reflections

Brief essay on my depth work on love and surrender.

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I originally wrote this several years ago, yet I am feeling this deep dive is relevant again for myself as a reminder. I reminder of who I am and the work I am trying to accomplish, both personally and in my career. Just sharing it again so I can hold these lessons close, once again and do some healing. It is a long read, but worth it.

To surrender is, in many ways, an ultimate act of Love and presence, to let go of the preconceived notions that one must “rise above and beyond” another individual or situation. To surrender into the moment is a beautiful act of mindfulness, letting go of expectation and moving with the flow of the current in Life. I have found that such a truth in our world is often directly related to the energies that make up love and our ability to hold such energy within our lives. My own personal story of love, the acts of letting go, and the current state of my being in these explorations are to be examined as I sift through this process of mindfully loving, unconditionally, with my journey starting from within.

The ideas of being “In Love” or “Out of Love” is primarily a Western creation it seems, as noted by Robert Johnson who describes the essence of Love from his perspective as somewhat of a being, something that acts through us. It is this exploration of how the ego holds onto this idea of love, or loving, and forces us to act from what we think of as within our body. This action seems to take place as projections outside of oneself, placing the idea of our love onto another being. Johnson goes on to speak on this idea:

"when I say that “I love”, it is not I who love, but, in reality, Love who acts through me. Love not so much something I do as something that I am. Love is not a doing but a state of being – a relatedness, a connectedness to another mortal, an identification with her or him that simply flows within me and through me, independent of my intentions or my efforts.

Holding onto this idea as love being a “state of being” is a critical component in my personal research. It is this idea that I am exploring as I look at the ideas of surrender as a state of being. I feel that to fully understand and appreciate the depths of love in one’s Self, one must begin to realize the fundamental things that are preventing them from loving in the first place. It is this surrendering into that realization and acceptance of one’s personal growth in this life that will guide us into fully understanding these depths that lay within us, and in our need to connect with other human beings. In short, I reflect on Bateson’s ideas, much like Johnson’s, in that Love is a state of being, we Love not merely as an action, but as a reflection of our life as a whole.

The mindfulness approach that one creates in their gentle awareness of their everyday lives holds many answers to the struggles that one faces, the suffering that exists in our reality as we cling to old ways of living and understanding, which may not quite serve our needs in our modern day. Perhaps we can look at various cultures around the world and how they approach the act of loving another, discarding the labels of being “In Love” and fully accepting the presence of just “being Love”. Wade Davis explores the richness that is present within the cultures around the world through their personal connection with each other as well as the Earth. Perhaps it is within this cultural study that we can slowly start to realize that the many faces of Love can grow beyond just our Western idealization of its existence. Are the musings of infatuation or romance energies that obfuscate the realities of what Love actually brings? As a Westerner, are my perceptions of holding such images of what I think Love is something that is clumsy, misguided, or perhaps incomplete? I do acknowledge that the love that I have felt is strong, that over my years I have witnessed the true gifts of falling “in and out” of this love, not fully aware that these boundaries are quite self imposed. It is the subtle, or great, shifting of the ego that love helps transform, as the awakening of the ego so that it realizes there exists something outside of itself.

It is noted that within these boundaries of Love, we must return to the distinction of romantic love and human love, and how it is defined through looking back at the ego. Johnson mentions that romance, by its nature, must “deteriorate into the egotism”. In other words, this notion of romantic love is not directed at another human being, but at our own projections and fantasies, or more specific, directed at ourselves. Though in many ideas of Love, there is the focus of finding self Love as our true Love, I feel that this idea of romantic love is not what is being related to here. The notion that one can have romantic love for one’s Self is basically pushing the limits of narcissism, no longer acknowledging the need for the “other” inside the spectrum of loving.

To awaken and accept the Self with love, purely and without “need” or attachment, we can soon see how this learning of self-love can encompass the greater whole of “others” outside of oneself through a balancing act of awareness, presence, and compassion. It is also this awakening that leads to surrendering into these moments, surrendering the need to “make things work” within our relating with one another, and just be Love within the context of such relating. I am processing my own understanding of this within my life, as I move through a major shifting. It was my attachment to my own fantasies and projections of what “I” wanted, not what “we” needed.

Through this I learned that yes, suffering is optional, that my own perceptions of reality may not necessarily equate to what is actually happening, and even through the obscured lens of loss, I am finding a greater sense of compassion and acceptance for my own being, and ultimately, learning how to surrender and Love at greater depths. Such powerful lessons, while painful and difficult to move through, often hold critical amounts of information about our own needs in life, our own abilities to process the difficult moments and find an evolutionary step towards a healthier future. It is again this exploration of non-attachment and surrender, the letting go of the ego inside the complexity of heartbreak and finding true compassion for one’s self and for everyone.

I acknowledge the fact that what I am learning in this process of my journey through Love and my surrender to being present and allow Love to work through me is not perfect, and the ineffable force that we label as Love has just as many faces and ways of relating as there are people on this planet. I accept these realities that I am exploring as well as my own personal shortcomings, or what I see as learning potentials, as steps toward my own awakening, as well as a step in my own understanding of these energies so as to better help my clients as a therapist. If my understanding of Love and the world that it lives in is clouded, I perhaps am doing a disservice to those I directly serve.

The Awakened Man - words by Jeff Brown

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The awakening man is conscious, heartfully defined. Through his eyes, being conscious is not a cerebral construct, nor an intellectual exercise bereft of feeling. It is a felt experience, an ever-expanding awareness that moves from the heart outward. It is feeling God, not thinking God. The new man is always in process, awakening through a deepening interface with the world of feeling. He continues to strive for a more heartfelt and inclusive awareness.

