Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What is Love?

Is love a nice flowery feeling that goes smooth and easy? I used to think so. I suppose you would call it the 'Happily ever after' concept. The idea that when you've found Great Love it would be by definition smooth sailing-- lots of bliss and nice emotions.

Folks, I am discovering it is the opposite!

The little word picture above I made for my lover Abby. As you can see it is frought with a full-out cornucopia of intense and subtle emotions.

To be human is to feel. When we are feeling we are alive. There nothing wrong with feelings-- despite the cries of my Western conditioning. Even such "bad stuff" as anger, sadness, envy, frustration. This is our humanity! The emotions are not to be resisted, but welcomed and most of all... Expressed!

When we allow ourselves to feel, this is when we grow, blossom and heal. In fact, it is the only time we grow, blossom and heal. Why? Because, when we feel and express the emotions we are let the energy flow. The real poisoning danger is truly to not express, to deny and to bury the feelings. The emotional energy goes somewhere whether you like it or not-- and ten years later you wind up needing two weeks of massages to deal with iron knots of tension.

A certain mutual consciousness is essential however, and a space to express. One must be consciousness that it is oneself who is the cause of the emotions-- not the other. Blame undermines everything. When we recognize that it is in fact us, that it is our old wounds, insecurities and fears that generate these feelings, not the other, we can get somewhere. By taking this responsibility for our emotions, then, and only then, can we accept them, rise above them, and become empowered by them-- rather than imprisoned.

With this realization, one comes to welcome, to love, those who stimulate and who give you the space to express the most intense and deep feelings whether they are good or "bad" . I say "bad emotions" because really, when you see it this way, even the bad feelings (especially the bad feelings!) are the real treasures. The fast track to insight and empowerment. And when you see it this way, then bad comes to mean good. And good feelings are just as good! The space that the other provides contains this implicit consciousness. The expressions aren't taken personally, because both know the expressor is the responsible one.

I happen to have a lover that have given me soooo many emotion (exhibit A, above)-- including really pissing me the fuck off. Through her, and the space to feel and express, I have come to learn sooooo much about myself.

I LOVE her for this.

Walt Whitman wrote the following lines-- from one of why favorite poems, the Song of the Open road:

Listen, I will be honest with you
I do not offer the old smooth prizes
But offer rough new prizes
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid up stores,
However convenient the dwelling, you shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port, however calm the waters, you shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,
You are permitted to receive it but a little while Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road
Healthy, free, the world before you the long brown path before you, leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another:
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money; I give you myself before preaching and law"

What is more myself than my deepest emotions and feelings expressed? What is love? Dare I say... to express!

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