Love is love
Love is love is love.
I keep returning to love because it’s the reason I’m here at all. It’s my parents’ 5oth wedding anniversary this week, and I am a product of that love. It’s both the reason I dedicated myself to a man I loved completely and the reason I let him go. It’s in my dedication to causes bigger than myself. It’s in God, in spirit, and in me. And love continues to deepen and become more complex as I get older.
A few years ago, I attended a yoga conference where Bill Mahoney, author and philosopher, spoke about yogic relationships, be they between parent-child, student-teacher, friend-friend, or lovers. In a yogic relationship, each person stands on an expression of their true self, with dignity, value and worth. That which supports the relationship, or dharma, upholds its integrity, harmony, generosity, & spaciousness. In other words, in a divine relationship, there must be a recognition of an inner value of the self and the other. Both parties must honor the dignity of the other and move towards integrity in the self, opening oneself.
When this happens, there is connection that is based in harmony. It is being real and true in the world while respecting and acknowledging differences.
The complicating factor is that we all experience truth differently. Consciousness can be deflected, distorted and the mind cannot see beyond the self. A person may be unwilling to open. When this happens, it keeps a person from being in true relationship, and that person becomes self-centered. I want what I want and I want YOU to be what I want. It doesn’t allow another to find their big-S Self.
When the task becomes making another person see the world the way you do, you’ve lost the yogic, divine relationship. I say this as someone who has tried to make another person see the world like I do, but also as someone who learned not to. I’m not perfect but I do learn from my mistakes.
When beautiful isn’t seeing beautiful, a relationship becomes a way to satisfy only one person.
Bill Mahoney suggests always asking of yourself, “what is it my wisdom asks me to do so that THEIR personhood keeps expanding?” I love that question. For me, the answer has been everything from stay engaged, seek more information, create enough love and safety for whatever is happening here to show itself, forgive, choose to trust, and even let go, walk away.
My parents have modeled the beauty and difficulty of that question my whole life. I am profoundly grateful for their example. Love is real and it is all that matters.