Falling in love is the same no matter your age or the object of your love. As it begins, the rush of oxytocin and dopamine muddle your thinking; twitterpaited is the professional term. You walk with your feet barely touching the ground but in time with your heartbeat, a delighted flush crawling over your skin. You give extra blessings to those around you unless they are thought to be threatening the beloved in any way, real or imagined. And most of all, you think it will ALWAYS be this way.
After one week on the Olympic Peninsula, I am utterly twitterpaited with the area. When I feel tension arising, I walk outside and it is like being enveloped by my lover. I feel protective and irritated by what I perceive to be slights to her emerald dressing. I want to explore and know every feature, every crevice of her landscape. Today I could see her moodiness; a moment of sunshine followed by heavy gray clouds overtaking the white fluffy clouds at a speed that was unbelievable, then a start of drizzling rain and a crescendo of hail quieting down after 10 minutes or so to overcast skies. Then the cycle would be repeated in a couple of hours. And I adore and revel in every moment. Wearing rubber boots, I walk through the squishy dirt and see the extreme landscape before me, so verdant and whispering to all of the life forms here, “grow….” Surely this must be the true Garden of Eden. At this early stage I cannot tell if this is true love or a crush, I can barely think straight and I just want to walk in her loveliness forever.
So what do you do when the object of your crush is not available? It does not matter the reason for lack of availability, maybe you can’t find a good job near your beloved part of the country, maybe, if the object is human, it is a work relationship, a married person, or maybe they are just are not that into you. Or maybe you actually have to go to work and cannot gaze narcissistically upon the object of your affection forever.
Ahhhh Grasshopper, in this very place is the path of acceptance of what is. Acceptance is not trying to get more attention, letting your ego-fed drama do cartwheels around the stage of life and coercing others to be actors in your play. Acceptance is breathing in and quieting the mind, noticing the shenpa state and fully noticing it. And then sit with it. Do not force action, do not jump up and charge forth, do not sink into an emotional coma as a means of distracting from the shenpa state, just sit with the shenpa and let it wash over you but keep a sense of awareness so that it does not take over you. Feel it fully, do not judge or resist in any measure, just watch it. It is in this way you begin to see the ego’s dance and storyline and you begin to become a watcher rather than an actor in the play.
Oh, hell yeah, it is hard. Every moment you are the watcher, the ego pulls and tugs and screams in tantrum but each second that you come back from the unconsciousness of shenpa and come into the realization of having been enveloped by the ego is a victory to cherish.
It is only in this practice of watching the ego and not being drawn into the drama that true love grows. The love that has patience and kindness, compassion and generosity, openness and authenticity and courage. True love is not dramatic but gets deeply into your skin, your heart, your very soul and center of being. Love artfully weaves itself into the fabric of you with golden threads dazzling and glorious.
Oh man, I am falling hard and it is going to be one hellava ride!