Love is Before What You Think of as Love

Question: I just love this song. I feel like it describes my relationship with my husband. I truly love him but I feel like he is constantly pulling away even though every part of me is pulling towards him. He’ll barely even kiss me anymore. Why does this always happen in relationship? It’s love in the beginning and then eventually fizzles.

Richardson-Borne: What is relationship? You use the word as if you know what it means.

Q: Relationship is when two people are together.

R-B: When have you ever seen two people? In what kind of violent dream-world can two people actually exist? Is it even a plausible scenario for two people to “be together?” When did you and your husband begin having independent existences that carved a space for a split allowing for what you call relationship? Take these questions to heart. Follow them to their source. You will discover that withholding kisses or any kind of pulling towards or away has nothing to do with who you think you are– it’s all a movement as natural as a tulip blooming in the spring.

Q: If there aren’t two people there, how does love happen?

R-B: What you call “love in the beginning” is actually still separation. When two people extract themselves from the totality to enjoy something private, the enjoyment is true but the reality behind the enjoyment is false. This means that, even in your enjoyment, you are suffering– which is a constant side effect of attachment to a separate self.

Apparently two, in reality, one, love doesn’t happen in isolated packets that can be shared like currency when select behaviors are chosen and viewed as separate from the movement that is living everything. Love is before what you think of as love. It’s before the feeling but lives through the feeling and the recognition of feeling. You mistake romance, infatuation, sexual energy, chemistry, and even connection with love. For you, love has been made into a ridiculous treasure hunt, an external search for something that is always right below your feet. All you have to do is take the time to stop and dig right where you are in any given moment.

The only occurrence that can qualify as “love in the beginning” is the realization of non-separation. From non-separation, relationship can commence. But it will have nothing to do with an other because there are no others. Relationship is just the revealing of the movements of life to itself.

Q: I think we live in two different worlds. Tell me you don’t pull away in certain situations.

R-B: It may happen from time to time. I’m just not confused about who is doing the pulling away.

Q: But I can feel every part of me pulling towards him. I can’t just turn it off.

R-B: Nobody is asking you to turn off anything. I’m inviting you to see that you’re getting involved in something that is not yours to get involved with. Longing for him doesn’t have to be in any way pejorative– the separate self can want what it wants. Let it. Just know it’s not either of you that’s doing the pulling towards or away from one another. You are both being appropriately lived.

If you see what I’m pointing to, what is there to pull away from?

Q: Well, my husband thinks he owns me. He tells me to quit my job and stay home. There is always a list of boxes to check and so many expectations. I’m really tired of being owned. I’m not an object to be possessed.

R-B: First you say that every part of you is pulling towards him. And now you say there is a part of you that is tired of being owned. Being caught in the web of dissonance of the separate self is enough to make anyone crazy. It’s like you have your foot on the accelerator and the break at the same time. And since you don’t realize that it’s not your foot that is pressing the pedals, your world is experienced as an autonomous individual driving in circles with a dilemma or two that always needs to be figured out. This is what it feels like to be trapped in a world of suffering.

Have you ever asked yourself who is being owned? Have you ever asked yourself how the conditions of ownership came into being? When one is not identified with the separate self, what is there to be owned, or to do the owning? When there is nobody separate to be owned, what happens to the possibility of ownership?

You are still attached to a separate self that imagines your husband from a separative point of view, and he must be playing the same separative game, in order for you to feel owned. You actually desire this reciprocation from an entity that you perceive as outside of yourself. My guess is that he feels owned as well.

Q: I’m attached, but I don’t try to own him. Attachment is not ownership.

R-B: Ownership of a separate self is the definition of attachment. When you assume ownership of a separate self you are attached to an environment of objects and the only way to love is to possess them in some kind of way. Ownership of a separate self turns into ownership of a story of an other. Ownership of an other is ownership of a “husband” and all other objects that are outside of this self you claim to be. So, ownership of a separate self is attachment. And attachment to objects is ownership.

What you truly see is consciousness. What you imagine is a self and an other. Understanding this is non-separation.

Q: Isn’t some form of attachment needed to hold relationships together?

R-B: What is holding relationships together has nothing to do with what you think of as autonomous action.

Attachment is just a concept of the separate self. Ask yourself what binds two people together other than your imagination?

Find this binding and find out who you really are.