THE KEY TO TRUE LOVE
Do you long for love?
Most of us do. The intimate touch of another soul is most powerful antidote for all-too-human experience of aloneness. It may be most compelling and pleasurable experience there is.
So why do we spend so much of our time and energy avoiding intimacy by defending ourselves, being angry, critical, closed and judgmental – in short, blocking experience that we most deeply want?
DEFENDING THE EGO GETS IN THE WAY OF LOVE.
The answer is that we are wired to constantly reinforce our limited ego-based identity, our sense of who we are.
This ego-based identity plays a very important role in human life, but it does not have power to love. Ego is all about self. It can and does experience need, and need is often easy to mistake for love. And it can certainly love how another person makes it feel.
But these things aren’t true love. True love and intimacy doesn’t come from ego. In order to experience power of true love you have to get in touch with a different part of yourself – part that lies beyond ego.
THE TRUE NATURE OF EGO.
This process is easier when you understand true nature of your ego-based identity: It doesn’t really exist.
Although it functions as if it’s most real thing about you, in actual fact your ‘identity’ is only a perspective. It’s kept alive solely through stories you tell yourself about life, others and yourself.
You could literally say that your ego is all talk – an incessant monologue whose sole purpose is to reinforce your sense of self – who you are and who you aren’t.
Most of time it goes something like this: “I’m better than he is, uglier than she is, smarter than him, richer than her, worse than I should be. I can do this, I could never do this, I shouldn’t have done that, they shouldn’t be that way. Life is good, life is hard, he’s right, she’s wrong, I’m great, I’m no good, it’s my fault, it’s their fault…” and on, and on, and on...
Just as a whale identifies its location through bouncing sound waves off nearby objects, your ego pinpoints its own presence – defines itself - by relating to people, ideas, and objects around it.
This process is continuous. Your identity must be continuously reinforced or you will quite literally lose sense of who you are.
That’s why it can be so very threatening to have something or somebody confronting your ego – your beliefs about yourself, others or world. Since ego is actually made out of these beliefs, perspectives and opinions, and you identify ego as ‘you’, when your beliefs are threatened it can feel just like a threat to your very survival.
Quite simply, more you get to be ‘right’ about things, more real and solid you feel, and more you have to be ‘wrong’, more threatened and diminished.
WHO ARE YOU REALLY?
This would be really bad news if not for fact that there is another part of you. This part – your core essence, your authentic self – has an intrinsic reality. Unlike your ego-based identity, its existence is not dependent upon outside circumstances or stories. And unlike your ego, it’s not threatened by someone else’s success, or enhanced by their failure. In fact, opposite is true.
You could visualize your ego/identity as like surface of ocean; changeable, vulnerable, reflecting sun, sky, and clouds, affected by every wind. Your core is vast, calm, still, deep water beneath. Those deep mysterious waters teem with every kind of life and potential, but this life is invisible from surface.
All transformation involves a process of seeing beneath changeable surface and connecting with vast deep life-giving waters beneath. This process usually involves a level of discomfort as your identity is shaken out of its placid solid form and made to expand and reflect a deeper level of reality.
But it’s worth it.
MY LITTLE WAKE-UP CALL
Last year I had a very typical experience from which I learned an uncommon lesson.
I was upstairs in my bedroom. My husband was late getting home and had failed to call me to let me know. I wasn’t really worried about him, but I still began to get more and more agitated by fact that he hadn’t come home when he said he would.
The later he become, angrier I grew. By time I finally heard door downstairs I was in a fury. (I realize that this doesn’t show me in a particularly positive light – but truth is, that’s exactly what happened.)