Do you remember those quotes from long ago?
I used to take them so seriously. In fact, I made a huge five foot by three foot wall hanging for my Mom in girl scouts one year that had the simple saying “ Love, so amazing, so divine demands my all”. All my siblings would snicker at the thing, but
I took the words to heart.
I sincerely believed in love and desperately needed it to be real because secretly I felt like everyone was disconnected, self absorbed and mean to each other. That environment probably made me into all of those things.
I have been on a quest for what love is…all my life. I have known deep in my heart that it is here and it is real. Eventually through my search, I realized that it was there once I cracked open.
In adult life, it was hard for me to be honest with myself and others, because I lived a lie from early on. In fact, I could not survive without lying about what I really thought or felt. I did not feel secure enough to be myself. By age twelve, I sustained horrific grooming and then sexual abuse over a period of a year and a half. I then became nothing but a lie.
I was a lie and I was not here on this planet. I could not connect with myself or others. I played the game in full court press. I was just an object; a thing with no soul, because it would have hurt too much to be here.
I went looking for love in all the wrong places all the time.
After many years of spiritual work, countless therapists, energy work, living like a zen monk, learning the ways of the mystic, the musician, and the seeker, things have slowly crumbled in me. Under layers of constructed personality, I found a soul waiting to greet the world and live a life of love.
I have worked consciously and doggedly, asking myself all the time: Am I being respectful? Am I connecting? Am I honest and forthright? Am I tolerant? Can I forgive?
Respect for what is in front of me whether it is a life lesson I am seeing through my actions or other people, whether I agree with them or not. Everyone, no matter who they are, deserves respect simply because they are a fellow human being, not perfect and not even moral or caring sometimes. Because they are human, they deserve my respect.
Connection with others as best as I can manage. My inner struggle is to truly listen and connect with people on every level including energetically. I do not have to meld into their field which is what I used to do by default. That predicament came with the territory of being invaded by another at an early age. Can I be here, present, aware of my awareness and grounded in sensation not only to have boundary but to understand me and the other person more fully and more objectively. Connection includes connection to my essence and stepping into a life I never thought possible. I am part of the connection. I must recognize and remember myself from a full resonance in my Being. In this way, I can connect with all that is… knowing i am a part of that.
Honesty that almost hurts. It is a constant struggle to speak my truth and understand what is going on inside of me… and study my truth on a level that makes waves within me. It is alchemical to maintain this aim of honesty within myself and with others. It is a constant question about reality or some layer of my filtration system that I have not yet discovered. I cannot assume I know, but in this honesty, I own what is in my Being and how that has become a vessel for divine will. This involves fearless humility and unfettered courage in the moment.
Tolerance to the best of my ability; a tolerance that is filled with empathy and understanding. I do not have to agree or be subjected to wrongdoing directly, but I must tolerate what is. As I tolerate in a way that acknowledges another’s perspective, I grow compassion and understanding. Perhaps tolerance is not the best word because sometimes that could mean putting up with things that are unhealthy. Bearing the unpleasant manifestations of others does not mean staying in an abusive relationship. It does mean not having to be right, not taking things personally, and accepting what is.
Profound forgiveness on every level with everyone. With that forgiveness comes acceptance, tolerance, connection and respect. It’s a clean slate over and over and it feels fierce. The only way I can forgive is to put myself in the shoes of another. I had to see the villains as human too, even the one who took so much from me as a kid of twelve. The only way to do that was to discover my own unfulfilled needs through a new lens. Those needs manifested in various forms from extreme self pity to tremendous guilt to blaming myself. That was the only way I could justify my anger, but it kept me from seeing who I really was and who other people really were and understand why we do what we do.
I had to humanize the villain in me and forgive her, so I could love me.
What is love for you?