“If I don’t love myself, how can I love anyone else?” I let this question go deep inside me. I find it is the quickest entry into the reality that what I call “love” for others can really be something else. Maybe it’s a need or perhaps a desire. Or maybe it’s a moment of connecting with the love deep within me. And then I project it on another, making them the false source of it.
When I recognize an expansive, caring feeling for MYSELF, I also experience a corresponding expansion – love if you will – for others. Those amazing moments give me a taste of what the mystics have called “unconditional love.”
Our concern for what others think of us is one of the primary obstacles to enjoying life. At some point, we have to inquire what motivates us to want to be accepted by others, so that we can penetrate this unknown territory and understand what is really happening. Why are we willing to be inauthentic – to play roles and wear masks – to gain others’ approval?
Why not take this question up today and explore your answer….
Andre Gide, the French author, spoke about his unwillingness to play these roles: “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
The mystics have been saying it for ages:
“Existence is One. All division is in the mind.”
So the MIND gives us the ILLUSION that we are separate!
And if we are exploring this with the mind, we are certain to find objection to the idea that we are NOT separate!
It is those rare moments – gifts from existence – when the curtain parts and reveals for a fraction of a second the truth of the ONE, that can give us the support needed to keep the inquiry going!
That fleeting awareness can only be invited, and meditation is the key.
I became a baseball and football fan in Maryland when I was 9 years old. So, I have firsthand experience of the amazing influence sports teams can have on kids! I was giddy when the Orioles or Colts won, and depressed when they lost!!
More recently, when I moved out to Seattle 15 years ago, I transferred my “allegiance” to the Mariners and Seahawks. And, while I KNOW that it is absurd to love a uniform – players come and go but the allegiance remains the same – I still find myself engrossed in what these teams do.
This raises the question: Why do I and so many people live and die with their sports teams? An interesting question! Here is my theory/hypothesis – grounded in my own experience:
In order to survive a life that has little love in it, the child finds whatever object he can to project his love upon and thus to feel love. He mistakenly makes the object the source, and does not know that the source is within himself, being projected outwardly. These objects can be a sports team, a parent, a friend, toys & dolls/teddy bears, pets, cars, etc. These objects then become the source of love.
It is perhaps the most viable way a confused, love-starved child can feel love. As such, it is a brilliant strategy to get through a distressing childhood and keep the connection to the heart and love open. Without it, my feeling is that the child could either die or become dangerously disturbed psychologically.
At the very least children have to find ways to divert from the pain of feeling disconnected from their heart. Often those diversionary patterns are modeled after what their parents/caretakers did to divert from their pain and to feel love. As a criminal lawyer, I was shocked at how many alcoholics and drug takers referred to their choice of diversion with love…!
The first step in releasing this projection is just to become aware of it!
And the second step is to find as many ways as possible to reconnect with the real source – within ourselves. That includes finding what makes your heart sing…and pursuing it, exploring meditation, connecting with mystics and supportive people, attending effective workshops, and doing some counseling around this issue.
They all can help us refocus on the real source within.
In my work, I have connected with thousands of people who again and again see how money is given a top priority in their life. And through my own inquiry I have seen how easy it is for this priority to create tension and anxiety in my life.
The mind is always telling me all the important things that money could provide! If only I had more….
I understand that money is part of the game of life. It is one of my best teachers!
So, when the mind starts chewing on money issues, creating worries and fears about it, I often remember this: money cannot buy life…money cannot buy love…money cannot buy gratitude…money cannot buy inner silence…