by Stephanie Rochelle Redd
A few weeks ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Life is a class, love is the lesson.” Hmm. That being the case, I’ve been held back in life – more than a few times – by my repeated failure to master love. It’s a good thing then that I am (re-)reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, aptly titled, The Mastery of Love.
“To master a relationship is all about you.” (p. 70)
So far, so good. My ego likes where this is going.
“The first step is to become aware, to know that everyone dreams his own dream. Once you know this, you can be responsible for your half of the relationship, which is you. If you know that you are only responsible for half of the relationship, you can easily control your half. It is not up to us to control the other half.” (p. 70)
On second thought, my ego does NOT like where this is going.
“If we respect, we know that our partner, or friend, or son, or mother, is completely responsible for his or her own half. If we respect the other half, there is always going to be peace in that relationship. There is no war.” (p. 70)
Well, maybe there’s no war in the context outlined above, but my ego feels sorely defeated. Of course, that’s to be expected when we try to claim responsibility for circumstances that exist outside of our control. Still, I – aside from my repeatedly battered ego – feel richly blessed in Spirit. Why? Because whatever lies beyond our control is well within reach of God. (Amen, somebody.)
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:29-30, NKJV
At the risk of adding more angst in the hearts and minds of hopeless romantics and 80’s music fans, love is – in truth – not a battlefield. (Sorry, Pat Benatar.) Love is simply love. Battles only ensue in love’s vicinity when we arm ourselves with fear about our worthiness to receive and reciprocate love, and when we fail to fully recognize the love that exists within us.
“If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need. There’s no need to go around the world begging for love…We have love right here inside us, but we don’t see this love.” (p. 95)
More specifically, we sometimes don’t see the love inside of us as enough, which can really be translated as: we don’t see ourselves as enough.
The truth is that other people’s love – or lack thereof – toward us does not determine our worth. Even our occasional lack of love toward ourselves doesn’t determine our true worth because no matter what we do, who we truly are remains in tact as a reflection of God – in whose love and likeness we were made – and His Holy Spirit, which lives within us. Nevertheless, what we do – and what we accept from others – can reveal what we perceive our worth to be.
“If you are starving for love, and you taste that love, you are going to do whatever you can for that love. You can even be so needy that you give your whole soul just for a little attention.” (p. 94)
The good news is that we don’t have to be Le Cordon Bleu-certified to whip up a tasty cuisine of love for ourselves because we are Divinely verified as offspring of love (i.e. God). Therefore, our ability to feed ourselves love is an innate part of who we are as actual beings of love.
So, the next time that we find ourselves on a war-torn rampage for love, may we quickly remember to look in the mirror to find that the love that we so desperately seek is not hiding from us but shining from within us right where we are, just as we are.
If you could use some help uncovering the love below layers of fear-driven failures, join the club – the Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl club, that is – and click the links to follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. Happy Valentine’s Day, every day the 14th!