Love. It comes to us surprisingly, develops over time, or doesn’t seem to be present at all. It takes many forms – familial, romantic or self-love. It is offered without condition or disguised as generosity through expectation. For some it is celebrated every day, or for others it is made special on the 14th of February. Our definition and experience of love is varied and diverse. So what truly is love?
Love is an energy that emanates from our heart centre. It has a powerful quality that can triumph over the greatest fear and soften the most hardened individual. Yet to give this love we must be open to freely offer it, without the need to influence the outcome of its gift.
In relating to others we often have a vested interest. We either want to please them, make them understand us, agree with our thoughts, be more like us, live to our standards, see our perspective or deliver to us the love that we cannot give ourselves. We don’t want them to be who they really are. We want them to be who we are. The known is far more comfortable!
The following quote by David Brendan seems to say it all so well: “If only I could throw away the urge to trace my patterns in your heart, I could really see you.”
CTV offered a worthwhile program in 2004 called Joan of Arcadia. Its premise was that God spoke to teenage Joan through the disguises of various people – one day God was a 5 year old child, another day the janitor at her school, and another day a homeless man. It led me to thinking that they brought the concept of “seeing the God in others” to light – on mainstream television no less!!
What if we did truly recognize God in the people we meet and hold that perspective in our exchanges with them? Take a minute now to imagine this. How many times do we remember that they are a reflection of all that we are, guiding us in their mysterious way? How often do we really apply the understanding that our partners, our closest friends, and our family, are our supporters in our soul’s journey, and that no matter how difficult it may seem sometimes, they are giving us love by challenging us to be the best we can be.
When we fail to remember this, we experience repeating dynamics of conflict, the same old tedious tendencies, or our frustration with their stubborn’ behaviours. We want them to change and learn.
The next time you experience a repeating pattern in your relating with someone, ask yourself what you can do and say differently to break the pattern. After all, it is about what you are here to learn. It’s not about them. And when you change, they will change too – likely more willingly with this gentler approach!
Perhaps another way to read the quote would be: “If only I could throw away the urge to trace my patterns on your heart, I could really see me.”
The interesting thing about love, is that it is only as powerful and as rich as the love you can give yourself. When we truly love someone, we embrace the whole person in all their light and darkness, and love them for everything that they are and everything that they are still becoming – even when they don’t grasp what you are here to teach them! You can only offer this love if you embrace all of yourself first, with your own heart, and seek understanding of your own soul. Then we you will recognize God everywhere.
Choose to love yourself. Choose to heal.