LOVE MONTH: DAY 13: “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them” ― Thomas Merton
Sigh! Don’t we all have people in our lives who project themselves onto us and expect us to perform in ways that will serve them?
I truly, truly believe this is the work that we come here to do. To learn to walk away from this kind of toxic interaction in the world. It is all around us. We see it in the movies, on TV, in music and everywhere in the world. It used to be a Western cultural thing. Now it has spread to all corners of this globe. It is what the Ego devises as a mechanism to control us and our relationships with others and the world around us.
And there is such tremendous dysfunction in how we love. It is so crippling and detrimental that we have to jump through hoops to be loved by others. And that we are so damned “busy” with things that truly do not matter that we cannot be present to ourselves, much less to those we profess to “love.”
Because we have not yet learned to completely accept and love ourselves. We say we do, but what we do with that is not loving, but indulgence. True love of self is that process where we tend to ourselves as the beloved.
Good nutrition, good sleep, good spiritual practices that feed us where we are truly hungry. The phrase “hungry ghost” is used to describe most of the people I know. They have wealth and material affluence, but their spirits are dead; and they walk around like zombies, looking for fulfillment and purpose in the next new thing.
How do you love yourself? Like you are a petulant child who needs to be spoon fed to stop throwing temper tantrums? Do you need to be more disciplined with yourself to give YOURSELF good care? It is no one else’s job. Yet, we somehow abandon and neglect the most important aspects of ourselves and blame the world for it. The same story…”I’m too BUSY.”
If this is your story, what are you too busy to do? Live? Really? That is so insane. All I can do with that is laugh and laugh. So much for that great “love” you have for anyone or anything. The stories don’t match up here. And it is the epidemic that explains the true crisis of our time…a million conveniences, and not enough time to master them; AND not enough time to do the only job we really have…feed our spirits and learn to LOVE ourselves. We are all dying of malnutrition of the body and the soul. And it isn’t the fault of some cosmic scheduler who put too much on YOUR plate. It is the fault of the Ego who tells you that you are SO busy that you cannot have a life. How sad…please stop it.