By Joel Levin, Western Australia
A recent article ‘A New Starting Point’ explored what life might be like if we gave life a new starting point. It explored the change from having pain and suffering as our starting point, to making love as the starting point…
It seems, however, that that story is only the end of the very beginning.
Love is not only the starting point, but it is possible to make it our ending point as well.
I am beginning to realise how often I start with love now, which is an amazing gift I have given myself. However, it’s been interesting to notice how often I feel amazing but then let myself become distracted by something – a thought, an ‘issue that I must deal with’, a perceived issue with something. In essence, I make love my starting point but I don’t make it my ending point.
Basically I say ‘that’s enough love now’ and pull the rip cord. It turns out I have a long list of ‘rip cords’ ready and waiting for me to pull at any moment.
If I explore why I might do that, what comes back is usually things like – “how will other people react”, “I can’t let it get too amazing because I might lose it”, or “I’m not strong enough to hold that love in the world”… or the classic “I’ve just got to sort out this issue then I’ll be able to hold it”.
All of these statements give me an issue to deal with and reason to be distracted – and a justification for starting but not ending with love.
I attended a recent men’s group and realised that for almost 10 years now I have studied The Way of the Livingness to varying degrees. All the usual difficulties of life were there at the start and are still around me today, but they affect me less.
Sometimes it feels like there is more pressure now to NOT start and end with love but the truth is, I AM living with more love than ever before. I AM deepening and improving relationships with people rather than them breaking down, I AM dealing with what life throws at me... in fact there is a long list of things I USED to use as a reason to not end with love, that I no longer do.
So I am and have made choices up until now that can change the tide and rhythm of my life: all those pressures on the outside don’t change, and based on my progress (slow at times, but progress all the same) it turns out they aren’t stronger than my making these choices.
The key difference as I see it, is to change the slogan “don’t sweat the small stuff” to something like “don’t sweat the big stuff!”. The big stuff being; how my parents were, workplace stress, deadlines, my role in the world etc. It’s this big stuff that gives me plenty of reasons to affirm why I am not enough right now and why I shouldn’t end with love.
The small stuff is making choices about; obsessing over thoughts or staying present with what it happening, the way I move my body, whether I let emotions or feelings run me, the food I eat, how I breathe… all that small stuff is the stuff that over the years has resulted in a significant shift in not just how I live, but the level of vitality, joy, harmony and yes, love that I feel.
I made love my starting point through these choices and it seems that love as an end point has no ending, just a deepening because in truth it never ends…!