In a society obsessed with love, finding Mr. Right or Ms. Right is at the forefront of most people’s minds.
The dating sites, reality T.V., and everyday life compel us to ask these questions: How do I find true love? How do I know that the love I have is the true love of my life? How do I know this is the right person?
Popular culture has become obsessed with love. Hollywood, one of the largest global movie producing centers, annually releases a large percentage of movies themed around love. The glossy pages of the “rags” talk about break-ups and hook-ups, and other forms of syrupy, gossipy love. There are romance novels about love and loss of love. Plus, the self-help books centered around relationships. They can become best-sellers, boasting advice on how to “get” the love you need, and how to “keep” the love you have.
I think that Sam Keene is on the right track when he says: “In our society, we’ve become myopic and obsessive with one particular kind of love: dyadic love, which takes the form of romance, sex, and marriage. As a result, we end up asking the wrong question.”
By dyadic love, I believe Mr. Keene means that we’re focused on the interaction between two individuals, thus our search for love is external. We keep looking outside ourselves. This kind of incessant search for “dyadic” love can eventually turn us into love starved rodents, furiously running around on the wheel of life, intent on “getting” love at any cost.
Our western society finds itself in a “Love Race” – an anxiety producing competition to find love with little break or gap. If one relationship fails, get right back in the game to find another. People are under pressure to find true love, and once the love is found, they have to worry about keeping the love alive…and most people exhaust themselves doing it.
Mr. Keene posits that instead of asking how do I find love, the “right” or more relevant question to ask is: “How do I become a more loving human being?” His thinking is that when you ask that question, it changes the way you think about pursuing love.
So if we choose to leap off that wheel and shift our focus from getting and keeping love to becoming more loving, I feel that the attraction to another, and to life itself, will simply fall into place. Love will seek us out as we are becoming our true nature—love. And like attracts like.
When I talk to various individuals I meet, most of them share that what they seek is peace. With further probing, many state that peace is a state of harmony which is derived from a deep understanding and connection to self. Further, the awareness is present that it is from this place where a connection to another is best launched.
Most times after such meaningful conversations, I realize that we’re all on the same journey, seeking the same balance, and connection. Yet, we neglect to see that we are all connected to one another because we fail to connect to our own true selves.
Just like Mr. Keene says – we are not asking the “right” question.
A few years ago, I was walking along the ocean on the eastern shores of the North American continent and this meditation just came to me from the wind, the sea, and the sands. This has helped guide me through my life and through its many trials and tribulations:
I am surrounded by love,
I am supported with love,
Love flows through me,
I am love
And all is well.
If all is well, then I just need to let go, exhale fully, trust, allow more love to flow through, then what else could I possibly need?
So why do we cling to the same questions which keep us in pain?
Typically as humans, we seem to respond to pain. Pain is often our teacher. Pain induces change. And everyone has a different tolerance for levels of pain. Some will shift at the hint of a little pain, where others need to hit the bottom of the barrel of gut-wrenching anguish. One is not better than the other; it simply happens to be their own personal journey based on their choices and subsequent consequences.
All said and done, we need to reach a point where the pain of remaining where we currently find ourselves in our life outweighs the fear of venturing into the unknown. It takes courage to choose to take that leap (of faith) inward and look at what is obstructing our ability to being more loving, more open, more vulnerable. It’s easy to look outward and leap mindlessly into dyadic love even if it is in the arms of a most inappropriate consort. Many times, this choice is less painful.
There are too many obstacles and pain associated with asking the “right” question.
Many times these obstacles are some kind of walls, erected to protect one’s self. In the end, though, it only separates and alienates us from ourselves.
Rod MacIver says, “We build our own walls around ourselves, our own prisons, out of preconceptions we have about life and about other people. The walls are designed to protect us, but they (also) limit us.”
Our task in life then (if we want to ask the “right” question) is to gently, compassionately, dismantle these walls and preconceptions. Many have been with us since childhood. The question to ask oneself is: “Do these patterns and habits still support my current lifestyle and views of myself and the world? Are they in my highest good to maintain? Do they make me happy? Peaceful? Joyful? Do they separate me from others or connect me?
If we look deeply underneath these walls, we most likely will discover that they are built on the foundations of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of betrayal, fear of being hurt, fear of pain, fear of……. fill in the blank.
One way to dismantle the fear is to be with it, sit with it, delve into it, and find its genesis.The more we understand our fears, the less power they have over us and the more we can accept and love our selves.
And thus become a more loving human being.
It is helpful to remind ourselves that perhaps our only purpose on this earth is to love. That’s it. It’s not to make money or make a name. It is simply to love – once again – not to find love but to BE love.
The journey is to simply realize that we are love, we are divine, and there are no walls within – there is no separation. This is what we call self-realization.
And one can never love too much. There is no well which is going to run dry from giving too much or feeling too much. Divine love courses through us in infinite waves of energy. There was no beginning, there will be no end.
And then I hear myself ask: How can I be divine? I am simply human.
Once again I refer to Rod MacIver who says, “The beauty of people is in their flaws as much as in their integrity and courage. It is this – our humanness, the learning of big lessons over and over again – that gives our journey its sacredness.”
Our destination is peace and balance, which is love. It’s time that we begin asking the right question: “how do I become a more loving human being”, and then dive inside to find our answers.
– Sam Keene, from The Sun Magazine, requoted in The Heron Dance Book of Love and Gratitude, by Rod MacIver and Ann O’Shaughnessy.
– Rod MacIver, Heron Dance Organization, “A Pause for Beauty Publication”.