Love is fostered in the month of February. It is about love, romance and relationships. In some ways learning the art of love is unlearning the ways of UN-LOVE. It is letting go of toxic family patterns and behaviors that we have been using since childhood to get what we wanted. As children we craved that extra pat on the head or the approval or attention from those around us. We were desperate for validation and even willing to give up our own creativity, personal truth and our identity in hopes of receiving approval. It’s through all those creative efforts of trial and error as children that we are still clinging to as adults.
However, just because we were invested in those behaviors to get external validation or connection doesn’t mean that those same behaviors and communication patterns work as grown-ups. As adults we have to continue to mature emotionally, life is truly our teacher. We eventually learn to communicate better and find ways to express our needs in more truthful and honest ways. We learn through trial and error that anger, or using guilt or manipulation or fear doesn’t work in giving and receiving love.
Letting go and moving old debris, programs and attachment systems wrapped around love and intimacy is a continuous process. Taking responsibility for the way we engage in relationships and love starts us down the path of personal growth and healing. And one of the most important parts of this journey is to let go of what doesn’t belong to you and embrace what is yours. Cutting through the energetic patterns of enmeshment and co-dependency brings clarity and helps us access the undercurrents of real love.
One of my favorite quotes about learning the ART OF LOVE is by Swami Chaitanaya Keerti, “Often I say, LEARN THE ART OF LOVE. What I really mean is: Learn the art of removing all that hinders love. It is a negative process. It is like digging a well. You go on removing layers of earth, stones, rocks and then suddenly there is water. The water was always there as an undercurrent. When you remove all the barriers, the water is available. So is with love. Love is the undercurrent or your being. It is flowing, but there are many rocks, much earth to be removed. That’s what I mean when I say: Learn the Art of Love. It is really not learning love but un-learning the ways of Un-love.”