Monthly Archives: October 2013

Connection – the joy and vulnerability of love.

Mariella Frostrup wrote recently that in her time as agony aunt, the same theme is as prevalent now as it was when she started – loneliness and connection. Although we appear to be separate, this separation is an illusion. It is a sufficiently powerful and seductive illusion that our ego, our personality-construct, can be lured into believing it is real and therefore create a reality in which it becomes true. We become arsey, brittle, sharp, full of ourselves when inside we’re crying out for help, for connection.

We create a self-fulfilling prison in which our love, our joy, our freedom, our spirit, all languish and suffer, desperate to be given the oxygen of love and connection but trapped within layers of self-created separation. It’s a freezing of the heart – inside, it’s warm, pulsing, loving, waiting and wanting to connect, but around it are layers of armoured prickly ice.

What does it take to thaw this ice?

The answer, of course, is love.

Love is a combination of joy and vulnerability. Love is the most vulnerable emotion because you can’t experience joy, full deep joy, without being fully deeply open. And when you’re fully open, you also expose your vulnerabilities. And that requires courage.

I used to think that my vulnerabilities were shameful, a sign of weakness, and therefore deeply unattractive – repulsive even. I used to think that if I showed that I could cry like a little boy, be small and pathetic, be hurting, somehow that meant I was unworthy of proper loving. I’d put on a brave face – ‘No, I’m fine, I’m ok’ – while inside I was crying. It took me many years and many tears to realise that not only was I not doing myself any favours, I wasn’t bringing and offering my whole heart to love.

To my surprise, I found that when I had the courage to express my own vulnerabilities, something warm got touched in the other person – and if it didn’t, the worst that happened was I experienced pain and shame. And pain and shame are just feelings, and like all feelings, they pass. They are simply clouds in the sky of love, and love’s sunshine burns them off.

There is a beauty and a self-generated strength in vulnerability. This cannot be known until experienced, but vulnerability has magic in it. If the person you share your vulnerability with is ready, it is perhaps the most effective heart-thawer possible. The sheer rawness of your vulnerability can give their heart and soul a lifeline, a way through their layers of armoured prickly ice.

There is, of course, no guarantee. There is never a guarantee. But until you’re prepared to risk all, reveal all, share all, how might the person you love get enough strength and trust to break free from their prison? To experience the deepest truth about love – that the more you give, the more you receive?

For this is the secret, the kernel of love – it doesn’t ‘take’, you don’t ‘lose’, there is no ‘price’. The secret is that the more you give the more you receive.

How to reach this place of courage and vulnerability? That is the heart of the next blog.

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Planning – for love? Or to make the gods laugh?

Plan is a four-letter word. All four letter words have an energy about them. I find it good to remember that. My father planned to marry once, forever. How the gods must have chuckled when they heard that for he ended up married three times, divorced twice.

So, who has ever lived the life they planned? Who has lived a day they planned? What is your plan for?

Mine is to experience and expand love.

I find it helpful to remember sometimes that a plan is based on an intention. It is a step between intention and action. Its purpose is to get us towards a specific destination and a specific set of outcomes. It is there to move us in the right direction and give us a quality of experience – but it is not the destination itself.

I remember once I was out walking with a friend in the wilds of Rannoch Moor. Places in the UK don’t come much wilder than there. It is open, raw, untamed and therefore utterly beautiful. Consequently it speaks to those qualities in us, those qualities that make us feel alive and on the edge. It is one of those places that give you a sense of your significance in the universe, how small we are and how vast it is. It’s a land version of the open sea. It speaks to our soul.

We planned to reach a particular peak and after walking an hour or so, I felt it was time to go back. I had experienced all the qualities I was looking for, the exhilaration, the aliveness, the physical exertion, the soul connection. All the important things had been achieved so on the basis of this new level of experience and information, I felt it was time to revise the plan go home. We had a quick chat, and that’s what we did. Body exerted, heart opened, soul enlivened, the plan had achieved its purpose. Mission accomplished.

I still remember it all vividly. What I took from that experience (and endless others) is the importance of not letting a plan be a compulsion.

A plan is a course of action based on current information, so when the information changes, the plan needs to change too. If it doesn’t it is no longer an effective means of delivering the quality of experience you want. Instead of satisfaction and elation you start to experience frustration, hurt and disappointment. You start to become a prisoner in your own self-created prison.

It can be hell.

What’s the alternative?

I find it wonderful to revise my plans frequently when new information comes in, when new things happen, when the unexpected pops my soul open and says ‘hello’. I make a point frequently of checking my plans still feel right. I sit still, listen for my intuition, tune into the feeling of the plan and make adjustments based on that.

The more I sink into and attune myself to my soul’s purpose, the more I find my plans are guided by love. The more I find them guided by love, the easier I find it to revise them, because to revise them is to allow more love in. With more love, the plans get better. I’ve become a diligent plan-reviser.

I love more love. Don’t you?

So, got any good plans?

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