It was Valentine’s Day yesterday. In the eyes of the world, it may be considered that I have had the worst day of my life.
I had a disagreement with my partner which lasted for six hours. We did not just ignore each other but rather, we continuously communicated throughout these six hours almost non-stop, except for a brief period where we bought food, cooked and ate dinner at almost midnight!
Everything was so imperfect and completely in contrast to the picture-perfect images that were bombarding us all around on this day of love. We did not give each other gifts, we did not have a special dinner; there was no sweet photo of us together. We were in disagreement but the truth was, I have never felt a love so true.
Why would I say that?
In our commitment to get to the heart of the matter of this argument we dealt with many different topics, such as the consciousness relating to genders, money, doubt, insecurity, judgement, imposition, brotherhood etc., to get to the core issues of responsibility, attachment and need. That the truth is, we know the both of us are more than how we have chosen to live. So we got to feel what that was like. In the process, we received all of our honesty from feeling genuine frustration and stress, insecurity and reactions. In effect, we blatantly received all of our patterns and their consequences and during this, I felt a point of clarity of choice.
At that point, I also felt the deep touch of my partner who bared his vulnerability and threw away his protection to tell me how he was feeling. We received no niceness and gave none: we received no ‘holding back’ and gave none. It was the deepest vulnerability we have ever offered to each other.
Throughout most of our night, I observed myself. My movements also testified that no matter what, through thick and thin, I will always be by our side. Whenever I felt like protecting myself and wanting to cross my legs, I opened them again. I made sure I felt warm. I did not shout but my tone and manner was firm. I looked my partner in the eye. I sat beside him. We went to buy food together and ate our light dinner together. And I observed my partner’s movements changing from frustration to patience. We came to a mutual understanding of not needing the other to change, but everything had already changed.
We did not have any sweet words or gestures. We went to bed separately, but the fullness and equality I felt within myself gave me the deepest sleep. When my partner and I woke up in the morning, we naturally cuddled together, now ever more in understanding and love for each other.
Our imperfections lived have knocked down the ideals of what love should look like, how love should be expressed for a man and woman, exposing the judgements we have between genders. As a woman, knowing how as a culture/gender we hold back our power and the truth of who we are. I take the responsibility to be seen by my partner, all the parts of me that I felt uncomfortable in showing, the qualities that I do not know how to handle or may feel embarrassed about because it would mean greater responsibility.
Qualities like being naturally in authority and expressive, having the ability to feel deeply and the ease in communicating these feelings, but always being faced with the resistance that, to be accepted, these are ‘no go’ zones. And what I felt was a man who has never wanted anything less from me. I have never felt equality like this before as a woman by not hiding myself.
Today as a man and a woman, we are re-building our foundations of how love is felt within our bodies. That before we open our mouths to express love, this love is first lived and felt within us.
Published with permission from my partner.
By Adele Leung, Hong Kong
No Passport required: making Relationships about Love
What is true love?
The beauty is these opportunities are there every day and every where, nothing supports us to return to the expression of love so much once this spark is realized. We just have to take the opportunities.
How is it possible to reduce the celebration of love to only one day of the year, a day we call Valentine’s Day? What you’ve share Adele is that love is not about comfort but a deep surrender, openness and honesty to go there and live love in our everyday.
Love is who we are , our breath that we breathe, we cannot ever find it outside of ourselves. What we don’t see outside as loving, we are asked to see how we are unloving to ourselves within.
Agreed Chan, lets make every day worth celebrating.
Reflecting love is reflecting all those tiny yet ever so potent sparks that are us, to shine the all of us.
And this exposes anything in our path that is not love through our loving way. The brighter we shine the more we inspire and heal.
What an amazing process of patience, acceptance and beholding.
Love is who we are. We should therefore be being blinded from every conceivable angle by it’s reflection. The fact that we’re not, speaks volumes about the choices that we’re all making.
To be bathed in the love we are is a daily washing not to be missed.
What joy and nourishment, true medicine and healing we all have the ability to connect with daily once the choice to truly love is made.
Love is an emanation – the Christ light that lives within us all. As such it cannot be given to another, for how do you give someone that which they already are? It is a source of energy we either align with or we do not. Therefore love is not ours to own, we are simply beholders of it and our job is to embody it so all others know they are equally beholders as are they always beheld.
The embodiment is the greatest gift and reflection to the world, and yet it is just natural.
Adele, this is gorgeous; ‘We received no niceness and gave none: we received no ‘holding back’ and gave none. It was the deepest vulnerability we have ever offered to each other.’ How beautiful to be so open, raw and honest with each other, this feels like our true way of being together – not holding anything back, simply being ourselves. I find this deeply inspiring.
Adele, this is really beautiful to read; ‘My movements also testified that no matter what, through thick and thin, I will always be by our side. Whenever I felt like protecting myself and wanting to cross my legs, I opened them again. I made sure I felt warm.’ I am aware that during discussions it is easy to get defensive and protected and go cold and so it is gorgeous to be aware of our body movements during discussions, so that we are open and loving.
The details we can be aware of the body speaking and these details are reflected to others energetically always.
I agree Rebecca, it can be so easy to forget ourselves when deep in discussion so to stay aware of our movements and to take care of our body’s needs during this time allows us to watch when we might be closing down, resisting or hardening and gives us the opportunity to surrender and stay open.
