Love is not what we think it is. Excerpts from “This Is That: Essays About True Nature” by Nirmala
Love is both simpler and more mysterious and subtle than we have imagined it to be. Love is very simply the spacious, open attention of our awareness. Awareness itself is the gentlest, kindest, and most intimate force in the world. It touches things without impinging them. It holds all of our experiences but doesn’t hold it down or hold it back. And yet, inherent in awareness is a pull to connect and even merge with the object of our awareness.”
The sweetness of love is in the flow of awareness itself. The completely allowing openness and freedom we might look for from a perfect lover is already here in our own awareness. It doesn’t have to try to be accepting because awareness is by nature open and allowing. Awareness by itself cannot do anything but touch. Awareness cannot push or pull or demand something from or limit the freedom of what it touches. And yet, awareness is not an aloof distant observer. Awareness is deeply and intimately connected to the object of awareness. In fact, awareness and the object of awareness are ultimately the same thing.
This connection and intimacy that is natural in awareness is satisfying and fulfilling regardless of the object of awareness. In other words, whatever you are experiencing right now is your true love. Whatever you are experience is an opportunity to also experience the depth of your true nature as open, loving awareness. Your true nature is true love. It is the perfect lover you have been seeking, and not only is it always here, and that is who you really are.
When someone else is lovingly aware of us (not of their judgement or desires regarding us, but simply of us as we are), we can experience the outer expression of their love. We can see the way they are looking at us, the smile on their face, and the responsiveness of their reactions to us. But the awareness of us is arising in them. The love is flowing from them towards us, and so it is filling them with this sense of satisfaction and joy. If we are to feel satisfaction and joy, it will depend on whether we are experiencing a flow of love towards them. It is our own open awareness that fills us with that sense of connection and appreciation. We are filled with love when we are giving it to someone or something else.”
This truth, that we are filled with love when we love someone or something else instead of when we are loved, can free us from the search for love outside of ourselves. If you are still not sure that it is your own love that fills you, think of a time when someone else was in love with you, but you were not in love with that person. The flow of loving attention towards you was not satisfying, in fact it would have been uncomfortable having someone so interested in you when you were not feeling the same way.