Um… Tell Me Again? What Is Love?
We kind of know it isn’t roses and kisses. Yet we give roses and kisses. We kind of know it isn’t baby voices and love notes. Yes we talk to each other in baby voices and leave tender love notes.
We feel sentimental toward each other, it’s our natural and acculturated instinct.
We project our own hoped-for healing on each other. Our egos parade our lovers to our friends and family – proving our worth once and for all. We find solace and pride, “completion” and self-justification in our lovers.
And yet none of that is love.
Tantra teaches that love is here. Now. Always. Available. Like oxygen.
When we overlay the moment, this loving oxygen-rich, love-immersed moment with our “preferences,” we diminish the full scope of love.
And our ability to love. Our ability to simply open our heart and love ourselves, love others, love what is, as it unfolds in this moment.
The truth is that we deceive ourselves all day long and deceive our lovers. We are pleasure-seeking creatures and our minds dutifully labor to make everything appear as if it exists – or is tending toward – a state that will be according to our desires.
This is deception from the core. Entropy, for example, is not according to our desires. Yet it is the playground slide to which we are all consigned, with that nasty bump at the end.
One of my writing heroes, George Bernard Shaw said that marriage is founded on the exaggeration of one woman’s virtues above all others. And you will see, as your ability to love deepens, you are capable of loving not only multiple lovers deeply, but all men and women, children, life itself – without distinction.
The problem with foisting your mind into the equation, by getting sentimental about your lover, is that you start falling in love with his or her limited “personality” – defined by very specific, desired traits. Traits that Lego-fit into you needs at this moment.
But what happens when she changes? When she doesn’t conform to your loving “ideas” of her? When he outgrows one skin of his personality and emerges into something new?
Do you stop loving him or her? That’s what happens with most relationships, yes.
People get resentful. They get disappointed. “You’re not the woman I married” a man might say to his wife 17 years down the line. Well, sure! After wisdom and deaths, births and rejections, triumphs and discoveries – how could ANYONE be the same over time? Why would they be?
What I find valuable in Tantric teachings is an opening into how to love a lover not as an object which you fix in your mind and then try to ensnare within the net of your projected desires.
All our projections and desires for another to be anything is an obstacle to true love. You know that saying, “if you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they are yours. If not, they never were.”
Well, something like that. Love is freedom. True love loves without expectation (sorry!). True love loves without boundary and without fencing others in. True love exists when you drop fear, strategy, need and control.
True love is to bask in the pure gift of being alive in the present moment, and reflecting that gift in all your actions.
You are, ultimately, a conduit of love that is infinitely deeper than your personality. You have a capacity to love – a partner, all people, yourself and life itself – far greater than you’ve been doing, because your ego keeps getting in the way.
I find tantric teachings valuable because they consciously help us let go of saying “no” to the world in fear. It helps us into “the great Yes” where you can transform any moment, like an alchemist, into the golden vein of love.