Love Completely

Emotional attachment and the ties that bind people together grow with reciprocity.  It is not, however, the soil within which love grows.  Love only truly thrives when given freely, without expectation.  It is this dilemma that holds us back.

Love does not traffic in transactions of give and take, of exchanging tangible and intangible goods.  This is the nature of satisfaction seeking.  Hedonic rewards are pleasing, by definition, but fleeting.  True love has its own momentum.

Love and oil don’t mix.  Love is not precious, in the sense of a commodity (like oil) that requires your heart to be Prius powered.  It IS precious in that it is unlimited only if you let it be, only If you let go.

Love completely; love with abandon; love without hope of being loved in return.  If you can, the momentum of your love will transform all around you. True love satisfies itself.

And so, there is no reason to hold back.  It is time to let go.  Let love thrive by practicing unbounded love, unconditioned by the expectation of anything in return.  It is not as hard as it sounds.  Nor is it easy.  Start small.  When you meet your edge, slow down and ease forward.  But, keep going.


There are some days when tears rest easy on the eyes.  Days when I can’t seem to grab my emotional equilibrium.  Sometimes that emotional tenderness lasts for many days.  It all started when I breezed into my therapist’s office all cocksure as if I had the world figured out.  Well, of course, you know how this ends.  His probing and probative questions did their job well.  They opened me up.  But, by doing so, they also landed me squarely on uncertain ground.  I have yet to regain my emotional footing.  And so, tears rest easy on my eyes, neither spilling forward nor retreating.

“When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something.  We might realize that this is a very vulnerable and tender place, and that tenderness can go either way.  We can shut down and feel resentful or we can touch in on that throbbing quality. ”    ―  Pema Chödrön

But, the particulars of this shifting sand aren’t really the point of me telling you this story.  It is about how intensely alone I feel at these moments.  And, the reality that it is somewhat self-inflicted.  You see, this shaky tenderness is where I feel most frightened, vulnerable. A spot where I have an excess of feeling and few answers.  It is a place where my analytical, problem solving mind has no facts from which to derive an appropriate solution.  It is even a struggle to describe the nature of the problem itself.  Words fail me.  In essence, my IQ is of little use and my EQ is unprepared, a weak muscle unaccustomed to exercise.  And so, I’m left in a battle with myself mostly unarmed. (more…)

On learning compassion

I suppose we learn compassion in many small and rarely very large ways.  Indeed, the opportunity to learn compassion is in front of us most days in multiple ways.  We are not always open to the lesson.  We do not always see the suffering of others and our connection to it.  And, on those occasions (for some rare) when we do feel our connection to other’s suffering, we push it away, repress it, or deny it because it makes us feel bad.  It is too easy to avoid feeling bad in the desire to maintain harmony with ourselves; a sense that we are alright.  As normal as this impulse is, it cuts us off from feeling compassion.  It limits our capacity to care for others both within and without our inner circle of friends and family.  The sad result is it greatly diminishes our ability to – if not directly ease other’s suffering – to not add to it unwittingly.

To put a finer point on it, our collective desire to avoid slight dis-ease, compounds other’s suffering. (more…)