Love is a Choice
Love is a knowing, an unwavering solidarity deep down inside ourselves amidst the unpredictability of everyday life.
For most of us, getting to this place of solidarity is a process, and a practice, we must continually choose as our lives unfold. For some, awakening happens overnight and their inherent sense of connectedness is fully realized. They are few and far between, however. In our information-at-our-fingertips age, our practice of coming back to love, choosing love over and over again, can seem daunting and unnatural. It can feel like so much work in the beginning! Especially if we have known love at some point, yet it comes and goes seemingly at it's own will. But is love uncontrollable, vague and impossibly out of reach, especially in the hum-drum of our everyday lives?
Love is a choice.
Love is a choice. It's a moment-by-moment choice in how we are choosing to act. It's a practice and it's a path. For those of us who have experienced trauma--where our ego's did an excellent job of protecting and guiding us through those painful times and experiences--this "choice" can feel threatening. Our ego's only concern is protection of itself. After all, it did a pretty great job keeping us safe. It believes we are separate, isolated, and alone--and it wants to keep it that way. This is precisely how the ego protects itself, inside a hard shell where we're unreachable and untouchable.
Hey, I deal with my stuff and you deal with yours. Your feelings are not my concern. Go get help.
Have you ever felt or heard this or something like it from someone? Perhaps you've even said something like this. There's no judgment here if you have. I lived by this ideology for my young-adult life. It feels terrible. Empty. Hollow. Closing our selves off--to our feelings and the power they have to help us grow--and to each other, is painful. How can we begin to ease the pain? Communicate: to friends for support, to a therapist for tools, to loved ones for the container of love they hold to be completely, utterly you within.
Communication is an act of union.
Communication is an act of union. It literally and figuratively brings us together. Separation (isolation, keeping others at a distance because their feelings make us uncomfortable) is an act of violence. It's painful. Interestingly, we can learn to live with this pain for a long, long time. It becomes the norm in our lives until we're woken up to experiencing a new way of feeling and living.
Once we've begun to open up more, we can begin to communicate with our own hearts. For some reason, that is the scariest place to go when mired in the story of our ego. Going inside feels like certain death, because (according to ego's story) everything we need to be aware of, ahead of, on top of is outside of us, coming at us as potential dangers. Why would I go in when it's already so dark and painful in there?
When our ego feels angry, it is masking fear. Fear masks hurt and hurt is a very scary thing for an ego to confront because it means being vulnerable. Vulnerability, unless modeled to us in our first families or as children, generally conjures up beliefs of personal weakness. None of us have been completely immune to those experiences, especially as children--a vulnerable time for us all--when we first felt what deep betrayal was from a friend or loved one.
So how do we get to this place of living in this unwavering solidarity and knowing--or living through love--in our Selves and with life?
Choosing, again and again, love. Understanding that other's reactions are not a reflection of you, but of themselves. Once we begin to choose love, oftentimes the scariest part is that those around us begin to rebel. They're uncomfortable because what you're doing is upsetting the status quo. This is interesting and something to be aware of, just so you can understand what's happening.
The more you choose love, the easier it becomes. The more you choose to look strangers in the eye and smile, to accept the compliment, to receive a hug, to confront that judgment as it repeatedly arises, the easier it is to do. At first, it can feel excruciatingly hard--that's the ego trying to defend itself. But isn't it harder to harbor anger, resentment and judgment for a lifetime?