The room glowed orange. And LOVE. A wooden carving of the word sat against the wall in my room, opposite my meditation cushion, on top of a painting of my favourite tree (the letters light up if I really want them to. I very rarely want them to.)
I’ve become increasingly frustrated with words and their inability to capture and express the absolute truth of the concepts they frame. Love is one of the best examples of that, for me.
Love, for instance, is on a spectrum, for starters. There are differing types of love, differing levels of depth, differing levels of understanding of it as a concept, differing levels of experience with it.
And here is the problem I have: LOVE, the word, is far too small.
It is too small to capture
the vast ocean
So I get a little frustrated.
Words, in general, are a little frustrating to me, because even people we share a language with will never know the exact meaning of a word according to our perception and expression of it.
An example. I experienced the most profound moment the other day, when discussing some things with my beautiful, spiritual counsellor. She is trying to help me work through some of my energy blocks, at the moment, but as we discussed a particular topic I found myself fumbling. I knew exactly why.
Words. They were vastly limiting us in a few ways: one way being our different perception of particular words (it seemed we weren’t quite on the same page). Another being the energy beneath the concept I was trying to express. The whole thing seemed far bigger than any means of communication we had in our toolbox to discuss it with. It was as if we were trying to catch a whale with a plastic fishing rod. It was just never going to happen.
I even said to her that I felt so frustrated because I couldn’t possibly express the depth of what I was trying to convey to her in words. This was a feeling. But it was also something so much more than a feeling.
I don’t need to capture the entire universe and express it in form. But if I did…words couldn’t possibly reach the heights I’d need to climb to pick that apple.
I tend to think that the root of all war starts with the individual. More specifically, the constant fights (and wholehearted agreements) we have—umm, with ourselves— about how good or bad, or right or wrong we are in relation to something or someone else.
But what is this inner chatter going on about, when, given the vast, unlimited nature of the universe: everything just simply is?
It just is because how could it be any other way? All humans play by different rules: from countries, to cultures, to homes. And like the trees and plants we see dotted all about the place…no one is any more right than the other. It is humanity that places labels upon x, that judges x, that separates ourselves from x.
In my opinion: labels, judgment, and separation…cause war. The small day to day wars of: ‘that’s not what I believe, or how I would behave’. And the big wars, the ones with the bombs. I think we can all collectively agree on one thing, at least: we have really got to do something about those.
The problem is that our ‘ judgments, boxes and boundaries’ also keep us safe and functioning healthily, and so there lies the mind-numbing ache of life. The absolute chaos that is the human condition. Absolute chaos. (Did I mention the chaos? It’s kind of a bit chaotic, wouldn’t you say?)
Awareness of self (and other), compassion, understanding, forgiveness and empathy feel like the answer, to me, but our survival instincts (fight, flight, freeze) are so deeply ingrained. How do we evolve healthily and sustainably without suppressing real and actual biological needs? In other words, how do we achieve collective peace without blowing ourselves up via the suppression of our emotional and primal needs? We need to be able to freely express ourselves, and yet how do we do this when we are still under the shadow of such dense societal judgment?
And, that, dear bloggy friends, is the question I’ve been mulling over for quite some time now. Awareness of self has brought a great deal of peace to my life and the life of my children that certainly wasn’t there before. Where once I growled like the wild tiger Mum scolding her naughty cubs, I now take a moment, connect with my empathy, and calmly guide the little muffins in a way that won’t completely scar them for life. Then I go for a run. A long, long run and consider the painfully obvious fact that I am human and sometimes I just really want to roar.
We really are so painfully human. We all grow, learn, break, and heal at different times in our lives, and sometimes even radical empathy is a struggle for the most empathic among us. Perhaps I’m overthinking it all, but I really do wonder if we ever will have the collective epiphany of all epiphanies.
How to achieve peace, whilst also being everything that we are.
Is it possible? I hope so, but honestly…I’m really not sure.