People sometimes ask us if we are in love, or if we have ever been in love. I usually respond by asking them to define love, because there appear to be 7 billion interpretations of it.
They usually describe their idea of love as some sort of infatuation, attachment or co-dependency. Sometimes they tell me that there is no such thing as love, or they do not believe in this idea, although this still lacks definition.
Sometimes they describe something in which each side is able to not only express their deepest sense of truth to one another, but enable each other to dig deeper, find new levels of truth, be it emotionally, sexually, intellectually or whatever.
Having been led to believe that I had never truly been in love all my life because I didn’t have the Disney infatuation with another, or use the term love in an insecure way to validate a dependency or lack of self love, I, in fact love everyone in a far deeper way than most experience. In particular, the partners I am with have more of my undivided attention in which they can express their true selves and have support to indulge this. I am present, holding space and connecting with their truest naked form.
Love is not pushing them to do what I believe is best for them, or to be more ambitious. This is a trait of pushy parents that inevitably leads to some sort of rebellion from the child. Neither is it to agree with their views necessarily or even validate their ideas, but to reflect back to them how beautiful their expression of truth is, whether it is their vulnerability, emotion, face without makeup etc. We inevitably unconsciously can reflect things back to them in a negative light if they are seeking out something that does not feel harmonious with their truth.
The word love is used in many different ways, yet there is a constant correlation between love and honesty. Think about the person you love the most in your life and they are likely to be the person that you can be most honest with, or that are able to see clearest your true nature. It is the reason that we occasionally use the word love in relation to a film, or painting or book, because we felt that this object reflected our own truth.
Perhaps you are closer with a friend than your partner, or closer with your dog than a parent, because you have the freedom to express a deeper truth within these connections. Perhaps you represent different parts of your truth to different people and are seeking to integrate the sum of your parts into an actualised being.
When we share our truth with another and it isn’t acknowledged then some distance is created between ourselves and the object thus reminding us of our disconnect from all other beings. If someone rejects our truth it causes us to cast doubt on that person as an external loving object or cast doubt on our own internal truth. While this may not be the definition of hate, it seems like the lack of honest communication relates to insecurity in the self and thus relationships.
Our relationships are as much about cultivating self-love as they are about providing that for our partner, which can be understood through the image of the Ouroboros snake, which feeds itself. This continuous stream of love for one another loops deeper into a spiral the more we give to each other. It would be an effortless practice if not for our ego. This creates the attachments which prevent us from becoming truly intertwined.
Love is not what Disney has lead you to believe it is, yet, we can experience the deepest ecstasies of love if we approach it earnestly. The formula is simple, but requires substantial work. It is to recognise one's attachments, to appreciate our ego and to still support our partner, parent, friend or child in their pursuits just as we would want them to for ourselves.