Love is limitless. Our capacity for experiencing it, on the other hand, seems to be bound up in all sorts of self imposed limitations and restrictions. Love, by it’s true nature, is expansive. Open. Seeking. And, so are we. In our truest, and most fear free form. And that is the real issue. That is what keeps so any of us from finding, accepting and living with love. Limitation born of fear. Restriction born of fear. A series of limiting behaviors born from a near endless assortment of fears. Fear of rejection. Fear of acceptance. Yeah, that’s pretty odd, isn’t it? But it’s the same with the fear of success and the fear of failure. A divine fulcrum, an insane duality that seems to doom us in many, many ventures. And love is a venture. And a state of being. A state of being in. A state of mind. A choice we make.
Here’s something to consider…
Love is a choice? Yes, it is. While that first rush of neuro-chemical love acid sure seems like anything but, the rest of the way is paved with choices. And, in many ways, the choices we make before love acid lift off, really determine how we are going to experience this most sought after emotion.
And make no mistake. Love is a very sought after emotion. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s intense. It validates us. This validation thing can, like most things, be a double edged sword. But that’s another essay, for another time, lol. It gives strength to us. It makes everything better, which is why I refer to it as Love Acid. For those of you who have had a good trip, I think you know what I mean. The two produce very similar effects. Everything is better. Brighter. Colors are suddenly more vibrant. Music, even music you don’t really have all that much care for suddenly sounds amazing. The details of the world, the small things, a bird’s chirping, a wild flower, a cloud in the sky, all of it is enhanced. All of it is amazing. We’re enhanced. We’re energized. We’re humming in perfect tune, from the inside out. Possibility abounds. The formerly dull and mundane become fascinating, or at least far more tolerable, lol. When you’re love tripping (for those who don’t know, “tripping” is what most call the experience of taking acid or other psychedelics) the world, your world, is a much more wonderful place to live in.
So why, oh why, do we have such trouble with love when it seems to be so damn enjoyable? Why indeed. Well, I’m of the opinion that there are several reasons and most of them have very little to do, if anything, with the person, that amazing and incredible “other” person, that we fell in love with. While some may argue that falling in love is not so much of a choice as it is a magical reaction to a series of stimulus, staying in love and setting the stage for love to enter our lives, are choices.`
So lets talk about setting the stage for falling in love. Now many will say, myself included, that it never arrives when you’re looking for it, and it rarely arrives in the form you’d imagine. But you can set the stage for falling in love. It starts in your own head. And it starts with a question. Are you ready for love? Are you ready to actually accept the fact that someone could accept you as you are? All the faults, warts, failings, shortcomings and such and actually see past all that and love you? That’s a question you really need to ponder. Do you love yourself? There’s another one. A big one. Because if you don’t love who you are, what you are, then nobody else will ever be able to give you enough love to fill that gap. Because no matter what they say or what they do, you just won’t believe it. They can tell you how amazing you are. How wonderful you are. How smart. How witty. How beautiful, handsome, hot, whatever. It won’t be enough. Because when you look in the mirror you won’t see what they see.
It starts with loving yourself. Or perhaps, accepting yourself. I’m not saying be Mr. or Ms. Rose Colored Glasses about who you are, but if you are, well that’s really not a bad thing, is it?. You’ll be much better off erring on the side of liking yourself than beating the crap out of yourself. I’m not saying you can’t improve some things, lose a little weight, quit smoking, swear less, lol. No, I know there’s always room for improving. For expanding. For growth But on the base level, you need to like yourself a lot.
Because then you set the stage for accepting that someone else could really, truly be in love with you. And accepting it is key. Otherwise, you find yourself always raising the crazy alarm and creating a full blown case out of the most circumstantial evidence that they don’t. Why? Because in our head we think, we believe, that we are not worthy of being loved. We’re not good enough to be loved. And we can hit those filing cabinets in our heads where we store all that stuff that proves that no one really loves us, that we just are not good enough, smart enough, beautiful/handsome enough, funny enough or just plain enough and pull out the proof to reinforce those limiting beliefs. We’ve got tons of proof.
But if you love yourself, or at the least, really, really like yourself, then you’ve got a chance at accepting the gift that is another human being’s love. And if you’re living your life in that space, then love, real, true, meaningful love tends to find you. It’s got a chance to grow and turn into something amazing. And if you take it a step further and show gratitude and gratefulness with the world, you’re increasing the probability that love will enter. If you ask for it. If you pray for it in whatever way or to whatever you wish to pray to and couple that with being ready to accept it along with being grateful for the love you already have, that’s like buying a lottery ticket with 3 guaranteed numbers on it. You’ve got a chance. A real chance.
But there’s still some things to consider in creating the doorway for love, the opening. And that’s self imposed limitations. For maximum door width, one needs to lose all sorts of preconceived notions and self imposed limitations as to how love is going to happen. Things like time frames. Love, regardless of what U2 or BB King say, is not a train, lol. It doesn’t run on a schedule. Do you believe in love at first sight? How about at first phone call? How long should it take before you fall in love with someone? Before you make the choice to fall in love.? Make the choice to accept it? How does love look? Tall, dark and handsome with six pack abs? A legs-for-days blonde? Does love need to make a certain amount of money? Drive a certain type of car? Have a certain size of house? Now some metaphysical and/or self help guru types will tell you that the more refined you make your prayers/meditations/wishes, the more likely you are to get just that. I’m not so sure. But it sure helps to know what you’re already thinking about how love shows up if you want to have it knock on the door.
