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If you say you love your husband, what does that have to do with him? You’re just telling him who you are. You tell the story of how he’s handsome and fascinating and sexy, and you love your story about him. You’re projecting that he’s your story. And then when he doesn’t give you what you want, you may tell the story of how he’s mean, he’s controlling, he’s selfish–and what does that have to do with him? If my husband says, “I adore you,” I think, Good. I love that he thinks that I’m his sweet dream. How happy he must feel about that! If he were ever to come to me and say, “The sorriest day of my life was when I married you,” still, what would that have to do with me? He’d just be in a sad dream this time, and I might think, Oh, poor baby, he’s having a nightmare. I hope he wakes up soon. It’s not personal. How can it have anything to do with me? I love him, and if what he says about me isn’t true in my experience, I’ll ask him if there’s anything I can do for him. If I can do it, I will, and if it’s not honest for me, I won’t. He is left with his story.

No one will ever understand you. Realising this is freedom. No one will ever understand you–not once, not ever. Even at our most understanding, we can only understand our story of who you are. There’s no understanding here except your own.

If you don’t love another person, it hurts, because love is your very self. You can’t make yourself do it. But when you come to love yourself, you automatically love the other person. Just as you can’t make yourself love us, you can’t make yourself not love us. It’s all your projection.

When you truly love someone, a thought like “You should love me” just brings laughter to your heart. Can you hear the arrogance of that thought? “I don’t care whom you want to love. You should love me, and I’ll even trick you into it.” It’s the oppposite of love. If I think my husband should love me, I’m insane. Whose business is it whom he loves? His, of course. The turnarounds are all I need to know: I should love me, and I should love him. Let him love whomever he loves–he’s going to anyway. The story of whom someone should love keeps me from the awareness that I am what I’m seeking. It’s not his job to love me–it’s mine.

There’s nothing you can do with love. All you can do is experience it. That’s as intimate as you can ever be with another human being. You can hug him, you can kiss him, you can pack him up, take him home, cuddle him, feed him, give him your money, give him your life–and that’s not it. Love is nothing you can demonstrate or prove. It’s what you are. It’s not a doing, it can’t be “done”, it’s too vast to do anything with. As you open to the experience of love, it will kill who you think you are. It will have no other. It will kill anything in its way.

Once you give yourself to love, you lose your whole world as you perceive it. Love leaves nothing but itself. It’s totally greedy; it has to include it all; it will not leave out even a shadow of itself. And everything else falls away, and you’re like a tree losing its leaves in autumn, so beautifully. Our pain is in denying love. A boundary is an act of selfishness. There’s nothing you wouldn’t give to anyone if you weren’t afraid. Of course, you can’t be generous ahead of your time. But when you meet your thoughts with understanding, you discover that there’s nothing to lose. So eventually there’s no attempt at protection. Giving everything you have becomes a priviledge.

The only true love affair is the one with yourself. I am married to me, and that’s what I project onto everyone. I love you with all my heart; you don’t even have to participate, so there’s no motive in “I love you”. Isn’t that fine? I can love you completely, and you have nothing to do with it. There’s nothing you can do to keep me from the intimacy that I experience with you.

When I say “I love you”, it’s self love. There’s no personality talking: I’m only talking to myself. Love is so self-absorbed that it leaves no room for any other. It’s self-consuming, always. There’s not a molecule separate from itself. In the apparent world of duality, people are going to see it as a you and a me, but in reality there is only one. And even that isn’t true.

The voice within is what I’m married to. All marriage is a metaphor for that marriage. When I make a commitment, it’s to my own truth and there’s no higher or lower. “Will you have this man to be your husband?” “I will. And I may change my mind.” That’s as good as it gets. I’m married only to God–reality. That’s where my commitment is. It can’t be to a particular person. And my husband wouldn’t want it any other way.

Unless you marry the truth, there is no real marriage. Marry yourself and you have married us. We are you. That’s the cosmic joke.

*Excepts from A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie*

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