Love does not dominate; it cultivates.
Category Archives: Love
Words can’t describe this!
Because Life is Messy
Ho’Oponopono, is a Hawaiian saying used in healing practices of Kahuna. An expression of love that is designed to help with the self healing process, these words have been coming out of my mouth a lot lately.
What does it mean?
After a quick search you will find there a few varying perspectives on the what the exact translation is but I believe it to be somewhere along the lines of “I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You”. You gotta love the Hawaiian dialect with its unique combination of simplicity and depth, because as you look at the word itself it almost appears to be the same word over and over. When you reflect on its translation you see the incredible beauty of this mantra, in one fell swoop these words can communicate one of the most powerful messages the human spirit could ever hear. The trans-formative nature of this expression is beyond my own comprehension but I would love to share my simple perspective and hopefully illuminate how you can use it in your life.
Why I Care.
As a child I was always raised to treat others as I would want to be treated and I assume this was fundamental in helping develop my empathetic nature. This characteristic has helped me form powerful connections with the people I meet, most people are willing to say the trait is a blessing, I would say that learning to feel others pain without taking it on is possibly one of the most challenging aspects of my own personal evolution. The world we live in can be very heavy almost suffocating at times especially as we become more aware of the pain of others. I’m not sure the exact the time but somewhere in my teens I became conscious of the deep rooted corruption of this world, not surprisingly, I did not know how to cope with this new awareness. Once you can start to see the interconnectivity of life then you start to feel the pain and suffering of the general human consciousness, not because it is the most powerful or dominant but more because it is like a wounded child screaming for attention. Most of my late teens were spent in a blur of substance abuse designed to help dull the undisciplined empathy that was gnawing at my heart, then in my early to mid twenties I started looking at ways to “fix” the planet…… both of these failed. For someone like me that failure was an essential part of my learning process, as with most humans I learn from mistakes. At first this failure was discouraging, I took it personal, now when looking at it I can see the flaw in my logic, I thought I was apart from this world.
Heal Yourself, Heal the World
“In deep and lasting ways, when we heal ourselves we heal the world.” Mark Nepo
I understand that not everyone wants to heal the world that can be pretty intimidating but I want to start here as I believe it will help us better understand the relationship between our inner and outer worlds. The truth is to think you can fix the planet is incredibly immature, I mean who am I to say I know how things should be, I would like to think I know how good they could be but that doesn’t mean I am right. On a deeper level I can see this was just a more elaborate way of running from my emotional pain, yes that is right some times becoming so busy trying to help others is just easier than stopping to look at ourselves. Occasionally we are fortunate enough to observe our ridiculous habits, and when you are able to look at those habits without judgement is when you start to recognize the true motivation behind them. Revealing the root of your emotional pain is like finding a small child crying in the corner of your mind, hiding in fear from a violent world it doesn’t understand. Then it hits you, that wounded little human is you, not you as you are today but the you born for this world to know, before you let the opinions and actions of other make you believe that you were undeserving of acceptance. Once you see that then you just want to pick the child up hold it and say “I love you just as you are, I’m sorry I tried to change you, please forgive me for ignoring you, and thank you for not giving up on me” and as you say that to your inner child you slowly feel the pain of the world around you lessen and peace start to grow. The theory being that the pain you feel around you is really just a reflection of the pain you are feeling inside, like an open wound your past emotional trauma is hypersensitive to things that mirror your pain. As you continue to heal and comfort your inner child, you notice the world around you changing, no corruption doesn’t magically end and people still make a ton of mistakes, instead you just start to see the child inside of others and can relate to their actions better without judgement which makes it easier to live in harmony with them.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Closure has been a foreign concept for me most of my life, as far as I knew life was a culmination of loose ends and mishaps that we were doomed to repeat. Now the value of closure is starting to reveal itself to me and I can see that my previous assumption was only partially correct, closure is designed to help us grow from our mistakes so we can finally move on and make new ones. Whereas without closure we are inevitably thrown into a never ending of loop of repeated errors until we decide to sit down and digest the lesson that life is trying to teach us. We all know that finding closure is normally easier said than done, because most of the closure we are seeking involves our relationships with others, people who we might not be able to communicate directly with either because they are no longer in this realm of existence or because that person does not want know you. So finding closure in these situations becomes a little more complex, you can’t force someone to have a relationship and as far as I know nobody has successfully revived the dead in these modern times. In situations like this, the power of Ho’Oponopono shines through clearly, these words have a unique ability to help you deal with feelings of guilt that are commonly associated with relationships that meet an abrupt end. No this is not a silver bullet that will instantly help you release your pent up emotions, these words are meant to attune your inner emotional state to that of love so the emotions can exist within you without you feeling the need to judge or repress them, a necessary part of processing and growing. This is equally as valuable if you were the one that was wronged because believe it or not your unspoken resentment towards that person is just as destructive as guilt and learning to love those people as you would love your inner child makes their transgressions much less about you and more about them.
