How Crazy is That?

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!?

579 thoughts on “How Crazy is That?

  1. Aghhhhhh the last line totally exposes how most of us choose to live. Gosh – countless times, have I held on to something purely because my hard earned dollars were spent on it – but for what reason, if it’s not serving me? I’m getting far better at letting go of things that really are of no use or support. Food is a very good example of this, as I was brought up to not waste anything. But, these days, if I’ve bought something, and I realise that my body really does not agree with it, I’m finding it easier to throw it out – rather than leave it there tempting me even though I know what the consequences are of eating it.

  2. Loved your blog Joel, I always find it interesting to visit other people’s homes, and the most loving homes are simply furnished without clutter and well maintained, there is a stillness and a space, because they no longer carry the hurts that keep us contracted and needing the latest TVs, gadgets, or leisure products that only go on to feed the emptiness we hold within.

  3. Joel, it does sound pretty crazy. Even when I know how much it hurts to not be love, I find myself sometimes still falling for this craziness. I realised understanding what it means to live in our essence is one thing but actually living it consistently is another thing. Understanding what love is in my head means I can easily fall back into my loveless behaviours much easier than if I was to truly embrace and live love every day. It is not our knowledge of it that gets us out of this craziness but our choice to live love consistently that frees us from this imprisonment of a loveless way of life.

  4. I think this is what I love most about love – “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”. So simple. so steady.

  5. I have often been amused and baffled by the response when someone is considering getting rid of something they are not enjoying eating, wearing or using: “Ah but I paid loads of money for it”. Reading this article I can see those scenarios are just a small snapshot of a much bigger pattern. It is indeed crazy how we can walk away from love and then cleverly rationalise it.

    1. Thank you Golnaz for bringing in very practical, everyday examples. If we don’t enjoy eating, wearing or using something how much have we invested in it? and as Joel shares, with love we can work on dissolving that attachment.

  6. Wow, what a great analogy Joel, the investment in the lives we have created is HUGE and can be seen for me in how much I am still attached to things that represent times past etc. It is crazy.

  7. When it is time for us to move on from anything it is always sensible to bring along what fits in with where we are moving to next and leave behind what no longer fits. Simple.

  8. The crazy thing is that everyone can choose love and everyone is being asked to return to love. Joel you have in one simple blog given the answer to humanity on how we can all be living love. Look at our hurts, be honest about how we hide or cover up our hurts and then support ourselves to heal our hurts. Choosing love will become a very natural and normal choice as our hurts dissolve away.

  9. I feel like I’ve read this blog in a greater depth today. Love does not need a reason to celebrate, does not need an achievement to be met for it already is everything. And this line “With love, we have to surrender the investments we made in our hurts.” I feel the ‘With love’ is the critical point, for without connecting to the all we already are we will remain attached to our hurts for without them we believe that there is nothing else when actually love is always there.

  10. So needed to read this today as I have just moved into a house where all of my old patterns no longer fit and I am being asked to let go to be able to fully embrace and enjoy it. I can feel the anxiousness and stubborness come up of holding onto old patterns of protection because it feels quite raw and vulnerable without these but I know that the only way is to fully let go of this and embrace all that is before me.

  11. Hurt for some offers an identification that makes them ‘special’ or different even though is means holding onto pain that is not who they truly are. To let go of this means they do not have the rewards they imagine it brings. Yet to choose love means the truth of living with every other person as one in shared love, equality and joy.

  12. Ah – I love the way you have illustrated this Joel. It’s like we are severely addicted to ‘polishing the turd’ of the lie we have accepted life to be. So many variations, intricacies and subtleties – but all just the same quality ironically. When we are faced with this reality we can be overwhelmed, thinking we need to work really hard to change what we see – but we don’t – all we are to do is return to choosing Love and Truth. It doesn’t get simpler than that does it?

  13. Yes often we can hold onto what doesn’t support us because we have become identified by that instead of seeing how it doesn’t support us and being prepared to fully let it go.

    1. Even when we know it has never worked for us and has caused us such misery we still hold on to it. When we start to see that what we thought we were has never been the truth then we can start to expose the lies.

  14. We invested so much in our creations and indeed identified with them. Now it is time to detach from this identification as we all, deep down, know that we are love and meant to be to live that love. For that, we do not need to hold on to the past that we do not deserve to feel love or be loved. We do, we always do; we are sons of God.

  15. I can relate what you share with a car, how many put up with a car even though it is failing and causes problems, just because we have spent so much money. I know I have been in this space, not realising that sometimes it’s just best to let go and start afresh.

  16. When I was young I knew hurts did not belong to us, but they feel so real and so often we feel controlled by them, they happen as if there is an automatic response. But no matter what, I still felt hurts did not belong to me, and there is a persistence in wanting to find out how it is possible to not be controlled by hurts, nothing stopped me. I tried many ways and methods, and many of them brought me closer to or farther away from these hurts, but never did they truly address how I can be not controlled by them, until I discovered Universal Medicine and began to live in a different way. Ah…if our focus is always on the hurts, hurts will always be the focus, as that is our choice. Wanting to get rid of hurts or fearing them or fighting them, we are still focusing on them! But when we know hurts should not even exist in our lives, hurts should not be what we throw around in hurting each other, we only have to live what is true. Live Love. Live Joy. Live Understanding. Live all that is true rather than not. As you say Joel, walk into that new house–it is ours, it has always been ours, waiting for us to live (in) it.

