Love Revisited

November 23rd, 2015

 

 

 


 

 

 

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 

-Stephen Chbosky

 

 

During a visit to Australia my brother Patrick made a casual but profound observation:

 

“You know Jem (my family nickname), if we have experienced love, even for a short time, we are fundamentally changed.”

 

A womans's hands crossed over her chest. Photo based illustration.

 

The depth of meaning contained in this one sentence has resonated within me ever since:

 

  1. What does the experience of love change?
  2. How are we changed?
  3. Is it dependent on an outside source (someone else loving us)?

 

Let’s take these one at a time.

 

What does the experience of love change?

 

Love changes our relationship with our Self. When we are ‘in’ love with someone else however our focus is usually directed outwards, towards them. We may endow them with the qualities we are actually experiencing in ourselves. Where else could we be experiencing love but in our Self?

 

How we are changed ‘for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health’ is determined by our state of awareness.  Do we project all that we feel onto our ‘significant other’ or do we become aware that it is we who are responsible for how we feel?

 

Try a simple exercise:

 

Sit comfortably with your palms gently facing each other.  Feel yourself becoming love at the center of your heart. As you breathe gently let it grow and expand out over your chest, shoulders and arms down to your open palms.

 

What happens?

 

You may notice several things. A growing sense of calm joy; a gentle vibration moving through your body; a ’buzzing’ warmth between your palms; maybe the atmosphere in the room changes – and perhaps much more. Or maybe we find part of us rejects this loving feeling.

 

Oops…

 

 

Self love

 

If we don’t love ourselves, no matter how much others may try to love us, it will never be enough anyway. It is our own self perception that makes us ‘lovable’ – or not. This is why we need to change our way of thinking. The above practice also shows us we can change our way of feeling too.

 

body mirror

 

We can nourish any feeling, positive or negatively affecting us. We all experience positive and negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves from time to time. How much they affect us depends on what we choose to nourish and reinforce. While it may seem obvious that we would choose to support ourselves with positivity and love we do not necessarily choose that. Why might we do that?

 

 

Individual and collective programming

 

Many times in these blogs we have used software metaphors to describe how energy works in the context of health and consciousness. One type of software we humans are particularly susceptible to are behavioural conditioning ‘programs’.

 

We may have learnt in early family life for example, that we are only deserving or worthy of loving attention when we ‘do’ or achieve something deemed desirable by our parents or extended family. Conversely, we may be made to feel worthless, unloved or rejected when our choices or actions conflict with those of our family. We are then ‘kept in line’ by the usual suspects of dysfunctional, super-ego group programming: shame, guilt, censure, rejection, attack or emotional withdrawal and abandonment.

 

 

Being a flock animal, we find this rejection and isolation terrifying and painful so we do our best to repress our own inner guide and struggle to fit in with the prevailing attitudes of the group. Extended out into society, this takes the form of group conditioning to keep anyone straying too far from the groups collective (and highly subjective) values. There are many names for this: In Scandinavia it is called ‘Jantelagen’; in Australia, ‘Tall poppy syndrome’; in Britain, the ‘Crab bucket effect’. [1]

It takes a strong will and a shining heart centred in the Self to resist the pressure such programming exerts upon us.

 

 

 Love and fear and how they change us

 

 

Both of these emotions contrast and conflict with one another – even at the biochemical level within our body. The biochemical equivalent of fear are stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These serve to raise the heart rate and blood pressure while simultaneously restricting and aging the heart muscle. Think of the wear and tear on a car if one were to drive around with the handbrake half on.

 

Love on the other hand, is a little more multi-dimensional. While it too has several biochemical equivalents like endorphines and oxytocin it is can also become an expanded state of consciousness through which we can heal, transform and create whatever we wish.

 

The deep experience of love (whether coming from within or from the unconditonal love we accept from another) is like a software upgrade. We realise at once there is no going back to our old state. Something fundamental has shifted within us. It can become the inner light that guides our actions whether we are externally rewarded with loving responses or not. Which brings us to the third question…

 

 

Is the experience of love dependent on someone else loving us?

 

 

If you have done the experiment at the beginning of this blog that answer should now be obvious. We are love – because we choose it – regardless of what we have received from others. We can choose it at any time. Even for a short time.

 

We do not need to ration our love, saving it for that special meeting, for whose exiting riches we keep ourselves waiting in a state of emotional poverty. Love is not a romantic or abstract ideal somewhere far away from us. It can be practiced. Consider how many times we have chosen to practice being angry, judgmental or fearful? Let us fundamentally change that.

 

Here are a few practical applications we can choose anytime:

 

Anything we want to work with in our Self: Do it with a feeling of love

If we feel alone or unloved: Practice being in the state of love

If we wish to help someone or heal a situation: Do it in the vibration of love

 

– even for a short time.

 

We will be fundamentally changed.

 

 

Love all the way till next Monday and beyond – but if you can’t wait till then….

 

 


 

[1] This comes from the observation of crabs kept together in a bucket at fish markets. When one has nearly managed to claw its way to the top of the bucket and escape, one of its own casually reaches up to pull it back down

 


 

© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

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