The Wisdom of the Lion. Part 4
What is Wisdom? It is the integration of Knowledge with Experience. Who is the Lion? It is Me. It is You.
Recently I was working with a couple and he was saying that his wife might have stopped loving him. This led us into a conversation about Love. Love is often described as an emotion. Many of us think if we can fall into love then we can fall out of love.
We imagine that Love can be turned off or turned on, increased or decreased depending on the circumstances. That kind of love is Conditional Love. It is love that is based on reason.
I love her because she is so kind and caring.
I love him because he listens to me and makes me laugh.
Nothing wrong with that unless of course she believes something about her husband, and then tells him off for being selfish, cruel or unfair and slams the door and doesn’t come home for a few days. Not so kind after all.
Or he has had a difficult day just wants to come home and put his feet up but she has also had a challenging day and all she wants is to tells him in every detail how awful some people are, and how angry and hurt she is and, and, and…. until he jumps up, yells at her to give him a break and can’t she just be quiet for a while and slams the door on his way to sit in the car for an hour or two. Not so funny after all.
So when love is based on reason it becomes conditional and when those conditions change so too can the love we once felt so strongly. When love depends on a belief it becomes limited and therefore conditional. We think we know someone until something happens and we realize what we believe is just not true.
“You shouldn’t have to even ask me that.” It becomes a problem when we believe that love automatically give a lover the ability to intuit what the other person wants or needs.
“I never imagined he would talk to me like that.” It becomes a problem when we believe that people in love always speak and behave kindly and respectfully to each.
“You will go to hell if you don’t follow God’s rules.” When we are taught to believe something out of fear the fullness of Love is always limited.
Some of us may say, “So what. I know what I believe and I don’t care if it’s conditional.” However, judgment based on a belief, on a thought, or on the appearance of an event limits the quality of Love.
Emotional Love, when it happens feels lovely, but it is transient and temporary and can change with the passing of time. Conditional love often feels wonderful whilst it is happening, because it fulfils us in ways we are not fulfilling ourselves. When we ‘fall in love with someone’ we see them through those proverbial rose coloured glasses. We love the way they see our beauty and our strengths and melt at the way they look into our eyes and hold our body (no matter the size or shape) close and tenderly. Whether is it a physical attraction, their intellectual acumen, or bright bubbly personality the one irrevocable thing conditional love forgets is that, everything changes.
Unconditional Love exists in each of us. It is Love without reason. Love that comes from our soul and spirit and cannot be extinguished when something unforeseen or bad happens. When we experience Unconditional Love it is like we are bathed in warm light that enters every cell in our body and imbues us with a sense of well-being and peace. More than that it fills us with grace. Unconditional Love is the essential nature of each of us but it needs to be practiced to be present at all times. We can so easily relax into reason and condition ourselves to believe something that limits love.
So how do we practice Unconditional Love?
For me it begins by recognizing where in my body is Love. I go to the area of the heart, not the physical heart but the spiritual heart often called the heart chakrah, and that’s where I begin to connect to that eternal flame that radiates through me and around me and permeates everything I say and do. Unconditional Love is not an emotion at all.
It is a State of Being.
And when I fall into that State of Love and I am with another who also connects to that State of Love we fall into Love together. We don’t fall into love with each other we fall into the vast ocean of Love together. It is in that State of Being where all thought ceases and we become One.
We can reach this place by repeating a mantra that obliterates all thought and takes us into the eternal well of Love, deeper and deeper until we let go of the I Am and becmoe One with All That Is.
We can reach this place through doing or listening or chanting ourselves into a place of no thought.
We can reach this place through music or prayer or doing something we love so much that we transcend time and space.
We can reach this place by being present, in the moment, breathing in and out, in and out and melting into the heart. Dissolving with every breath into Love. I am Love. I am Love. I am Love. I am Love. I am Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love
My teacher, John the Beloved taught me,
“Your world has two choices:
To Love the Self Unconditionally and in so doing, become an extension of everyone and everything else. Or-
To fear the self as being inadequate or inappropriate, and experience disconnection and fear of being open to others.” ( Quote John the beloved, 22/2/2001)
False modesty, confusion, anxiety, hesitancy, fear of failure or success all comes from the ego and the ego interrupts our intention to connect with Unconditional Love. Sometimes my clients tell me they are trying. Trying to do better. Trying to stop something. Trying to overcome. And I always say the same thing, if you are trying, you are not here. You are somewhere over there. Stop trying. Be here. Be in the present.
When we are in a State of Love, we are bathed in the sunshine that streams through our hearts. We can continue to live our lives, acknowledging what happens is neither good nor bad but is what it is. We can dissolve relationships and create relationships and maintain relationships without choking on the emotional consequences of our choices.
Relationships change over time. Sometimes they burn out. Sometimes they reach a point where the purpose for that relationship has been completed. And sometimes the energy that brought people together has been lost and with it the intention. However, if we can develop a practice where we are in a State of Love with everyone and everything, we can experience a Love that is not personal. It becomes a Love that infuses our personal lives but is not lost when life presents us with personal challenges.