Open to Love

Robin Williams was quoted as saying : “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel alone.”

Those are words I resonate with on a very deep level, for there have been many times when I have found myself sitting amongst a group of people, feeling totally isolated and alien. This, I know, happens to all of us at some time. This I know, was also the reason a friend of mine told me that I was arrogant and consider myself above needing other people’s friendship, caring and love.

I was recently asked by a client what exactly the term ‘loving unconditionally’ means. We threw it around a little, rolled it around our intellectual playpens and dunked it in the sandpit of our teachings, only to come up with mud cakes that had a new icing. How could we possibly explain that – and do not tell me the Buddha and all those enlightened monks get it right! You put unconditional love into practice when your partner is molesting your child, your husband is sleeping with your best friend or you keep betraying the promises you make to yourself, and we will talk again! But, let’s be a little more real, for that is not everyone’s reality . . .

You tell me you can love someone unconditionally when they do not show up for a second time when you had an appointment, when they tell you honestly that the Pierre Cardin sweater you bought is not flattering (well yes, it does not make you look as thin as you believe), or that your husband did not take out the garbage, service the car, tell you you look beautiful, remember to fix the broken tap, put the toilet seat down . . . you cannot believe the reasons I hear from people no longer loving their partners, friends etc., and I have no doubt you could add a few of your own examples . . .

You see, none of this is relevant.

Neither Robin Williams nor I would have felt quite so lonely if we were able to accept love unconditionally. I am so sure that there is a typo in ALL the books that profess we have to love unconditionally. That has nothing to do with it. We can only show, share, invest, give the love we have, but if we cannot accept love unconditionally, well, we become malnutritionally loved. Now, if you are into language and grammar – take a valium and go figure!

If I was to say to you that “I am and feel very loved – but I do not feel the love”, is there a chance that you could resonate with that?

If you do not believe that God/Great Spirit/ All that Is (or whatever you wish to call the source of your life and inspiration) loves you unconditionally and you cannot accept that love without constantly reminding yourself why you are not worthy of such love, is there any possibility that you could even begin to accept love unconditionally from someone else?

It matters not who we are, we all have expectations. We all expect our partners, children, parents, friends, acquaintances to accept and love us in a way that we have created. Many of our expectations are built on Hollywood fantasies of people who have beautiful, smooth skins in spite of the fact that they go to bed with all their make-up on and have no morning breath. If the other person does not show their love in the way we want, they are clearly not able to love us. If we did not grow up in a touchy feely house and we find a partner who did, we find them clingy. That person, on the other hand, may not feel the love because he or she feels rejected because we do not respond to their touchy-feely-ness! Our children may go ahead and live the life we encouraged them to, making us feel alone or neglected, or our friends may follow and find the dream we shared with them, but now we no longer feel we are being loved because we have to fit into their busy schedule.

How many ‘if only’ or ‘yes buts’ reside in your most intimate relationships? Is it not strange that we ask so much more of those closest to us than those who are outside our inner circles, yet we also do not let those outsiders in because they may not like the same music as we do, or read the same books, or have the same political views as we do . . .?

Our lives and especially our loving, is based on our inability to BE loved unconditionally, to accept that the people in our lives gives us what they have to give to the extent that they are able to. How about just opening up to that for a day – and see how your heart responds.

How we and they express it, well, that is another story for another day, but acceptance, that is the key and therein lies the magic. We all have wounds, so why not let the love flow into and over them and let us be healed, rather than keep the bandages of fear and reason so tightly wrapped that our wounds become that which defines us, rather than our ability to accept and integrate love which, when in resonance with our Spirit, becomes Love in Action in the world.

Just for today, see every act of kindness as an expression of love, see the food on your plate, the clothes on your back and the roof over your head, as an expression of God’s love for you, see your child’s smile, your friend’s call, your husband’s hug, your mother’s mingling, your father’s fussing as an expression of their love in action. Just accept with gratitude, accept without question and allow yourself to become a space of resonance for the love of others – then let the magic flow.