If you’d like to prepare for this session, here is a brief exercise:
The Courage to be Love in Action
-1- Identify an action that you do, or would like to do. Something that you care about, something that reaches deep into what is meaningful for you.
It doesn’t need to be either pleasant or ideal. For example: I am thinking about my recent experiences with family during the holidays. It could be family, your art, hobby, friends, work – anything that has significance for you personally.
-2- Now that you have your action: What are the “conditions” that you have around it? How does it need to be so that you are getting what you want? It isn’t always easy to be conscious of your conditions. So ask yourself, “What do I want from this action?”
In the example above, “home for the holidays”, I would have answered:
– I want to feel welcomed
– I want people to ask about me and about my work
– I want to have reasonably comfortable and interesting conversations that at times might include me and my work…at least once (a year? ever?).
– I want to talk about my interests, what I care about
– I do not want to be in arguments or lectures about politics, the environment, health care, or the economy
– I want dignity, not shame, about my life path
– MOST of all, I want warmth. I want warmth towards and from my family
Soooo, you get the drift. Your turn. List what you want or don’t want and realize…these are “conditons” that you place, meanings that you give, things you think you need or deserve.
NOW what? How do you get from conditions to unconditional love? After all, the conditions ARE there. You want what you want, right? There is nothing wrong with that… there is nothing wrong with wanting this type of connection with my family, right? What is wrong with wanting warmth (for example)?
–3- Love in Action is recognizing your conditions and letting them go. If you need something from another person…like I needed from my family, then let it go. Realize, in a very SPECIFIC way, that they cannot, or have not, or will not, or may never ever, give you what you need, or be who you need, or help you feel how you need.
Honor what you “need” and want. Accept that you need and want it. Own that you wish it and pine for it. Recognize that you feel damaged, wounded, sad, angry, frustrated….what EVER. Then grieve that you don’t have it or can’t have it and then LET IT GO. Shrug. Accept it.
Imagine it is now the end of time and shrug…”well, THAT didn’t happen…oh well.” What you have done is let them off the hook. You are finally letting them be who they are, and who YOU are, and maybe its NOT what you need. They just are, you just are. When you let them off the hook, amazingly, AMAZINGLY, they will release and be able to move toward you. “They” …”it”…”you”…what ever fits for your situation.
Realize that there is usually something like this statement running as a current in your energy:
“I need _________(fill in the blank) to do ___________ so I can feel ____________.”
(My example: I need my family to approve and understand what I do so I can feel proud of myself.)
Love in Action is when you do what matters to YOU just because it matters to you. And because it matters enough to do it – no matter what the world reflects back to you. You do it and in the doing of it you find out what matters to you, and maybe best of all
You find out what stops you.
The courage part? The courage part of love in action is how much truth is required to get there.