In life we are constantly looking for what will relieve our pain, the ache in our beings of wanting to rest our worries and the weight of everyday thoughts. We seek and seek.

We look around seeing if we are doing as good as everyone else. Am I as beautiful, handsome, successful, intelligent, funny? Did I do this right? What should I regret in this moment or stress about?

We may not realize the subtle underlying uneasiness of existence, or it is obvious blaring in our faces. And in response we do whatever possible to not let there be room to face this lurking monster who keeps asking us to look, to listen.

The fear of turning away is worse than turning towards, but naturally we feel afraid to slow down and lift up the curtain to the source of the discomfort, our mind and the associated tension in our body.

What would happen if we saw and felt our self and didn’t flee or fill in the space? Would we go mad? Would we have a panic attack? Would the stories constructed about who we are crumble? Would the pain increase? Would our preferences change? Would we reckon ourselves a phony?

Love Monsters

The monster of love has somehow been given an out in our society. Specifically the ways we use relationships and so-called love to fill this void is often allowed and encouraged. As if it’s favorable to turn away from our selves in the name of loving another: lover, family, child, partner, friend ….

When we subconsciously or consciously cover up our achy void through relationship, we may still be assuming that love is a muddling of the historical need of survival through union, and the meritorious act of generosity through giving oneself over.

Even though these are laudable and understandable confusions, these relational impulses do not replace the ground that love must be born from for it to be sincere and far-reaching. This turning away towards relationships with others does not remove the monster of love that still wants our attention.

Love embodied, in its clear expression, is the continually blossoming of friendship with oneself. To love is to know the nooks and corners of our minds and beings. Love is the sensation of our fullness and our open heart. This friendship naturally reflects outwards and so we offer this friendship with self to the world.

Love is our reliable home and it is right here, felt in each of our beings. It does not have to be a certain way. Love is love. It is being with our experience, without rejecting, it is a unity with what is presenting in this moment.

Without a true home here, we have no access to real love and find ourselves hungry all the time and from the ache we relate. We make love from the ache. We cook breakfast and drink our drinks, put on our bow ties, open umbrellas in relationship with all of life from the yearning of obliterating the pain.

If we do not turn towards the monster of Love, meaning the ways we avoid our own experience and distract ourselves with relationships and anyone outside of us, the ache persists.

Healing the Ache & Recognizing Love

Questions to ponder: Are we living from a love that frees us and grows from our true home? When we flee our true home, what are our intoxicants of choice, we all have them: work, service, drinks, drugs, sleep, spacing out, blame (ourself or others), body or material obsession, fixation on other people, relationships, media, busyness …

Name and feel the pain. If the monster is not one of severe trauma where it would be most wise to have skilled support, we acknowledge the subtle or severe sensation of pain that we experience. With clarity of our pain we have the motivation to lean in to our whispering monsters. What information are they wanting us to know? Through feeling the discomfort, we begin to let our body digest it and heal. Through feeling we learn the wisdom and language of our body.

Reflect on the ways we seek confirmation from others. Return the life force used from turning outwards, to instead sit with ourselves and come to know our worthiness is not something created but is who we are. We are each invaluable worthy beings, end of sentence. Meditation’s purpose is to give us a form to blossom in unlimited love and therefore somatic meditation practice is fruitful for this turning inwards and recognizing worthiness.

Explore the heavy relationship stories. What stories do we like to tell about our current or past relationships that leave us feeling jet lagged? What story do we tell about our self in relationship? The repeated stories that prop up or put down our relationships can often have information under them that may benefit from deeper investigation. If we don’t know, we can ask people who are close to us what stories we have shared many times.

Returning Home

We search and search trying to find or be the right person. When we have been here all along, whole, overflowing as love. Here all company is welcome, held tenderly in our heart and as important as our own beings, but not needed to allow us to feel we are worthy and unbroken.

We sense our being is in tact, free of gaping holes, and so we are not easily manipulated by outer influences or lured into comparison. We learn that when pain arises, instead of seeking anything to remove it, it is tolerable actually, that it has a place and purpose and keeps us touched into humanity and our kindhearted nature.

Love is a home we each cultivate breath by breath and with our attention. How wide reaching, reliable and real our love is will be determined by whether we turn away and tighten our bodies resistant to our monster friends, or we open.

painting: Tantric Feast, India, Himachal Pradesh, Nurpur, circa 1790