One day my ex-girlfriend said to me, “You keep trying to show me some enlightened way to love. But I don’t want that. I like where I’m at, I’m comfortable in the darkness. And the more you try to ‘love’ me authentically the more I’ll push you away.”
Things have changed for me since that day. On that day I very much believed that if I loved her genuinely and authentically, compassionately that in time she would come to the place of Love with me, that we could exist inside source and Love together, that we could transcend romance and friendship and time. I believed we were mirrors, extreme opposites, paradoxes, that we were meant to be together and that together we could return home. Whether this is true or not isn’t the point. Can you tell I am a romantic?
It is only recently that I’ve come to accept that Love and relationships will always be difficult for her to maintain, and that the intensity of my empathy to her sociopath create an unusual paradox. That my role in her life is to watch her share her life with another; whomever she and they so choose. That she doesn’t do emotions, let alone love, and when she wants to do them, it won’t be with me.
Still. Even though it was never equal in intensity, and even though I must Love her quietly in the darkness. It is through the trials of our relationship that I began to glean a lot of insights that I would later come to use today to grow. And it is through her continued friendship with me despite my slow attempts to Love her in the way that she needs, that is casually and distantly as an acquaintance on the breeze, that I have learned to reign back my love, and perhaps the most important lesson I want to share about Unconditional Love as a flower, even when it does not manifest in the way you would like it to.
People are Flowers, Flowers Are Love
In this analogy people are flowers, and all flowers are love. We must cultivate the love within ourselves and grow. Not all of us are able to feel love or understand or even make sense of love. And some of us once loved so greatly that when our heart broke we shut out all love and let in only darkness. The woman I loved was a bit like that, incapable or unwilling to Love many people, least of all me after the loss of someone important to her, and in her small baby steps I soon came to realize that there are some people we meet who are unable to open their hearts and love again let alone transcend in this lifetime or form.
For those who choose to live and serve with love, unconditional authentic Love, it is our job to Love them and others without expectations, to accept them as they are and let them be, and to focus inward on ourselves, if not for them but for us and our own wellbeing. We are flowers, and what we are growing into is pure authentic Love. Loving Kindness, Appreciation, Acceptance, Understanding, Serving without conditions.
When we are truly secure and can meet our own needs, there is no greater feeling than that type of giving to ourselves in the reflections of all those who appear outside ourselves.
You water your flowers by stepping back and letting them grow
Love is a garden of flowers. You look at a flower in your garden and you say grow. You tell it to be a flower now, but a flower has to be watered at its own pace, you have to be gentle with it, and you can’t push it or force it, or overwater it, or it’ll drown and die.
Then when that flower grows, the greatest love you can do is to leave the flower alone and let it be. There is an old quote floating around that states when you like a flower you pluck it, but when you love a flower you water it daily and leave it be. Let nature do its work, all life will unfold in time. Maybe not the way you wanted, but the way it was meant to be, we can learn to see the beauty in that if we let it.
The Right Amount, Is Unique To The Flower
To water a flower we must first ascertain the right amount. Too much water and your garden’s flowers will drown, too little and they’ll wither. You need to give them the right amount, just the right amount. Not only this but there are hundreds of thousands of flowers. Each with their own requirements for how much or how little water it needs. Some need a drizzle, some need a storm, but sprinkle just enough on the seed that it needs, no more than, no less than.
Patience, The Flower Does The Work
It’s the flowers job to grow, not your job to make it grow. It is the flowers job to allow itself to Love. You can’t make it Love, you can’t impose your will onto it, you can’t make it go faster. It unfolds in its own time at its own pace. The flower grows in its own time. You merely sit back and watch and enjoy.
Lao Tzu once said, “Nature does not rush and yet everything is accomplished.” trust it to grow and unfold in its own time, in its own way, and appreciate the result and the process of the unfolding as it manifests to you in any given moment.
The Process Is What Makes The End Valuable, Not Just The Result
When we are cultivating Love we can be hard on ourselves, especially as we fall or those around us fall many times. We often tend to only see through our current lens of what is, and not at the actual objective reality. For every perspective there are over a thousand more ways to view the outcome and the journey.
Here we take on the view that it’s the process, the struggle, the ups and the downs that make the end result valuable. It’s how we learn what we need to learn, it’s what gives us wisdom. If we can find value and enjoy the meditative process of tending to our own gardens we unlock the keys to enjoying life right until the end.
