Did you recognize the story? It is a story we all share. Perhaps not in that precise sequence. We all fall prey to a process of assimilating a number of illusions about love and happiness. It is a process that leaves most of us with a heart that feels like it is broken, blocked, frozen, withered, empty, fragmented, stolen. It is a story about how your heart (your consciousness) is gradually poisoned by a set of false beliefs, a series of myths about love, which lead us far away from love itself.
These myths are both our inheritance and, if we are not careful, will also be our legacy. Here are the main myths that have evolved and expanded within our consciousness and to a large extent now run our world, without us being aware that they do.
Myth One: “Love is Required”
Are you sure?
We often hear it said, “We all need love, we all need to ‘be loved’, and know that we are loved.” But you don’t. If there is a ‘need’, it is to give love, which simply means to give of oneself, because love is what we are. But you don’t know you are love until you open, see and give of your ‘self ’ (not your body!) to something or someone, free of the slightest desire for anything in return. Often referred to as ‘unconditional love’.
Give what? It doesn’t really matter. It can take the form of time, attention, a gift, some wisdom, guidance, anything. It’s not ‘what’ is given that matters but the intention. It’s not what is visible in the giving but what is invisible in the offering. We intuitively know that love’s intention never seeks anything in return. Love’s intention is only to extend, connect and flow. True love is never incomplete. It cannot be added to. It therefore seeks nothing nor needs anything. Love is not an object. It is not something separate from you/I/we. It is you/I/we. Only the language of words make love seem like an object, like something separate.
If love is ‘concerned’ about anything, then it is concerned with bringing happiness to others. It just takes time to figure out that ‘the other’ can only be truly happy when they also realize themselves as love, and that only freedom from all neediness is what makes it possible to know and be love. The greatest gift you can give to another is to be love your self, which is the same as saying ‘be your self ’. This may then spark the other into realizing they too are love, as you show them the way. However, as we shall see, ‘being your self ’ is not quite as easy as it sounds.
At least once a year you may visit a department store, buy a gift and give that gift to someone in your life saying, “This is from me to you with love”, in that moment, you acknowledge where love always lives. Not in the department store (we wish!), not in the gift, not even in the wrapping or the card, but in the giving that originates within you. This then begs the obvious question, why do we spend our lives searching outside our self for what we already have within our self? A question to which we will return later.
The only way to ‘know’ love is to give love, which is exactly the same as saying the only way to ‘know’ your self is to give of your self. And when you do, it becomes obvious that love is not ‘required’ simply because both the ‘self ’ and ‘love’ are one and the same. And neither ever runs out! However, ‘giving’ is not an idea that needs to be thought about. If we have to think about ‘giving with love’ then it’s unlikely to be authentic. But it’s better than not giving.
We often ‘give’ only because we are expected to, or we have been taught that we ‘should’. We tend to give out of custom or tradition, or sometimes simply out of habit. This is not love, only ritual. Sometimes we give with a smile and an embraced, but, if there is the slightest desire to be recognised, or for reciprocation, it’s not giving; it’s still wanting, still taking. The illusion still persists that love is required. Behind this illusion sits an even more powerful myth, that love can be ‘acquired’.
Always Giving is so Tiring!
Some people believe they are always giving, giving, giving and that it just feels draining and tiring. This only means ‘real love’ is not yet at work. While the heart is straining to be loving the head is thinking, “You are always taking from me. Why don’t you give anything back? Why don’t you just recognise my lovingness?” If there is the slightest desire for anything in return, it is not giving but taking. Behind the apparent expression of generosity there is a ‘desire’ to acquire. And love has no desires for itself. It is the intention to ‘get’ something, which sits behind the gesture of giving, that generates the negative thinking when there is no reciprocation. And that is the real cause of feeling drained and tired. One sure sign that the energy of love is flowing for real is that it will never be tiring, only energising and empowering.