Several times over the last few weeks, I’ve wakened to the tune and lyrics from the chorus of one of my favorite Bee Gees songs: “You don’t know what it’s like, you don’t know what it’s like, baby, to love somebody, to love somebody the way I love you.”
What a sweet good-morning message! The divine within is telling me how loved I am. Mornings later, when it kept happening, I decided to listen a little deeper. Maybe there’s more to this message.
Sure enough. “You don’t know what it’s like to love somebody….the way I love you.” Oh. That’s humbling. And it makes sense.
I’ve been a life-long student of love. And now, life is saying: “James, there’s more for you to learn” – a timely message, I guess, since I have recently re-entered the classroom of a new love relationship.
I believe God/Life/Universe loves us like the sun shines. The sun makes no judgments about our worthiness to receive light. It doesn’t withhold its rays if we offend it somehow or don’t give it enough of what it wants. It doesn’t bargain with us. It doesn’t try to control us. It simply radiates because that’s its nature. It has its own internal radiance system.
I wonder about taking lessons from the sun. Just like the sun, the radiance of our love does not depend on the objects of our affection. It’s about opening to the flow of universal love within and through us and letting that radiance shine forth with ever greater freedom and extravagance – without expectations - as a natural expression of who we are. As spiritual teacher, Leonard Jacobson says: “I love you, because I am love.”
Of course, we see and appreciate the beauty and goodness of our loved ones. Our hearts warm in response to them. However, when we view the positive qualities in the other as the source of our love, our love becomes conditional – dependent on how lovable the other is. It waxes and wanes with how gratified we feel and how loved we think we are.
Our loving nature is sourced in the infinite ocean of love that is this universe. As we flow with this energy, we are never empty and never unworthy – never unlovable and always love-able. The more we radiate, the more we are replenished. The more we allow ourselves to receive, the more we’re able to radiate.
The theory course on unconditional love is relatively simple. The lab, here on earth, is where the challenge lies. Here, we meet our hungers and vulnerabilities, our tendencies toward self-absorption and self-protection and the various ways we limit ourselves. Here, through trial and error, triumphs and mishaps, stumbling and picking ourselves up, experimenting and practicing, we come to learn about our true love-nature.
We learn to radiate like the sun.