by Dianne T, Ocean Shores, NSW
From early childhood I was obsessed with love – I wanted to really know what it was, and so with my usual intensity I read, watched, listened, experimented, and applied myself to my very best ability in my own relationships.
Everywhere I looked, I could see a problem: what people called “love” did not hold up to what I felt love must be like. The only place I could feel a hint of it was in the harmony I felt in nature. Among humans, not even that was present. These were some of the things I saw:
“He loves her” – but he beats her every night when he comes home drunk, and sucks up later with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates.
“She loves him” – but she sneaked pregnancy on him and made him marry her, then gossips to her friends about how horrible he is.
“Everyone thought they were the ideal couple for 25 years and we were so shocked when they broke up and they can’t stand each other”, etc etc. Now I’m in my late 50s and have had my share of relationships. My ex-partners and I lived and related in what we thought was a loving way, and yet we could not comprehend the extent of conflict, pain, misunderstanding and not-feeling-right that came with it. It was often subtle, so that if one were to compare us with other couples who were in blatantly abusive, destructive relationships, they’d say we were in a happy one, and be envious. However, in observing my own and others, in all my amazing life so far, I’ve seen very few marriages that were truly loving; rather, they’re based on emotional need, convenience, voluntary mutual denial of problems – or at best a kind of practical, co-operative friendship or ‘co-miseration’. From the woman’s perspective, I see my sisters all over the world marry in a whirlwind of bliss and romance, then gradually become contracted and unhappy, over-driven, numbed-out – most complaining of ‘feeling sucked dry and unsupported’ by their husbands, families and work.
This year I have the joy of learning a whole new way of relating lovingly with myself, and, if I am ever in a relationship again, it will be very different. I also have the joy of knowing and speaking with a few couples who are learning this new way of relating lovingly with themselves and their partners, and can’t wait for the day when it’s the rule, not the exception. There are people who also see this and become immensely jealous. They are afraid, perhaps because they see the truth and realise it exposes their own deficiencies in loving themselves and others. They don’t feel they can have it too (even though of course they can), so they attack it.
Though many women are re-learning to self nurture and the awesome enriching that brings to themselves and their family, friends. A few started to realise that they are not living the loving life they want, when their husbands chose not to listen or won’t change, they are left with the choice to either go on suffering, or leave. Recently, a few men who have lost their wives in that way have begun a smear campaign against the people who showed those women, by example, how to love themselves. The detractors thus attempt to discredit the women by discounting their innate ability to choose, to grow, and to develop all throughout their lives. My feeling is that these men are perhaps afraid to look within themselves, because that may mean they have to take responsibility for what made their wives leave them.
What is scary is that a few women have joined the male critics. Again, I feel that they are afraid to look at their treatment of themselves (no criticism sisters, I’ve been there too) and their lifelong acceptance of what they know to be less than love; from outright abuse to even the most subtle but nonetheless powerful pressures to compromise themselves to suit another.
If only these frightened people (men and women) could see that if we all become fully loving and fully who we are, there will be so much love to go around that no-one would need to feel bad. That healing would be available to all of us, and end the suffering and the living of the lie. So please let us get on with developing our self-love!
I personally have chosen to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier, changed my diet, stopped consuming drugs for recreational purposes, increased my lifelong commitment to making changes that support my body to heal itself, stopped watching the kinds of films and listening to the kinds of music that over-drive my nervous system and emotions and disturb my sleep, stopped rushing and stressing myself and taken a more detached, ‘bigger picture’ view of life and its difficulties. I explore the way I eat, exercise, walk, work, relate to the opposite sex, treat other people and generally treat my own body – and then make changes to be much more loving, gentle and present. My body loves it ….. all of it! I would recommend these natural, healthy changes to anyone; they can only benefit individuals and couples, even though some people may unaccountably consider them weird!
Good on Serge and his team at Universal Medicine for sticking to their path in spite of being attacked. They walk what they talk, and we all have much of value that can be learned from them.