfect, now change!‘ motto. This isn’t a symptom of a neurotic mind; it is part of being human. The question is, how do we work with this instead of trying to be a romantic Jesus by denying what truly goes on?
As Walt Whitman wrote in ‘Song of Myself’ : “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. ” Most of us recognize this in ourselves to some extent. Part of us wants to relax under the sun, and another part wants to fix up the home and do ‘valuable work’. So how to bring this unity into our lives?
Paradoxically, both within ourselves and in relationships, we always move towards a more loving direction when this contradiction and lack of acceptance is allowed and not resisted. It is by loving that we aren’t all-loving beings that creates the room for it. We’ve all heard that you cannot love another more than you love yourself. What I’m saying is you cannot love anything more than the permission that exists to not love it. This sounds complicated, but isn’t if you think of love as total and unconditional acceptance. It is a totality that includes its opposite.
In relationships, when there is no freedom to not accept parts of the other, then when this occurs (and it will occur, for we are not Buddha yet), it will remain silent and denied. This denial, like all denials, shows up as tension, lack of trust, maintaining an image of what loving behavior is, and so on. That disowned part of Self atrophies. It thinks: ‘If she really saw me for who I am, she’d see I don’t love her for who she is, and therefore she wouldn’t love me because what I profess to be is different from what I am.’
The above two statements occurred for me recently, and I voiced them. The effect was very freeing. By saying ‘I don’t accept ____ about you’, I was in effect saying I don’t love all of you yet, but I want to. Oh, how I did want to – but I wasn’t there yet. It created a space for both of us to be human, warts and all. The paradox again is that without that space, there’s no love anyway.
The problem with romance in our culture is that it is rarely a true and deep connection based on reality and the present moment. It’s a pie in the sky dream. We learn romance from Hollywood movies and high schools, where the ideal of love is more important than any real emotions occurring. It’s more important to strive for that ivory pedestal of an ideal relationship than to bring every bit of one’s Self forward to the relationship.
Unfortunately, there simply is no shortcut to truly loving with our whole being. And yet the paradox is that the love is already there. All the relationships I’ve been in, extremely dysfunctional ones included, have always had that deep love at the core of my being, connecting to their own deep love within them. We all already know about Love if we go deep enough inside ourselves; we’re only learning to bring it up through all the surface personality layers so we can live it.
It’s even more essential to give ourselves this inner space and freedom. We can think in terms of the law of attraction if we want; we can use affirmations; we can proclaim that we love ourselves unconditionally. But unless there is room for not loving ourselves â???? for the hate, non acceptance and harsh desires to be someone else â???? then there will not be love, for there is no room for it. This is of mindfulness – a space of simply watching what arises naturally, without any attempt for control or change. The essence of mindfulness is spaciousness.
I wrote this on Valentine’s day and it’s traditionally a time for romance. Let’s make it a time for love as well. Welcome all of your Self, and welcome all of whomever you interact with. It’s only when you welcome hatred â???? not to cultivate or flame, but simply in giving it mindful space â???? that we make room for love to work its magic on it. There’s always room for that.