Sharing My Practice
So if you feel like this practice would benefit you I encourage you to try it, my approach is fairly unrefined but for now it meets my needs. Find a picture or a simple possession that brings up a strong emotion for the person you have the unresolved feelings towards, sit and hold it, look at it if you can, then just say Ho’Oponopono and then I even repeat it in English a few times if necessary. Yes you are likely to cry and if you are anything like me it will be big salty tears with your snotty nose running all over the place, but if you can just bear your ugly crying face and just allow it to flow out, this expression will help you feel loved while you do, so that the emotion can pass through you and stop wreaking havoc on your internal peace. There are definitely more refined approaches to this practice honed by spiritual leaders far more experienced than I, regardless if you are not able to see those people or do not desire to wade through all the fluff of internet search results then I invite you to at least start with my rudimentary practice.
Let me wrap this up with some of my more recent thoughts on this subject. The world around us is suffering from intense emotional pain, centuries of war, slavery, extreme addiction, poverty, spiritual suppression the list goes on, but when we look at it all holistically we can obviously say those are mainly symptoms of a society that has been tricked into believing our emotions and feelings have the right to dictate our lives. So now more than ever is the right time for humans to start healing our emotional wounds, that way we can comfort our inner children and better understand the hurt of those around us. Together we can begin the process of making the human spirit whole again instead of fragmented in opposition, if not for future generations, at least so we can better enjoy this amazing time that we are so lucky to witness.
Thanks for tuning in and as always you are worth More Than Gold.
One Man’s Revelation
Spring Has Sprung!
The birds are singing and wildflowers magically paint the landscape with a lush array of vibrant colors, well at least here in central Texas. It’s pretty much my favorite time of year in this state, a time when a fair skinned fellow such as myself can comfortably soak up the sun without having to slather on toxic chemicals in order to interact with normal sun tolerant people. Honestly most springs fly by unnoticed other than the vast seas of color that envelope the hillsides, commonly caught up in childlike exuberance of “doing cool shit”, I never took the time to reflect on the significance of this time of year. Growing up a preachers kid I was exposed to the religious importance of this holiday from a very young age, due to the physical and emotional abuse of my childhood my ability to clearly see the beauty of this time of year was blinded by anger and resentment. Gratefully I have had the opportunity to reflect on a lot of things lately one them including Easter.
