When we explain that the reason we don’t have love in our lives is that we can’t find the right person, or that other people are flawed or wrong in some way, it’s putting the blame outside ourselves for why we don’t have love, versus I’m not living in love because I’m not loving. The truth is: I’m not loving to the people I meet, I reject them, and I don’t have time for them.
Some of the ancient tantrikas (people who practice tantra) were burned alive for their beliefs because people were so prejudiced against them. In one sect, the couple would live their entire lives sewn together into one garment. Now think about it, in today’s world you can barely stand to have your lover over for an hour and a half before you start bumping against something vaguely irritating. Of course I’m exaggerating (am I?) but we’ve all gotten used to having things our own way, and our egos clash when we spend much time together. In one of the exercises we did at the ashram, we experimented with a partner where we didn’t let go of their hand for three hours. We would walk around doing every minute thing together, and I saw how much time it takes to be intimate. It took so long to just reach out and get food in the food line, to walk over to the table together — it was exquisite and, you know, a real luxury. I really got the sense that it takes so much time to be loving, and we just don’t have or make that time. Everyone’s too busy.
If you want to sit and have a coffee date with someone and you want to enjoy them no matter what they’re like, you’re going to have to relax and have it take time instead of be thinking how quickly can I get out of here. It’s going to take time to figure out how to savor the person. It’s going to take time to have love, and it’s going to take time to turn yourself into a loving person.
I hear this a lot: I can’t find anybody; there’s nobody to love. Really? There are 10 million people in greater LA, 20 million in Southern California — how could you possibly not find someone? That’s about you, that’s about me, that’s about us if we can’t find somebody; it’s not about the lack of other candidates. If we’re willing to take spiritual responsibility, it’s not the other person’s fault. The other person is an opportunity for you to learn to become more loving, and who does that need to be? That could be anyone — it could be that homeless person sitting on the bench, but we make it so hard.
© 2017 Catherine Auman