 

The awakening man has shifted his focus from a localized and ethnocentric perspective to a world-centric framework of perception. His community is humanity. Rooted in the relational, his sense of responsibility extends well beyond his localized self and community. Where possible, his choice-making is fuelled by an expansive vision of possibility for all of humankind. Not every man for himself, but every man for humanity.

 

The awakening man has reverence for the divine feminine, in all her forms. He celebrates the wonder that is woman. He is respectful, honouring and gracious. He is saddened by the horrors perpetuated against women by the malevolent masculine. He holds his brothers accountable. He makes amends for his own misdeeds. He co-creates a world where all women will feel safe to move about freely, to find their voice, to actualize their inherent magnificence. He welcomes a world where women and men stand as equal partners. Humankind.

The awakening man is not externally derived. He is authentically sourced. He does not compare himself to others. He does not adapt his personality to the dictates of the crowd. He stands in his own centre, respectful of others but not defined by them. He works diligently to liberate his consciousness from the egoic ties that bind. He has become his own benchmark, valuing authenticity over image. He is the sculptor of his own reality.

 

The awakening man courageously works on his emotional processes. He clears his emotional debris and sheds his armour. He faces his issues and unconscious patterns heart on. He calls himself on his self-avoidant tendencies and honours the wisdom at the heart of his pain. He communicates his feelings in a way that is respectful to others. He learns and speaks the language of the heart.

 

The awakening man leads a purpose-full existence. He has heard the call to a deeper life. Not satisfied with survival alone, his ambitions are rooted in higher considerations- the excavation and actualization of his sacred purpose. He is energized by his purpose, not by the machinations of the unhealthy ego. He is coated in an authenticity of purpose that sees through the veils to what really matters. His purpose is his path.

 

The awakening man is accountable for his actions and their effects. He does not deflect responsibility. He does not sidestep or blame. He is self-admitting and emotionally honest. He admits his errors, and makes amends. He works diligently in the deep within, crafting a more clarified awareness with every lesson.

 

The awakening man moves from the inside out. More interested in inner expansion than outer achievement, he cultivates and honours his intuition. He explores and develops his inner geography. He adventures deep within, integrating the treasures he excavates into his way of being. He seeks congruity between his inner life and his outer manifestation.

 

The awakening man seeks wholeness. He is not satisfied with a fragmented way of being. He has no attachment to archaic, linear notions of masculinity. He seeks a sacred balance between the healthy masculine and the healthy feminine. He seeks an inclusive way of being, one that reflects all of his archetypal aspects. He is role flexible, comfortable moving through life in many different ways.

 

The awakening man embodies the highest standard of integrity in his words and deeds. He makes a sustained effort to work through anything that is not integrity within him. His framework of integrity is never convenient or self-serving. He honours his word, even at his own expense. He moves from a value system that is unwaveringly incorruptible. He recognizes that success without integrity is karmically unsound and meaningless.

 

The awakening man prioritizes conscious relationship. He values authentic co-creation. He honours relationship as spiritual practice. He seeks physical intimacy that is deeply vulnerable and heartfully connective. He is attuned, engaged and healthily boundaried. When relational challenges arise, he courageously works through any obstructions to intimacy. He stands in the heartfire.

 

The awakening man is a warrior of the heart. He has taken his clarifying sword inward, cutting away everything that is not compassionate. After too many lifetimes with weapon in hand, a benevolent warrior is being birthed at the core of his being. He honours the warrior capacity for assertiveness, but he is not arbitrarily aggressive. He moves from love and compassion.

 

The awakening man endeavours to live in a state of perpetual gratitude. He is grateful for the gift of life. He is grateful for those ancestors who built the foundation that his expansion relies upon. He is grateful for those who encouraged him before he could encourage himself. He is grateful for those who stand beside him in this lifetime. He knows that he does not stand alone.

 

The awakening man is comfortable in his vulnerability. He participates in his own revealing. He is not afraid to surrender- to reality, to love, to truth. This is not a weakened form of surrender, but one that is emblazoned with courage. It takes more courage to surrender than to numb. He openly explores his capacities for receptivity and tenderness. He does not identify these capacities as distinctly feminine, but as whole human. He is strong enough at the core to live in a vast array of emotions.

 

The awakening man moves through the marketplace responsibly, with a vigilant eye to the ways of the unhealthy ego. He is not opportunistic in a vacuum. He does not compete for competition’s sake. He does not accumulate for the sake of accumulation. In charting his course, he is mindful of his impact on humanity. He is empowered but he does not exploit power. He derives his power from his connection to source, not from power over others. Where possible, he shares the abundance, gifting back to humanity. He works hard to bridge the world as it is with a world of divine possibility.

 

The awakening man has reverence for Mother Earth. He has reverence for animals. He never imagines himself superior or distinct from the natural world. He understands the interconnected and interdependent nature of reality. He knows that if he does damage to the environment, he does damage to himself. He walks carefully, with awareness, consciousness and appreciation.

 

The awakening man has no claims on God. His spirituality is tolerant, inclusive, respectful. He honours all paths to God, so long they are respectful of others. He accepts those who believe, and those who don’t. He condemns any path that uses religious differences as a justification for destruction.

 

The awakening man brings forward many of the qualities of the healthy masculine of old. He is noble. He is responsible. He is productive. He is kind-hearted. He is protective. He is unswervingly honourable. He is down to earth. He is sturdy. He is flexible. He is realistic. He is hopeful. He is sensitive, not fragile. He is healthily egoic, not self-centred. He is both practical and heightened at the same time. He ascends with both feet on the ground. He is really here.

 

 

-words by Jeff Brown