“I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is just an employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.”
― Jessie B. Rittenhouse
We have a tendency as humans to want something other than what we currently have, but focus on either that which we are unhappy with or on what we fear.
If we spend our time fearfully thinking about something – whether it’s illness, being poor, never finding love or any number of things we turn over in our minds – our energy is being put on that very thing. Having our energy on something like this is akin to creating an intention to manifest it. The same is true when we focus on what ‘is’ (whether a true reflection of what is or not). For example, if we believe we are poor and spend our time complaining about not having enough money, the universe will ensure that we get exactly what we seem to be asking for.
When asking for that which we want, we must allow ourselves to imagine it. Set an intention on that image and then let it go. By continually keeping the image in mind we may find ourselves once again creating the intention of scarcity – ‘I don’t have enough’. When we work for what we want without a feeling of desperation the universe will support the intention, the decision. Once the intention is clear suddenly the right people, circumstances and thoughts will come. Before we know it, we have exactly what we wished for.
Opening my heart has proven a difficult task over the years. I’ve had the past relationships like so many others that have left me somewhat jaded; left me feeling a little raw. The lessons from those relationships, going right back to my biological father, seemed to have been to keep my heart safe, to close myself off from others at least a little bit, to not really trust another. Over the years I’ve almost always been single, allowing my heart to open only to family really. Even being a little weary of friends. Lately though, I find myself missing out. There are relationships that I need to explore. It might be time to take a chance at opening up a little more, of letting the armor I’ve been wearing for so long go. I’ve been hurt before in love relationships of every kind; but I’ve also had people who have come into my life and refused to give up on getting to know me – the real me. It seems like I’ve been training for this really. Training my mind to love my fellow man, to have compassion for others regardless of who they are. I’ve developed a self-love now that seems to indicate it may be time for me to trust in my own strength enough to know that I won’t crumble because a relationship fails. It’s become so habitual to avoid this sort of intimacy with another that it feels like I don’t know how. But it’s time to take the lessons of loving-kindness to a smaller scale. I think most people start small and spread to the world with this type of mind-training. For me it is the opposite- develop loving kindness for the world and then bring it closer to home.
In truth I believe we all seek to love and be loved. Detaching from this feeling, while perhaps sounding cold, is an important part of loving. If I detach from my expected outcomes of loving, I can remain present, I can lose my fear and just feel. I can build these more intimate relationships that I think are needed for my continued growth without hope and fear. As Pema Chödrön says, “Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment.” I am enough on my own. Loving another does not change that.