The Right Type Of Love
I often use the word Love, but Love as I define it will never be Love as society defines it. The Love as society defines it is conditional, it’s filling roles, it’s acting. It’s out of needs and insecurity. The Right type of love is unconditional, it’s pure, it’s self-sustaining, self-fulfilling, it’s balancing. Each person has gone through the Source, God, Love, Energy, either together or on their own, such that they replenishes each other by replenishing themselves. This type of love no one has to change, each person is their most authentic self. There are no roles to fill. The person can come and go freely into your garden, but more than not this person chooses to stay on their own accord. Each person is secure, and where insecurities lie they work through them.
In many ways Love is Freedom. It’s a bird, it’s a flower. You want to hold Love in your hand with an open hand not a closed fist, or else it will smother and die. With true unconditional love it’s nurturing, it’s healing, it doesn’t ask more than you can give, it accepts you as you are, it sees you as you are. And yet despite all of this it chooses to sit in your presence of its own accord. It feels like home without you ever having to be or do anything different than what you already are.
You are a Guide, a Gardener
You show the Way by living and being the way. You show love by being Love. There is no other way. You can’t give love, love isn’t yours, and love isn’t theirs, but it can be allowed to shine through you as a conduit from our source. Love is something that has to be allowed to shine through. It’s not something you have to say or prove, it’s something you simply be, quietly. Try it, go about doing things tenderly and lovingly in your life. Never say the word Love, just show it in your way, however you are capable of. Be genuine, authentic, from your heart to those around you. If someone claims you are not loving them enough when you are loving with all that you are able in this moment, recognize that it’s not anyone elses job to know when you are doing things from a place of Love, only yours. Serve with love, but don’t say it. Be as Love, the way a river just be’s as a river and flows. Not everyone can hear the words I Love you, and certainly not from the contexts as it is defined here. It’s OK to say it genuinely to say it to the world, but feel it, let it shine through you, it’ll show in your gentleness and respect to other beings.
At the end of the day your actions, your heart will always speak a greater volume than your words.
Remember, The Vast Majority Of The World Isn’t Ready To Love
If you look out at the world you see many people playing many different types of games, and none of those games have much to do with unconditional, authentic love. It is very exclusive membership status. Lots of war, suffering, pain. If you show them another way they’ll only scoff and look down on it. It’s honorable they might say or foolish, but it’s not the game they choose to play.
The world is not ready to love, and there is not much you can do about that except love them unconditionally ‘as they are’, and just let people be. We cannot save people, people are not fixable. We can love them genuinely and authentically all day long, but people don’t want to be saved. They’ll stop playing the game when they are ready, when they are tired.
To share a story, the pattern of my former relationship had been me trying to love her authentically, not romantically but from an authentic, genuine, unconditional place, and her pushing back as I struggled with insecurities that arose from her struggle to love. The more I said I appreciate her, I value her, the more spiteful she got, the more I tried harder and in desperation. This cycle was less about her and more about me.
It made me think back when I was younger and more darker. Someone used to try to ‘save’ me by saying I believe in you all the time, they said this to me. But they would say it with frustration because they couldn’t get me to believe in what they were saying. And I said one day, you keep saying you believe in me, but I don’t believe in myself, what I need right now is for you to just accept that this is where I am at this point in my life, and let me be, and watch me grow and unfold in my own time. And she couldn’t accept that and walked out of my life. In due time, years from now I would grow to be where I needed to be, but it was without her support which had been conditional. I had to have been there right then. She was incapable of supporting me as I was. And while I don’t judge her effort, I feel it works counter to how we really work.
And We Have to be Ok With That
Confucius once said, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” everyone around us knows something that we ourselves do not know. This is the case with the world around us. Every person and every thing even the saddest of us has beauty in it.
It’s important to learn to be OK with the world as it is. To accept it as it is, while at the same time being catalyst for change by living the way. We have to be OK with people not loving us the way we want to or would like them to. Instead of focusing on them, focusing on ourselves and receiving our love from an indestructible place, where all love comes from and is connected. Envision it like a giant ball of energy that floats all around us, connecting all of us. Some allow it better than others, and this is OK.
Everything that is meant to happen will happen in its own time. Time itself is an illusion such that what has been and what is and what will be all exist simultaneously from A to Z. We just have to sit in the peace of simply allowing it.
In Tao this is called Effortless Action, where all is done and unfolds the way we unfold as we grow from birth to death always aging, effortlessly. Growth is a byproduct of emotional shifts, engagements and catalysts, and so it is in this way that just as the flower grows without much resistance, so too can we.