The Winter of my Soul
The last couple of years in my life have been crazy to say the least, I found myself trapped in an emotional blizzard of depression, one that left my soul with cabin fever clawing at my heart. The details can be spared for the sake of my sanity and your time but lets just say being an idealistic romantic can cause someone like me to invest way too much time and energy into people who don’t share the same definition of love. After it was all said and done, I found myself alone again in what is currently one of the most challenging experiences of my adulthood, with nothing but bittersweet memories and broken hopes. In the last month of 2015 I decided to quit a “comfortable” job in order to complete my education in massage therapy, mainly because I knew the psychological importance of showing myself I can complete something. When I started that journey it was with the illusion of support and love from someone very dear to me, someone I thought I could share my imperfection with and someone I hoped would see that this as an integral part of getting myself prepared for our future together. Needless to say that person did not share the same feelings nor desires. I soon found myself in the midst of an emotional whirlwind, buried under a schedule of trying to balance two part time jobs, full time school and the occasional band practice frantically running from the feelings of rejection and failure that all too often accompany the loss of a romantic attachment.
Spring Break! Spring Cleaning?
For most musicians in Austin spring break really just means SXSW is going to make your life crazy for the next week or so, though this one was very unique for me as I had not been in school to appreciate this time of year for over a decade. With my week nights freed up in for the first time in months I finally had the chance to let my feelings catch up with me, something I was literally terrified of, fearing those feeling might halt my momentum. I knew I was in need of a serious emotional catharsis, one that might help me better navigate the turbulent waters of my mind. A trip perhaps? Not necessarily focusing on the destination but more on the chance to get a new perspective, a journey that would help me remember a part of myself I forgot. My internal house was in need of some serious spring cleaning, a chance to knock down the cobwebs of old thought patterns and wipe the dust away from my long neglected inner child. The radiant sun illuminating the state of my life, I was starting to see the emotional importance of this commonly dreaded responsibility.
Resurrection… Metaphorically Speaking
Of course the religious cornerstone of Easter revolves around the death and resurrection of one the most incredible physical manifestations this realm of existence has ever seen, the act itself shrouded in wonder and awe as it appeals to a part of our soul we know to be absolutely true yet we have no way to comprehend. Mysticism aside most people can see that this story is a great metaphor for the end of something, bringing along with it a new hopeful beginning. The truth is we must sometimes go through intense emotional or physical pain in order to be motivated enough to make certain changes that our lives need. Occasionally we need to kill our current self so we can become the person we were meant to be, so I did, I made my peace and began to lay my ego based thought process to rest with gratitude and respect. That being said the ego does not go down quietly, investigating the root cause of your “suffering” is a messy business one that can leave you exhausted and quite emotional. It may sound strange, but I can say I feel a new version of myself slowly breaking through, like blades of grass growing through the cracks of a sidewalk. Even more strange than that is the fact that this new version of myself comes with a feeling of familiarity like when you reconnect with an old friend.
A time of year that marks when the nights of winter are slowly giving way to the days of summer, leaving us in a brief window of solar and lunar balance. Then it clicked, our ancestors recognized this time of year as having incredible trans formative potential which is why so many different cultures have a spring celebration. With nature providing the perfect backdrop, its completely organic to feel that this time of year is a great opportunity for us to shed our less desirable aspects in order to allow new growth. This concept is illustrated through the story of the crucifixion and resurrection, the first part symbolizing the blood exchange meant to pay for our mistakes and the second part showing that we are born anew unbound by the limitations of our past. Relinquishing our attachment to the sins of our past enables us to continue growing in order to reach our highest possible potential. Various ancient cultures honored this with sacred rituals in order to acknowledge the lessons learned while encouraging the desire to continue learning. The equinox is a time of high energy that can be useful in purging our emotional trauma and propelling our spirits into the next chapter of our karmic journey.
So regardless of your spiritual beliefs this time of year is a unique culmination of spiritual sanctity, celestial alignment and seasonal transition that can be an incredible catalyst for change in your life. Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual or all of them combined I hope you take this chance to achieve the evolution you desire.
Thanks for joining me on my journey and as always you are worth More Than Gold.
We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.
This entry marks the final installment in my series on the word LOVE. If you missed out on the earlier installments please visit the links below.
This subject is one of great value to me and I will be writing about it more in the future but no longer in the context of descriptive inadequacy.
