THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE
By Bill Cottringer
One of the most over-used and misunderstood words ever invented—love—tries but fails to capture the essence and details of the simplest, most profound experience in life. Why is the word “love” so misunderstood? Because it is the one thing that is not divisible. It doesn’t have an opposite to reflect itself in the mirror to see what it is or isn’t. This false distinction is a widespread illusion that diminishes and deludes the power of a love experience for what it really is.
Love just is, in and by itself. When accepted fully and void of expectations, love has the magical power to unify all apparent warring worlds of the head, heart and soul, and even bridge the great divide between life and death. You can’t even understand love by not understanding it. It is the sole place where time and space blend into each other, allowing for a tiny glimmer of excitement and realness of the experience, while reassuring the unspeakable burning yearning of the security and bliss of infinite eternity. Even these words from the center of a real love experience fail to represent what is really going on here.
Why is it so important to know the truth about love? Because knowing the real truth unravels the great mystery of life and is the key to unlocking all the doors to what we all seek one way or the other—being free to enjoy the genuine success, authentic happiness and real peace in finding our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Knowing the truth about love is the only thing that can satisfy the vague, nagging sense of greatness inside that all of us have and work hard to give birth to and make real. The degree to which we fully accept and truly know this central experience in life is the real cause of all feelings we have between joy and sadness, peace and turmoil, and completeness and emptiness. It is everything we can imagine and then some.
Love is not as simple as the word makes it appear. It is not “something” you feel, experience, understand, give or receive, or do, but rather the single underlying motivation of everything. In essence, love is God’s original and continuing imagination that drives the eternal creative process of the universe and everything that happens.
Put another way, love is the acceptance and faith in the prevalent potential goodness of life and death and everything in-between and before and after. This universal divine motivation defines and explains everything and that is why its misunderstanding is so prevalent; that is also why some extreme expressions are often misconceived as negative and even destructive. After all, seeing an evil deed as misguided or immature love is a far stretch for the most open-minded person. However, the truth be known, love is much, much bigger than we can fist imagine. Personal experiences with it are only for showing us its over-riding, central, huge role in life.
The main problem between us and knowing love is in our egoistic thinking—when we try to over-personalize love with our own romantic, unconditional, platonic, lusty, utilitarian or whatever contextual spin we choose to understand our relationships in, and then try to “use” it to define desirable and undesirable experiences. Love is the one thing that is not divisible like everything else is, and to do so is missing the whole point of the greatest gift there is. This is how we become unsettled with love’s dual nature in taking us through both halves of life—intimacy and separation—so that we can experience and know a sliver of wholeness and completion, enough to be sure it is real.
And this is the opportunity to look at ourselves in the looking-glass pool of water and finally see who we are for the first time. Then gradually and suddenly things begin to make perfect sense. This powerful awakening happens at a deeper level each time it and it does happen over and over again until we do get the point beyond any reasonable doubt. Love is much bigger than all of us combined and certainly much more than any limiting personal definition any one of us can come up with.
Now on to the more practical question. What can a person do to know the truth about love? “Let it be,” were the words of wisdom that Mother Mary and the Beatles were told. Love’s power can only be diminished by trying to control it in any way or artificially dividing it into this or that, true or untrue , and good or bad. Let it be.
When you let it be, and open your mind, heart and soul to life’s one common denominator—love’s creative imagination—you begin the easy, fun and most meaningful part of your life. This is the loving effortless act of putting all the dismantled parts of everything back together again, which is discovering the love that moves mountains. The odd part of this all, is that you are already doing this in a way that can only grow through your own imagination. You are part of life, and try as you may, you cannot not be part of the flow. Recognizing what love really is makes it a gazillion times more enjoyable.
And, in the meantime there are two practical things you may want to try: (1) Look for and appreciate all the love that is going on around you spontaneously and unmistakably in nature—breathtaking sunsets, soothing ocean waves, soft snowflakes, gorgeous flowers, playful animals, soulful rain forests, and graceful butterflies in golden spring meadows (2) Show your appreciation for this existing love by imagining a creative way to use your unique talents to be the best you can be at whatever you are doing right now. Keep learning and growing in love and take time to smell the roses. They love you.
William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA. He is author of You Van Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Execrative Excellence) and The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree). He can be reached at (425) 454-5011 or bocttringer.pssp.net