Love: Let’s Get Real!

I LOVE YOU!!

We can make it because we love each other…

but isn’t it enough that I love You??

Isn’t it, though?

Truthfully, no, it’s not enough.  Don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say.  Let’s think about it:

If, “love is all we need” (to quote John Lennon), then I’d probably still be with my abusive ex from 5 years ago.  In fact, a lot of women would still be with their abusive exes…because they loved us in their own fucked up way…and similarily we loved them in our own fucked up way.

No, Love definitely isn’t enough.  It is NOT the end all be all of a romantic  relationship.  On top of this mutual feeling of love for one another, there needs to be a few other characteristics-and these can vary from person to person depending on our individual needs and wants.  For instance, I like stability.  Not the kind of stability where I’m too afraid to let go, but the kind of stability that I know where the relationship is going, and the partner has the same directional idea.  Trust.  That’s a big one.  To trust that someone is being faithful, that he/she has your interests in mind also and is not just making decisions selfishly.  It is definitely a huge bonus if both partners can communicate their wants/needs effectively.

We have many definitions of love.  In Vedanta, they call it “preferential attachment.”  (sort of bummerish sounding, right?!)  The Greek call it Eros.  A romantic and intimate love that doesn’t necessarily have to be physical, but it is more than a friendship.

Whatever definition we choose to go by, love can be the fuel for all other components in a relationship.  Love can fuel one to practice communicating; it can fuel one to be patient as the other is practicing a new skill to keep the relationship blossoming.  Love can help us to be more accepting of our partners…and be more accepting of ourselves when we can’t accept our relationship with our partner.

Even yogis loose their shit

In case you were wondering, we really do loose our shit.

When I first started practicing, I thought that my teachers had it “together.”  (Whatever that means.)  It was a mystery to me, and that was what kept me coming back at first.  I thought, boy, I want to keep it together real nice all the time. 

I just recently realized it’s practically impossible.  No matter how long we practice and study and give and receive and chant and sing and pray and whatever else we like to do, we will always be able to feel something sad, lonely, heartaching/breaking, angry.  And, if that feeling is intense enough, we are capable of “loosing it.”  Yes.  I mean crying…sobbing hysterically unable to stop.  (I think we have an endless supply of tears)  I mean we can curse people out…telling them what we “really think of ’em.”  We can secretly spy on people just to fuel whatever our fear is. 

We are not some saintly beings who walk around super aware and in tune with ourselves constantly; who feel the “oneness” with the universe at all times and know that when our hearts are broken, that it’s really okay.  That it was all just temporary anyway.  And on top of that, can just sit back and watch our emotions roll in and out like waves of the ocean…nonreactive. 

We can however, feel more fully I believe.  Not only the sadness and anger, but the joy and love also.  We can appreciate (even if it is after the freak-out session) the intensity of the emotion and situation that brought it on hand.  The precise talent we have IS feeling…and being able to assess (eventually or right away) events and how to either continue or stop them.  This could take years…or, it could happen the first time.

Either way, at least it IS happening.  Even if we can’t yet see the destination in action.

Dharma!

Dharma…or simply put (meaning in english) our individual calling, duties or principles.  We each have our own truths.  What is right for me is not necessarily right for another.  (But wouldn’t life be amazingly easy if we all had the same truths to live by?!) 

Should I take this new job?  Is my current lover right for me?  Is how I acted/interacted/reacted right for who I am? 

Maybe that last part is key: Who am I?

As if answering these questions aren’t hard enough, the physical equipments we have to work with are NOT designed to go metaphorically deep sea diving into the layers of our core personality.  Think about it…

…We have eyes that see brilliant colors and shapes, as well as the pain and suffering occurring everyday.  Ears hear the murmurs of conversation, nature, music both nasty and sweet.  The tongue tastes all the nutrition we put into our bodies.  And skin feels the soft, gentle touch of a lover or wind; the physical pain of abuse or an accident.  Our noses smells scents from armpits to dinners…from hot, smoky fires to the rain that washes them out.

Don’t get me wrong, these are WONDERFUL things…our five sense.  However, I cannot decide which job to take by sniffing daffodils and I cannot decide to stay with or to leave my lover by licking lollipops. 

And…just to further complicate things:  What about what I WANT?!  Can I want the same things I need??  (oh, I think life would be grand if that were so!)  Can’t I have my lover…even though basic communication skills are lacking?  Can’t I have the lucrative job even though it exploits those less fortunate?  Can’t I eat all the cookies in the world and still get all the vitamins and minerals I need to sustain a healthy body?

So.  What happens when we’ve searched long and hard and deep into the darkness of our souls and find out (to our horrid disdain and fear) that:  No Julie, you can’t sustain a healthy body on cookies alone.  Or:  No, you need an intimate partner who can communicate his needs effectively as well…otherwise you’ll just be miserable.

Here it comes:

But…But…won’t I be miserable if I have to eat all those vegetables EVERY DAY?  and won’t I be miserable WITHOUT that guy who can’t communicate?  and…won’t the money make me forget that my job is causing others to suffer?  

Finding out our truth is haaaarrrrd work.  We have to go beyond the physical layers of our bodies…work through the trickiness of our emotions…to discover something that we might not want to admit.  Then what? 

Then, we have a choice.  And this choice is so very hard.  Emotionally jarring.  We might think we’ll be scarred for life.  But the amount of courage it takes; the strength we can muster to actually live our truth is what makes us the GREAT human race.  The ability to do what’s right for us.

I’m shaking my head right now thinking:  Man, life is freakin’ hard sometimes!  But totally worth it.