Monday, February 24, 2014

Opening to New Layers of Love

On the path of being heart strong, we all go through shifts and openings in our ability to accept and receive love. This includes accepting and receiving our own love. Each time the ego thinks we're done, a new layer seems to inevitably turn up, and we drop back into new cycles of grieving and releasing (or whatever is required to let go into this next space of growth and healing).

In this way, humility is always really important to all of us. There is no real end point--at least not until we pass on from this world--which ultimately is simply a transformation in and of itself. So even if you think you know every corner and aspect of love, let that thought go. Let the mysteriousness of your own heart enamor and refine you further in the many ways of love so that you continue to grow into the profundity of true love, which loves all of consciousness in its entirety.

The Very First Layer

Much of the world has not yet touched the first layer or veil wrapped around their hearts. If this is you, you probably don't even feel like there is a problem with your ability to love. This is the depth of the ignorance that our society likes to cultivate. It's why the very first layer standing between us and our own love is often one of the toughest. We are so deeply in denial that we don't even want to look or believe that anything is wrong with us. Of course, the divine doesn't look at us as having something "wrong" per se. But in our hearts is the knowledge of what is true and right for us, and we know when something is wrong for us. In truth, we cannot completely lie to ourselves even if we think we can.

Thus, lies, denial, and other kinds of avoidance wrapped in a considerable amounts of pain are generally part of the very first layer. It usually doesn't get cracked until something extreme happens for most people. This means a near-death experience, a near miss to a major physical injury or death, the loss of a loved one, a dire diagnosis such as metastasized cancer, and so on. As you can see, most people have to hit the wall--to be right up against the truth of their mortality--before they want to look inside. Perhaps, suddenly, that notion of how small they are or how they will pass on to a spiritual realm suddenly ignites a need to pay those inner debts. I don't know. It's different for everyone. But if you don't think there's anything wrong, I encourage you to start looking seriously within before life forces you to do so.

The Next Extremely Challenging Layer

Interestingly enough, one of the most challenging layers that often shields you from love is when you've "had enough." This can happen earlier or later. It can happen repeatedly. But at some point, the ego says, "Okay. I've done my tour of duty. Enough is enough." This is when we need to lean in deeper, to become more intent, focused, disciplined, and curious. Because the ego does this type of crap out of its sense of self-preservation. It thinks it's protecting you, and when people are too deeply identified with the ego, we think it's protecting us. But it's not. It's just an outdated operating system that has no other purpose than to run the same macros and commands over and over again. It will keep you locked in dysfunctional relationships, mediocre jobs, and lots of other cycles depending on what it is programmed to do. If the program isn't sufficiently miserable enough, it often wins the battle when major changes are required. In this instance, you are comfortable with your life. It is okay or kinda good. When people are still too identified to the ego, they won't give up a so-called "good" life for their true love and their true spiritual freedom. Thus, many people who have to leave their romantic partners, find a new career, leave a country, or something else simply won't. The ego will say "no" to love, and you will too.

So the end of discovering love is not when the ego says, "Enough." There is no real end to it. There is no end to the change that will continue to arise in your life. There's no point of completion beyond the sense of moment to moment inner peace that we feel because we are fully accepting and loving our current selves in this moment. The search for a merit badge on the spiritual path must end, and as the search dies down and the need for things to come to some kind of specific conclusion evaporates, other layers wrapped around the heart can dissolve.

The Deepening of Your Everyday Love

The true joy of opening to new layers of love is the amount of everyday love you find access to. You discover that life is full of joy, and you find that pain and sadness are just passing rains when you are not adding to the inner storminess. There is a great sense of relaxation, release, and relief when we are no longer closing our hearts and agitating our emotions with new ridiculous rules. Rules include waiting for a perfect someone to make us feel love. No one makes us emotionally feel anything. How we interpret things is everything. Even if you are very energetically sensitive (and for you spiritual work is vital), you don't have to choose to feel other people's emotions. Through self-knowledge, you can notice when a cold draft is blowing from outside (coming from someone else) or is already in your bedroom (coming from you). As a result, you learn how to let that other draft blow past and to not get hooked into the stories and emotions. You will feel less exhausted by other people and by life in general, and you will be able to further feel the abundance of your own love.

