September 11, 2012

Burning Man Talk: Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate.

Why is love such a deep longing for us all? How do we find more love? Do we even know how to love? Can we love better?

These are questions that keep me up at night—and the questions I posed and answered in a recent public talk at this year’s 2012 Burning Man Festival in Nevada. I love to share ideas and was thrilled and delighted at the response from Burner listeners and their many questions. Love really is the question and answer we are all seeking. The sheer number of questions I received that day and later that week in camp and on the Playa inspired me to share this article and to invite readers to truly become a container of love and allow more passion, purpose and yes, even lust, into their lives. See what fertile unfolding blooms when you do…

This is Part Two of a three part-series posted exclusively on elephantjournal: read Part One now.

This new age invites us to stand in the essence of who we are truly—loving beings who are wired to connect, collaborate and celebrate.

We no longer need to mask our desire for love, deep connection, intimacy and vulnerability. Our spiritual teachings that told us desire is bad are being replaced by the body’s knowledge that desire calls you to open up to joy and connection.

I am not talking about just sensory pleasure, just for our selves; we are being called to hold that same space of radical acceptance and unconditional love for another.

Unconditional means I love you regardless; I see your beauty, your shining, your truth and hold you there, where there is no fear of judgment. It means that I have the strength to love all that is there, even the “bad,”scary and shameful stuff, because I know you are not truly any of that stuff.

This is how love can transform.

When I am loved for all that I am, I can heal those parts that I have tried to cut off or wall off—I love them back into wholeness.

Love becomes like water that melts away the mud.

So, love not is not some fairy tale rescue but calls me to step into the fire of transformation, evolution and responsibility.

Love allows us to overcome our family, societal and personal patterns. Our relationships can be the catalyst and the crash pad to do so. It requires also that we choose love—and know that it is actually the surest way home.

It is love that we all seek…but do we know how to love?

Most of us were taught love from our parents; they were our first model of love toward us and towards each other. If you are like me, that model was very dysfunctional and demonstrated that love or relationship can actually be painful.

You may decide that love is not for you; you decide that it is better to not love. Or, you believe you are not worthy of love.

Unworthiness is a cancer in our society. That unworthiness causes us to abuse ourselves—to overwork, over-do, over indulge, over accumulate, over eat—all in an attempt to feel full.

The fullness we seek is love—for ourselves and others.

The great ecstatic poet, Rumi said love is a river, so drink from it. But do we know how to actually open our mouths to quench our thirst? Do we know how to love another?

When I was first married, learning how to unconditionally love my husband was a huge learning curve; I badgered him to quit smoking until one day he said, “Maybe you could just love me as I am and I will quit when I am ready.”

This was a huge lesson in learning to love and accept someone for all that they are—even the things that irritate us or annoy us.

Is there someone you love that you could love a little more—even the things they do that drives you crazy?

There are thousands, maybe millions, of words written on love. Much new age or relationship counseling tells us how to get love. This is the old paradigm of love and really the old paradigm of scarcity—that I must get what I need before you get what you need, as there is only so much to go around.

Our culture is also addicted to getting.

We consume each other the way we consume all resources—with little thought to giving back, little thought on maintenance and sustainability and little thought to how we act and how that actually not only affects another heart—but the whole.

We ask, “How do we get what I want?”

We pass people over and look for all that we do not like as though we are buying used cars. Even when we find someone to love, we say, yes I love you—and now here is what you need to do and be so I can keep loving you and be happy. You need to give me what I want or I won’t love you anymore.

This is not love.

If you want love, ask what can I give? What can I give this person? How can I be of service? How can I just love what is without needing to change it or fix it?

You then become a vessel for love to flow too you and through you; you won’t be able to keep it away. You will see the world through the eyes of love and people will see you the same way.

Think of someone you know who is easy to love—I bet they offer up love easily and unconditionally.

This is why we all love cats and dogs—they love us, no matter what. And there really are no exceptions, for all of us with a human heart.





Editor: Bryonie Wise

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