There is a youtube video of famous real life artists Marina Abramovic and Ulay; two long lost lovers who reunite at her MomA Retrospective, "The Artist is Present" in NYC. Her exhibit involves her sitting quietly for 700 plus hours looking into strangers eyes and connecting with them with feelings not words. Without her knowing, Ulay shows up and sits in front of her. What happens is exquisitely powerful.
To see the clip, click on the following link:
The love between these two individuals is palpable. Time stands still, even if only for a moment. And yet their connection is everlasting. There are no words, just a look and a touch... and love, which endures after many, many years.Similar to Marina and Ulay, many of us have experienced feeling this type of love; an everlasting sensation that withstands time and overcomes all hardships. It is a feeling of connecting to one's own spirit all the while connecting to our partner's. It is embracing our truest essence without any expectations. It is a humble sense of compassion for someone we hold dear to our hearts. It is a felt sense of affection in the deepest form.
While many of us can say that we have experienced love in this sense, others have shared wanting this type of love but never fully having it. They may crave it, feel lonely for it; they may yearn and long for it. But it has been outside of their reach. Still others may think they know what love is, but actually don't have the slightest idea.
We each define love differently based on our unique experiences with our primary attachment figures beginning at infancy (0-2 years of age to be exact). From there, we build on this idea of love throughout our lives. Based on various small or large "traumatic" events (everyone has trauma-shame, for example, is traumatizing and we all have experienced shame) some people may define love as being able to withstand hardships, while others may define it as having the ability to see and be seen (vulnerability). Some might define it as sex, possession and/or control. Others may equate love with fear, hurt, and/or pain. It all depends on our experiences with love. Love may be a way of coping with our past, or a way of escaping our present or future.
However we define love, it can either be a means of enhancing who we truly are or be cause for on-going confusion and suffering.
We often seek to find love in another person, which makes sense since as humans we are wired for connection. Our first love in our earthly existence is towards our mothers, whom we shared intimate space for 9 months. We form our initial attachment to her at birth, and although we may not have attached securely, we still attached, sometimes clinging to a dream of having pure love returned to us. Then we attempted to replicate this "love" whether it was healthy or not via other relationships, starting at a very young age. Humans are very creative and resilient beings in this regard.
Based on our life experiences, many of us learn the truth about love; what love is and what it is not.
What Love IS:
A Feeling of deep affection A humble sense of compassion for another Connection to your and another's true essence Being able to be vulnerable-trusting the ability to be seen- with an intimate partner A sense of surrender and agreeable compromise Big, expansive, global Healing Pure A universal feeling
What Love is NOT:
Love is not possession It is NOT jealousy It is NOT control It is NOT sex It is NOT anger (although we may feel angry at times while being in love) It is NOT hurting another or causing harm It is NOT abuse of any kind It is NOT trauma bonding It is NOT fear based It is NOT small, constricting, or limiting It is NOT addiction or affliction
These are not exhaustive lists; however, they provide us with a general understanding of what love is and what it is not.
Many folks get addicted to love, to the feeling of being attached to someone at their own expense. We call this type of addicted love codependency for loved ones of individuals with substance abuse issues, or loveaddiction for folks with intimacy disorders. I define love addiction as codependency on steroids.
In reality, being addicted to love is about being addicted to catching, latching andattaching to someone. The person that gets addicted to loving another person is actually addicted to attaching to someone in order to relieve their deep-seated insecurities, loneliness, sadness, heartache, longing, and pain from childhood. The other person becomes their drug. This is not love. Addiction is not love.
So what is the point of exploring the truth about love? How might it help you in your everyday life?
Learning what love is and what love isn't is the first step in having an incredibly beautiful love affair with yourself. Yes, I said love affair. It gives you an opportunity to re-parent yourself first so that you are able to love whole-heartedly in your intimate relationships. We can't truly love others if we don't know how to love ourselves. This may sound Cliché perhaps but it is true.
Having a love affair with yourself can be a truly healing experience, especially if you have spent your life running from yourself and your own healing. It begins with educating yourself on the origins of where you learned about love. It evolves into defining love based on your past, present and even future self. From there, you will begin to explore love in your daily life, talking with your loved ones about the idea of love, and practicing sharing and receiving love-all the while being open to being truly IN love; In love with yourself, with your situation, with those around you, with life.
That is the beginning of an undying love-of self and others. That is the truth about love.
Always know that you are worth loving; you are worth all of it!
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