"When you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were." ~Richard Bach
I read this quote when I was 9 or 10 years old, and back then it captured my attention. It made no sense. I pondered, and thought what could it mean?
Do you wonder why love is so difficult to experience at the level of your mind, body, and soul? Does it seem to take a whole lot of work to keep your relationships working? If love is the most powerful force in the Universe, the conqueror of all, why doesn't it just flow?
It does, when we surrender it.
When we love someone, the experience of love is so profound we suddenly feel a need to control it. We don't want it to end. We think we can own it to make it last forever. We begin to make up rules, and exert what influence we can to hold on to something that once pinned down naturally begins to feel caged, suffocated without room to grow.
Our experiences of love cannot last forever because we are continually moving, changing, growing. But love itself is eternal. It is everlasting when we let go, and simply be with it.
Love is the power we all have within us, but to tap into it, experience it emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually we must develop compassion towards ourselves. Let go of our inner critic, and judgmental voice that says "I am not good enough, I should be, could be, wish I would be..." Our outer world is full of material illusion - approval, appreciation, the job, house, title, security - the 'right stuff' we seek believing it will make us what we don't realize we are already. Worthy of love.
We are in relationship with everyone including ourselves connected as one to the Divine Source, but we live in a world overflowing with criticism, and judgment that separates us. We see people as right and wrong for the things they say and do, and begin to see each other as good or bad. We become attached to being right or wrong.
Out beyond ideas of right and wrong doing, there is a field. I will meet you there. ~Rumi
Photobucket With those closest to us, the ones whose ideals and opinions matter most - instead of growing together we begin pushing each other away in our effort to have others be the way we want them to be. Love becomes meeting expectations, setting demands, sacrificing instead allowing each other to be exactly who we are with the freedom to grow spiritually.
We can stand up for behavior and words that are loving, constructive, harmonious without making someone wrong. When we see someone as broken needing fixing, we dis-empower by trying to correct with our criticism. We may go further and judge them as stupid, or selfish. Notice how it feels, when someone is correcting you. When those you care about look down upon you instead of championing you.
You may hear yourself trying to convince someone of your 'right way', wanting them to think and behave as you do - after all "you're right". Think again. How often do you grin, and bear the well-meaning advice of loved ones attached to 'their right way'?
Fear tactics to manipulate, and control others have been used since the beginning of time to make someone change to be the way they want. What happens when they leave? Laying on guilt, acting as the victim, using resources of money, threats, sarcasm, even withholding aspects of love (sex and intimacy) to make others see how you see is not love.
Practice surrendering this need to 'be right' that makes someone wrong - let go of what I call my 4 "C" principles where you notice yourself correcting, convincing, controlling, or trying to change someone to be your 'right way'.
A freedom opens up to be authentic. No more meeting expectations, needing approval, worrying about what anyone else thinks. Your vibration of love will increase, and attract love to you. Those living in fear will naturally disengage from you.
Whenever we criticize or judge another human being we move away from love. We cannot forgive when we see someone as wrong. We have forgotten who we are. Loving spiritual beings having a human experience doing the best we can in the state of consciousness we happen to have at any given moment in time.
It does not mean we don't take responsibility for the choices of what we say and do. Nor does it mean we accept destructive, or unloving behavior, but when we condemn others, we condemn ourselves.
Instead, when we stand up for our values by teaching (students show up), sharing our way of 'seeing' (yours may differ), modeling the change you wish (transformation comes from within) from a state of curiosity, understanding, and compassion, you stand stronger in the powerful force of love, without making anyone wrong.
It begins with you. Do you hear your inner critic and self-judging voice of your ego? It often uses the word 'should' as in "you should be more...I should have...." Regret, disappointment, resentment, guilt, frustration are often the result. Your critical and judgmental thoughts create these feelings that are the opposite experience of love.
When you learn to hear, and surrender these voices, love will open up to you. You'll begin hearing your higher self of love louder. Sure we make mistakes - these are the lessons we are being asked to learn and grow from. They will show up again if you don't learn them now. The Universe is compassionate, and has a lot of patience for our learning.
We discover unconditional love when we surrender criticism, and judgment. You set yourself free, and that same freedom is now available to flow in all your relationships. The light of the love you are gets reflected back tenfold.