From my new book 'A Peaceful Life is Possible'
To love is to truly see. When we behold an other, in all their beauty and shadow, without grasping or recoiling, love has matured beyond the limits of infatuation.
All we can ever hope to do is remove what stands in the way of the flow of love, so that it can move more freely through us, and out into the world.
Love dries up in an atmosphere of control and expectation. When we take things personally, even good things, love is overshadowed. When we judge, even positively, we cover love with a heavy weight and it can't breathe. We can only ever love others in their own beingness, and love ourselves in our own beingness - nothing to fix, nothing to sort out.
When we say that we have 'fallen in love' we have opened up to the full vibrancy of love, and that means accepting the side-effects that come along with that opening. Love will throw a light upon everything that it is not, everything that stands in its way. This includes all our habits of projection, judgement and taking things that aren't really personal personally.
There is a magic to beholding the presence of someone you love and feeling that feeling of merging into the wholeness of life, where everything is connected and nothing divided. It is a deeply restful experience.
This restful awareness is where mindfulness lives. Mindfulness helps us to fall in love with our own lives, and in doing so we find that we can lovingly behold whatever comes along, be it animal, mineral or vegetable. We become love.
As the blocks to love are removed, one by one, we merge with the flow of everything else in this interconnected life. We see our unique presence as it is woven into life's rich tapestry, and we become a vital part of how life is meant to be right now.
This sense of belonging, of all being well, is our birth right. We are born into the human family, the mammal family, the animal family, the earth family and the universe family beyond. We are part of this moment right now, and this moment is always full of possibility.
When we are separated from this belonging, life feels cynical, cold, hard, and unyielding. Life becomes a difficult problem we need to solve, and there is no time to relax because we have to always be doing something.
Love says breathe. Simply breathe. Shift your attention and open yourself to the perfection of this moment, with all its noisy thoughts, busy feelings, pains and tensions. Open yourself to that which holds it all; that which binds it all together.
When we open to this moment we begin to feel our own mindfulness, feel our own love permeating every pain and every thought. As we allow the light of awareness to shine upon everything, thoughts settle, emotions harmonise and tensions soon soften and fade.
All relationships are the same. Whether it is the relationship with ourselves, a lover, a friend, a child, pet or family member - find the love and the answer about what to do, what to say, or what not do or say, will come naturally.
Strategies, manipulation and second-guessing are all ways that we make things more difficult than they need to be. Our inner guidance is always singing away, down in our belly, just waiting for us to become still enough to listen to its advice.
So get quiet, slow down and listen for the next best step. Then step into love.