Friday, November 9, 2012

Natural Bhakti: The Path of Love

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."~Mother Teresa

I realized something tonight. I have known this, but not like I know this now. I was born for the explicit purpose of losing myself in love in all possible directions. I don't think this is unique, I actually think it is the meaning of the Bhakti path of yoga, to which many, many people are drawn. But Bhakti for a lot of people has to do with a particular representation of the Divine Energy, or particular practices, or even places. For me, Bhakti is life itself. And I am so deeply and humbly grateful to see this with new, clearer eyes.

We cannot have back any of our past moments, so when we receive an insight that is a sting, a slap, a hard and painful realization that we are somehow more awake now then we previously were, it is best to give ourselves completely to integrating that wisdom at all costs. I can never have back those moments with my son when I let fatigue, hunger, or the urge to do something override the importance of stopping for thirty seconds to make better eye contact. Or to pick him up at those random times, even if I only have the strength to hold him for a few moments.
I don't want to forget this ever again. Being present has increasing significance for me each day. I have also been embracing over these last six years, increasing ease and directness in expressing love, gratitude, appreciation, recognition of beauty, and supportiveness. And as of tonight I am renewed and my passion is deeper. Its like a whole layer of junk was cleared. We are here to be ourselves completely, our pure Self, to live our life purpose with everything we have in us... Not to ever deny positive inspiration and true passion, but to be our highest and greatest expression of ourselves at all costs. That is real freedom.
The hardest part by far is not the bravery it takes to be unique, in my case, but the loneliness of still knowing so few people around my age that are on the same level of love and freedom. Freedom scares the shit out of people, especially the opposite sex apparently.
I made a vow as a teenager, and I WON'T break it: that no matter how many people reject me, no matter how many times my heart is broken, I WILL NOT compromise the truth of my heart. I will not stop giving myself fully in love. I won't be foolish, and I won't cling to relationship for fear of being alone. On the contrary, I will be equally brave going into and coming out of love, or in saying no when the connection isn't there. I may have slowed down over the years, but I am fixing that. I will listen to  the Truth of my heart completely, and I will trust myself and my own resilience. I won't judge the next by the previous. Always present and fresh.
Bhakti isn't just about romantic love, but that is a significant component for me: they gave me the spiritual name Radha for a reason I suppose, and the male-female dynamic nourishes me and complements me well, when it is vibrant and healthy. And it is requiring a great deal of patience to wait for an equal, for a genuine connection. I'm not going to waste someone's time, I know if there's a connection in a few moments, and then beyond that its typically not long before it sorts itself out as friendship or going in other directions.  And I know the moment it shatters and the connections atrophy and pull apart, and it has completely run it's course. We ALL know these things, whether we listen or not is different.
But it isn't just romantic love, that is only one piece. I exist to love and to delight in everything, be fascinated and in love with all of my life. To LOSE myself, lose my edges and borders in ALL forms of Love... As a mother, this is the most sacred and profound relationship I know... As a friend, as family... And to lose myself in love with life itself, and with my life, with each moment, with Nature, in acts of kindness, passion, and creativity, with beauty; to lose myself in love with love..
And not only to feel that love, but to express it, to nourish the world by putting that Love into every action. EVERY action... Every moment, every moment.. My aim is to be present to remember my delight and grace and to let my entire life be a painting of that love and joy. I want not one moment or being or place to pass me without benefiting consciously or unconsciously from my loving energy. We have to remember that feeling love is important, but let our choices and actions express that love is crucial, or else the loop isn't complete and the love isn't whole.
I feel this energy and this love, SO IMMENSE, and the other major struggle has been in learning how to channel it. Sadly, most people aren't used to receiving much if any unconditional love. It is intense, and can crack a heart wide open, it is a love that can make you cry.. I know that I cry more from loving so much then from anything else.. But each release makes room for a larger capacity by which to give and receive love and happiness. I recognize as a teacher I have to learn not to give other beings more then they are ready for, and at the same time, we all can stand to go in a little overhead now and again. And I refuse to hide my light, because only those who can consciously benefit from my energy will be drawn to me, otherwise the benefits will all be subtle and unconscious. It feels so wrong that it isn't considered "normal" for people to express love and consideration to strangers- in times of peace its viewed as crazy, in times of disaster it is considered heroic.. why can't it just be a darshan, a worldview, a way of life?
I am nothing but love, playful fascination, and gratitude. This is often said in yoga philosophy. And I have felt this before. But this is a new, deeper degree of direct experience- it is not theory but my actual experience that speaks these words. I can't tell you the gratitude that sparks in me, or the honor it is, so  much that it drives me to uphold my most genuine best at all times.
We all have rough moments, but I can't help but shake them off faster, and to feel some level of joy in connection with the profundity of even painful experiences.. Delight in their purposefulness and poetic beauty. I can rejoice in the silver lining. And increasingly, where ten years ago it was something of a peak experience that happened a few times a year, it is now a daily experience of love, gratitude, and inner rightness so strong that I am flooded, immersed, in beauty and true and complete loving happiness, almost washed away..
I exist to lose myself in all forms of love, gratitude, and beauty. I am sweetness and love. And I will trust my heart, and keep opening wider and wider to love, until nothing else remains but love, grateful, generous, and sweet. In humble gratitude and curiosity of the immense potential in store... LOVE!!  Laura

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