Karachi Yogini

Yoga for Life!

“Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships” (John Welwood) February 10, 2011

this week i spent time with a cousin of mine who i had only met for the first time 2 weeks a go.  I actually didn’t even know he existed until very recently and when our paths crossed because of all kinds of coincidences I found that he was someone with similar interests and a library that made me wake up again.

I’ve been reading Welwoods clear and easy description of understanding the reasons why we find relationships so difficult, especially those of the romantic nature.  In the past year I have spent a lot of time reading about the “heart” and practicing a heart centered yoga as well.  But in some ways this book has helped me to further clear the cobwebs of my wounded heart.

we can spend a lifetime alone and never be challenged by loving another and what that brings out in us.  but i’ve never been shy to express that I want love in my life or go after love when it came my way.  this time though I truly didn’t expect or want it.  and my wounded heart was determined to not let myself be caught up again in the prospect of pain from a relationship. but again as Welwood says “we never really have that much control over any of the most important things in life” so here i am again, on a mirror of love.

as my heart beats so does the feeling of openness and love.  this whole experience since my separation has in fact just been about opening my heart.  my heart that in fact had never been open before, it had glimpsed moments of openness, it had felt love on numerous occasions, but when it came to loving myself truly and deeply, it had never really embarked on that journey.

I don’t know why it is as Welwood says that as children we develop an inner critic, a constant presence of judgement towards ourselves and others as we grow, and why we let that all root deeply into our heart and then in our unconscious.

but i’m thankful that it seems i’m on a path which is  guiding me towards love, acceptance and gratitude.  to start to unpack the constant battle in my mind and body is to first accept how i feel. sometimes i feel stupid, petty, needy, insecure, unsure, unattractive, angry, righteous and on the other end sometimes i feel love, joy, compassion, empathy, desire, satisfaction…and even with this short list its easy for us all to categorize, the “good” me and the “bad” me.

this is what welwood challenges, that essentially there is no good or bad “me”, there is just what is happening in the moment inside of you, and instead of suppressing the “bad” other in yourself or trying to control the “bad” other in people in your life, just accept that these emotions rise from 1) wound in your heart 2) and your desire to be truly loved for who you are.  That somehow deeply planted in our unconscious is the belief that we are not worthy of unconditional love is what becomes our self fulfilling prophecy.  and most importantly welwood points that the only place to receive this unconditional love is in fact in the deep vast expansive space of our own hearts.  and only through that can we begin to let another person be who they are exactly as they want to be.

and i know what he means.  i am always judging myself and i was always looking to find perfection.  when i got my birth chart read, Das said, that I am obsessed with perfection and it will be my biggest obstacle to surpass in spiritual journey.  when i shared this with my friend, remarkably enough, a totally different sign and age, said who of us aren’t obsessed with perfection?

it makes me think where does this idea come from?  where does this image of “perfection” reside?  why do i desire so badly for others to perceive me in a certain way and why do i fear so much that no one will ever love me just as i am?

reading this book allowed me to accept that in fact in some way or the other this fear, this wound, is deep within all of us.  that what helps me on this path is the times I sit on my yoga mat, watch my thoughts, and accept unconditionally whatever feelings arise in me.  what helps me is that I can reflect on my reactions and communicate them in a way that is non threatening at most times, and in the moment.

i catch myself in my imagined conversation with another, thinking i’ll say this, this and this.  and then my higher self breaks in, stops the flow of chatter, and asks me to rest, and know that when the moment comes i will know exactly what to say.  I never used to pause before.  I never used to stop and notice what was happening inside of me before i spoke, or lashed out in anger, or visibly reacted.  at the same time, now though i pause in the moment to gather what is happening inside of me, i don’t become disingenuous, i actually become more genuine giving freedom to my core to express what i am feeling.

i am trying to not try (hah!), and at the same time accepting that being on this journey is not about gratifying my good self and shutting down my bad self, but in fact it is about accepting everything that comes out of me in any given moment as a transparent genuine reflection of my heart.  to not cover up my desire to want love and affection with a complaint, with anger or with mistrust.  but to keep myself engaged in the raw vulnerable space of love.  amen.

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