September 15, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam
Today I would like to start the work of learning to love well. There are so many impediments to real love, but the first and most important thing we must accomplish on the path of learning to love well is learning to love ourselves.
“For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been given to us, the ultimate, the final problem and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.”
~ Rainer Marie Rilke, The Selected Poetry
Many of us were raised in environments of depression and criticism. We are the ones who take another’s words personally. We are the ones to be first defensive and then, maybe, get the facts. We judge, defame, criticize others automatically, without regard for their particular situation. We tend to ridicule and blame, look for fault and seek to change the behavior of. And, perhaps worse than any of these things, we see others as different or separate from who we are. These qualities are an impediment to not only loving someone else, but loving ourselves. It is part of the muck we talked about earlier.
Without the life blood of self love, there is no real love we give to anyone. The point Rilke is making is again, we can’t give what we don’t have. This theme is repeated throughout our lives.
We often meet people for whom we must have compassion because they are stuck in the place of blaming their parents for who they turned out to be as adults. I have been that person. I have felt the pain of self-hatred, self-inquiry, anger, resentment and finally radical self-acceptance. I have had to forgive what is not mine to forgive. I have had to put my deceased mother back on the hook, understand the state of her mental health, the horribleness of her own situation, and ultimately forgive her — for doing the best she could with the information she had. I didn’t do it for my mother. I did it for myself.
When we look into the nooks and crannies of our own psyche, turn them out to the sun and closely examine them, we find the parts of us that keep us from being able to love. Our task is to learn to love someone exactly as they are, with no reservations, no “if only’s” and no “if you would just change this one thing.” It’s called UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. It is vital to our own journey that we make it to this point. The funny thing about this is, however, once we learn to love one person absolutely unconditionally it becomes the proverbial slippery slope: we end up loving everyone unconditionally, including, and especially, ourselves.
“Nothing you become will disappoint me; I have no preconceptions that I’d like to see you be or do. I have no desire to foresee you, only to discover you. You can’t disappoint me.”
~ Mary Haskell
This is the unconditional love I wish for all of us.
PRANAYAMA: Here is a really fun one: Lion’s Breath.
ASANA: This is a vinyasa flow series called Moon Salutations. It is quite enjoyable.
With kindness, Chris