“We accept the love we think we deserve”― Stephen Chbosky
Do you believe that you are truly lovable?
Do you believe that you are deserving of the love you dream about?
Do you allow love in?
Do you believe there is enough love to go around?
Do you believe that there is a scarcity of love?
The quality and the amount of love like everything else in life is dependent on the worthiness we feel to receive. The level of love we have for ourselves is the litmus test for the love we attract into our lives. Only to that degree can we have a full, loving relationship.
Do you remember falling in love? The experience in your memory banks helps you remember that you have had times of joy. Most of us didn’t have a happy ending but I believe the poet. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s famous quote “’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” is particularly relevant. Although romantic regret can be intensely painful, the suffering deepens us thus shapes and prepares the way for future relationships. Especially if we don’t close up hearts.
A thirteenth century mystic spoke of the two wines of life: the white wine of joy and the red wine of suffering. “Until we have drunk deeply of both, we have not lived fully.” (Magdeburg, translated, 1998)
When we fall in love we leave feelings of unease and aloneness behind. We merge together as if two pieces of a puzzle is moving securely into a place of belonging. This state catapults us out of self- protective armor as well as our usual fears of opening our hearts. The pressure of conditioning around rules, should’s and ‘ought’s are momentarily set aside. As we set aside old beliefs we become a better version of ourselves. Temporarily become less judgmental, less critical and more loving and inclusive of differences in other words we are kinder people.
Falling in love then, is an incredible experience of drinking the white wine. This moment allows us to glimpse, even if sideways towards the freedom and joy that we long for. We find the courage to set aside our usual way of looking at things. This allows us to create an inner freedom to break free from the stagnant, safe, and the settled.
The merging reminds me of the earlier, slower energy that we lived in before the age of reason. At that time we more or less stayed in slower Delta or Theta energy and merged with our environment, accepting everything as if it were reality. Breath-work and meditation when practiced on a regular basis can bring this energy into our lives on a regular basis. Not the falling in love part; although it does allow space for more love of and acceptance of self and value our own uniqueness. Self- love in turn creates a more receptive energy to bring to us a person to love who will love us.
Alas! We have difficulty staying in our non-judgmental state. The intensity of this white wine is too rarefied, too heady a trip and we are ill prepared to stay. At this point we tend to back up a little or a lot, separate some as we start to see the real person. The tendency is to be disappointed with our lover and become acutely aware of differences and flaws. The feeling of ‘we two are one’ vanishes and we become two separate people again.
There will be days when it is difficult to be kind, and harder to love. There will be times when our loved disappoints. Because of his own needs he will betray us at times to be faithful to himself. He will close up just when we desperately want him to be open, and really listen. He will look away in self- protection when we want his undivided attention.
It is now at this threshold of disappointment that our ability to love has an opportunity to blossom. Just like a tender herb, really loving is an evolving process. With the herb we have to gently plant it, sun it, and water it. Our love also; to grow and blossom, needs attention and patience every day much like the herb that we want to flourish and grace our tables.
“Because a loving heart is the very nature of every human being, to cultivate love does not mean to fabricate something that is not already present. Rather, it means to identify and gradually remove the many obstacles that block access to our loving heart.” – Beth Roth, “Family Dharma: A Bedtime Ritual”