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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Small Love: Should Love Know Limits?

"We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small." 
 --Tara Brach

Loving, dancing, singing -- they seem so natural and conducive to happiness, yet I find reason to hinder these actions. I know that I possess limits, and overcoming these limits is very difficult, if not impossible. I am guilty of denying significant love in my life. Are you?

I long to live a "large life" filled with love. But, I often cave to limitations. I struggle with the right measures of heart, mind, and soul. In my next life, I will dance and sing and love without limitations.
Do you want to consider something simple yet profound? In the book Power of Limits, Gyorgy Dozci illustrates how all matter and form has limits, edges, and boundaries. In order to define different aspects of creation, there must be limits. Limits of height, weight, speed and definition of colors, of shapes, of contrast, of all perceptions depend on the power of limits.

People live within limits imposed by the creation of human form, the natural environment, and societal interaction. When they experience beauty, pleasure, and love, they operate within the limits of their existence. After all, flesh and blood can only survive within certain borders.

These limitations are complicated by personal variables of experience, knowledge, and societal interactions. For example, I choose to love others based on my unique framework of that emotion yet I do so within the limits imposed by the actuality of any experience. Reality inevitably affects any strong romantic or fantastic perception of my loving another.

And, in time, the chimera of pleasure and love gives way to human perception, which is grounded in many boundaries and limitations. Comparing the mental and physical intensity of love requires interpretations based on limited peripheries of comprehension. Although the spiritual and chemical intoxication of the emotion may make lovers feel as if they defy gravity, the constraint applies. Their beautiful "dance" is actually defined by definite limits.

Yet, ironically, forces like friction, gravity, traction, and resistance that impose limitations are often necessary for the contrast needed for creativity -- thinking and responding beyond known limits. And, in the realm of human relationships, this is also true.

PBS director and spiritual love coach Bella Shing says:

"To value a relationship where communication, purpose, commitment, empowerment, honoring, tenderness, respect, devotion, remembering, marveling, excitement, mystery, romance, surprise can occur, the opposite needs to exist as well. It's impossible to recognize something you truly want without having understood what you don't want. And that is why I find there can be resistance when it comes to people having beautiful relationships."

(Bella Shing,"Why Do We Resist Love?", 2013)

The fact is that limitations create resistance that stifle love, but these limitations also exist in loving relationships where love thrives. How can a human being continue to build loving relationships with new people? It seems he or she must continually adapt and accept change within the boundaries of a natural life.

Humans resist changes that require risk. It is natural to avoid danger. So, to venture a new love, they first must feel there will be a positive outcome of the change. And, if it takes too much effort, requires too much time and is too high a risk, they resist it.

People's number one fear is rejection, and most have customarily experienced the pain and humility of being forsaken in love. They know the substance of ill-talking, plotting, manipulating, gossiping, and backstabbing. A little rejection can cause of lifetime of indecision concerning love.

Shing says, "That 'jerk' of a boyfriend, or girlfriend, that betrayal, that ugly remark, that lack of attention, that unkindness has given rise to desiring and appreciating its opposite." Living and singing the blues strengthens the appreciation of love while heightening its intensity and worth. Although experienced, rejected lovers often hold back love out of fear, when they choose to risk, they love with renewed passion and soulful tenderness unsurpassed by the novice.

To recap, I believe it takes courage, blue experience, and a little resistance to overcome the bounds that restrain love in this distrustful world. Because I am both flawed in my human existence frightened due to ego, I often fail to venture sharing my love. Many, many times I have "danced" and "sang" within without letting others know my joy. Maybe the risks of reaching out are just too real to expand my "small life." Know this, but also know that I do love you. I long to "push the envelope."
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