RESPOND TO EVERYTHING WITH LOVE
Dancing with the mind
We tend to live quite polarized. Liking this thing, not liking that thing. Feeling joy when life looks like we want it to and frustration when it doesn’t. As much as we like to think that we are always going with the flow and living in a state of surrendered acceptance, the truth is most of the time we are not. The moment something looks or feels other than our preference we tend to go into some level of resistance. Rather than welcoming what is present we tense up, get anxious and begin to strategize how we are going to survive or get what we want. Our minds create worst case scenario stories about how what is, isn’t good, isn’t right and is going to turn out badly for us.
All of this puts us in a state of vigilant survival, which then activates us to react with self-protection. Some of our ways of self-protection are more primitive and others more sophisticated. The more primitive reactions are to shut down, withdraw, check out, avoid, attack or disappear completely. More sophisticated reactions are to manage, rationalize, control, or contain whatever is occurring that we don’t prefer. Be clear that whether we are utilizing a primitive or a more sophisticated reaction, both are means of self-protection in order to attempt to not experience what is occurring or manipulate it in some way. Some of the more sophisticated self-protective reactions are viewed as “normal” or commonly accepted behaviors, but are still are coming from resistance to, rather than acceptance of what is.
It’s a tricky dance to not be taken by the mind because we often believe the stories it tells. It’s hard not to as we’ve learned to look through the lens of it’s perspectives and have created an entire life through those lenses, both individually and collectively. What we believe is so, or better said, what we believe is our experience. This makes it hard to refute the mind because we will always experience validation of our beliefs of the stories it tells. When it says “this is bad” we believe this is bad. When it says “this is good” we believe this is good. Hence the near constant state of polarization we live inside of. The thing that many people don’t realize is that when the mind says “this is bad” you don’t have to believe it, or when they mind says “this is good”, again you don’t have to believe it. See the bigger truth is that you, me, and everyone in between has no idea what is bad or what is good. The best we can do is make assumptions about stuff and have preferences for things to be a certain way, but we have no freaking real idea what’s going on. However because we think we know what is bad and what is good, we suffer and go into self-protection attempting to get things to be good again when we believe they are bad. We appear to not suffer when things are good, but even when things are good we are often still suffering because our state of goodness is contingent upon things appearing/being a certain way that we deem as good.
Become the Creator
I have found that there is only one assumption free, agenda free, polarization free way to respond to the occurrences of life, which is to respond to everything with love. It’s the only way to not personally suffer and to not create suffering through your insistence or perspective of bad or wrong. Seeing things/self as bad, wrong or somehow lacking something, is the root of suffering. To respond instead with love to everything that arises is to see it as complete, full, and perfect even if the mind views it as distorted or messed up. Even distortion and mess is a perfect expression of the creator’s creation. We somehow know this, yet refuse to believe it when it looks, feels or becomes personal to us, to our preferences, lifestyles and survival impulses.
Something we often forget, or perhaps don’t know, is that we are ultimately the story tellers. It often seems too simple to us that we could just tell and believe a different story, yet we can. In fact we are the only ones that can. When we start the practice of responding to every single sensation, feeling, thought, world event, relational interaction and life experience with love, we open up the doorway inside the mind to write a different story or to end the stories all together. You can write and believe whatever you so choose. You can also stop writing and stop believing in anything at all. There really are no rules here except the ones that you create. For some this may seem or feel challenging. One thing I hear people say is that they can’t get themselves to believe a different story. For example if they feel bad, they just have to keep feeling bad and don’t see a way out if it. They don’t see how by creating a different story they will feel better because they aren’t quite ready to let their current story go. They want the appearance to change (their sensations, feelings, thoughts, some event, some experience) before they change their story. However life works in the other direction. We are the creators of what is. What is does not inform us, we inform it.
We sometimes have strong attachments to the stories we believe about what things mean and how life works, and to our minds it may feel bad or wrong to turn our story around, even though the new story feels better. Its’ a strange thing, but sometimes we want to hold onto grudges, wrong doings, or insisting that life, our body and everything else is not supporting us in some way. This is a core story that runs deep throughout the human psyche. You can transform it and you can thus forth have a different experience of life. One that is free from insisting that the appearance of life look a certain way that you think means good. One that is free from bad and good. One where the only response is love, which is the response that always knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. The more we respond with love the less “we” have to do. The less life is up to us. We rest more into trust and faith and the knowing that life is orchestrated in ways far beyond what our individual minds could ever fathom. It is total possible to have this be your experience of life. All that is required is that you stop insisting that you know anything. You invite in whatever is present. You respond to it with love. You remain open to the magic and the mystery that reveals itself moment by moment. You can’t know before you know. You can only be present and know.
Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado