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Love, as an Experience

The delusional state of a lover and a beloved is that, the lover who loves, loves while the beloved, loved. Although we technically understand that one who loves is one who is beloved, but this pattern is seldom experienced when one is only focused on loving and forgets to be loved, and the other focused on being loved and forgets to love. What is the difference? The giver only gives and the receiver only receives. And where does love come from? From Self. And how is love experienced? In Self.

I remember a loved one told me recently that as he loved, he too felt that he was loved. It is a concurrent experience. This brings me back to some memories where there were instances when I felt that my partner did not love me, and I chose to love him instead and by that I felt loved. It can be a simply gesture from a kiss, a hug, a purchase of a gift but as soon as I am doing all that because I want him to give me love, I can be 100% sure that I am no longer ‘in’ love, but ‘in’ fear. But where did the love come from? It was from me, within me, to me, for me; for I am the only experiencer in this.

It is ironic as I observed a close friend’s new relationship. She mentioned that this man came into her life when she did not need any man, simply joyous and in love with herself. But when this man came into her life (which woman or anyone for that matter could resist the experience of loving and being loved!), she noticed that each time she depends on him for love, he retreats; and each time she pays attention to herself, he returns. Of course, from an egoic sense we could term it as that when you don’t pay attention to the other, the other comes running back to you; but truly in an inward journey, the other is merely reflecting our own inner states of ourselves.

From this I realized that how easily the lover and the beloved loose each, their footing of themselves. When the lover loves, he loves the other and tends to forget himself; and when the beloved is loved, the beloved then relies on the other for love. As Rumi cited in his poem, that the beloved gets strong and the lover gets weak, I saw both as weak as both loose themselves along the way. It’s a loss at both ends and neither wins at the end of the day, for there is no self-empowerment or freedom in this area. Sooner or later, the lover will feel tired, and the beloved will become needy; and like it or not, that is when the relationship between the lover and the beloved becomes a little shaky and may lead towards a premature parting. Strangely, this pattern happens in most relationships and even though made aware of it (though may not be in a spiritual context), both parties would not prefer to take responsibility to deal with it. So we are talking about either a blaming each other or, a self-blame scene. Neither is true.

It is ok to love, and also to be loved; for we are natural lovers. Look at the birds, the animals, the parents, the children, friends and even strangers. There is love everywhere and that is nature. But what is not natural is that as we love, or are loved, we become dependent on one another.

Then what is the point to love, when we can so love ourselves and not need another? And that is it. There is no need. Love and be loved because of the experience – and let it be unreasonable, for there is no whys, no hows, no whats, no whens. Love just is.

So what is called here is constant awareness of self – of self responsibility, self honesty, self honor, self love and balance. Not that there is no one out there to love, but ultimately who are we loving? Not that when we love ourselves we will not love another, because ultimately who are we not loving?

Sharing a beautiful poem by Rumi – Desire and the Importance of Failing.

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