Love’s Self-Reflective Test
You will see in others what you see in yourself. All of the insecurities you see in others are really the ones you have within reflected back at you. A Course in Miracles states that you cannot give to another what you have not known yourself. But is this true with love? Or does love play by other rules? When we ask others for unconditional love does that mean we are capable of it ourselves? In the total acceptance of our imperfections we find a grace beyond measure and a joy in the otherwise confusing panorama of humanity. Yet if we are only able to love another person to the extent that we are able to love ourselves our capacity to give might find a dead end in the caverns of our self-loathing and the doldrums of low self-esteem. One of the first and exceedingly difficult lessons in life is to learn how to love ourselves fully–foibles, faults and all.
Love and the search for it can sometimes take up a large portion of our mental, emotional and physical space that it can be possible to devote entire lives to the pursuit of love, be it returned or unrequited. Without someone to love we feel incomplete and lonely. With someone to love we are tested through and through. All human beings need relationships to know themselves truly. For when you share your life with someone there is an intimacy that bears the truth and honesty of the soul beyond any theoretical explanation. It is in the mirror of your deepest love where you can see yourself most clearly. Love is a desire everyone harbors. There is a sleeping romantic in every cynic, a broken heart in every hardened facade and a secret yearning in even the most independent minds. We all yearn for the gift of being together in a safe space where we can let our guards completely down and open our hearts with ease and grace.
Life’s greatest tests are perhaps not in the grand battles of religion, morality or politics but instead in small acts of kindness, compassion and generosity. Sometimes the best expression of a person’s character is whether they’re willing to share their piece of the pie or not. It’s easy to stand aloof from a situation and proclaim absolute right and wrong, but harder still to stand in the midst of need and distress and choose a caring course of action. When we stand in relationship we know first hand how hard it is to love another person and simultaneously how fulfilling. It is a powerful choice to maintain healthy self awareness while giving yourself freely.
Love is not abuse though often we abuse those we love with careless words and selfish actions. Love is not hierarchical power though its feeling is powerful when shared. Love is not smothering though it flows from an inexhaustible source within. Love is an action verb, yet sometimes needs no action to be expressed. Love is a tenderness that must be cared for, tended to and nurtured lest it forget how to grow. More than anything love is our deepest, truest nature whose real miracle is that we need each other to express, feel and share our love in the world.
by Kino MacGregor