Often, when we say, “I love you” we focus mostly on the idea of the “I” who is doing the loving and less on the quality of the love that’s being offered. This is because we are caught by the idea of self. We think we have a self. But there is no such thing as an individual separate self. A flower is made only of non-flower elements, such as chlorophyll, sunlight, and water. If we were to remove all the non-flower elements from the flower, there would be no flower left. A flower cannot be by herself alone. A flower can only inter-be with all of us… Humans are like this too. We can’t exist by ourselves alone. We can only inter-be. I am made only of non-me elements, such as the Earth, the sun, parents, and ancestors. In a relationship, if you can see the nature of interbeing between you and the other person, you can see that his suffering is your own suffering, and your happiness is his own happiness. With this way of seeing, you speak and act differently. This in itself can relieve so much suffering.
- Do I learn new things from this person?
- Do they show me things about myself?
- Do they show up for me like I do for them?
- Do I feel held?
- Do I feel safe?
- Do I feel seen?
- Can I be my authentic self around them?
- Do they communicate efficiently?
- Does my inner child feel safe around them?
- Have they done their inner work? Or are they willing to do so?
- What is their experience of love previously? (this will affect how they love me)
- Does this connection nourish my soul or feed the ego?
There is something about the kitchen that invites intimacy. I suppose kitchens are a space for intimacy because I will touch with my hands the things that will go in your mouth; I will taste what you taste; I will work for you, or you will work for me. I will make this for you because I love you, because you need it, because you want it.
is assisting with the
birth of something new,
which is potentially, but
not necessarily, wiser…
without suffocating it
is to practice engaged
detachment as we
hospice a dystopic world
…while respecting the
teachings it offers
The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love — whether we call it friendship or family or romance — is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light.
∆ James Baldwin, Nothing Personal