But maintaining love, nurturing and nourishing love, sustaining and growing love, well that takes a commitment. And a commitment is a choice. An ongoing series of choices. A commitment to keep choosing love. To choose to love that other person. To choose to care. To choose to pay attention. To choose to listen. To choose to give your support, your love. These are choices. We choose these things. If you’re looking to create and make real love, you need to choose that. You need to choose that over and over and over.
When you choose to love someone, you make lots of little choices. Along with the fore mentioned ones, you also choose what you’re going to overlook. What you’re going to let slide. What’s important and what’s not. When you’ve spent some time with someone, at least a good solid couple of years, or even a first date, you’re going to have noticed lots of things about that person. Little things. Quirky things. The not-so-charming behaviors of that oh-so-enchanting person that you’ve chosen to fall in love with. We’re not talking major character flaws here, we’re talking the small stuff. The minutia of life. Because we know, oh yes, we know, that nobody gets screaming balls crazy over the toothpaste. Nope. That’s just the ignition to all that other stuff that you don’t communicate over the course of the relationship.
So yeah, you’re going to have to make choices to remain in a state of love. Sometimes the most valuable choice, the most powerful choice is remembering. Remembering all the little and big reasons you have chosen to love this person. We need to do that. Especially when we encounter those not-so-charming behaviors. We need to choose how to address them. Are they worth addressing. How do we communicate our thoughts, or concerns, or wants and our needs? Those are choices. And when you are considering bringing up something that pertains to a “less-than” characteristic of this person that you love, it’s a good thing to do a quick mental refresh on all those little “more-than” things that have made you continually choose to love this person. Just saying.
And then there’s this whole communication (from Latin: word: quagmirus. Meaning: a bottom less pit of misunderstanding) thing. We make lots and lots of choices when we engage in that. But the biggest choice we make is the actual words we choose to say. Especially when dealing with something that might lead to any level of confrontation. We, or at least a lot of us in my experience, want to avoid confrontation at all costs. And I can’t say I blame anyone who feels this way. After all, confrontation, especially with someone you are emotionally invested and/or involved with, can be a gut wrenching experience. But it also offers the most room for growth, for more understanding. At least when it’s handled in a way that is loving and non-judgmental. And that’s really the key. Choosing the right words, the right language is very important. People get defensive. And defensive people build walls. And walls keep things out. Things like love, for instance. So choosing your language when talking with your beloved is a key thing.
When confronting an issue, one of the more effective things I’ve come across is to begin with this statement… “I could be wrong about this, but I think….” or “I may be completely off base, but I’m feeling like….” This may sound rudimentary to you, may sound dumb, but by choosing to open with an admission that you could be wrong, instead of something like “Why do you….”, you take the edge off the knife you’re about to plunge into your beloved. You put it on you. You open the door to what might be a very personal “hot” button to the other gently and without blame. And choosing not to blame others, especially significant, meaningful others is a key thing in having a better quality of relationship in all areas of your life. That’s not to say that you don’t work with some real ass hats. You probably do. But a lot of ass hats just need some understanding to lessen their ass hatish-ness. Some however, will remain total hats.
Now, I am no Dr. Freaking Phil, nor have any desire to be. I’ve no doctorate in psychology or in human interaction. However, I do have years of failed relationships to draw on, lol. And failed relationships can be a great teacher, if you choose to let them be. If you choose to not blame the other person for anything. Nothing. If you choose to make yourself 100% responsible for the state of your relationships you can grow a lot. You’ll also have much better relationships. Higher quality, more fulfilling ones. Yes, I know, sounds crazy. I mean it’s a two way street, right? And besides that bastard, that bitch, he, or she, cheated on me. I mean, how the hell am I responsible for that?
I’m not saying you’re responsible for the way any one else behaves, for the choices they make. However, if you take 100% responsibility for the quality of the relationship, you may find that you are operating in a much more “present” manner. You choose to pay attention more. You choose to engage in conversations that further the choice you made to love and continue to love this other person. Your choosing to love seriously. Fiercely. Now, if you’ve come to a place where you understand this other person to be a totally self involved sociopath, you’ll need to make another choice. But there’s still no blame to be tossed around. Learn from the experience. Make better choices. Move on.
By being 100% responsible for your relationship you create a space in which you choose more consciously. You choose to be more “present moment” at every moment. You choose to notice and acknowledge more. You don’t think in the very limiting way of “Well I did this and now he/she needs to do this”. You choose to love and live with more clarity. More passion. More intention. More truth. You become fierce in your choice to love. You choose to love seriously. See? I did get back to that graphic from the top of the page, lol…
And I know, it’s very easy, very easy to get caught up in our busy days. Very easy to slip into the rut. The old behavior. Very easy to forget to choose to love. As we plop ourselves down on the couch after a long day at the grind or even a long day of doing what we absolutely love, we can forget. Forget to keep making all those little choices. Forget to be fierce with our love. To love seriously. But that’s what we need to do. If we want to have that great relationship, that meaningful relationship in which both parties grow, in which blame is not invited. We need to choose it. We need to accept it. And keep choosing it and accepting it over and over.
I’m sure I’ll return to various points from this rambling missive in future posts. Until then, be fierce, love seriously and keep choosing to accept and love yourself and the important people in your life.
Enjoy, and as always, I look forward to your comments and thoughts on this or any other subject.
Yours in choice, Cosmo
P.S. To My Beloved Zen Girl… Thank you for making it so damn easy to keep choosing to love you, baby. You are the light that illuminates me.