Dear R*** from Pakistan:
I acknowledge your feeling that you have
not experienced love. In this world even
those that do experience what they call love,
often come up with pain and the awareness that
it has always been conditional when this is
really looked at. Love based on being a good
boy, good girl, good student, good worker,
good parent, good partner, good friend, good
citizen. When we begin to look at what love
really is, as an unconditional presence that
accepts us totally and completely as we are,
with nothing needed in exchange, then it
becomes more evident this is rarely the case
in the world.
As far as what love may mean if you continue to
look at this with yourself, or with others, i
will share my own experience. I have had a history
of extreme trauma and abuse and grew up thinking i
had to do something to receive love. I saw it as
something earned and something between things. As
my own unfolding has occurred, and probably mainly
because of my ongoing, intense longing to know love,
to know the absolute, i have tried many things.
In the end what has helped is becoming willing to
be "with" myself. That for me is what meditation is
about. Taking the time to release expectations of
doing, and to just be. When i offer myself an
unconditional space, and allow what arises including
any feelings i've avoided, clear awareness opens.
Within this, love becomes known. At one point i thought
nothing was inside, and that was part of my fear.
I came to this awareness through pain, through
accepting nothing outside would ever fill the ache,
the part that felt unlovable. I hit a point where
realizing i had nothing left, i surrendered. I gave
up thinking i could ever have what i thought i wanted.
And when i opened to what seemed like nothing and
accepted that, it opened all kinds of possibilities.
This emptiness inside is actually the most
receptive unconditional love of all. It asks
nothing and expects nothing. And as i remain
with this it becomes clear this is who i am on
a deeper level, and really on all levels. And
yet what can really be said about this is so
wordless. There are so many cliches and aphorisms,
many starting with "all you have to do is...."
and i used to find that frustrating. it seemed
every book ended with and in conclusion, "all
you have to do is love yourself". and i would
think, yeah, but how?
i do know that my search all along was my love
looking out for me. you've ended up at Bob Rose's
site and online because you too are looking.
i reach across countries, and i genuinely wish you
to know that we all have this Heart, it is the same
that beats my heart, that beats your heart. It is
this aliveness that flows through us all that comes
as love. It can be easy to mistake because it is
like nothing of the images the daily world shows.
It can be very quiet, non-assuming, present and
i suspect as you continue you will recognize it
has actually been here all along.
i speak from heart to heart. after reading beautiful
online posts only a few nights ago, i cried feeling so
sad that i had no way to express or stand for love.
i am equally drawn in places online where clarity
and wisdom are so honored, however love sometimes
get misrepresented as something fluffy and unimportant.
i felt so overcome with my resonance with the love
that radiates, and so limited in my ability to
represent it in places where it is denied or put down.
and so i write to you as myself today and as my own
acknowledgment of "love". i believe in love, i
experience love and it is what i bow to. it is grace
that has opened this for me. and what i experience
now is not what could ever come from outside, it could
only be recognized as what sources all that is.
what can serve to separate me from my awareness of love
are my thoughts. and yet i have come to see that they
too are simply seeking love. welcoming all that arises
within is the essence of unconditional love and allows
all obstruction to dissipate, so that this radiance
may be clear, unmistakably present, right here and now,
freely available for all.
and so as i conclude this, i open my heart to all that
may feel unloved within me, and within the wordless
silence, there is stillness and embrace.