Being in love is like living a heavenly dream. But like all dreams, you will wake up eventually. When you wake up, you are left with nothing more than residual memories fleeting into obliviousness. I don’t know if that is true for everyone, but it was for me.
When I fell out of love, I became miserable and inactive. My mind yearned for the blissful abode that housed my initial feelings of infatuation and obsession. I became fixated on the past and allowed it to preoccupy my mind on a day-to-day basis. “Nothing in the present moment can even compare to the beauty of the past memories of being in love.” That was the thought that kept reappearing in my mind. I was harboring an insane mindset.
My mind was making excuses, any excuses to cling onto the idea of love. My story was my identity. My whole sense of self was invested within a dream. I feared for the end of this drama, so I attacked my emotions whenever I had doubts. I brainwashed and manipulated my own mind towards unconsciousness. I put my ideas of love on life support and held it captive in my mind. I resisted its departure with all my might because I couldn’t bear living my life without it. I was fighting against the natural law of physical impermanence.
We all know that nothing last forever. Everything is bound to end. Even though I knew all this, it didn’t stop me from growing attached to my false dreams of love. I faltered and stopped growing consciously. I was wallowing in my own fantasy world of make beliefs and daydreaming love scenarios over and over again in my mind. I was trapped by my egoic inclination for the feelings that love invoked in me.
I can see it now, how I became so obsessed with love. All these years of dwelling and living out my ideas reinforced my attachment towards love. I created a barrier that prevented me from seeing the truth.
I don’t know what love is. I merely attached an idea of love to my mind by feeding it with its desired food. I listened to so many love songs. They all reinforced my love thought patterns. I watched so many romantic movies and read so many love stories. I engulfed my entire being in a destructive and obsessive habit that made my illusion all the more real. In fact, I wanted it to be real. At least that is what my mind told me.
I thought what I was doing was unconditional love: to choose to love even when I was no longer feeling love. I was wrong.
No Resistance to Love
If love is a choice that you make, then you can honor your choice of love by working towards your goal. However, love is not a choice when coupled with resistance and negativity. This is true for me.
Love was nothing more than a temporary relief for my feelings of lack. I wanted to love, but I was swarming with doubts and fears. I didn’t even know the purpose of my love. I only cared about my feelings and the emotional “high”.
I asked myself, “What is the grand purpose of love?”
I found no answers. Then I asked, “What would I do once I have Lindsay?”
There were no answers either.
I knew then that I was chasing after a dream. I was not in love. I wanted satisfaction. I wanted to be at peace. However, I didn’t know how to achieve that state of blissfulness. The only thing that even came close to this experience was from falling in love.
Making a choice to love implies having a high level of consciousness. I didn’t have that at all in my pursuit of love. I was blindly chasing after love to cover up my personal insecurities and flaws. It made me whole. At least that is what I believed.
A while ago when I was learning Zen meditation, I came across a Zen koan that deeply enlightened me on love. A koan is story or statement used in Zen practices. The story was about a nun named Eshun.
Eshun was a very beautiful nun who practiced Zen meditation with 20 other male monks underneath a Zen Teacher. Many of the men were secretly in love with Eshun. One of them eventually wrote her a secret love letter, confessing his love and insisting on a private meeting. However, Eshun did not replied back. The following day after the meditation, she rose up in front of the group and responded to the monk who wrote the letter to her. She said, “If you truly love me so much, come and embrace me now.”
The message from the koan was simple. If you love, love openly. Offer no resistance to love. Love now. Don’t suppress or hide it. That will only make the attachment grow. Don’t let love grow unconsciously. Embrace it now.
I did the exact opposite. I have been voluntarily prolonging my illusions of what love is. I never embraced love, or the person of my affection. I merely attached my mind to an idea and resisted all unfavorable outcomes while glorifying the desired ones. I came up with many excuses and ‘What-If’ scenarios. What if she rejected me? What if I fall out of love? What if true happiness doesn’t exist? What is the point of my pursuit? My mind was running in circles, creating excuses to justify my own insecurities.
