Loving What Is
Spiritual teachers tell us that a key principle for living with peace of mind is to get good at “Loving What Is.” This principle is a hard one for the personality in us to even agree with, let alone to put into practice. It can easily be written off as unpractical advice. If you’ve already done that, let me invite you to reconsider.
As I’ve struggled with understanding and practicing this important principle, I’ve found a few things that have helped me live (most of the time) from a state of “Loving What Is.”
The key to loving what is is to focus on what actually IS. What truly “IS” (truth) and what only appears to be true based on my very limited ability to perceive what is actually true.
The reason “loving what is” seems impractical is because we try to apply it to what ISN’T instead of what IS.
We are trying to force ourselves to love an illusion, and ultimately we can’t really love what isn’t real.
Which Eyes Am I Seeing With?
There are usually a lot of things we perceive to be true that we don’t like and believe we need to change before we can love our situation. But there is a big difference between what APPEARS to be true (apparent truth or surface appearances) and what IS true (essential truth or deep truth).
The personality can only see apparent truth. It takes seeing through the eyes of the Soul to even begin to see essential truth.
One of the ways I can tell which eyes I am seeing with is by how meaningful I experience the so called “simple things” to be. The breath in my lungs: meaningful. The health of my body: meaningful. The privilege to be with my wife or child today: meaningful. The privilege to share this thought with you: meaningful. The opportunity to stretch my personality with whatever challenge I am facing now: meaningful. There is no guarantee that anything or anyone will be here tomorrow, so everything is meaningful today. Meaning does not have to be searched for, it only needs to be noticed. And when truly noticed, the natural response is love and gratitude. Love and gratitude is the feeling I get when I notice essential truth. If I’m not feeling love and gratitude over something, it only means I am not seeing deeply enough, yet.
Two Things To Accept That Help Me “Love What Is”
I’ve found that if I can accept two things it helps me to be a lot more peaceful and accepting about what is, and to actually love it, even if I don’t understand it (which I don’t really, and even can’t really).
1) I can’t possibly know the whole picture. It’s not my role- and it’s even quite arrogant of me to believe I could know. What I see of myself and of others and of life is based on an extremely limited perception. Accepting this is very relaxing, like a huge sigh of relief. I don’t need to make judgments anymore because any judgment I make would be inherently flawed because it is based on such limited perception. If I do make a judgment it can be one of compassion instead of condemnation.
2) Life is FOR me, not against me. Whatever is happening in my life, is FOR my own evolution. Yes, I get to experience the consequences of my choices, but they are teachers, not punishments. I can see what is not working and try another approach. I can look for and find some of the good in goodbye when I believe I am suffering a loss. I can reflect on and receive at least partial answers to the question “How is this FOR me?”
If you could accept these two things about life, how would that change your ability to “Love What Is?”
Loving What Is Doesn’t Mean Doing Nothing About Your Situation
Of course living from a place of loving what is doesn’t mean you just sit back and accept everything and not make plans to do anything to change your situation. That’s one of the personality’s chief arguments against loving what is. But it’s an empty defense. Yes, the personality can get motivated to take action based on being dissatisfied with current circumstances, but the problem is that even if the actions the personality takes actually improve the situation (which is rare), the dissatisfaction that motivated the action persists.The personality isn't just motivated by dissatisfaction, it's addicted to it. Click To Tweet Dissatisfaction can lead to action, but it is low-octane fuel that burns hot and creates lots of smoke. Click To Tweet
On the other hand, the clean burning fuel of Soul realization comes from a place of loving what is and stays always in a place of loving what is. The Soul has all the energy it needs to create change that really matters. It creates from a state of loving what is AND also loving what is coming into being. It’s not “either – or” but “both- and.”