Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Awakening and Your Heart: Creating Even More Space for Love

The River of Love
Now, I've already talked about love A LOT. But I'm not going to stop talking about it any time soon because it's such a misunderstood term. And it's misunderstood in how it can be felt in so many varieties and flavors. For those who are brand new to this blog, I'd love it if you checked out my "What Is Love?" blog post with a video at the end so that you understand my terminology. And even if you're not new, but haven't seen that blog, I encourage you to read it. Let's be on the same page as we dive deeply into love.

The Spiritual Awakening Big Bang and Then the Hard Work Comes
Waking up is a heck of a ride, and in that space of blissful loving, you'll probably want to surf on those feelings for ever. But those feelings are temporary just like all feelings. And coming to embody this energy (to bring this energy into your body and into your daily actions) means that you're going to have to clean house. Awakening brings a flood of energy behind it, so you may not feel like you have much of a choice. In many cases, surrender is the only way to get through the intensity, but it is different for different people. I had many moments where surrender was the only way to go, and other times, I had to get out the crowbar, shovel, and pick axe to make space for this awakening--to make space for the fullness of me and my love.

And it's not hard work in the way that most people think of it. It is learning to be extremely uncomfortable during the process and still let go and release any internal resistance. And then do it again. And again. Because love is transforming everything, and just when you think you've done enough, another layer drops away. And you transform and tune in to yet another deeper and more profound level love.

Coming Out of the Desert: Water Flows Everywhere
For most of society, water comes in thimble size. We may offer colas and beverages in super sizes, but when it comes to love, you better not need much from the world. That may sound cold and cynical, but I always like to encourage you to think about which it seems more likely to hear from people out and about shouted from the corners: "I love you!" or "Fuck you, asshole!" Put in this context, it may not seem so cynical as realistic.

And I am not a cynic. I am simply pointing out the state of affairs for most people in regards to love (if this is not your experience, consider that to be a blessing). What's worse is that most people don't even know how to be with love. If someone offers a half a cup of love to another person who can only hold a thimble full, then they're overwhelmed. They're pushed to their edge. They don't know what to do with themselves. They may feel scared and want to push this person away because of how overwhelmed they are. Or they may think that they are in love with the other person or that other person is in love with them. A lot of things will surface in the presence of love, so it becomes part of the practice of learning how to expand to hold more and more love while doing it appropriately to each person and situation.

Romantic and Sexual Misinterpretations
Let's start with the main misinterpretation in a good portion of Western Society: every female and male relationship with love involved should be a romantic and sexual relationship (Obviously, this is assuming the popular idea of a heterosexual relationship here, but please insert your romantic gender of choice. The concept I'm talking about still applies).

So when a new level of love opens up between a female and male , one or both people may assume that they should go straight to a romantic or sexual relationship. When things blow up, they may not understand what happened. But what happened was social programming. Love isn't a desire driven, I-gotta-have-that-person-or-I'll-die thing. Love is actually very clear and relaxed in many ways. The more you can be in the state of love, the more easily it is to see what type of relationship is appropriate.

And sometimes, love will surprise you. I've had people share stories with me about how they were gay, and then they were suddenly attracted to someone of the opposite gender. I've also had stories about how some people were heterosexual and then were suddenly attracted to someone of the same gender. With the way we create ego gender identities in the U.S., this can really throw someone for a loop. They might not know what to do. But that is the nature of love...to move outside of ideas and ego constructs.

Finding Comfort In Deeper Levels of Love and Intimacy
But the main point of this post is the practice of getting comfortable with deeper and deeper levels of love. The first time you go through the expansion of opening your thimble to the size of a half cup, you feel crazy and overwhelmed. You feel like you're in a pressure cooker, but when the shift to a bigger vessel happens, you feel like you can hold the whole world in your heart. It is an amazing experience.

And then awakening keeps filling you up with more water, and suddenly, that half cup size is too small. You can feel even crazier, although perhaps you can more easily accept the process since you've been through it once before. Or maybe not. Really intense love and awakening energy can lead you to try to get rid of excess energy with too much work, too little meditation, too much sex (or ejaculation for guys, which by its nature send energy out of men), and other ways to expel energy. This is a tricky time, and it's important to learn how to be comfortable with this internal intensity. It will pass, and then you can feel love for even more people.

You are also learning to love all of you. The two go hand-in-hand: loving others and loving yourself. Because we hold the whole world within us. We are interconnected to all of it, so loving all of ourselves is loving the whole world. It's very beautiful. But if you're going through one of these spurts, you may not feel that beauty. You may only be feeling the constraints of your container for love.

Not Jumping to Conclusions
As you work your way up to holding an Olympic sized swimming pool amount of love, you may not be sure where this will end. You may also have old programming still holding on about what to do with love. As I mentioned, the most common misunderstanding is to assume that feeling a vast amount of love should be funneled into a sexual, romantic relationship. That's simply not how it is, and the idea is in and of itself an entirely too narrow view of love. Views like that are part of the container of love that we hold inside. These ways of thinking are part of what need to get stretched and broken out into a new shape. So you may attract a beautiful soulmate into your life, who is meant to only be a platonic relationship to force you to see the depths of a different way of loving than you'd thought possible. As you come into acceptance and understanding of this type of love, the old container falls away, and now you can hold a pond worth of love (are you enjoying the bodies of water metaphor? I sure am. :).

Taking Your Time to Integrate Love...When Possible
So I encourage you to see these shifts as natural and take your time to understand each level of love as it integrates into your life. I've often listed out different types of love in these posts, but I encourage you to do so for yourself. What are all the ways that you can love people, places, things, and whatnot? Take a look at your definitions. Take a look at all the ways you can love others beyond the usual sexual romantic stuff. Can you see the love that can be shared in simply listening to a co-worker? Can you find it in taking a hot bath? Where else can you bring love into your life, and how can you continue to create more space in your heart for everyone and everything?

The Endless Sea of Love
Because ultimately, you are joining with the endless sea of love that is God. That is where it can eventually end, although we all seem to level off at whatever amount it is we should naturally hold. That's always something that I want to remind those of you who are in awakening; the awakening just takes us to our natural vibration and our natural level of love. We're not being made superhuman, but you will feel super human at times. Owning that deep and profound vulnerability is part of owning all of your love, and from that space amazing connections can happen. Deep levels of union and intimacy are possible, but only as we clear away the desire, need, and attachment that muddy the waters. So as I said, when you move into a new level of love, don't jump to conclusions. See what this level of love is telling you about the people in your life, and then make a little more space. See what else flows into your life, and trust that love will help you find the right balance and connections for all of it.

This picture is a gift from my student, Jenn. Thanks so much, dear one!
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