To love Or To BE Love?
In January I re-tore meniscus in my left knee.
Down side: I re-tore my meniscus.
Upside: I had lots and lots of time to binge watch “Sex in the City.”
If not for my injury I might never have seen it. The funny thing about this is that, for years, people assumed I watched it. They based their assumptions on the conversations I’ve had around the show’s favorite subject matter… Relationships, particularly between men and women.
Even though dating discussions take up way less of our bandwidth and time than they do in the show, the fact is, my coed friends and I mull over the same seemingly Universal issues.
What do we, strong independent types, really seek in relationships?
And, the far less popular corollary to that idea, what are we really willing to bring to the table?
Which makes February (and the American attention on Valentine’s Day) the perfect time to massage ideas, emotions (and ultimately our actions) around,
- Love and
- how we choose to either
- do it,
- be it or
- even sometimes fight it.
February is, for those of us on this Passion on Purpose path, about Love (with a capital L). Not dating, not romance but a clear and present focus on who we choose to be in this world, with ourselves and with others.
F.A.I.L.* to Win: 4 Simple Principles to Get you Out of your own way.
*For All Is Love
If you’ve read FAIL* to Win or taken the class you already know that there’s a massive difference between the conscious, thoughtful work we do to behave lovingly and simply operating from Love itself.
Neither state is necessarily “better” than the other. I’ll tell you from experience, though, Love (L) sure makes life a whole helluva lot easier!
What is Love(L)?
The basic, in a nutshell, version of the difference is this:
love (l) is intentional,
Love (L) is just who you are.
|What you do||Who you are|
|Takes practice||State of being that comes as a result of all that practice|
Chances are good you have some experiences in both realms. There’s a big difference, for instance, between the way you feel and react when a friend or co-worker lets you down versus your kid or your cat.
With your peers, for example, you may wonder about their motivations, their mood or if it was something you did wrong. You get caught up in a “pros/cons, maybe this or that” spiral looking for an answer as to why someone, who is otherwise good, would behave poorly. You’re acting with love (l), trying to meet them where they are. You understand that you want to be wise and kind in your reaction. Perpetuating the situation isn’t helpful so you lovingly search for alternatives to whatever self-preserving visceral reaction you led with in the disagreement.
A child or pet disappoints and it’s a totally different story. Patience comes out of nowhere. Compassion about their state overrides your own self-protection impulses. It’s quite natural to meet them where they are. Kindness comes easy, after all, when they’re happy you’re happy. You’re in a state of being where your vulnerability recognizes theirs, your heart sees their heart and your spark touches their spark. You don’t have to think of some loving response a Love response is just natural.
Additionally, you also don’t have any painful story wrapped up about their value or yours either. It just is what it is…there’s no “bad guy” at all.
If you were forced to describe where all of this empathy came from you might intellectualize things like, “well, they’re just a kid/cat they don’t know any better,” but that is an oversimplified justification of your natural Love (L) response that was informed by years of developing Love within you.
It’s not always like this, of course, even with a kid or an animal, but when it is the gap between who you are and what you do is extremely minimal. Pay attention to how often your actions are informed by a Love state and you may realize you have, within you, everything you need to move through life without unnecessary suffering.
Your Stories Matter
As you wrap up the Clarity portion of the Passion on Purpose thought prompts you have, most likely, started to realize how many of your hurtful thoughts are
1) wrapped up in stories…simple, malleable stories and
2) power vampires, sapping you of the strength you need to re-shape your life view (and by extension Life itself).
Never fear, my Lovelies! The upcoming “Gathering” portion helps you find where you’re already operating from Love and where your best resources are for developing more Love in your life.
Be gentle with yourself during this process. It’s typical with my clients to enter into a habit that is more self-flagellation than it is self-Love. With the consciousness this subject brings you may find yourself “should-ing” all over the place.
- “I know I should let this go.”
- “I should be able to see the injured person inside the asshole-y behavior.”
- “I probably should be the bigger person here.”
An easy trick if you find yourself here is to replace onerous words like “should” and “have to” with open, choice-inducing words like “could” and “choose to.” Word choice matters, try it and see!
Thought prompts, word choice and any other little pearl offered up in this blog is just a suggested tool to help you practice. Nothing by your own commitment to Love will get you unstuck, and creating from an open, unburdened heart.
Please remember, my Lovelies, there is no “right” way to enter into the practice of Love. There is only a promise to practice.
Words matter. Change “should” to “could,” “have to” to “want to” and you’ll quickly realize that the only thing it means to react self-defensively is that there is the possibility to try something different.
You’re Not Alone
Thank you, my Lovelies, for committing (and re-committing) to this work. Please remember you’re never alone in this process. You can start a discussion at https://triffanyhammond.com/passion-on-purpose/PoP-February or join the membership for even deeper support.