Saturday, November 9, 2013

Love and other stories: it may be real but is it true?

We talk about what is important to us.

I notice I have been talking about love a lot.  From tweeting to table talk, as the Sufi poet Hafiz wrote, The subject tonight is Love.

The subject tonight is Love
And for tomorrow night as well,
As a matter of fact
I know of no better topic
For us to discuss
Until we all

I feel I need love, in the form of a partner.  My thoughts are associated with want and desire, of shame and loss for not being with that particular someone, and then all the shame of judging myself for the shame.  

The belief exists, the thoughts are there, as are the emotions associated with them.  It is real because it is happening to me.    

It is real but is it true?

So asks Tara Brach drawing on her own wisdom and the teachings of others such as Joseph Goldstein, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Byron Katie, in this audio talk Real But Not True. 

Just by posing the question,  a space appears,  there is a softening,  alternatives are possible.

Taking her advice into digging deeper, I ask myself these questions:

  • What am I believing?
  • Is it true? 
  • What is it like to live in this belief?  (What happens in my mind, heart and body?). 
  • And having viscerally experienced it, turning into the question... what would life be like if I wasn’t believing it?

I can give those thoughts and feelings my attention; perhaps they deserve my attention because they are part of me,  but I don’t have to believe them, buy into them 100%, be trapped by them.  To see my belief around love as possibly just yet another story I tell myself, helps me to feel a new sense of freedom and joy.  I am more than that narrow fixation.  A deeper truth exists.

Whatever is going on for you, whether it is issues of love or personality clashes amongst your executive team; whether it is anxiety about your own health or global eco politics, we can lean into examining our illusions to liberate ourselves from them. It is through questioning ourselves that we can open up and see beyond the density of fixed beliefs and patterns and make room for possibility.  We give ourselves more choice. We give ourselves more chances. We open up to the richness and totality of our potential and that of others.


Random related previous postings:

Image:  Russian painter Marc Chagall via Saatchi Gallery posted by Vivid Greeting Cards on Facebook 28 March 2013.    Vivid Greeting Cards – celebrating the world's wonders with gems found in cyberspace and Gallery Windows of VGC art - Sign up to Vivid Greeting Cards Facebook Page at

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