So, What is Love?
Written on May 25, 2017.
"When we were born, we got blasted apart; we burst into a million fragments, scattered around like a 1,000 piece puzzle on the floor. We were kids so we didn’t even attempt to put the puzzle together, we just kept living. Then we grew up and we saw all the fragments lying on the ground and we started piecing them together, one by one. But, above it all, looking down at the mess and the sweet gentleness with which we search and search for the right piece, there is a part of us that is witnessing, just observing the process. That part of ourselves doesn’t get overwhelmed with the daily search, with the frantic hunting for lost fragments; that part of ourselves realizes that we are complete, even in our fragmentation, we are complete, we are whole, we are perfect, and we are Love.”
This message came to me during a downpour, a literal rainstorm and a downpour of healing + tears happening in my own heart. I was confronted by a loved one about some of the things that I share with the world/whoever sees it. I am asked often by this person why I share so much of my story, my life, my feelings. “Considering the feelings of those you love is part of loving someone. It is not all about yourself and what you want. Sometimes we do things or don’t do things because of our love for another person.” This is what they told me. So what is love, then? Is love hiding parts of ourselves so that we don’t upset someone else? Is love making decisions based on someone else’s life experience rather than making a decision based on what we desire for our own lives? I think that Love- true, unconditional, Love with a capital ‘L’- isn’t based on these things and doesn’t even exist in the same space. Love is remaining authentic, being true to yourself no matter what the world around you is asking of you. This kind of love is HARD. It’s easy to hide parts of ourselves from others, to walk a path already laid out instead of bush-wacking your own, to nod and smile when you actually feel like crap inside. But those things aren’t done out of love. They’re done out of habit, convenience, and fear.
In our society, it’s much more challenging to be vulnerable, to be open about your dreams and your fears, to be honest about how you feel, and to live the life you truly want to live. When we live in this wholesome, honest way, we are actually able to truly love others because we know what it means to love ourselves. As my teacher says, “You are told to love your neighbor—but you have never loved yourself. And a person who has not loved himself, how can he love his neighbor? From where can he get love? First you have to have it. You are loving the neighbor—you who knows nothing of love because you have never loved yourself. The neighbor is loving you—he has never loved himself. Such insanity is happening in the world: people who know nothing of love are loving each other.”
The inner work that I’ve spent my whole life doing just isn’t okay with that kind of “love” anymore.
So, although others may find me selfish or unloving, I will continue to live a life based around authenticity and my truth.
Even though it hurts me to see those I love hurting, especially when they blame their pain on my actions, I still cannot change the course of my life for someone else. And so it is.