by Joel Levin
I participated in the Livingness One Workshop run by Universal Medicine last weekend. The workshop explored at its simplest level, how we can live from our essence.
In small groups we explored the presented possibility that life has two possible directions along a single continuum…
One direction is our glory, our divinity, our amazing light. That direction remains ever-an-option for all to take. That direction is love, it is joy; it is our true expression.
And so the other direction can only start with the pain of separating from that love – it can only start with a hurt. This means that each step is looking to either cover up that hurt, or alleviate it. For some, this comes in the form of different lifestyle choices that are used as distractions – some use life’s dramas to pile one hurt on top of another; some use food and different drinks to cover all this up… In reality, there are many, many ways we can deny the original choice we made away from love.
The most compelling question presented was WHY? Why would anyone make the choice to go in any direction other than the one that leads to true joy…? And here is the wisdom that struck me…
Love, is love, is love… Love is never withheld, it never asks to be let in, it never offers incentives or expects to be chosen and it certainly doesn’t punish those that don’t choose it (although living outside of love can feel like a punishment, but that is of our own choosing).
The crazy part is that in the choice to NOT be love, we get something in return: it might be pain, hurt and suffering, but it is OUR pain, hurt and suffering (i.e. it’s something we earned and something we can identify with). For example, if I choose to jump off a building and break my leg, my choice brings with it time off, attention and sympathy, that is directed towards me.
Love, on the other hand is free: it doesn’t ask or require you to follow anyone or become anything other than yourself. Love won’t congratulate you for choosing it – it will be there as equally for you now as it also was in those moments that you didn’t choose it. It doesn’t care about race, skin colour, wealth, intelligence or life experience. This means Love can’t be bought, it can’t be earned, only returned to by allowing and accepting ourselves and others as equals, i.e. no identification. With love, we have to surrender the investments we made in our hurts.
This means in a world that can be back to front, the hurt gives us something to own – something that is ours. But love offers no special treatment for individuals. Love does offer joy, vitality, freedom and simplicity, but it is offered to all equally without any sense of reward or parade.
It’s a bit like spending your life savings by investing everything you have in a house and realising that it is falling down around you… and then seeing a house down the road that’s got everything you have ever wanted (and more). However, in order to move in, you have to completely leave behind the old house, all the furniture and little knick knacks you used to make the house ‘yours’… and all you can take is you.
How many of us have chosen to live in the house that’s falling down because of how much we have spent on it? HOW CRAZY IS THAT!?