“Live the life you love, love the life you live.” – Bob Marley
Love, love, love. John Lennon said it best, “all you need is love.”
Whether it’s receiving love from others, offering love unconditionally, or accepting it from yourself, love is an essential component to our wellbeing. The more open to love you are, the healthier you will be both physically and emotionally. The less open you are, the more you are at risk to experience feelings of diminishing self-worth, depression, anger, frustration, disjointed connectivity, and resentment towards others.
Most of us built our understanding of love from our parents and caregivers during our first decade of life; then we layered that foundation with ideas of love from our popular culture. We came to believe that love is something that sweeps us off our feet. But the pop-culture ideal of love consists of unrealistic images created for entertainment, which is one reason so many of us are set up to feel “left out” of what seems to be “normal” delusions, and thus leading us towards greater isolation and depression. It’s part of our national vulnerability, like eating junk food, constantly stimulated by images of instant gratification. We think it is love when it’s simply attraction, distraction, or attachment.
One consequence is that when we encounter real love we don’t recognize it because we were looking for the “dream” that fits the cultural ideal. Some of us get demanding and controlling, wanting someone else to give us what we think our ideal of romance should be, without realizing our ideal is misplaced. We can spend our whole life looking outward for love; or we can look inside and allow our internal barriers that separate us from love to gently fall way.
Before we can truly love anyone, we must first love ourselves, and be open to receiving the exchange of love. This necessary part of our individual expansion can be easily overlooked when we are feeling “less-than” and living in a fear-based or constricted mode.
When we experience the illusion of love diminishing in our lives, we must move inward instead of outward. By asking our selves if the four needs of the heart; attention, affection, appreciation, and acceptance, are present in our lives, it promotes the opportunity for us to step in and replenish these essential needs for ourselves. We have the ability to self-love, self-attend, self-appreciate, and self-accept. Why not take matters of the heart into our own hands? Why do we instead look towards others to fulfill these very important needs? Because we are constantly being stimulated by the external forces of object referral states. This is when we need to reel it all back in, reel it WITHIN.
The Buddhist term bodhicitta (pronounced Bodhi – rhymes with Jody- chitta) means completely open heart and mind. “Citta” is translated as heart or mind; “bodhi” means awake. According to Pema Chödrön, love and compassion are like the weak spots in the walls of ego. If we connect with even one moment of the good heart of bodhicitta and cherish it, our ability to open will gradually expand.
The cultivation of the noble heart and mind of bodhicitta is a very personal journey. The very life we have is our working basis; the very life we have is our journey to enlightenment. When we tune into any of our feelings, become aware any of our feelings, they have the capacity to soften us and to dissolve the barriers we put up between our selves and others.
So let’s soften to one-ness!! Peace. -davidji
PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE THE VIDEO LOADS
GREAT hug video!