“so we lay glowing in the grass to watch the sun swap with the moon
to trade our future for our past, the present tense was all we knew” ~ Kevin Devine
It seems fitting that Dead Poets Society is playing on the TV in my hotel room, as I sit down to write a post about being present. I am miles away from home, in an unfamiliar city surrounded by strangers and with one of the movies that had a powerful impact on my life filling this cold room with its familiar script, I feel a little at home.
We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. ~ John Keating, Dead Poets Society
Love: It is one of the most incredible forces in our lives. It is a powerful motivator and, for most of us, one of the first experiences we encounter. Inevitably, in many different forms, it becomes what we live for. But how many of us are truly present in love? How many of us settle for less than fulfilling partnerships when we deserve more, because we simply don’t want to be alone? We pair up because we are expected to and not because we allow ourselves to understand the complexities of self-awareness, presence, vulnerabilty and intimacy in our love relationships. We are on this Earth for such a short time, shouldn’t we allow ourselves the opportunity to understand what love truly is?
When it comes to love in partnerships, I know want to share my life with someone who can be deemed my match and I theirs. I think that life is too beautiful and wonderfully surprising not to share with as many people as I can, and if I’m lucky, with someone very special. Sharing ourselves and the way we individually see life only enriches our shared experiences. This includes love – by acknowledging, respecting and appreciating its presence and being present in love. I know I want to show up for love and be open to receiving and giving that gift.
It is indeed a gift isn’t it? It should not be treated carelessly or taken for granted. There is never any guarantee that love will be available to us and even self love is hard won at times. When we have difficulty loving ourselves we create defenses and blocks to truly experiencing love.
“Love requires that we lay down the ego’s defenses and be naked and vulnerable; that we give up our planning and fantasizing about the future and live in the Now. Only then are we really ready to love. When you fully grasp that tomorrow is not guaranteed—that this moment is truly all that we have—there is nothing to do but give everything you’ve got, expecting nothing in return. Real love is divine. It is a dance with emptiness which takes us beyond the human self, beyond the ego’s petty games to know a timeless love; to taste the fullness of joy. What we call “true love” is that rare and sacred union that happens when two people join in this dance together. It is a friendship, a love affair and an act of worship. Passion, lust, affection, caring, trust, respect and devotion all become part of an exquisite surrender. Lovers merge with each other and with the Universe. Neither knows for sure if it will last a weekend or a lifetime. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is this moment of oneness—holy and beautiful.” ~ Ben Neal