At each point in time, I was creating resistance in me. I looked to the past for relief of what was. I looked towards the future with the desire of what could be. In each case, I was neglecting my present moment, letting it fall to unimportance.
“The solutions to my problems are somewhere out there.” That is what I believed. However, this is not true.
Good parts. Bad parts. They are all parts of love. I can’t want one, while avoiding the other. To put up any resistance is to put up all resistance to love.
There are no problems to love, only situations. Some are favorable, some are not. Some can be easily dealt with, others not so much. There is no need to put forth so much emphasis on love’s situations. They are endless. There is also no need to resist the urge to put forth so much emphasis on love. To resist resistance is to strengthen your problems, your internal conflict.
It’s ok to feel desperate and depressed. It’s all natural. Observe your internal state and make the changes from there. Be aware and present. Be ready to surrender to love.
Letting Go is Love
Letting things be is love. Acceptance of the uncertainty of the future is love. Forgiveness of my weakness and obsession is love. Surrender is love.
Surrender does not imply failure or an attitude of giving up before reaching a certain goal. It is beyond that. Surrendering to love is an enlightening, yet crucial aspect to true love. It means to yield to love and all its external circumstances. It means to allow things to be.
I may have fears and doubts of rejection and private hurts. However, I will not resist them. I will let them be. I will observe their impact on my entire being. I will relinquish my stubbornness and truly feel with my entire being, not just think with my mind.
I understand that nothing last forever in this world. We will perish with time. Things that begin all have an end. It is a universal cycle of life. I can’t help myself from getting attached to certain expectations and ideals, despite knowing that reality sometimes fail to live up to my standards. But that’s all ok. It’s all part of living one’s life.
Here is what I learned. Your love has little to do with the person of your affection and more to do with you. Think about it for a moment.
If you can point to a physical manifestation of your love, what would it be? Would it be the person? The person is the recipient of your love experience. He or she is not the physical manifestation of your love. In fact, there is no physical manifestation of love. Everything is in our mind.
What do lovey dovey thoughts of love do to your relationship? It strengthens it. What do thoughts of doubt and fear do? It weakens it. The same method applies to my obsession.
By abusing my loving thoughts, I reinforced love in my mind. I made my attachment to love grow. There is nothing wrong with this. However, at the same time I had many thoughts of doubt and fears. What if she was hostile or indifferent to my love? What if we ended up as couples, but later she cheated on me? Does that mean love no longer exists?
Not only was I growing my attachment to love, but I was also dwelling in love’s drama. I couldn’t even let go of my unwanted make-beliefs of love. That was how bad it was.
I realized that sometimes there is nothing more to love than being secure in your own love. Love is more of an independent variable. It doesn’t need to satisfy any conditions. The person of my affection doesn’t need to return my love. She doesn’t need to do anything. This is all about my own desires.
I really wanted to love her. I wanted to wrap my arms around her and tell her how much I appreciate her presence. I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings with her and how much she has changed me to be a better person. I wanted to connect with her on a deeper and intimate level. I wanted to care for her and be someone of support whenever she needs me. I wanted to make her smile. I wanted to engage in heartfelt conversations with her. Connect with her. Laugh with her. Touch her. I wanted to thank her for all the inexpressible beauty she has given me. The feeling, the thoughts that I have long cherished has always been cultivating in my mind and spirit. It is as simple as that.
And if I can’t do any of that with her, that is fine too. I have been in love for so long. I have felt joy and happiness that I can’t define in words. I have felt pain that shaken me to my very roots. I have obsessed over love. I have experienced all the wondrous parts of love good or bad. I am whole and complete because of that.
Before I was searching without, but was empty within. Now my search is over. I am full within. I have love not just for the person of my affection, but for all of life. I appreciate what love has brought into my life. And I will grow consciously and maturely to become someone worthy of love. I can let go and let things be. I may still have insecurities, but I won’t resist them. They are all a natural component of living my life.
I do know what love is. It is a condition of inner peace and harmony. It is a state of conscious endeavor to creative self expression. It is a condition of no resistance and surrender. It is something I always had. It is something that you always had as well.
Love has changed me quite a bit, you read all about it. Now to an important question! How has love changed you? 😉