Resting in your awakened awareness, everything dissolves. Every desire, fear, expectation, and anything else that isn’t real disappears into this vast ocean of love that is you and that is God. This may happen once permanently, or you may move back and forth from this awareness as you kind of see-saw your way into the abiding state that is simply you and is simply love. Either way, it doesn’t matter the road you take; the end of the journey is the same.
But for those of you who may be like me and are see-sawing as old issues hook you and pull you out of that delicious, warm, and permeating sea of love and heave you back onto the hard, bitter concrete of duality, I felt like writing a little encouragement and what it means to simply be love.
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Love Beyond the Juvenile Definitions
Most of us can’t have a real discussion about love until we know what we’re talking about. I’d encourage you to check out my spirituality post called, “What Is Love?” before going much further here. It’ll help you understand how I’m talking about it because I certainly am not speaking from the juvenile and limited definitions of love that only include family and certain romantic-sexual partners. Love is so much vaster than that, and it’s an important thing to understand.
However, those of you dropping more frequently into this relaxed permanently loving awareness can see this vastness, can you not? It’s beautiful. Every aspect of life is an aspect of love. Every aspect of love is in you. You are part of it all, and how could you not love all of you now. Where you often will get pulled back into duality and the troubles of daily life will be when you find an aspect of yourself that you cannot accept. At each level of integration with this awareness, you let go of subtler and subtler levels of ego and illusion. Many of these illusions and ego ideas still place projections on what the world around you should be and how it should behave. But make no mistake about it, the world will continue to be a mischievous, dangerous, and occasionally outright cruel place. Awakening doesn’t remove that; instead it embraces it as part of the whole.
Finding Your Limitations and Going Beyond Them
Many times, people feel overwhelmed by the wealth and abundance of their own love. I think it’s a little funny how often people talk about abundance and think that it’s just about money. Too many people think that they can just attract lots of money, and attached to that idea is often another idea that this will make them happier. The fear of not having enough tends to hide underneath this desire.
But spiritual abundance is not monetary. The more that only love remains in your life, the more you will not think much about those things. Taking care of your means for survival will be important, but the rest will be left to God. It always was. Now, as things dissolve away, the truth of that reality becomes more and more prominent.
The Many Barriers to Love
You’ll notice that I never distinguish this love as spiritual love. Even a phrase like that is too small, and it creates a new definition and therefore a new barrier to love. Now we can only love in a spiritual way or love spiritual things. That’s not what this love is. It is a profound acceptance of all that is in the universe. Nothing is left out from the meanest dictator to the kindest saint. Wherever you find that your heart closes, you now must go. Again and again, you must find these barriers to love if you are to truly embrace all of you, and each time you let go of a barrier, it is astonishing how much more love you can feel.
I’ve always been amused that at each new depth of love that opens in me, it feels like a huge wave crashes over me. It makes the last wave feel very small. It’s as if I had a small sip of water previously, and now I’m swallowing the ocean. I’ve had this feeling again and again as the many barriers to love in my own heart have dissolved. So I encourage you to embrace this refreshing new-ness and overwhelming sensation each time it comes. Open yourself wide. Gorge yourself on this love and interconnection. You won’t be lost, and if you do feel lost, it will be in the most exquisite way possible.
The Dangers of Misconceptions of Love
And yet people may be so new to the depths of their own love, that there exists a naivete and ignorance to this. You may suddenly decide that everyone is beautiful–and they are. But you may then put yourself in places where you may be hurt or abused. This is not the fullness of love. The fullness of love sees the beauty in all, and it sees the truth of the moment. In the truth of the moment, love sees a violent drug addict and may call the police. This may be the best way to embrace this person because this person could hurt someone or him/herself.
The naive or ungrounded/unstabilized love would want to hug this person and somehow leech away all his or her suffering. This could lead to a violent reaction from the person. Keep in mind, that the more tuned into this awakened love, the more clear it is what right action to take. I’m not setting a hard definition here; I’m simply pointing to the fact that love sees. In clear sight and connection to your inner knowing, you’ll know how the loving you of this moment need to express yourself with the drug addict. Then you trust the unfolding that follows.
What you don’t do is assume that everyone is acting from this type of clarity and love and that just because you’ve changed that others will follow suit. Everyone has their path to follow, and pain is one of our greatest teachers. For some of you, you already know this and you’ve awakened because pain (one of love’s many aspects) has taught you so well.
The Arising of a Spiritual Job
The word “job” is a silly term because that’s not really how this space thinks. As everything dissolves away, there is nothing left but love. So you will simply want to do whatever actively manifests love and joy into your life.
It’s not that hard.
So many people go through such inner struggle to find their “true purpose,” but in this space, the awakened self does not care about that. If there is a clear purpose for this lifetime, then you will follow it. If not, you will simply follow the path that brings you the most joy.
There will still be difficulty, but consider that if you love offering massage, then you will do that work. There will be good days and bad, but because you love sharing yourself in this way, it is not the same as doing a job just to make money or because you’re good at it.
The “how” is everything.
How you share your skills and talents creates the foundation of the service you offer. If you truly hate working in non-profits but think you have to serve the world in that way, you are actually doing the opposite. You are sowing the seeds of suffering. An enlightened accountant is just as needed as enlightened non-profit executive directors.
Arising Into Duality and Melting Back Into Oneness
In awakened consciousness, we will find old issues arise, and this is okay. This too is part of love and the divine unfolding, and I always encourage everyone to have a little bit of a sense of humor. “Ah! I got hooked into this old story of me. How foolish I am!”
The laughter makes it easier to forgive and to let go. In the letting go, you release and can drop deeper into that inner oneness that has always been there.
I know for some there is this fear that if there is nothing left, why would they want to live? But I’ve found that the fewer attachments I have, the more joyful life is. It makes me WANT to live even more, not less. The despondent ego will throw its last snares and set its traps to create this idea along with other ideas about somehow you are not being responsible or will not be able to take care of yourself.
These are all lies.
The more grounded you are in awakened love, the more you naturally want to take care of yourself and those who are dear to you. It all becomes much clearer as you set your feet firmly down on a foundation of love. As you look around at the world, there is nothing but love left. So there is also nothing left to do than to follow your heart and discover and create the unfolding in your life that you must truly and whole-heartedly enjoy.
Thoughts from 2021 Jim Tolles
This post was originally written in January of 2013. I’ve lightly edited this text, although some things simply had to be cut out.
It’s so interesting to go back in time and find this Jim Tolles and to understand where he/I was in the process of ego dissolving.
This is a powerful statement. But I know that I need to be clearer about this. For most people, love is a happy feeling. Love is social approval. Love is getting the support we think we want. It’s those ideas that may get projected onto a blog post like this one.
That’s not what I’m saying.
I’m saying that there is this surrendered reality where everything is accepted. EVERYTHING. That is what unconditional love is.
But in this world, there are very difficult things that we learn to “be in love with” that we do not inherently like.
How about heart disease?
Heart disease is the number disease in the world at the time I am writing. It’s difficult for anyone to say, “I love heart disease.” Right? It sounds like, “I like and approve of heart disease.” What we’re really saying is “I accept heart disease.”
And with acceptance, we can take action to address this disease.
So I wanted to add these extra thoughts to clarify any misconceptions this post may have brought up. When there’s nothing left but love, there’s nothing left but acceptance and surrender to what Is.
2013 Jim Tolles was going through a lot of heart-openings, but those really were just the beginning to realizing deeper truths about the nature of unconditional love.
Here are some more posts to help you: