As I stay awake in bed in the morning, I “see” a prickly surrounding to my entire body. I know that this prickly surrounding is a constant in my experience. It is an inner dialogue that is relentlessly judging and attempting to control my inner experience through disapproval. I spend some time pondering whether this prickly surrounding is an internalized relationship from my childhood. My thoughts move on to reflecting on a particularly challenging relationship in my life and how I have dealt with it.
Expand to love. That has been my work for over a decade. I’ve been successful with it at times, however I keep returning to the default. The expansion is experienced as I open my thoughts, feelings, and body to love the other, to see their struggles and to see the magnificence of who I am despite the other’s egoic behaviors. Yet, this experience of expansion is fleeting.
Last year, I had this nagging feeling that something central was missing from the way I was relating. That something was “me”, though I didn’t know how to fill that missing piece of “me”. This morning I have an experience that shows me what I’ve been searching for as I verbalize to myself what I want to communicate with the one whom I experience many challenges in relationship with.
As I “speak” my truth, I feel myself soften and tears well in my eyes. Finally, I have been heard. And I realize that I’ve been heard by the one whom I have most wanted and needed to be heard by — me. I have a sense that I’m getting to have myself, that in this moment of listening, “me” is no longer missing. This is the experience of love towards the one that is me.
I realize this is balance, a part of a flow. I discern that my experience of a challenging relationship is a mirror for my relationship with myself. And now, returning to the “default” makes sense. I’ve been blocked from shifting my experience, inner and outer, because the wings of love have been unbalanced.
How do we come into balance with love? What do we need to pay attention to when our experience in the world demonstrates hatred and harshness, either on a personal level or on a global level? If we look within, we may see or notice that our experience is a mirror for us. As Byron Katie puts it “Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”
For some of us, the flow of love most naturally moves outward towards other people and beings, the planet, etc. This flow of love outward supports an increasing feeling of inner love spontaneously. For others of us, the flow of love most naturally moves inward which spontaneously supports an increasing feeling of love outward.
During a part of our journey, it can be really important for us to focus on strengthening the flow that feels natural for us. In that way, we have a wing that supports us to fly. However, imagine a bird using primarily one wing to fly when the other wing is relatively weak.
At some point on our journey, we can no longer avoid putting our conscious attention on the other wing. An indication of this is when we feel or reach the limits of how much growth we can experience. In my experience, I was unable to sustain a certain amount expansion as self love was an integral piece of the expansion that was under-nourished. Outwardly, my challenges with self love were being mirrored in certain relationships for me.
What’s one intention that you can set for yourself today in strengthening and/or balancing the wings of love? What are three ways that will support you in your daily life in activating and nurturing the wing that is less naturally favored by you?
May we expand the love within ourselves and within this existence. May our love shine so bright that we overflow and spread this goodness effortlessly and spontaneously touching those we come into contact with.