Discovering More Love Everywhere

As each layer dissolves, your ability to receive love from all of life expands. That receptivity also makes it easier for you to give back. The growing reciprocity becomes an ever-expanding light that illuminates more and more love everywhere. It also illuminates more layers of subtle resistance inside your heart as well as where others are not serving you. With this increasing illumination, it becomes more and more natural to let go. You will simply not want anything standing in the way of your light, which generally means you will not tolerate yourself standing in the way of your own light. In this way, we keep giving up more and more of ourselves. In return, we get more and more of ourselves back. It seems ironic to the ego self that releasing is growing, but all the stuff we hold onto makes us shrink and small. Jobs we don't like make us mean-spirited and small. Relationships that don't support us force us to find support in unhealthy ways even while we're still committed to those unsupporting relationships because we think we can't leave them.

Interestingly enough, as we open to love further, we can even see how love was in those unhealthy moments. This can be a profound realization, but it doesn't mean going back to them. Love is very clear about what is right for you. As you release into the depths of your own love, it only gets clearer and clearer what feels true and what doesn't support you in this life.

Love for the Whole Universe

We are melting into the depths of our own love where no aspect of the entire universe is rejected. Rejecting something means to deny something's right to exist. This is ludicrous. It is ignorance. It is the foundation of hatred, and I think we have seen quite enough of that. With that said, the deeper you go into your own love, you will find that you can love even those people who dislike or hate you or others. You will find the deep depths of love that can embrace the tyrant, torturer, murderer, embezzler, or rapist. This is a profound space, and it is one that is most badly needed. We cannot heal the world through more pain (executions, torture to the "bad guys," and other forms of punishment). This doesn't mean we sing songs and hold hands with violently, unconscious people. But in the space of love, we can see what is appropriate in any moment. Keep in mind, that love does not create rules for every situation. You can only ever move into that space in the moment and trust what arises. It may surprise you how love asks you to act; it won't necessarily conform to the ideas about how a "good" person should act. Life is too broad to fit in narrowly defined human terms of "good" and "bad." But this is a conversation really meant to be had with those of you now deeply rooted in your love.

The One Who Wants to Give Up

You will notice that the ego will want to give up...probably repeatedly. Each time that arises or it says you've gone far enough, breathe in a little deeper. Focus a little more. Find out what is being hidden. Love has no limits. As such, you have no limits in your ability to experience it. This doesn't mean that you're always looking for the "bigger, better" loving experience. This can happen for too many people in regards to spiritual love connections like twin flames and soulmates. But it does mean that there's no end, and there's no limit to you. Dropping into the limitless space of love shows you more and more the infinite possibilities of life. Truly everything is possible, and this is a profound thing to say. To truly understand this from a place of love creates deeply powerful people, and that is also part of the gift of love. In future posts, I'll talk a little more about love and power, how the two are the same, and what it means to act in the world from that deep place of strength. For now it is enough to say that any time you feel like quitting, giving up, turning back, or saying that you're "good enough," then you've just given up more of your own power.

Loving this Moment

Because I don't want you to think that any of this hard, the first and last step of opening to new layers of love is to love this moment. If you are stuck in traffic, fall in love with this. If your baby is crying at 3 am, fall in love with this. If you are just starting a relationships, fall in love with that moment. If you are just ending a relationship, fall in love with that moment. You'll notice how the qualities of love will be different each time. Falling in love with the moment during a funeral is very different than when the current moment is at a wedding. So part of opening to the depths of love is to see just how vast it is. It is to see that it is more than just a romantic thing, a family thing, or some other good and pleasurable feeling. It is to embrace the entirety of the universe and the entirety of you. That is the space of true love. That is who you truly are.
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