No Choice But to Love ...

kerrya's picture

I posed a question yesterday in our non-dual healing school to Jason, who spent the afternoon with all of us as our 4th year class came to a close. The question was about the relationship to being in Malchut -- being in the place of meeting life as it is -- AND our kavanah -- the trustworthy intention to be in integrity in our actions and interactions with the world. The bottom line of his exploration aloud with us boiled down to this profound statement:
"I have no choice but to love".

My sponsor in AA often shares that her primary reason to not pick up a drink and to stay sober, even after the love of her life died nearly 2 years ago, is because she has no choice but to be here and to love what is here -- be it an alcoholic who is struggling, her sponsees, or the stray cats who find their way to her home. This is what gets her out of bed each morning, amid the bouts of unbearable missing and longing for her husband to re-appear and to hold her hand once more.

"I have no choice but to love" is a mantra that I shall adopt as I meet each moment, each day in the unknowns of my life, such as my significant relationship with a woman I love who doesn't know if she can or wants to make the choice to be in a partnership with me.

My choiceless choice to love brings me fully into relationship with life as it presents itself before me. This is more likely to happen when I am able to meet life with fresh eyes and not clouded with old stories of woundedness and history. This will allow me to see people and situations for exactly who and what they are, instead of some idealized, fantasized or otherwise distorted view.

I've often thought that having an exciting relationship with the unknown sounded fantastic in theory, yet it still terrified me on some level to have this be actualized as a real lived experience. The funny thing is: I AM living it ! Right now, in this moment. I may not be in another moment in time and then I'll need to re-commit to a "do-over" and try, try again.

As I left the healing retreat weekend, I spent last night and a good portion of today by the sea. I have never gone to a bed and breakfast by myself and for myself. In the past, I would have fallen into a well of self-pity over the fact that I would be spending my actual birthday alone and no plans would have been even considered. This paradigm shift opened me up to explore and play with "I have no choice but to love" . Strolling amid the shells and sand and water, I looked at every person I passed. I smiled and said "Hello" or commented about something that struck me about them. I noticed myself, in my newly 48 year old body, and made the choice to love the aesthetically pleasing parts, like my tattoos, along with the cellulite jiggling on my thighs and my belly roll protruding subtly over my bikini bottom. I sighed aloud at the exquisiteness of the spaces in between the cirrus-like clouds above me and how necessary those gaps are so that the puffy white matter can exist. Even the tattered seagulls noisily pleading to have a piece of people's lunches were worthy of loving.

Resistance, denial, suppression, and projection have all failed me miserably as ways of being in the world. I have no choice but to love.