  17. “The hurt gives us something to own ­– something that is ours.” Perhaps more than any personal possessions, qualities or defects, friends or occupation this is what defines me most. My collection of hurts: big, little, ancient, new, insignificant, imagined hurts…. I can easily declutter, give away, sweep my house clean of unneeded possessions but oh, how hard it is to let go of hurts!

  18. Seeking love is truly folly if you understand the truth that love is your actual essence. And thus, there you are, wandering around looking everywhere around you when what you “seek” is actually within and does not require a search so much as it requires a simple process of surrender.

    1. “Aw, now c’mon – where is the fun in that… (said the spirit) “…to not endlessly be in search of something we already are but have withdrawn from expressing? This would mean we would have to give up the game that we have spent lifetimes upon lifetimes investing in and thus all we have become so identified by in order to grasp onto some form of ‘self’ because the truth is, when we return to love, there is no such delineation on offer.”

      See? We know exactly why we do what we do, now matter how absurd it may sound.

  19. There is so much we hold onto of material wealth and possession when we have not got hold of our own love. Knowing we ARE that love and that there is nothing to go finding (or buying) is where we usually miss the mark.

  20. Besides words and great presentations what I love about the Livingness 1 workshops is the way they encourage you to feel your body. And at the end of sitting with others, sharing deeply, you simply can’t avoid the warmth and pull to Love you feel inside. Life is not more complicated than this, it’s this constant warmth inside we miss. So as you say Joel it’s simply crazy knowing this, to continue on accepting a life lived solely from our head.

  21. Our investments in external rewards are endeavours to alleviate our hurts and even though the ‘return’ is short-lived we keep investing more in the hope that eventually we will hit the jackpot but like the addicted gambler the jackpot never manifests. The irony is that we ourselves are the jackpot and there is no winning requires, that all need to do is invest love in ourselves.

  22. Wow this is such a brilliant capture of the Livingness 1 presentation. I really love how you have deepened my understanding of the ‘why’ we separate from love and why we remain invested in OUR hurts.

  23. I can really feel how sticky this sense of ownership is. My this, my that, and my other… as if we are trying to get to know ourselves by things that we identify as ours, and how stagnating that actually feels. It feels as though we are trying to stop the flow of what is passing through us by solidifying it and getting identified with it.

  24. I read this in April and commented with this line, and today in June, it is the same line that completely made me smile and do a inner dance – “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.” I adore this about Love.

  25. I have been the one clinging to the nicknacks, living in squaller all because I wanted to get my moneys worth or thought that somehow my house might be able to be renovated. What I have learned is that love is not something that is improved upon, it is already whole, it already has a solid foundation, it is simply choices away from being who you are.

  26. This line really spoke to me this morning – Love won’t congratulate you for choosing it”. This is beautiful because we have created the polar opposite to this in the world and that is that we want to be recognised for every single thing that we do but love does not play that game. Love just is.

  27. Seeing our hurts as not who we are, as not the love that we are, and putting them firmly in the past where they belong is the only way to be present with the love that we already are.

  28. Amazing how we hang onto our hurts as a form of identification something we own, sounds crazy, when love is who we are. i had a situation the other day where I found myself wanting to hold onto a hurt that I felt from someone, it actually hurt more hanging onto it rather than letting it go.

  29. Without our connection to love we are at a loss as to who we are, what our purpose in life is and how we can live with true fulfillment. The fact is love is absolute, ever-present within us, and our greatest investment in life is to be open to surrendering to being guided by love. For it is our resistance to love that has us living less than the Divinity that we all equally are in essence.

  30. Love doesn’t judge us on how long we’ve held onto hurts, nor on how much we’ve invested in them. Sometimes I can feel so attached to an issue but the more I feel the hold of this hurt in the body, it makes it easier to let go of my jaw, my muscles etc. This allows me space to understand the emotions being held onto, and the love underneath forever waiting. Once I return to love I see the investment for what it was. An unwise choice I need not continue or learn to let go of more.

  31. ‘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.’ Love needs no grand entrance it is a truth that is always present.

  32. In order to return to love, we need to renounce all that does not sing in accordance with this. This means letting go of all the thoughts, behaviours, beliefs, patterns, momentums, images and ideals that do not hold an ounce of truth but that we cling tight to and have used as a security blanket to keep us comfortable in the dampness of our separation from the true warmth of our inner most self – the fiery spark of our Soul. The more we renounce what does not belong, the less identification we have to hold onto and this is a very terrifying move for the etheric spirit within us that has carved countless lives for itself in pursuit of recognition – to not be ‘at One with all’ at all, but more so to be ‘the one that knows it all’. It is this aspect of us that requires absolute focus because it is like trying to take a bone from a dog. It cannot be done until such a time that the dog has no need of the bone.

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