The final LOVE I will be discussing here is not just one type but an all-encompassing version that really facilitates all other forms of LOVE.
What kind of LOVE am I referring to?
Under the descriptive titles i provided in the past this is best summarized as agape, what I am really wanting to highlight though is the importance of this type of LOVE for yourself.
Our opinion of ourselves really shapes the way we see and interact with the world we live in. When you can’t find any reason to LOVE yourself then it is really hard for you to truly LOVE anyone else. Some people might try to argue this sentiment because they can think of so many people they care about more than themselves. What is truly meant by this is your ability to accept all their flaws and ugly truths you may not like.
When you can acknowledge your own imperfection then it makes the humanity of others much easier to accept and even appreciate. Until you learn to LOVE yourself just as you are without judging or condemning then you will naturally do the same for everything else in your life. I can say from my own experience that as long as I was judging my own place in life I was consistently stuck in the same position, stagnant and floundering.
Throughout my adult life I have consistently had a very low self-opinion, mainly because I thought that appreciating things about myself could be taken as arrogance. This really stems from dealing with having a few very important people in my past telling me they hate how cocky I am. How I was perceived by others was misconstrued when I was younger due to my self-confidence mixed with a negative attitude and overly critical perspective that created a persona of an arrogant punk.
After a couple of years of pushing some of the most beautiful people I had ever known out of my life, I decided to reflect upon what was going wrong. It took quite a bit of time for me to wrap my mind around the recurring theme in the lessons of my life. Eventually it sunk in, like the foot of an elephant on the wet soft earth. I had a terrible opinion of the most important person in my life….me.
Why does this matter?
Almost immediately after asking myself this question, it hit me. If I don’t LOVE myself enough to allow all of the abundant gifts life offers then there is no way I am going change the things in my life I don’t like. My ability and intelligence could only take me so far it would require some of that extraordinary magic called good fortune in order to really see my dreams come to fruition. Being a man of idealism and romantic notions means that I had to fully embrace the beautiful potential of living this kind of life, meaning I had to believe that I was worthy of a life beyond my own limited ability to see.
Over the last few years of my life I have made a conscious effort to confront myself whenever I hear a negative thought start to surface. I started to use an expression that really fit my philosophy, police your thoughts for they can rob you of your joy. This does not mean I deny my negative thoughts or try to hide them, it means I recognize them and investigate what they are really saying when they arise.
Once you start watching your mind it becomes very easy to LOVE yourself, because then you can address the root cause of your negative thoughts. Everyone on this planet really suffers from very similar issues and after realizing this you will naturally start to recognize the things you don’t like about others in you. The transformation of your opinions of others will gradually change to one of acceptance and LOVE for you will start to see all people as a reflection of you and not some foreign entity.
I’m not promising you will have all the same blessings as myself but I am willing to promise you will have your own unique experiences that are specifically reserved for you. When you are ready to LOVE yourself enough to accept the gifts of life then you will find that they start arriving in an abundance.
I really must clarify LOVE for oneself does not mean delusional denial of your faults or short comings but a kind acceptance of your humanity. To LOVE the self in this context is not ego stroking more like ego removal through a balanced approach of acknowledging and appreciating the being who resides beyond the “conscious” mind.
Let’s just summarize real quick, LOVE yourself, because you are worth it. Then you will start to LOVE others unconditionally and you will find peace in your life . The surest sign of a healthy self LOVE is the ability to graciously accept the gifts of life whether it be from a person directly or just a stroke of “luck”. The basic foundation for all forms of LOVE must start with agape of yourself.
As always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.
THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU,
Our first and last love is self-love.
Christian Nestell Bovee
Self-love is the source of all our other loves.
I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don’t have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?
Had we not loved ourselves at all, we could never have been obliged to love anything. So that self-love is the basis of all love.
Love in its essence is spiritual fire.
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
Women are made to be loved, not understood.
The course of true love never did run smooth.