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Love Is Both the Destination and the Guide

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(Note: I am reposting some blog posts that are included in my newest book, Everything Is Included. More info and links to purchase the book are here.)

Q: I have fallen in love. I have not received much love from the person. There has been almost no communication and even less physical contact. When I met this person, it was a quick recognition that I was going to fall in love with him and that I already knew him from a deep soul connection. At first, I was so hurt when he pulled away from me, but I learned how to let go. When he is near me, I feel so alive. I radiate with joy and peace and love. When this person is gone, he is distant and hurtful. He pulls me in and pushes me out with equal force. But I remain patient and kind and loving. This person expresses to me that he has not learned how to love fully, but he loves me. So, how do I continue to love without overstepping my boundaries and while respecting his?

A: Love doesn’t necessarily need a relationship. Love and relationship are both important and beautiful, but they operate at different levels of our Being.
Love is the bigger truth, and so it permeates all of our experience. The source of love is deep within our own essence. Even when you feel tremendous love when you are with the other person, that love is coming from within your own Being.

In contrast, relationship happens on the surface of our existence. For this reason, it is a smaller truth or reality. It is still important and worthwhile, but it is just not as important as love. A simple way to verify this is to reflect on how love without a relationship can still be wonderful, but a relationship without love is rarely very rewarding.

There is never a reason not to love. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it fills your heart with sweetness and light. You can give love and then give even more, and you will never run out. To recognize this, it helps to remember that love is simply awareness and acceptance or space. The best lover is someone who gives you lots of attention and also the space to be however you are. You can always give this kind of love to yourself, to others, and to everything. Simply notice what is and let it be the way it is. You don’t even have to like it, in which case you can also give space to your not liking it. (You can read more about giving love in this way in this article.)

When it comes to relationship, there are many more practical considerations. Is it realistic to be with this person? Does this person want to be in a relationship with you? Is he or she someone you can be best friends with? Does this person consistently treat you with respect and consideration? Is he or she able to listen to and accommodate your needs and also communicate and express his or her own needs? So it is simple to decide whether to love, but not as simple to decide whether to be in a relationship with someone. (continue reading)

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There Is Never Too Much Love

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(Note: I am reposting some blog posts that are included in my newest book, Everything Is Included. More info and links to purchase the book are here.)

Q: How can I detach from the love I feel for this person who has no interest in my loving him or in how I feel? I feel this beautiful feeling and, yet, so contracted that I have a heavy knot in my chest and abdominal area all the time along with a sense of extreme sadness. How can I liberate this love from this binding attachment? I feel like a compass that always points to the North Pole: my awareness always holds the thoughts of this one person and the feelings for him. Is there any way out?

A: Rather than detaching, I would invite you to attach more firmly to the source of your attachment. All attachments we have are only attached at one end: in our own heart. We never successfully attach to something or someone else. And so all of the intense and beautiful feelings you are having are coming from inside of you, not from the other person.

In a sense, the only problem with your compass is that you have been following the wrong arrow or pointer. The desire you feel points to the other person, but what about the other pointer on the other end of the compass needle? Where is that other arrow pointing? What if you follow your desire back to its source instead of out to its object? Then you don’t need to detach or liberate or change anything about how you feel. All of the love and connection and intimacy you are seeking in someone else are already in the source of the intense desires you are feeling. You don’t need to love him less; in fact, you can love him one hundred or one thousand times as much as you already do. Let yourself be overwhelmed by this love. Find out how much you can truly love by letting it flow completely.

In this process, you will be filled with immense love, and that is what your desire is really all about. We all have a deep innate drive to experience more love. The mistake we make is that we seek it outside ourselves. The source is and always has been inside of you. You don’t really need a way out of loving him, just a way further into your own heart and the limitless love you find there.

Be gentle with yourself. Often the reason we don’t allow ourselves to feel the complete depths of love is because, at first, moving towards the source of our love increases the sense of heartbreak and sadness. The relief from these overwhelming and painful feelings comes when we go even further into their source, but that can feel like leaping into the fire. The good news is that at the center of the fire, there are only flames and no more pain or heartbreak. So give yourself some compassion and tenderness along the way. But the final result is always worth it. There is never too much love, and so the only true antidote to your sadness is to love even more.

Red Sea Coral and Sun

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You Might as Well Enjoy Enjoying Yourself!

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SMALLeverything included

(Note: I am reposting some blog posts that are included in my newest book, Everything Is Included. More info and links to purchase the book are here.)

Q: I see everything as an illusion. We create our own reality. Everybody's movie is different from everyone else's. How can I stay motivated if everything is an illusion, and how can I change my reality in order to have other experiences in this play?

A: My favorite definition of illusion is that it is something real that appears to be something other than what it really is. The smoke and mirrors that a magician uses to create an illusion are real smoke and real mirrors.

So this illusion that appears as "you" and "your life" is not what it appears to be, but it is still real. Yes, it is a magic trick being done by the Being that you are, and yet the illusion is also made of that same Being. So the illusion is as real as the Being creating it. However, because Being is the doer of the trick, the place you find true motivation is in the Being behind the illusion.

This true motivation of Being is that it loves each and every one of its creations. That is its motivation. It creates because it loves to create, and it loves the creations/illusions it creates. If you can find that place in you that already loves your life and everything in it, that will also be the place where you find the motivation to keep going and the power to change what is happening.

However, that motivation might be very different than what you imagine it to be, because Being already loves everything just the way it is. So any change it creates will not come from a place of desire or unhappiness. It is creating and always will create from a place of total acceptance and curiosity. It doesn’t change things to make them better; it changes them only to try something different and to have something new to experience and love. It loves and loves and loves, so every new experience or creation is a new opportunity to love.

What would you create purely out of the joy of creating? Even more importantly, what are you creating right now? What is happening right now? Whatever is happening is what you are creating right now, and that is what your Being is enjoying immensely. I often say Being is a total slut for experience—it will sleep with or embrace each and every experience that comes along. Find that indiscriminate love within yourself, and then find out how a conscious experience of that love likes to create. Being conscious of the creative joy of Being adds more depth and richness to the joy, but it is the same joy you have always had in the creation of this illusion called life. You might as well enjoy enjoying yourself!

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Nothing Personal: Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self by Nirmala.

Nothing Personal leads you to the experience of your true nature and helps you explore its depth. Through exposition, questions and dialogues, it brings you to a place of realization of the Truth: you are the spacious Awareness in which everything appears.

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