Written by Jeff Singh, Awake Free, Submitted via email, February 12, 2015
‘What is Love!? …Baby don’t hurt me… no more!’ as the pop dance song by Haddaway goes. Haha, if you know the song, you’re probably hearing it in your head right now.
Actually love never hurts, but it is our ideas about love which hurt us in the end.
Let’s see if we can dismantle these ideas and notions about love so we can open the way to a more authentic experience. But don’t take these words for it, see what you recognize in your own life.
The Idea of Love
Growing up we are sold so many ideas about what love means and how love ought to be. Such a strong need and desire is love, that Disney, Hollywood, Hallmark, the diamond industry, and so many others have fought to corner the market on love. Before them it was religions which dictated how love should operate.
From what we have learned, we only love and accept love if it fits our ideals about love. It has to fit neatly into our romantic package.
But we didn’t come up with these ideas, we borrowed them from media and consumer industries, from religions and heritage, from comparisons and assessments of other people’s stories and how we imagine our life should be.
If we’ve ever experienced love before in any form, we try to recreate that experience of love, evaluating our current life with those old memories.
With these notions about love, we battle the world, constantly searching for our ideal.
But compared to ideals and memories, love as it is in the moment, has no chance to breathe.
Love by Contract
Somehow, we may find our special loves, those specific people, pets, things, and activities we know we love. We agree that we love these that are familiar, but we don’t love those that are not. Through love of the familiar, our love becomes sequestered. This love of what is special to us leads to our attachments and the despair when what we are attached to does not fit our needs… or simply is no longer there.
So keen we are in protecting and securing our love that we draft contracts. ‘I’ll love you, but only if you love me and agree to live up to my standards of love.’ So we try to bottle love, that it should be available whenever and however we please. ‘See this contract, you’ve already agreed to love me, so go on, show me love. I already loved you last week.’
Sequestered and attached, love has no room to grow and flourish as it would naturally.
Fear of Love
With all these rules and restrictions, it’s as if we are afraid of love.
We would rather control its wily and unpredictable ways then lose control of our selves.
The lack of control comes when we think the cause of love is outside of us. From this perspective, we’re constantly trying to maintain control, to make love happen by our accord, recreate love from the familiar, or find our ideal experience somewhere out in the world.
But as we just examined, maybe, just maybe, it is our ideas, attachments, and rules of love we should be wary of.
The Immediacy of Love
Have you ever been fascinated with someone, something, or some activity? So much so that you momentarily lose track of time? Some experience that just takes you over, that overcomes you – The thought of someone dear, the sight of a sunset, the vastness of the ocean, the unconditional love of a puppy, the laughter of kids, loosing yourself in music or creating. In that moment, that visceral experience, is the spark of love.
Now as soon as you label it, or try to describe it, it is nothing but a memory, an idea. And love, being alive, does not reside in our memories, in the past, in our notions or ideas.
Our experiences of love may vary, but love itself is constant, continuous, fundamental to our existence and inherent connectedness.
Love is without cause, choice, or boundary. It is always here, in the moment, like life itself.
But the experience of love comes about within you. It is a pause in the chatter of knowledge and ideas. It is a sense of wonder and connectedness which allows love. When you let go and dissolve in the moment. In that moment everything is vibrant and alive.
No words would bring the nuances of love any justice.
When we are clear, when we have space, when we allow, the experience of love arises spontaneously.
– Jeff Singh –