Signs of Spring continue to come to life around us, the budding leaves, the burgeoning flowers, the green grass, fresh crisp air and rising temperatures. As the seasons change, especially during this transition from winter sleep to spring renewal, it’s natural for us to reflect on new beginnings and hold a space of gratitude for everything that is going well for us.
This week is a holy week for many around the world, and as a special tribute to open hearts and minds, we’d like to spotlight a message of love that has had a profound impact on us in recent months. Real Love, as defined by Greg Baer in his book Real Love, means to unconditionally care about the happiness of another person without any expectations for receiving anything in return. Real Love is what gives us lasting happiness. It was what we all yearn for. It is what connects us in a deep and profound way. With Real Love, nothing else matters. Without it, nothing is enough. Yet very few of us have it.
Why is that?
It’s because most of us have no concept what Real Love is, since most of us grew up in families where Conditional Love was the predominant mode of exchange. If you can remember your parents getting upset, frustrated, disappointed, or avoiding you when you misbehaved or did something ‘naughty’ or inconvenient – the chances are very good that your home was a home of conditional love. Yet we can give our parents grace, because they can only pass something on to us that they have to give. And chances are, we treat our children and others with conditional love because we simply don’t know another way. It explains our behavior, and our understanding. But it doesn’t justify it – and it certainly doesn’t bring us real and lasting happiness.
When we aren’t really happy, but we yearn to feel loved, we tend to engage in behaviors that will reduce the pain, fear and emptiness we feel. Greg Baer refers to these behaviors as “Getting and Protecting Behaviors.” Either we are doing something to protect ourselves, because we are scared (such as lying, running/avoiding, acting like a victim or getting angry) or to get something we want because we feel empty (such as lying, clinging, or getting angry). In this context, it is very easy to understand that the motive behind ALL poor behavior is fear, pain or emptiness.
Suppose that you have only two dollars, and you’ve decided to buy something to eat with it. You put it on the table, but before you can do anything else with it, someone steals it. You are probably feeling angry and helpless! It’s easy to blame our feelings on the person who stole the money – because that was the catalyst. If we still had the two dollars, we would be doing pretty okay….. but now suppose that the same scenario happens, only this time you have $20 million in the next room. When someone takes the $2, it probably won’t matter at all. In fact, you may run after the person to see if they need more!
This second scenario proves a point: the person who takes the money, in fact, does not cause a feeling. Our feeling is caused because of our own situation behind the scenes. It is this way in relationships too. People don’t “make” us mad. We become angry in response to a lifetime of not feeling filled with love. Metaphorically speaking, most of us only have $2 in our emotional bank accounts. That makes it very difficult not to feel hurt, empty or afraid when something negative happens.
The Real Love paradigm is so radically different than anything most of us have seen before – and it is SIMPLE. It’s not a technique. It’s a way of being, a way of thinking – and when we “be” and “think” within the paradigm of Real Love, it is impossible to be mad.
Greg Baer tells a story in his book to illustrate his point: Suppose you are sitting next to a pool, fully clothed and enjoying a beautiful day. From the pool, someone keeps splashing you. You can’t see exactly who it is because a chair is blocking your view, but you are getting wetter and wetter, and more and more irritated. Finally you get up to see what is going on, and you find that the man who is splashing you is drowning! Instantly, your anger vanishes and you rush to help him.
When we understand that when people around us are engaging in Getting and Protecting Behaviors because they are hurt, empty or afraid, we can also understand that these behaviors are communicating to us that they are drowning. A drowning person will splash…and the closer we are to the person who is ‘drowning,’ the wetter we may become. Can we get angry at a drowning person? No! This paradigm shift gifts us with a profound understanding and compassion that helps us respond to every situation with empathy rather than judgment or irritation. Consider the fact that we are no longer controlling our anger. We are eliminating it altogether.
Now, there are a few simple steps that can help us choose to access Real Love, and as we become loving ourselves, we can more consistently show love to those around us. And just because we understand what Real Love is, we need to remember to give ourselves grace as we practice something brand new for us.
We thoroughly recommend that you look up the Real Love approach by accessing powerful information on YouTube (free), on www.reallove.com, on Audible and/or Amazon.
And remember that whenever you are working to make a big personal change, such as growing into Real Love, yoga and essential oils can help you anchor in to the results you want to experience. Choose an oil that can profoundly help you anchor into unconditional love, and let that be your reminder and safe space, especially as you come to learn the steps to be a loving person.
Yoga poses, like heart openers (Warrior I, Cow Face pose, Fish, Bow, Long Bridge, or any backbend) and breathing exercises (Viloma I, Nadi shodhana) can help you anchor into your desired results with body language, as well as any number of ayurvedic approaches to holistic well being (eating and having a daily practice that aligns with your constitution to include a daily meditation practice). Furthermore, yoga philosophy tells us that all negative emotions stem from fear and all positive emotions come from love. Focus on various aspects of love in your meditation practice and you will emerge feeling filled and renewed time and time again.
During this special week, remember that you have a Divine Nature, that you are unconditionally loved by the God of your understanding because of who you are rather than what you do. We invite you to have faith that hearts can be healed, relationships can be mended, Getting and Protecting behaviors naturally ebb away when we no longer have to seek a source of substitute (and conditional) love in place of the Real Love we all yearn to feel. Once you become loving, you become Wise, and you can share your love and Wisdom with others to pass this beautiful gift of love forward.
Let us all be Wise together - Om Shanti!
Share on your spiritual growth in this spring season of renewal, embracing new life and new ways. We’d love to hear your wise words!