Check in: What gesture of love do you love to receive?
Recognition, praise, presence, head massages, deep listening, compassion, little things, silliness, play, observing the rhythm of the individual and attuning with them. One human acknowledged a mild trigger upon contemplating the check-in, recalling a past relationship in which the question, ‘what is your love language?’ left them feeling unacknowledged for all the love that was given.
This brings to question the way we want and give love? Can a specific love desire narrow the awareness of love being offered and given? Is there an empowered state that lends curiosity and eagerness to observing the people we are in relationship with? How do we create space for this?
Another human mentioned whilst being at loggerheads within an argument, both feeling defensive and consequently attacking, that they can take a leap of faith and lay before their loved one, surrendering the ego and acknowledging the wisdom that is driving the other’s behaviour. This is an act of love that can turn a claustrophobic space of conflict and triggers to an open space for each person to step into possibility and love. Sacrificing the logical, reasonable ego opens the heart to a deepening of love and relationship.
But what if the person doesn’t reciprocate the sacrifice? Is being the change you wish to see enough?
One human mentioned Plato saying, ‘let your lover change you’.(1)
This goes against the the popular opinion of, just accept me for who I am. In this present moment our inability to change ourselves is leading to the destruction of life itself upon this earth. So perhaps we are need of being changed by our partners. They do watch and observe us more than we can observe ourselves, and if their love is authentic they bring blindspots forth in order to take a stand for us in love. This is a common point of contention; don’t try to change me! Or don’t try to fix me? This seems to be at play in the opposite sense as well; wanting the partner to complete them. The evidence for this need for change is forthright and centre in longing for it and the act of changing the other. What happens when the agreement is to be the change their lover sees? Accepting the blindspots with sensitivity, vulnerability and discomfort as they are lovingly brought forth by those who love you the most. This issuch a juxtaposition that it naturally feels like the perfect thing to leap into.
Plato also mentions evil love being based on a momentary aesthetic (looks, money or power) and is unstable. Plato says that real love is when another loves the essence, soul or virtue of another.
“This is that love which is the love of the heavenly goddess, and is heavenly, and of great price to the individual and the cities, making the lover and the beloved alike eager in the work of their own improvement.” – Plato (Symposium)(1)
What does an eagerness to change look like and how can this benefit the greater community and environment?
An exponential growth happens when those closest to you, those who observe you with such loving detail pick out the cracks and provide the grout to sooth them and even add to your overall continual expansion. A blindspot that the environment and community is at the mercy of can change with a little bit willingness and the effects can spread far and wide.
The only thing that gets in the way of such growth is the reaction, the trigger, and the story that allows us to convince ourselves of the justification of such offensive defence. When objectivity is reached in such a state we see the tantrum as it is and see the root from which it came.
One human brought forth the idea of the ‘inner child’, ‘parent’, and ‘adult/higher self’. Each character or voice within bringing objectivity and wisdom to the other. The inner child bringing innocence, play, and imagination, but also bringing pettiness, blame, selfishness and lack of responsibility. The parent and the adult can level up the child and create practices that bring in the new story, thinking and disrupt the engrained reactions. The parent, however, also has a shadow controlling aspect that can inhibit change, promote resistance or a lack of personal identity, the positive aspects are the tools of the world, of self-care, cleaning your room, growing up, learning social norms, becoming independent, but, living within the dream of your parents or even intentionally outside of it can be a self made dissatisfying trap. The higher self promotes change and development at its highest possible form and provides the opportunity to listen to both the wisdom of the child and the parent. We ended the session by asking the question; who is your honourable self and how are they perceived by the community?
With each offering I saw the potential and the already manifested reality of each individual.
Next week we will be exploring the following topic: 'Practicing our way to change'.
1. Van Bryan on Plato’s The Symposium. 385-375 BC. Penguin classics. https://classicalwisdom.com/philosophy/socrates-plato/platos-symposium-always-change-love/