In my experience, there are two kinds of love: The experience that happens on a worldly level with another person (animal, thing, or experience.) and the all-encompassing experience of Love where our sense of separation and individuality fades away. This type of Love is incomprehensible and is understood only through experience. I’ll refer to this experience as true Love for our purposes today. An experience of true Love comes to us as the direct result of looking at and bringing clarity to our experience of worldly love.
True Love is changeless. True Love wants nothing. True Love includes.
Worldly love changes. Worldly love wants. Worldly love excludes.
I’ve spent a great deal of time looking at my experiences of love and I’ve found that what I thought was true love, is actually worldly love. The looking required willingness and self-honesty and over time I began to realize that my experiences of love were actually preventing me from knowing true Love. I’ve glimpsed this indescribable experience of true Love a few times now and the experience always leaves me feeling nothing but joy, contentment, and total invulnerability (words are so limiting and don’t even come close to the actual experience.) The deeper experiences occurred when I became willing to allow the looking, just as Nathan does in Who Would I Be Without, to shift my self-awareness and begin to remove some of the obstacles.
I found that the experiences I thought were experiences of true Love had change, wanting, and separation/exclusion hidden behind the surface feelings and emotions. When I looked deeper, I found thoughts such as “I love you, but I get so angry when you…”, and “I Love you, but you have to stop…”, and “I Love you, but right now you’re driving me crazy!”, and “I love you, but will you please put the cap back on the tooth paste!” The trouble is, if Love is changeless and wanting is suffering, then I can see each of these as wanting change. Yuck!
- If I’m feeling loving in someone’s presence one moment and angry or frustrated with him or her in another, that cannot be true Love because true Love is changeless.
- If I am angry at, or frustrated with another, I want them to change (do something differently, say something different) and that cannot be true Love because true Love wants nothing.
- If I say, “I love you” with the expectation that they will say it back, that’s not true Love because I am wanting them to meet my expectation of them… the statement becomes a request to meet my needs rather than an expression of my experience.
- If I have selected one person among millions to be the one, that’s not true Love because true Love includes all, and we have separated our special love from everyone else.
What to do with all of this? I don’t try to change or pretend that my experience of love is something other than what it is. That would just involve more wanting, more suffering. Instead, I embrace my experiences when I can. I continue looking and when I see myself wanting, changing, or excluding, I honor myself with the awareness and nothing more. Most of the time the awareness is all that’s needed and when it comes, my experience shifts just a bit toward an experience of true Love. In that, I am free to Love the one in front of me truly.
Experiencing love on this level has been rare in my life. I continue to strive toward a love that embraces everyone equally by doing the one thing that helps set the conditions for a true Love experience; looking for the obstacles that prevent me from knowing such love. For today, the obstacle is a simple yet large wall composed of the one phrase that obscures true Love from my experience; I love you, but…
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