Reflections of Love

Our greatest opportunities for personal growth come through our close interpersonal relationships. The “loves” in our lives provide the perfect dynamics to see our deepest patterns, our greatest gifts and our hidden weaknesses. It is through these relationships that our established patterns are laid out in plain site for us to address or deny. The more intimate the relationship, the more likely that our patterns will rise from the shadows and be acted out as a projection toward those around us until we can own them for ourselves.

Each close relationship whether a child, a spouse, a lover or a close friend could all be deemed an opportunity to love ourselves from this perspective.  These close relationships… the ones that matter the most…are gifts of love so we can see what cannot be seen otherwise. The patterns reflected back to us by the beautifully orchestrated opportunities of love, prodding us to love beyond what we have loved before and thus ultimately see ourselves as Love.

These all seem like obvious statements. You may have heard them before, yet how often do we consciously take full advantage of these personal growth potentials? How often do we see these opportunities as Love acting on our behalf? How often do we choose instead to blame a person or a force outside ourselves for the challenges we face versus honor ourselves as the great creators that we are?

More often than not when these dear souls, disguised as our closest relationships, reflect our deep unconscious patterns back to us, we do not find them so dear, in fact we may find that the patterns that they are reflecting cause us to condemn them or ourselves, as if having an unconscious pattern is a “bad thing”.

How is it that a pattern, unconsciously programmed early in life, can make us bad? We did not choose the experiences, which created that patterns and if we could have changed it, we would have. Therefore we have to come to the realization that  patterns are just that…patterns.  We might call them energy loops or loops that keep us bound to a certain reality. Another way to view our interpersonal relationships is that the people in our lives are there to help us see these patterns. They are simply gifts of love and the deeper the “tweak” the greater the potential for love.

We cannot underestimate the power of choosing to feel through these tweaks. In Michael Brown’s The Presence Process, he discusses his method for working through emotional triggers. He suggests that the person providing the “tweak” is just a messenger, a messenger sent from the depths of our unconscious to be picked up and delivered back to us by one of the “loves” in our lives.  The pattern is mirrored back so that we can consciously choose to feel through it.

Please understand that when we are tweaked, we are not being asked to dissect the reason for the tweak, nor is it being delivered to punish us. It is instead an offering of love from an unsuspecting messenger to give us the opportunity to feel and gain awareness around the pattern so we can choose differently in the future.

Michael Brown suggests that once the message has been delivered, our job is to dismiss the messenger and immediately turn our attention to how this “tweak” makes us feel. Not what we think about it, but to simply be with what arises as the feeling? Notice here that we are not being asked to think this through, nor are we asked to tell our story about why this particular feeling arose. We are simply asked to identify the feeling.

Once we can identify the feeling, he suggests that we ask ourselves what that feeling reminds us of. Again if we simply tell the story of that feeling then we miss the opportunity to neutralize it. If however we ask the question out of curiosity, then we will immediately link the feeling with the original experience that created the unconscious pattern in the first place.

The moment you are aware of this link between feeling and the origin of the pattern, your work is done. The pattern is actually neutralized right there and then. I have personally experienced this neutralization using this process.

The problem that most people face is that once they get to what is perceived as the incident of origin they go right back to telling the story of why this pattern occurred.

This is one of the reasons why Michael Brown asks that through his process that it is better not to talk to others about what you find out. It is also why you are asked in The Journey Back to Love series to notice what you notice but not share what you notice with those outside of the series until it is complete.

We have to understand the power of our creations. Any incident in our lives, no matter how horrific it might be perceived is simply a moment in time. It is rarely the incident that creates an issue in our lives. It is our identification with it.  As we attempt to understand why something happened, we create a story. We are not taught as children to let things be as they are. The incident is not what defines us. It is what we ourselves make that mean.

Byron Katie creator of The Work transforms lives every day by asking a simple series of questions. She suggests that we ask the following: Is it true? Can we be sure that it is true? How do we know for certain that it is true?

The act of asking the questions allows the story to come into question. If the reality of something can be questioned then is it true or simply an identity that we created to justify the moment.

I am not taking away from the fact that challenging terrible things happen in this world. I am suggesting that we can see those experiences as opportunities to love or we can see them as reasons to make ourselves less than and thus diminish our capacity to experience ourselves from the perspective of love.

Reorienting ourselves to the Love that we are, especially when we have reason to believe that we are unlovable and that is why certain things happened to us in the first place, can be extremely challenging. What I am suggesting is that we are not going to change the dynamics of our stories until we stop telling them!

Many of us sought broader perspectives of who we are so that we could tell ourselves a different story. This can be helpful in reorienting our stories to a more positive perspective, but this too will be short lived.

What may be required instead is a dedication to love all aspects of self and to use every opportunity presented to us in this lifetime to see through those eyes, thus ultimately realizing the love we are and have always been.