The Love Challenge
What is Love? Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.” -Leo Tolstoy
Sitting by the fireplace and feeling the warmth, I am reflecting on why people struggle with love. Many of my Polarity clients seem to be lonely, searching for love, or in an adversarial relationship with their partner. Some are intolerant of their own mind and being, and some are angry with God.
I know it sounds cliché, but we suffer from a lack of Love. Louise Hay talked about a lack of self-love. Most religions begin prayers with recognition or gratitude toward the Divine, while offering up qualities of love to praise the Divine. So many books, poems, and songs are devoted to healing-love, finding-love, keeping love, or romantically imploring love to arrive. We celebrate even the yearning for it.
“Love loves to love love.”-James Joyce
So why do we have so much trouble loving, and what can we do about it?
After having a numinous enlightening experience in meditation that changed my life, I know inscrutably that Love runs the Universe. You can find this recognition in great works cross-culturally everywhere. Love awareness is life altering and it arrives as an undeniable “knowing.”
One would surmise that after having such an exquisite experience, that I would always live up to this awareness. Not so. I see myself failing at the perfection of love time and time again. That is why on this trip away from home, where one can seek warmth near a fire, I promised myself, and my husband, that during the entire vacation, I would be so loving and kind…even more then when we first fell in love, that he would barely recognize me! Quite a cool challenge for myself.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” -Rumi
I have already caught myself in so many habits, defensive thoughts, blockages, and knee-jerk emotions, that I can’t believe how often I give into them. Me, “the teacher and healer of love,” coming home to myself to see just where the trouble starts. Not giving in to these habitual responses, I now can’t believe how free, open, and loving it can feel. It’s like magic. Of course, keeping it up is an even deeper challenge.
“Love has no other message but its own.”-Mother Teresa
The main reason couples get angry at their mate is because they don’t feel loved enough. That may sound oversimplified, yet I find it profoundly true. What they may also miss is that they are angry with themselves too…for not being loving enough. It is not good for one’s self-esteem to act unloving.
“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”-Albert Einstein
Herein lies the challenge: To truly be a conduit of love, borrow from great Sages: be patient, kind, hopeful, persevering, trusting, humble, forgiving, and joyful in truth.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
– Corinthians 13:4-8
There are many kinds of love. The ancient Greeks had various names for love. Here are some of them:
• Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē) means “love: especially charity; the love of God for man and of man for a good God.” Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse.
• Éros (ἔρως érōs) means “love, mostly of sexual passion.” The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love.”
• Philia (φιλία philía) means “affectionate regard, friendship,” usually “between equals.” It is a dispassionate virtuous love.
• Storge (στοργή storgē) means “love and affection.” especially of parents and children.”
• Philautia means “self-love” to love yourself or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage.”
• Xenia ( ξενία) meaning “guest-friendship,” is the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home.
Whatever you wish to call it, I invite you to immerse yourself in Love. To be unafraid of kindness. To be a peaceful warrior, vigilant of your own unloving ways, and of your fears. Accept the higher realm paradoxically imbedded within you. It is most definitely innately there; kindly, patiently, forgivingly there, waiting for you.
“Anahata,” the Heart Chakra is the Sanskrit name of the fourth Chakra. It means, ‘that which cannot be destroyed.
-The Yogi’s Seven Stages of Development before Achieving Complete Liberation
Uncover your true heart. Tap into the wellspring of abundant generosity that abides there. It is waiting for you. Open to the self-trust and unveil your strength. It is waiting for you. Allow your authentic self to be born. It is waiting for you. Open to Love. It is already here.
Take the challenge. I believe you will love it!
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