Love. I’ve been thinking about it of late, what it is and what it isn’t....

For me the opposite of love is not fear - as we often first think. For me the opposite is of love is judgement- the meddling mind and idiotic ego.

I think about the great mystic love poets- Rumi, Hafiz and Mirabi- their prose is basically praise- wide, wise, ecstatically, soul-full celebration-- seeing the greatness in all things. Writing to the Beloved (capital) B- the divine bit within each of us humble humans. How wonderful to make your life’s work to celebrate and praise and see the pureness in every human heart, underneath all their egoic minds meddling.

I have been really very well loved of late. What does that look like?  It’s definitely love in action- it’s often a verb -things are being done in great and generous ways. Sometimes I get scared to turn towards that- I’m defiantly (typo- I meant definitely but defiantly works well too) developing my readiness to receive.

So what about this questions of what’s not love?  Fear is a quality of the heart- a felt sense that comes through... ah we’re human that will happen. We are fallible, sometimes fear swings by and floors us...

Judgement is thing that lives in the mind-  it sees what is wrong,  dialogues with it, using it to be divisive not inclusive. To meddle with us, mess with us, keep us separate (supposedly safe...)

For me it feels far more insidious than fear.

I’m not saying that there is not service in saying what is so; speaking our truth in order  to make a move towards our full- potential - Vajrayogini and Kali and long line of more humbly human wise ones courageously call it like it is- to create social change- in service o something greater.

How do we find the balance between acceptance and allowing just what is, however that looks-  and asking folks to be the best that they can be? The balance between impeccability and inclusivity?  Between letting people learn, struggle and make mistakes -and holding a high standard of those around us? Particularly when these are often the sometimes peculiar relationships within our immediate family?

Actually I don’t think that anyone else behaviour is ever our business anyway-  we are self- responsible-, self- reflective, self supporting. Yet we need each other, caring community counts for a good deal.

I have to own the bit of me that wants love to be synonymous with safety- whilst admitting perhaps it will always be one of the riskiest things that we can do. We can’t ever control another human- yet be can make choices about being close to the ones that are basically dependable, kind, courteous and will consider us.   We would be well advised to lean away from those who don’t fight fairly.  Yet also we are all doing our best. At their core no one is bad or wrong- just having the results of a messy mind and some bastardised biochemistry- yup that sounds tough to be in and around.  How can our own compassion cultivate those around us and yet still care for our own sweet soft selves.

Someone said to me of late- “it’s all love or what is still looking for love”  This may mean saying hello shame, hello sorrow, hello  fear  - how are y’all today? what true or untrue messages are you bringing to this body, this being, this beating heart and what impact is arising from them?

Bless all of these things that stop by within us-  and the human hearts longing to be happy.

I don’t want to make the mind bad- but it does seem to me that it is the thinking that is divisive – thus learning to be located in our heart and our core can help.

Yep those bits are indeed where vulnerability lives – and what we must turn towards.  The soft squidgy centre where we wonder how it’s all going to turn out - the place of fears for ourselves and or those around us- their health, how long they have left, how all this will turn out….     “Ah hello future thoughts”  - a sure sign that fear has wandered in.

So then we best go back to the body, back to the breath, back to being here-now and now-here (even when now-here feels like nowhere...)

Heart- fullness seems the key element here. I wonder how it would look if the current mindfulness movement had been called heart-fullness instead? (“Boddhichitta”- the heart/mind at its best)

What if as well as training to see our thoughts, we were taught to come close to our bodies embodied emotional intelligence.  To listen out-loud to what serves us so? I think it would serve us as individuals and  as a society greatly.

So many paradoxes in the investigation into love.  Yet that is just it- we get to love the question,  to be in the enquiry.  Sometimes  that is oh so sweet, sometimes distinctly savage with us.

Not that we can force or figure it out with our mind -but  all we can really do is follow our heart and our feet and the embodied wisdom of the wise ones within us as best we can;  staying here with just what is, as we to learn to love and be loved.

After all it really is what matters most.

Much love to y’all brave, bold and beautiful human honeybees. xxxx

Tess Howell