Love is something we all want to experience, to enjoy and rest into. Yet it often seems elusive, disappointing and full of hurt and confusion.
We tend to think of love as a noun –something we need, try to get, something we have or don’t have enough of. We search outside ourselves for someone to give us the love we think we’re missing. Most of us have tried to get others to fill the place inside us that feels unloved and un-loveable. This simply doesn’t work.
Here are two ways of contemplating the mystery that we call Love.
Understand love as a verb rather than a noun. Love is not something to get or to possess. Instead, think of love as a verb – an active moving energy. Love is always here, always available. We can open and allow it to move freely in and through us. Or we can contract and protect, cutting ourselves off from the flow of love-energy.
No one, no thing and no condition has the power to interrupt your access to and experience of the energy of love. Depending on our conditioning, certain experiences certainly appear to cause love to disappear. We feel threatened, sad, angry, hurt, and it feels like love goes away. But it is we who cut ourselves off. Our contraction is often so quick, so instinctive and feels so justified, that we may not even be aware that we have done anything to stop our own love access.
Love is like a river that flows around the obstacles in its path. It does not give up or relinquish its true nature. Love itself does not give up, we do. When we close off from love, we suffer. Unpleasant emotions and thought forms recycle and feed on themselves. We may also direct this negative energy towards others –- including those we most cherish.
If we want to walk the Path of Love we choose to embrace the bumps and challenges of relationship, and bring awareness and compassion to the places in us that turn away from love.
And of course, these principles are relevant to all of our relationships – family members, friends, those we work with…
We are not saying that this is easy. We are exquisitely human. We hurt. Anger is a powerful energy. Fear is a worthy adversary. But with dedication to the path of love, our relationships will offer us every opportunity we need for living an awakened and love-filled life.
For 47 years, we have walked a path of conscious relationship. Early on, we dedicated our marriage as a vessel for loving and learning. Our relationship became our Master Teacher as we faced all the many challenges that tend to show up in any lifetime. Having no mentors in the philosophy and arts of Conscious Relationship, we had to create and learn practices to inform and steer us as we learned to do our own inner work, and to turn towards each other again and again and again. Our sacred union became the living laboratory for our teaching and guidance for thousands of couples. It is our joy and an expression of our purpose, to offer committed couples principles and practices for deepening in love, for evolving greater intimacy, friendship and spiritual partnership as they walk the Path of Love.
Join Robert Gass and Judith Ansara for Sharing the Path: For Couples, August 5-10, 2018.