Amanda Palmer writes in The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, “I no longer see these things as risk. I see them as acts of trust. I think the real risk is the choice to disconnect. To be afraid of one another. We make countless choices every day whether to ask or to turn away from one another…Unconditional love is: I will love you even if you do not love me. It’s really easy to love passing strangers unconditionally. They demand nothing of you. It is really hard to love people unconditionally when they can hurt you”
I think love and trust are deeply intertwined and we do not trust or love unconditionally because we do not trust and unconditionally love ourselves. I think this has to do with the disconnection from our essence, our Divine infinite being, our soul if you will.
We can hide it, run from it, abuse it, belittle it, distrust it, but it never goes away. Its wisdom never dies, regardless of how hard or frequently we try to kill it. Somewhere deep below the surface is a small voice reminding us of our greatness, of the miracle within.
I have heard so much about self-love over the past decade. I know my own journey to self-love began in 2006 and I am still on the journey to unconditional self-love. What I discovered was that the journey started when I allowed myself to see what those who loved me saw and then becoming a mirror for others.
Ms. Palmer is correct in saying it is easier to love strangers unconditionally because the risk of being hurt is lessened. For me the strangers aren’t quite strangers, they are my students and clients. When I step on the mat or into a session, I don’t see all the choices they make day in and day out to disconnect from their soul, I see their soul. I hold space for them to simple be that magnificence, accepting them as is.
Extending acceptance allows me to simply love and that love allows me to simply be me at my purest essence. The love shines a light in the darkness and allows us to remember what is still alive in us. What receives light begins to grow. What is remembered is hard to forget. There is something about this that feels so good, we find ourselves shifting to be in the light more.
We begin to show up more fully in our lives and connect a little more deeper, a little more real, vulnerably with those who could hurt us. We begin to look below the surface for their greatness and by focusing on that, we create space for them. Relationships improve. We find ourselves being kinder to strangers. We find ourselves being kinder to ourselves and those we love.
Love softens the outer edges. Contrary to what we may have once feared, we are not weakened by this softening, we are strengthened. The world around us improves. We choose not to be afraid, we cease to see showing up as a risk. This is healing at its core.
The process starts with a choice. A willingness to love someone unconditionally. Start with a stranger. Ms. Palmer was a giant statue when se began to silently extend unconditional love to each passerby. I have played a silly game for years where I imagine shooting an arrow to a point right about strangers heads and when it hits that point it explodes in glittery, unconditional, radiant love.
You don’t have to say a word to extend love; it is the intention that counts. That holds true for strangers and to those whom you have professed your love. Look beyond their actions and be willing to simply love their soul. See what happens.
Inspired Action Challenge:
You cannot see in the darkness.
Are you willing to close your eyes and ask Source for the light to illuminate the miracles within you? Spend 5 minutes quietly in this willingness.
Share your experience below.