What does it mean to be "IN LOVE?"
I asked myself this question while sitting in meditation at my studio the other day. Guided by the amazing Kerilyn, our studio meditation instructor, and she tells us not to run from our thoughts while meditating. Folks often seem to think, while practicing the art of meditation, that they need to work on "clearing their minds, or letting their thoughts come and go, carelessly." She doesn't tell us to do that. So as inevitably they do, thoughts come pouring in, one after the other after the other, almost obsessively and irritatingly when we go to sit and be quiet. This day, I sat with it all, embraced it even. No battles. And amazingly, just pure clarity came in...THAT is where the mind clears, when we don't push any of those thoughts away, we just accept and embrace them.
My first thought was about my alone-ness lately. I am alone a lot these days! Usually, as a sole business owner now, and a single Mom, you would think I am almost NEVER alone. (It feels that way surely at times.) But since my kids' father has been back from a recent military deployment cycle, I have a lot more time than usual to myself to work, plan, clean and organize my life, compared to while he is away. It has been WONDERFUL. It makes me think of the single Moms who have lost a spouse, and who live in the world of-they aren't ever coming home. Life would look much different, I think of that when in my own position, often. We are grateful he has always remained rather safe, ex-husband or not, he's still my kids' Dad and we want him alive.
But dinners lately, when the kids are with Dad, are just me, just my one plate and no pleasant dinner conversation. Sleeping alone. Bathing alone. Working alone. Working out alone. Cleaning alone. Trying (and not really succeeding) to keep the house up alone, on the inside and out....more so on the inside than the out. Traveling alone. Shopping alone. Playing alone. Cooking alone. And again, eating alone.
I was watching my health decline recently.
I saw myself eating barely at all at night time. Why cook if no one is there? I would skip meals (which is VERY unlike me). And here is the fun fact!!!!! I GAIN weight when I DON'T eat. God, you rock, that's a fun trick. No really. When I don't eat regularly, wholesome, healthy and with lots of veggies and protein, I gain weight. Flabby, flab, flab. Yes I do.
So the night before my meditation, I decided to prepare a meal as though some special people were sharing it with me....or the way a whole family would sit for a special meal. I cooked my best steak tips and fresh, organic green beans, I made a decadent sauce to go on top of it all. I set the table. I poured a fancy glass of wine from a bottle I usually would reserve for a special occasion. This was totally unconventional for me. Who am I? It is just me? But I did it anyway, I served myself the way I deserve to be served and the way I feel everyone deserves to be served.
I woke up the next morning a few pounds lighter? Even though the base of my steak sauce was butter and I had red meat, and even ate later in the evening than usual. I know it was because of two reasons, 1- I was loving myself and my body appreciated it and 2- this was a paleo meal and my body loves paleo and wholesome nutrients, and eating more of them, rather than less, or rather than skipping meals. Lesson learned.
I won't skimp on myself ever again.
I went in for morning meditation class and I thought about my night before, my meal alone, my cleaning up after dinner alone, my lighter body, my lighter mind. And I asked myself what it meant to me to be in love then? If I was totally happy right now? Why seek anyone else for love or to fall in love?
So I asked myself, "self, what does love mean to you?"
I was shockingly sad when I saw what answers my mind had come up with. I felt that love translated into meaning two things to me:
1- the blissful, floaty time frame where you are just starting to fall in love, that man hung the moon, he never farts and even when he does it's cute and funny, you can't eat, you can't sleep and you are thrilled with all of it.
2- the ten-years-into-a-marriage love where you hate his farts, his lazy ass beer drinking, good for nothing, annoying, smelly life, empty promises of cleaning out the garage and helping you pick out new wall paint and you really are just two roommates who feel like you got married so you better find a way to keep this thing good, or else you really would both rather move on to something much more exciting but we should probably stay together for financial reasons and the kids..........kind of love. (Gag me with a spoon).
THOSE were my opinions of what defines LOVE. How sad is that? There was nothing to do with self love. It was just the beginnings and endings of relationships that came into my mind, nothing in between. I felt sad. And then I went straight into the thought of the best man in my life, Jesus. What would love mean to him? How does HE feel about love? The words that came up to me were unconditional, never-ending, peaceful, big and surprisingly, CALM. This was no starry eyed, drunk, falling feeling.
This was real love, presence, the BEST kind of love, 100% now, BIG LOVE and the kind that lasts forever.
So I just decided to sit with that for a moment, sit IN that. And then it hit me. I was IN love. I was holding a place of constant love for myself, for others, everyone around me, everyone who I have loved or who has loved me, for every failed relationship, I loved it all, I loved my enemies and I was sitting in the place of totally feeling like I LOVED my loneliness, alone-ness, for it brought me to this very moment and place of huge love and how I had been moved to treat myself the night before.
I realized that it really doesn't matter all that much if I ever find the right relationship. I have a lot of work to do practicing love in general. And that is totally cool. Sure, it would be awesome to find a rad dude who was both rad and successful (it is usually one or the other), find someone who was willing to accept my flaws, celebrate my strengths and I do the same for him, I treat him like the King he is and he treats me like the Queen I want to be. It would be great to travel together, grow together, challenge each other and LOVE one another along with the whole entire world. That yes, would be awesome. But it is not 100% necessary for me now. I have plenty of love and spoiling of myself and meditating on love to keep me busy for a long time.
Have you ever taken 20-30 minutes to just close your eyes and FEEL and BE within love? Try it. I kinda even prefer it over the intoxicating feeling of falling.......
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