I used to think that being “in love” meant finding some magic “right” connection between me and some other messy human being. Now, it feels more like Love is a state of being, and one can either be standing in awareness of the abundance of that, or not. What I called “falling in love” before was just that magical but temporary condition that hits a few of us once in a while (even though we are insisting on having our guards up). But being IN LOVE, standing in the awareness of love, doesn’t take another person. It’s an inside job.
So here is a dream I had last night. I was with Grandma Betty and we were looking through some art she’d done when she was a girl. It was wicked good, and of course she wasn’t looking for or doing a decent job receiving my compliments. There was also a black and white 8 mm home movie.. It never showed her face, just her doing things around the house, and then some unbelievably beautiful baby ducks following their mama in the grass. Ah, ducks.
Anyway, as we were looking through the art, she was telling me little things about why she made each picture, or how she would useit to make herself feel better about something or another. Her related stories were mostly sad. I had the thought to articulate that she used the art as a “coping mechanism,” and then I refined and actually said “You were using this art for self-love, so that you had enough, even though you weren’t getting it in your environment.”
Think about that. Somehow this awakening I’m part way through has shifted my internal voice from “coping mechanism” to “self-love”!
Old me: dealing with the deficit in the environment; New Me: achieving the necessary abundance regardless of the environment.
Old me: surviving; New Me: Manifesting.
(And how amazing is it that as I typed that, I sub-consciously capitalized “Me” but not “me!”)
Of course, she “p-shaw’d” that statement, as the “well” of her self-worth was way too shallow to allow for the idea that she was worthy of any love, including self!
Also in the dream, at some point, I was laying by her side and was rubbing her chubby belly lovingly. This is a HAI.org thing, that my subconscious now is so comfortable introducing non-sexual, no-agenda touch into any old dream. As I was, it occurred to me that I could do this in a loving way that didn’t make her feel like apologizing for the big and softness there on her belly. Also, that she’d probably never ever had that particular stretch of skin touched thusly. Why? Why do we allow ourselves to be so separate from the other humans here struggling along the same path? It isn’t working.
Finally, my sister was doing the dishes. Specifically, she was washing a hand-carved wooden spoon, and I have no idea what the significance of that is, but it matters. I had convinced my grandmother to let me frame a few pieces of her artwork, and I was leaning over a matte with a razor and it occurred to me that I had no idea how to properly cut a matte. My sister has always been very very good at keeping up with things like family portraits, professional framing, and holiday cards. I thought to say something to myself that was self deprecating in that moment… like “if I were more like Joy I’d know how to do this,” or “Fuck it; I’ll just fake it and no one will know, except for Joy who will think less of me.” These thoughts felt 43 years worth of familiar, but they had less mass or volume than they have my whole life. Instead, I just set the razor down, turned to my sister, and stated open-heartedly: “I always admire the way you frame things, it would mean a lot to me to have some help with this project.”
There it is again. How is it that my subconscious — my DREAMING self — has figured out how to leave those old voices behind? Seriously, this is nothing short of a fucking miracle to me. I hope I can hold it, that it is one of those cliffs that once you go over, there is no rope back, rather than that lightning bug you get lucky enough to hold for a few precious moments.
And then I woke up, and reflected on this dream, thought about telling one particular dear friend about it, and allowed that simple meditative self-inquiry state of mind to open up briefly. This state is like a simple question, something like: “I wonder what that tells me?”
And here is what the universe answered, though in my head it is a single wordless thought, but I’ll do the best to translate:
I loved Grandma in an unconditional manner that was without pain or remorse. Why? She was an honest representation of her Self, and consistent in her intentions of love towards me. I didn’t have to do anything to earn that, she just loved me. Purely. And in return, I hold her in the most uncluttered, nonjudgmental, easy place in my soul. That means this type of love exists. What of the possibility that my kids can have that kind of relationship with me? What if it isn’t an inherent truth that all family relationships come with pain? What if I just imagined that my job as a parent is to be an honest representation of my Self, and to consistently share my loving intentions with my kids? What if that means that they could actually get to a place of feeling simple comfort with me – absent of pain and remorse? Okay, if THAT is too big a stretch, what if I could just love and regard myself this way?
Can I measure the amount of weight that thought lifted? No, I absolutely can not. Now, the trick is, keeping it off.
Hoping that today you feel IN LOVE.