I keep on hearing the same theme out of many stories: people who suffer from being unloved. They do not meet their expectations of being Loved by their partners, spouses and loved ones. They feel deprived because they have Loved too much. They are not appreciated for what they do, whether at home or in the workplace. They are being less provided by what they need. They do not get what they want from their relationships. They blame those people around them as the reason why they get hurt. They rant and curse the imperfections of this society. It is a tough life to live without receiving the Love that you need. To deal with the angst, the solution seems so easy: break up, hide away, fool around, make enemies, hurt others, go insane or end up dead.
They might appear like general assumptions, yet these stories are just pieces of a greater story. I can perfectly relate with all of them, because at some point I thought my life was devoid of meaning. Long before I discovered the profundity of Love, it was ingrained in me, as it is commonly known in this world, that the way to Love is through the attention of other people and in the accumulation of many things around us. Just like many of us, I grew up in being deprived. People do not readily understand and accept me and I usually lack the money and things I envied from others. This story is not uncommon. We share the story even if we have encounter different characters and situations.
Even if other people and unwanted circumstances have caused you pain, it is never just your pain. Any emotional reaction is not the sole province of a single person. We might have various causes and effects of problems but at the level of the soul, any crisis has the singular quality in all of us. We battle the same fear, the same anger, the same hatred, the same guilt, the same frustration, the same regret, the same greed, the same unhappiness. We face these formless monsters that gravitate towards our awareness. We collectively meet them in the realm of our deeper selves. All our external definitions of our problems are the branches, but the wild emotional nightmares are in the same root for us all.
Love is the meeting ground of our being.
In this root, we all need to be Loved. In this same root, we are totally unaware of the Love within us. This is quite difficult to reconcile, for our frame of reference is always outside – Love is given and provided by others rather than created and shared in our own ways, or that Love must be taken in a form of anything we value. The irrefutable truth, however, is that we must begin to recognize Love inside us. This must be the new reference if we want to give and receive Love. Forgetting this principle makes Love more inaccessible and seemingly unreachable. No person can give us the Love we crave, because the Love we think they can give might not be the Love that we expect to receive. No object or matter can give us Love, for all of them changes and cannot last.
The only way to Love is through refocusing on ourselves. We must open our eyes to see the things that we do not see in ourselves. These are our inner values, creative bliss and the meaning and purpose of being alive that we have ignored a for long time. These are our inner shadows, unruly behaviors and the untold mental and emotional struggles that creep within us, eating the strength of our inner core. These are our relationships with other people, with the falsehood and inequality in the society we abhor, and with the respect and dignity in many wholeness community we have been longing for. Love, as a lens of witnessing, is not about liking and keeping anything, but about living out more than these paradoxes.
The late Argentinian spiritual revolutionary Mario Rodriguez Cobos, a.k.a. Silo once said: “You go deep into yourself and I go deep into myself and there we meet.” This is a profound wisdom to many and a kind of gibberish to some. But Silo spoke with spiritual conviction, referring to the truth that we can only find within us. Even if Silo did not mention the word at all, I could feel the exactness of his wisdom parallel to Love. Love is the meeting ground of our being. There, we can meet our authentic selves and find our shared truth amid all our differences. There is no other way.
There is no other way to Love except through each of us. This is a basic lesson of our oneness. We are all different in races and color, but we are all one and the same human species. We are all different in beliefs and traditions, but we yearn the same peace and harmony. We are all different in kinds and degrees of suffering, but we all feel the same pain and sorrow. If we could just pay attention to what we find within each of us, we can learn to see that this is a shared experience in the very core of our humanness. We can learn more to be compassionate, understanding and forgiving. And we can learn to source out Love from inside of us, and never be left deprived of it again.