I facilitate a regular online meditation sessions and recently we commenced a new series “Nurturing Relationships”.
These sessions for me are a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my own experiences, to share what is helping me live a beautiful life and pay forward the empowering teachings of the One World Academy
From my own personal journey and my experience as a One World Academy instructor I have come to see that the practice of awareness is key to the experience of love, compassion and connection. From a place of awareness love emerges and grows and this has certainly been my experience.
When we are aware of ourselves, our thoughts and responses we are able to take responsibility for our state of being in the world, we can choose the contribution we make to our relationships and to our world, we can choose how we want to experience life. This for me is an empowering and beautiful practice, one that has helped me reconnect to love in my close relationships.
Taking responsibility for our inner state of being is one of the most important things we can do to nurture love in our relationships.
Bringing Awareness to Your Concept of Love
What does love mean to you? This is a big question……..but one worth taking some time to reflect upon.
Is love something you want to cultivate in your life?
Is there an absence of love in your life? How long do you feel love has been absent?
Does your idea, your concept of love match your experience of life and relationships?
Have you ever questioned your concept of love?
Being aware of our concept of love helps us to see new possibilities for growth, joy and connection in relationships
The experience of love is one of spaciousness, it is an expansive creative state, it connects, it includes – is this your experience of love? Or perhaps love has felt constrictive, conditional, exclusive, desperate or just not there?
For many of us love has become a concept, a concept based on our past experiences, on our expectations, on our need for validation, on our need to be at peace with ourselves. Love has become an ideal, associated with expectations rather than a lived experience.
We love the idea of love, we idealise love, we make it the goal, the final destination in relationships, we define it and put in a box, we feel it and we expect it to remain the same. When we don’t feel it we fret, we make the other wrong, we doubt the relationship, at times we feel desperate. We want the other to meet our needs or be a certain way. We make conditions; we set traps and want the other to make up for our own insecurities.
Is it really possible for love to be experienced or to grow in such situations?
For me it has been valuable to also ask the question is my experience of love dependent on a situation or how the other behaves or measures up to my expectations? I would have never said that I love conditionally…..…..until I started practicing awareness that is, and I saw for myself, just how conditional love had become for me, that at times I would give it as a reward, other times I would take it away as a punishment. Initially this was hard for me to see about myself, but the more I practiced the more I saw that only in awareness could I see new possibilities in my relationships.
Perhaps you can to relate to this?
The Absence of Love
I posed the question before is there an absence of love in your life? Is it true – is love really absent?
What is really happening when we think that love is absent?
The answer to this emerges when we ask ourselves what makes the difference between the experience of love and the absence of love?
Just yesterday I had cause to reflect on this. I was returning to a place I love, with people I love…..but I was not feeling the same experience of love, I was not awestruck by peace and beauty. I chose to observe myself and I saw that I was embroiled in so many thoughts, I was feeling overwhelmed and conflicted. Seeing this I knew I had a choice to stay stuck in my thoughts on a runaway train going somewhere else or to acknowledge the thoughts but pay attention and stay present where I was. Then voila! the same beauty and peace were there, the feeling of my heart softening and opening was there, it was there all the time…..it was only me that had moved away from it……
This idea was a profound awakening for me at my first Freedom in Living retreat at the One World Academy – I had gone to this retreat wanting to find a way to reconnect to my husband and children, I was feeling disconnected and disillusioned. Over the course of the week it was like a slow but steady stream of pennies dropping, seeing how much love I was surrounded by, how much I had to be grateful for, how many problems there weren’t and I’ll never forget my children’s voices and faces appearing in one of the meditations telling me so clearly – “the love was always there Mummy, you were the one that went away, we want you to come back“.
Is it perhaps possible to see that love is always here – that its just that often we don’t pay attention to it, that often we don’t feel it because we have moved away from it when we become embroiled in our thoughts, that we don’t recognise it because we are clinging onto our concept of love?
Do you recognise and connect to the love that is all around you, here and NOW?
Love and connection just like happiness are internal experiences they have little to do with external situations, they are nurtured in awareness and this is absolutely an ongoing process, not a final destination we reach.
I wholeheartedly encourage you to bring awareness to your concept of love, to grow in awareness and understanding of yourself, so that you can take responsibility for what you bring to your relationships and contribute to our world.
Please share your experiences with us in the comments as we learn and grow together.
May the light of awareness shine in our lives and allow us to see the love that is all around us, here and NOW.
P.S. If you are ready to embrace yourself and nurture your relationships with awareness please consider joining us for the Nurturing Relationships online series