It is easy to recognize some expressions of love.
But what about emotions such as anger, sadness and fear? And what about our responses to fear, such as beliefs? What about trying to find safety by fixating on a position as true, and attaching to a story as true? Are they too expressions of love?
When I have a belief such as “I should have made a different choice”, I see – through inquiry – that it is a love for this poor human self trying to figure out life. It is love trying to protect it and make things OK.
Similarly, emotions such as anger, sadness and fear come from love. They come from a love for this human self, trying to protect it, make its life as good as possible.
This love is obviously filtered through a sense of a separate self and a circle of us, but it is nevertheless love.
Is even the sense of separate self an expression of love? Yes, when I look a little closer, I see that it is love filtered in many different – and sometimes circular – ways. It is love for the story of a separate I. It is love for the play, lila. It is love of temporary confusion, mistaken identities, and the drama played out through human lives that way.
So love can be expressed through filters of beliefs and confusion, and the emotions that arise from that. It can be filtered in ways that looks like anything but love.
And love can be expressed more clearly as love, as it is more often when expressed through a relatively mature and healed human self, and even more clearly when what we are is awake to itself and lives through a human life. Although even here, it comes in different flavors, including tough love.
Exploring further, I see that everything in my live is an expression of love.
When I hold onto a fixed view, life shows up differently and invites me to notice and inquire into that belief. When I experience anything at all, and especially that which my personality tends to see as undesirable, it is an invitation to notice what happens when experience is resisted, and what happens when it is allowed with kindness.
In that way, life is always testing us. It says if I throw this into your life, do you notice friction with your beliefs? Do you notice what happens when you hold onto your beliefs? Do you notice what happens when there is a softening of those beliefs, and maybe even a release? Do you notice what happens when you resist experience, and when you allow it as is and with heart? Are any of your beliefs really true? Do you notice how everything is always shifting and changing, including what you take yourself to be? Is that what you really are? Are you your body, identities in the world, your stories, emotions, any experience at all?
Life is kind. It gives us feedback when we fixate on something that is not true, when we take a rigid position that is not aligned with reality. (And no position is.) It is sometimes tough love, but nonetheless love.
Would life be more kind if we already were aligned with reality? If what we are is already awake to itself?
Would life be more kind if it allowed us to persist in our folly without feedback?
If reality is already awake to itself, that would be fine. The play would still be here. Stories would still be lived out through our human lives. But we would miss out of the drama. The drama of living a human life, and even the drama around awakening. It would lose its edge. Is that more kind? I don’t know. They seem about equal to me, although the drama is more juicy.
If we take stories as true, and life didn’t give us feedback, how would that be? We would just be floating around in a fantasy world, and most likely wouldn’t survive for very long as individuals or a species. That does not seem more kind.
So when I explore it for myself, through specific examples (more specific than here), I find that life seems as kind as it can be. Life is amazingly kind, even if I don’t always notice or appreciate it. Life is love.
- beliefs and fear as love
- “i should have made a different choice”
- a love for this poor human self who is trying to figure out life
- trying to protect it, make things ok
- also sense of separate I = love
- a love for the story + the separate I
- a love for the drama, the play, lila
- “i should have made a different choice”
– beliefs + reactive emotions, an expression of love (for self + us)
– beliefs = a love for beliefs, for them as true (mistakenly, temporarily) + love for it as part of the play, lila