Love and consciousness, what’s the difference?
It is 2003. I have just managed to make it inside the door of my house in Brisbane. I am lying in a fetal ball crying so hard I am scaring myself. In the distance, an animal is howling in pain. At least I think it is an animal, and distant. Are those sounds coming out of me?
I am reeling from an interaction with my girlfriend. She didn’t say much but it was plenty. It packed enough gut punch to put me down.
All the heartache songs go through me all at once.
“Love hurts, love scars, love wounds and marks . . .”
“Love is a battlefield, heartache to heartache we stand . . . “
“Cry-eh-eye-eh-ing, oh-ver you . . .”
“Takes a lot of pain, takes a lot of pain, love is like a cloud, holds a lot of rain . . .”
It all seems so true.
It is not.
What feels to me like love as blunt force trauma is actually a whole other thing – attachment.
I got you Babe . . .
As babies, we need to establish a nice stable attachment with our parents to feel secure in the world. If we don’t, it can lead to all sorts of difficulty in adult life like wailing inside your front door at 11 am on a Tuesday.
Back then I thought I knew a bit about love. I had been in long-term relationships. I had been married.
What I didn’t know about was attachment theory and attachment styles and I was dangerously unconscious of my own shaky attachment until love started hurting real bad.
The Buddha says, “Attachment is the root of all suffering.”
Well, that’s fine for you Buddha. You don’t have a girlfriend who says things that make you feel irrationally unsafe.
Is this Love? Is this Love? Is this Love that I’m feeling? . . .
That is the thing about love, it is not what we are told. The star-struck lovers overcome all obstacles to find each other and be together. They embrace, the music swells, the credits roll and they all live happily ever after in the Hollywood version of Love.
Turns out not to be true. This is just the beginning for those two. The real roller coaster of love is about to begin.
Love is patient, love is kind and so on are beautiful sentiments and all true, but there is a lot more to love.
Love is a
battle field . . .
Love is a field, an energetic field. A field of healing.
It acts like a poultice that draws unconsciousness to the surface. The field of love draws unconsciousness out into the light of consciousness to be transformed.
This sounds lovely, and the end result is, but the bit in the middle is messy and hard to recognize as love.
Your love got me looking so crazy right now . . .
You meet the love of your life and you have never been so happy.
Just when you think you are going to live happily ever after you find yourself criticizing the love of your life, being snappy, and acting out in one way or another, and you can’t help yourself.
Caught in a bad romance . . .
So you break up and chalk it down to a bad fit. The next 5 -10 relationships turn out to be bad fits too. All depressingly similar in dynamic. It slowly dawns on you that maybe it is not the other person, maybe it is you.
When I fall in love it will be . . . forever . . .
So the next time you fall in love you stick with it.
When the field of love starts to draw out your unconsciousness, you hold.
When it draws out your lover’s unconsciousness, you hold.
When your lover’s unconsciousness triggers your unconsciousness you hold.
It is a wild ride.
It certainly doesn’t feel like happy-ever-after. It feels violent, disruptive, chaotic, vulnerable, and scary. You see parts of yourself that you would rather not see.
But, at the back of it all, you have a growing sense of freedom.
Love and Consciousness are the Same Thing.
I see this dynamic in my one-on-one work too. We would like to think that the process of healing is like ET putting his magic finger on you and all is beautiful.
In practice, the process can be violent, disruptive, scary, uncomfortable, and tearful. There can be shaking and sweating, and all sorts of disturbance as the field of love works its magic transforming unconsciousness into consciousness.
Sometimes I am frightened, but I’m ready to learn, Of the power of love . . .
Love is at work in the world right now but not the Hollywood version. The field of love is drawing unconsciousness to the surface to be transformed into consciousness. It is violent, disruptive, chaotic, vulnerable, and scary.
The field of love at work in the world requires the same things of us as it does in personal relationships.
To be steadfast and true.
To be willing to look at the difficult things.
To own what is ours.
To let love change us.
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding . . .
Peace and understanding come after love has worked its magic.