I still remember a conversation with my friend years ago, when I was a little girl.
I didn’t like the pop music of that period of time in Taiwan. I started to study the piano and the violin around age 4 or 5, and I always asked my parents to put on classical music at home and in the car.
I simply found that classical music was more graceful, beautiful, and elegant to listen to.
One day I was chatting with my good girl friend- Chia Chun (I think we were about 10 back then), I said, ‘Why is pop music always the same? It’s always about men and women; whether they love each other, or one leaves another, or one is in love but is not loved by the other… isn’t that boring? Like there is nothing else in the world but love!’
My clever friend answered, ‘but, don’t you realize that it’s the same in classical music? The operas and songs were also inspired by love, and that’s what they talk about.’
Her answer somehow awakened me; I had to admit that she was right.
Every piece of art, music, dance… were all created because of love, although there can be different types of relationships involved in the work, but the essence is always about this four letter magical word.
I didn’t pay much attention, nor did I think about the meanings of love, until the moment I suffered because of love; in other words: from the moment I suffered from something I thought was love, something similar to love, or something one has to go through in order to understand what love is.
Talking about love or trying to define love, is like talking about “Tao”; there are different aspects of love, but there is only one true love.
How do parents love their children? Is it unconditional love?
If the children don’t follow their parents’ wish to become someone they want them to be (I’m not talking about killers, nor thieves), the parents start to hurt them by saying harsh, aggressive words, to threaten them in order to make them change their decision: is that love?
When the parents have their own children only because they want to continue and spread their family name and blood (it’s a very typical Chinese tradition), and to have someone to take care of them when the parents grow old, is that love?
Is missing someone “love”?
We miss something or someone because we like their regular presence in our life; “missing” is because “we don’t have”, so is “wanting”.
When we miss someone it can mean that we like and are used to this person’s presence, we are accustomed to see or to be around that person, so when this person is not nearby anymore, we miss him. Missing is one of the expressions of love, but love itself is not “missing”.
There is real love, and the “feeling of love” or the “sensation of love”: we thought that we’re in love with someone, want to be with that particular person all the time, but in fact it’s because we’re attached to the sexual relation, we feel the sensation of love and being loved, and the whole body vibrates in harmony. In a way we are imprisoned by our physical desire, there is no freedom within us. We confuse love with pleasure, fear, jealousy, possessiveness, domination, aggressiveness… Attachment is also not love.
Wanting to control someone is not love. To let someone do whatever he wants when it’s self destructive, is not love. To be attached to someone is not love. Sex is not love. The sensation of love is not love. To tell a lie in order to make someone you love smile is not love. To do something you hate but you continue doing it because you want to make others happy, is not love. You think you’re in love with someone, or you love someone (a family member, partner, a close friend, your teacher or mentor, guru or guide, god…) you respect and love that person so much and gradually his opinions become yours, you’re influenced and you don’t think with your own brains anymore, it’s also not love.
Is total devotion love? If a mother devotes all her time to her child and her family, ignoring her own interest and emotion needs, is that love? The devotion to a god or a religion, the devotion for a career or a profession, being devoted to an idea or a person, is that love?
I’m just curious about how we understand love, everyone feels love (or something close to love), but I think it’s interesting to reflect on this subject which is so basic and important in our daily life.
On the 16th of June I attended a Holotropic Breathwork workshop in Barcelona (the date is somehow important because I feel it was my “rebirth day”); it was an amazing experience, helping to release my hidden anger and sadness. We were blindfolded, lying on the ground; the idea is that that you start to breathe in and out as fast as you can with the music. There were moments where I felt numb in my upper body, moments when I cried or shouted, moments of dreaming and sleeping, and towards the end I received the sensation of peace.
The facilitators came to me when the “breath session” was finished. They asked how I felt, I said that since some days ago, I have this feeling of tension in my lower abdomen, and they asked if I’d like to work on that area. I said “yes of course”. Fransesc, one of the guides started to put pressure on the area, and asked me to breathe quickly as I did before in the session.
I reached the point where I started to shout and cry again (my abdomen was in pain and I was so sad). Magda (the other guide) helped to open my mouth, so I could shout without biting myself or start to hurt anyone around me. They encouraged me to release as much anger as I could (to shout, swear, cry…), and said that no one there would judge nor criticize my behaviour.
And god, I never cried and shouted so much in my life before.
It was a total relief.
What really moved me was that Fransesc hugged me for a very long time afterwards. For no reason I just cried and cried in his embrace, like a new born baby.
Right there, I felt this great love between human beings, that we don’t know each other’s history but deep down, we do know how each other feels, that the experience I’ve lived, they also have lived, that we are connected – by love.
Maybe because the position was similar (lying on the back), I suddenly remembered the time right after the car accident years ago, while I was in the hospital waiting to be x-rayed. There was this nurse whose name I didn’t even know, taking care of me by my side. She knew about our accident; I was in such great pain that I couldn’t move (I didn’t move at all till the fireman came to get me out of the van, then I was lying down for a total of 3 days in the hospital), and I was afraid that my spine might be broken and would have trouble playing the violin. I was cold, in shock, the nurse held my hand and asked how I felt, I couldn’t express my feelings and she asked: if you feel like crying, just do it!
And it was like a water gate opening; my tears were pouring out till there were no tears left…And all that time she was holding my hand, giving me warmth.
Back then it was the very first time I felt this “love” between people, between people you don’t know and basically you don’t have anything to do with in your life, and both these experiences moved me enormously. The nurse may see me as her daughter or even herself while she held my hand, Fransesc may hold me as his own child, but what I received is pure love, the love of accepting, understanding, caring, encouragement, warmth and comfort.
Years ago, when I first fell in love strongly, a wise lady friend was so happy for me, she said to me: you know what relationship is about? It’s 1+1=1!
In the last 10 years I put the emphasis on ‘1’ in my love relationship; I was perfectly independent but whenever there was a decision to make, I (or we) always made the decision for Us, not for what I wanted to do. What’s not right in this case, is that the pattern would be 0.5+0.5=1 and not 1+1=1.
It’s hard, isn’t it? You cannot lose who you really are in a relationship, yet if two people are egocentric, 1+1=2; it’s two people on parallel roads and not sharing the same view.
Another symbol of balance is Yin and Yang (to describe a woman and a man). To be honest I don’t like this concept of relationship, it feels like that we are in constant search to find the other half (and I am just a half), that a woman is the Yin part, and the Yang presents the male part, and the people have to find the perfect match, or to work on the relationship so that the two parts become one in harmony. Can the Yin and the Yang add up to One on their own? Yes, but it’s not what you imagine.
1+1=1 can apply to every relationship, between family, friends, and lovers; it can apply to oneself with the world. It is harmony, balance, connection, love.
Love is to feel the connection with everyone and everything alive on the earth – this is neither a theory nor something we read, but sooner or later, we experience it!
Love is total attention (awareness) and yes, there is nothing else in the world but Love.