Question: Is all love just based upon neediness then?
Answer: Of course, how could it be any other way? Like people floating on the ocean would need to know how to swim in order to survive, the need for love is that essential. Personal love is like an oxygen bottle when one is cut off and isolated in an atmosphere their lungs can not properly breathe in. So, quite literally, love is needed to remind us of what is true. Without exposure to it, we would literally be lost. Personal need based love is like a map back to the self. Everyone walks around with half a map or a portion of the map. We will find that we will need love in stages. There will be times when we will need it. We will find people that we believe love us. It does not matter if personal love is an illusion. The point is what happens when we meet someone who actually finds us lovable. What happens then? We then begin to believe this…perhaps for the first time in our lives…we begin to believe truly that perhaps we are lovable. No other experience can deliver this sort of punch. Only what appears to be love from the outside makes us begin to believe we are worth loving. Unconditional universal love all begins with personal love. And don’t forget the stages. There will be times when we will be so well reminded by someone that we may then move on, feeling well loved. The external experience of being exposed to your own worth then enlightens one to the true nature that they are loveable and worthy of existing. People need this because simply forming an identity, simply having an ego is the death of true nature. Like a scythe it cuts us off from wholeness and connection that we are. In this new place, I say yes…yes we do need love, along with oxygen, and food and water…which we also get from external sources.
The amount of love we feel when in relationship brings up fears and the fears show us what we have decided about ourselves to make us feel unloved to begin with. Some relationships work these things out; others just blow apart because people do not have the tools to weather this storm of inevitable self hate. But even for couples that make it through the storm, even they may reach a point where one, or the other, finds themselves needing again. Even in the happiest relationship one can end up feeling lonely again, neediness creeps in.
Question: Okay so what then is personal love?
Answer: Need is the hearts way of telling us that something is missing. Personal love is an unconscious answer to going deeper into our true nature. But what is love? What is it to be attracted so strongly to someone and you can not sleep even? It is the recognition of self in another. We end up feeling love with someone who reflects what we wish to love in ourselves. That feeling of needing to be with someone, that longing to not be alone…this is what love is, it’s the hearts fervent prayer that we are not alone. The truth is that we are not alone….if we can let go of the ego. But when we can not, personal love serves as a small window into what it is like to love another and powerfully so. For this feeling people travel great distances, have children, move to other places, and make wedding vows for a lifetime. Yes, it is an extremely strong feeling. So, what is personal love? It’s nothing more than the expression of love that you find hard to feel for yourself, projected onto another. Thank God for personal love…without it, few would wake up, fewer would even be alive.
Question: Then why do people say that personal love is an illusion?
Answer: Because underneath all that great intensity is a grand illusion. The illusion is that you LOVE that person. When really what you see is what you love. You love what you recognize about yourself in that person. You love how you feel loved by that person. You love it that they pay attention to you in a ways you do not. They provide, from the outside, a feeling you do not give to yourself. But they can not actually give it to you. It is alas, just the feeling, not the real thing. It is like the smell of the feast, but you do not get to eat. The smell, when starving, can make one mad with passion, but truthfully the scent is all you will ever get. That scent is meant to wake you up. But you never get full from the scent. It just reminds you of what you truly are, what you could feel if you were not living in the mind all day long, all life long. So, again, personal love is a respite, a beautiful respite that is necessary at times to remind us of how wonderful it is to be us. Why is it an illusion? Because when two people are in love, they are really just loving themselves in each others presence. But people make the error, though a wonderful one, of thinking that the other person is the source of their happy feeling. They meet someone and they feel loved and they believe it is the love flowing from the other to them and filling them up. But it can’t and it won’t. The ego has to die more before this illusion can be dispelled. Love for the self and love from another can help the ego to die more, to relax more. So when one says to the other, “I love you” they really mean, “I love myself more while in your presence.” This brings us back to the illusion part. Take that other person out of the equation and then what? Where does the love go? Does it leave when they leave? One may feel like it does and then it’s back to the search for love. And that is the search for true nature by any other name. When we can feel love for ourselves, from within, the need drops away and personal love takes a back seat to two people just sharing life together in a less dependent fashion. But make no mistake about it…things can shift again. When we find ourselves once more in a stage of life where we find it hard to love ourselves again, where we find it hard to feel compassion….we will seek out personal love…even if it is an illusion. A beautiful illusion and one that can be learned much from, instead of shunned out of judgment. This is the key though. To realize that at times we do need personal love. Because there are so many levels to our consciousness. Everytime we think we have fallen in love with all of it, and accepted it completely…just wait a while. Eventually we will hit a bottom we couldn’t see or even fathom previously. Old issues we thought long extinct resurface as if new all over again. It is from a deeper place and feels even stronger than before. It’s not personal, it’s just housekeeping. But we may find ourselves asking the question, ‘who will love this part of me because I do not?’ And if we find someone who can…perhaps it is what we need to find the heart of our own acceptance. And then that acceptance will move into our own hearts.
No matter how many we fall in and out of love with, ultimately we end up loving ourselves…or the search inevitably continues…and that search is our karmic path, perhaps the work of lifetimes some may say.
Love is simply love. Personal, unconditional…whatever. It’s all about returning to your true nature.