Love is so much better than power. When we Love, we are at the Source, expressing the Source. Nothing is watered down, nothing is minimized, everything is. Real Love is the essential nature of everything; it is the untainted manifestation of God. Power is shrunken and twisted Love. When we pursue power, we believe we have strength with authority. We believe we are in control. But the problem is, we are not even in control of the tiny fiefdom of our own minds. We are manipulated by the very system that we believe we control. We are deluded by the very voice that tells us we are in charge. We have neither power nor Love when we are identified with our shrunken self.
The shrunken self “knows” exactly how to get what it calls love (power), how to get attention, how to get its will and desires fulfilled. All shrunken selves will do what they have always done to get attention.
The question is, how does my shrunken self get to be “loved”? “Adored”? “Focused on”? What do I have to do? When we do whatever that is, we are totally unsafe for ourselves and others. We will forsake our Heart, our dharma, our true path in order to receive that affirmation from the outside. Because we have lost our subject in object, the outside has been given the role of the valid assessor. To us, internal reflection looks like heading in the wrong direction.
Our shrunken selves are always either the receivers or the givers of attention. Neither one gets Love, only various kinds of power. For instance, in order to get “love”, we may believe we have to give others the power in our relationships. We give up our power, and the other person gets all the attention and has their desires fulfilled. We then get “loved” by being of use and being allowed to be in their presence. For the receivers, the benefits are obvious: they just happily deserve and therefore take willingly what the other gives. The receiver gets gratification wholly on their terms. But the receiver isn’t getting Love, either; they are only getting projected on, just as the giver is. And just as the receiver gets to feel powerful, the giver also gets the feeling of power—by being useful, needed, good, empowering, nurturing, and supportive. These relationships work only as long as each shrunken self is consistently and completely identified with the part they play.
In this world of power rather than Love, a world without inner reflection, the only way to assess our progress is whether the other is happy with us or not. How many times have we been so sure we loved the other person because they were so happy with us? Mutual enthusiasm is such a deluder.
Real Love is not based on the shrunken self’s getting its desires fulfilled by others or, more importantly, by its own self-obsession. Real Love happens only when the shrunken self is not involved at all. The shrunken self is not the one that Loves, and it is never the Beloved.
Love from the Heart has nothing to do with the shrunken self, which is nothing more than a narrative. Love is and shines forth. It is not dependent on anything. It is a state of being.
In this state of being, the Lover and the Beloved are you and everyone else. When a person is no longer identified with the shrunken self, there is nothing in the way that keeps that person from the state of Love, no matter whose presence they are in. This is what each of us should have, live, and be all the time: Love.
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