I have to admit, when I was younger, I had no idea what love was. I wasn’t quite sure if it was a feeling to be felt, a decision to be made, an emotion to be earned or some mystical fairy tale magic we could only hope to find. Then, all at once, one Tuesday evening while sitting on my bed, truth shed the light of love on my confused mind.
At birth, we are more spirit-like than human. Children are living examples of unconditional, spiritual love. Spend time with any child under the age of 3 and we can know the truth of this statement. One cannot help smile around children. We become more open and loving in the presence of a child. This is because children are boundless, completely open to life without fear and to others, unconditionally loving. They are completely in the present, joyful and alive. They are little bundles of love and adults can feel it.
Unfortunately, parents, with the best of intentions, condition us right out of this in order to prepare us for a world in which the collective whole has created. A world of fear, pain, danger and hurt. The spiritual, unconditional love is replaced with a fear based, conditional love. As a child, we learn that love is something to be earned through good behavior. We learn that we are rewarded (loved) when we do “good” and punished (unlovable) when we are “bad.” So as children we begin the vicious cycle of earning one’s love based on their actions. We connect the dots between love and the fear of losing that love if we do not behave in a certain way.
“Love is our Mother and The way of our Prophet. Yet it is in our nature to fight with Love. We can’t see you, mother, hidden behind dark veils woven by ourselves.” – Rumi
I also remember a type of hierarchy based on intimacy and diminished expression associated with love as well. One in which the family always was at the top, receiving the highest degree of love because they were “blood.” Then that of a loved one, then relatives, then friends, then acquaintances received the lowest expression as a untrusting form of interest and that was it. Love to be expressed exclusively to the top two but only in rare situations the rest, and certainly never strangers. In fact quite the opposite. We were taught to fear strangers, not to love or even be open to them. “Never talk to strangers,” we were preached.
Then with this earned, hierarchal type of love, we began choosing friends and intimate partners. We looked for love based on what others did, thinking that was who they are, because this is what we were taught. We look for that partner or friend that gives us what we want. Then over time, they either earn our love or not. This is the type of love that is practiced today in almost all relationships (intimate and other). This is the type of love that creates jealousy, possessiveness, control and neediness. This is the type of love associated with fear, which is not love at all.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi
Pure, unconditional, spiritual love is based upon the recognition that we are all spiritual beings having this human experience. This is the love that heals all wounds and uplifts all mankind, because it is based on the truth of who we are, not what we do. It is not contingent upon any certain action or behavior because we know that our actions are simply an indication of where we are on our evolution toward the light. In this context, a person expressing spiritual love cannot judge another. One expressing spiritual love knows we are all on a journey back toward the light (becoming enlightened) and as one of my teachers once said to me, “every master was once a disaster.” We can look at history to prove this statement. Consider the progress we have made as a whole in the way we treat other humans over the last 50 years. Sure we are still killing each other, but woman’s rights, blacks rights, gays rights to name a few are all examples of the evolution of humans. Unfortunately we still engage in war; not because we hate the enemy, but because we simply have yet the ability to love them.
In terms of intimate relationships, when we begin to see love as something we can give to everyone, then the idea of meeting the “right person” becomes somewhat trivial. Most current expressions of marriage is still based on this human, childhood experience of love and the fear of losing it. Light beings can choose to love everyone and yet still choose those we want to have in our “play of life.” An intimate relationship more of a lifestyle choice than waiting to meet “the right one.” It is a choice to share your experience of life with someone else or not. Love is not something we find or wait for, it is who we are.
In a spiritual union, there are no boundaries, no rules, no conditions, just choosing to walk with that person exactly as they are. The love is always there with them and everyone. There is so much love that you encourage the other to be more of who they are, never less. Always open to share with compassion everything in our hearts and minds without the fear of loss or judgment. In this situation, each individual is completely free to be themselves and is never concerned with being good enough or acting the right way to earn the others love. Each is continuously loving, because they are honoring the other for who they are, not what they do and in this context, always free to decide if they still want to walk together.
“Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose instead to live with each other.” – M. Scott Peck
Just as I know we are in the process of transcending all the other less aware ways of being, we will move beyond this human form of love for a love that is much more evolved. A spiritual love, where there is never anything to lose, never a hierarchy, never a need to be other than you are, never control, never judgments, never ownership, never expectations, never any conditions whatsoever.
The Love I speak of here emanates from the heart as natural progression of the evolution of man kind. This spirit of love is all there is and at the core, it’s the most basic expression of who we are. It’s the glue that binds us to that place within that knows these words to be truth. Love in any other form is what we, as humans, have been made to believe is truth. This, my friends is the definition of “make believe.”
So the next time you see a stranger, go against that programming that says, “beware,” and share your love. The next time you see your friend or foe, give your love. The homeless person on the side of the road, be love. The man that has more than you, express love. The next time you see someone acting out in an “inappropriate” way, love. Because in the never ending search for answers to the ills of our planet, the solution has always been and will always be the same… LOVE!