Learning to love
We are all on a journey.
The journey to find love.
Every character undertaking a journey becomes the Heroine of her story. And every story has a beginning, a middle and an end.
1. The Beginning: The Loss Of Love
No matter what our background, we all begin our journey in the same place. The warm embrace of the mother’s womb. We feel loved and nurtured unconditionally. Everything is perfect. Then birth happens. The umbilical cord is cut. Suddenly from the unconditional love of the womb, we are thrust into a cold unknown world. Birth is the first trauma we experience. The Loss Of Love.
Thus begins our Quest For Love.
Being small, vulnerable, helpless, we start by adapting to the environment we are born into. We do as we are told, in the hope we will be loved. In doing so we compromise our authenticity. We lose touch with our naturalness.
We develop coping mechanisms to deal with the pain of self-alienation. Often pursuing a path that is not our own. Seeking joy stemming from others’ approval. In spite of all our efforts to reclaim love, we are unable to get love. In the way we want to be loved.
Tired of trading our authenticity for others’ love. Tired of fearing to speak our truth. One fine day we erupt. We have had enough of wanting others love! We decide to love ourself. We give in to our feelings and impulses. We fulfill our desires. We rebel against the world. “To hell with the world! I am going to love myself!”
2. The Middle: Disillusioned With Love
Often we confuse self-gratification as self-love. Prioritising our needs over others. Fulfilling pleasures — food, sex, alcohol, substances — is not self-love. It is self-indulgence. To compensate for relinquishing our power to others, we now seek to dominate them. We may do it in the name of ambition, security, pragmatism or service, but what we are really seeking is love.
In this stage we become worldly-wise. We learn to play the game of the world. Strategizing, manipulating, using others to meet our needs. Human beings become resources and situations become business opportunities. Innocence is replaced by cleverness. We pride ourself in our ability to manage the world according to our requirements.
But something doesn’t feel right. In our pursuit to give ourselves love, we become isolated. The more we try to fill ourselves, the emptier we feel. Relationships do not sustain. Work is a series of endless deadlines. And success is evaluated by numbers. Somewhere in the pursuit to give ourselves love, we seem to have gone wrong.
Depressed, lonely, melancholic we become cynical of love. Earlier we had lost faith in others, now we lose faith in ourself. We are angry and bitter for having to live in a world that cannot give us love. We want to end our life. Few of us do.
If we are able to go through this dark phase of the Hero’s Journey, we can enter the third stage of Self Evolution. Discovering Love.
3. The End: Discovering Love
Having failed to get love from others, or give ourself love, we seek the last resort. God. We have no choice. We do not know if God exists. All we know is that She is our last hope at finding love. We become spiritual, religious and earnest in our pursuit of love.
Different people take different paths. We listen to people who seem to have found Divine Love. We do not know what it is. All we know is we are hungry for love, and we will do whatever it takes to get it. We believe if we are moral, virtuous and devout, God will reward us with love.
We pray fervently. We meditate religiously. We chant fervently. In the hope that our Heavenly Mother will embrace us. Take us back into her womb of unconditional love.
One day, when we least expect it we are bestowed with a realization.
God whose love we seek, is just a projection of the mind. So are we, the seekers of love. In the absence of all mental ideas there is just Life. Consciousness. Existence. Emptiness. The wave was always the Ocean. Only the belief it was separate from the Ocean, made it look for love. All is Water.
The discovery of love is a moment of Self-Discovery.
When the mind seeks love, it can never find love. Because love is its very nature. Like the Himalayan musk deer spends a lifetime looking for the fragrance emanating from itself. Remaining disillusioned forever. When seeking stops, the mind resides in Awareness. As Awareness Itself.
There is no seeker, seeking and sought. All merge.
The pursuit of love has ended.