Love is total immersion in the other, connection to oneness, to god, to universal consciousness - complete unity.... and yet paradoxically within this we still remain separate and can easily get caught in egoic thoughts. The danger lies then in being careless about which thoughts we believe, especially as we run the risk of thinking that we cannot be happy without our lover; that if they leave us we are doomed to a lifetime of yearning, regret, sadness and disconnection.
When we love mindfully, however, we allow ourselves to revel in all the pleasure of the other, to worship them on all levels and yet remain firm in the knowledge that we will be absolutely fine if the relationship ends. Sure there may initially be the odd twinge of pain if we see our lover with a new partner or we are reminded of them in some way. But when we love mindfully, we do not turn these short-lived physical sensations into a big negative drama that perpetuates our suffering.
This may seem absurd but it is totally achievable with a little mindful enquiry.
Sometimes though you feel a little worried. Perhaps they flirt a little with someone else. Or they mention a past lover and in that moment you think 'I am not good enough'. You may not even notice these words go through your head but they are probably there somewhere. Behind jealousy, fear of loss or self doubt is usually the thought that we are not as good as we 'should' be. We are 'not good enough for them' and therefore one day they will leave us.
The more we question and convert our negative thoughts into positive mantras, the more we release ourselves from the burden of fear of losing our lover.
Using self-enquiry techniques it is easy to question these thoughts.
1. What sensations arise when you believe the thought?
What feelings do you get in your body when you believe the thoughts 'I am not good enough', 'I need my partner in order to be happy', 'I couldn't handle losing my partner'. If you feel tense, nauseous or any other sensations associated with stressful, negative thinking then let these sensations serve as your guide. If the sensations feel unpleasant, then in all likelihood the thought behind them is not serving you positively. So it is time to question the thought and change it.
2. Are you sure?
- Are you sure that you are not good enough'?
- Are you sure that you need your partner?
- Are you sure that you couldn't handle it if you lost your partner?
3. Now that you have questioned the thoughts, try turning them into 'Positive Opposites'.
- 'I'm not good enough' becomes 'I am good enough'.
- 'I can't handle losing my partner' becomes 'I can handle losing my partner'.
- 'I need my partner' becomes 'I don't need my partner'.
- 'Losing my partner would be a bad thing' becomes 'losing my partner would be a good thing'.
For each of these new statements see if you can find three ways in which they are true or positive.
- List three ways in which you are good enough, even if they are simple things like 'I am loving'.
- List three reasons why you could handle losing your partner. Perhaps you have lost a lover before and survived?
- List three things that you don't need from your partner. Every relationship has its stresses and strains. Which of these difficult aspects in your relationship would you be happy to lose?
- List three ways in which you would be better off without your partner. What are the advantages of being single for a while? What areas of your own life have you neglected to be in this current relationship.
As we find more and more positives, we begin to drop our fears. And with each fear dropped a door opens that allows us to go deeper into relationship with our current partner. In fact it is usually only possible to sink into the deepest aspects of relationship with another when we drop our fears of being hurt if we lose them. This is why self-enquiry is so important. The joys of being in a deeply loving relationship are exquisite and wonderful but they may only be available in all their fullness if we allow ourselves to trust that we will be fine whatever happens.
We then learn to love, to worship and to journey deeper into soulful connection, secure in the knowledge that if it all ends tomorrow we will be OK.
by Mark Dunn.
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