The more I watch and am aware of my movements the more I realise just how key our movements truly are – they can change our moods and thoughts, release tension, bring clarity, offer nurturing and delicate tender loving care… so powerful and profound.
I deeply appreciate those who do not freely express I love you. From this I could sense a responsibility felt with any impart of this word, if it’s not true do not pretend it is truth.
Reading your blog Adele, I really get to feel how love is just so exquisitely precious for us to behold and whatever it takes for us to receive and to share this clear true love, really is worth all the effort and distillation of what is true from what is not true.
In love the beholding is solid and what is not true drops away.
Wow Adele, that was totally gorgeous to read and what a gift of love you offered each other in your willingness to be truly naked for the other. Incredible sharing.
Kim the inspiration is to look deeper and beyond any picture, there could be another underlying truth.
Being open and willing to not always being right is key, especially in relationship with another. Everything we do effects the other person, and everybody else in the Universe, and remembering this is key. Because as you have shared when we bring it back to love, there is no issue as nothing else matters. It is only when we step away from love that the tension or issues come. To have the commitment to say ok I am willing to be fully open, and express what is going on even if you may not like to hear it is a gorgeous testament to the relationship you have built. It can be easy to walk away being in the ‘right’ but then nothing changes and the other person is then left hanging, so really you both lose. It is only when we pull each other back into the love we are that then everyone wins.
I always remember the wise words of it is never about being right but being love.
All my body ever craves is the unity of love.
Reading this again I feel strongly that in relationships it is never about the individual but the togetherness, this is always a respect and understanding to go deeper.
I am very inspired by this article as the way you dealt with the argument with your partner is almost the opposite of how most of us deal with such a situation. You kept talking throughout – most would withdraw, fume or sulk. You acknowledged there was tensions and an issue – how common is it to carry on and pretend everything is ok? You didn’t try to hide how you felt and didn’t go into right or wrong – this allowed you both to stay honest and raw.
Yes, staying connected can be an excellent way to move from reaction to response and can remove misunderstandings.
Anything we say to another person in any relationship should be a confirmation of the movements lived in that relationship. ‘I love you’ means nothing unless your movements have already expressed this.
Very true Susie, so often we can use words all the ‘right’ and pleasing words but if they do not come from the body with love then they are meaningless. The energy we communicate in is far more important and felt deeper than any words can ever express.
Talk the walk that already is. Love should be no different.
Really there is truly nothing more romantic then seeing someone open up, bare their vulnerability and drop their protection if we don’t have this a foundation then we can’t ever truly move on.
Very true and what settles my body is never perfection but the feeling of that what has been difficult has been dealt with, opened up and expressed. We express and move ourselves back to love.
The vulnerability expressed in a partner melts my heart and the respect and honouring of me I absolutely adore – there is nothing greater in any moment than being met with the love of who we truly are.
The world would be a better place if we could all be this honest in the relationships we choose to be in, scrap being nice for truth and watch things blossom.
No matter what, it is not possible to stay in this very clear tension of any disharmony and the learning to return to love is to learn about this process of going back to this harmony.
‘At that point, I also felt the deep touch of my partner who bared his vulnerability and threw away his protection to tell me how he was feeling.’ – what a gift and an honouring of your partner and you, Adele. Being truly honest with each other can be very confronting – yet it’s the only way we can truly share intimacy and be able to work through anything that is getting in the way, deconstructing any obstacles that are preventing us from holding each other in the love that we are, unreservedly so.
What a picture to really deconstruct—true intimacy is not being picture-perfect but working through confrontations, to feel love again within us.
‘Today as a man and a woman, we are re-building our foundations of how love is felt within our bodies. That before we open our mouths to express love, this love is first lived and felt within us.’ – by living in this way we can truly support each other from a place of settlement, not needing anything from the other person, rather, connecting and enjoying building intimacy in the relationship without any attachment, but absolute joy in sharing and receiving love – love that is an expression of what is already being lived.
Absolutely love, love, love your blog, Adele, thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. With your introduction, explaining how your day did not fit the ‘picture’ of a ‘loving Valentines Day’ – as I continued to read I could feel what an amazing and truly evolving time you shared together with your partner. No, it may not have ‘looked’ as though you were loving each other, but in truth, there is nothing more loving than holding another in the love that you know they are and offering them the space to be that love – the same love that you are equally holding your self in first. To challenge each other when you know they may be holding back, or resisting being true to who they are, not in a judgmental way, but with honesty and vulnerability – this is being intimate – something we too often trade for an easy comfortable life, which may ‘look’ good and fit a picture, but it feels empty.
I have realized recently that lovelessness is such a familiar feeling for so many of us. We crave being put down, fighting and bickering, the protection we put up for being rejected of the love that we are. We do not want to commit to the Livingness of love and hence choosing reaction is easier and much more comfortable. But what if we do not end in reaction, but go deeper? Are we willing to go deeper to feel and face the deep love that we have had hidden but we know is a part of us?
Love is an energetic quality that knows we are all equal. It never holds back for the sake of keeping the peace but it will always deliver the truth with such tender honesty that we cannot help but accept the invitation to look deeper within our selves. When we live this love, everyday is Valentine’s Day.
I hear you Rowena. Expression is an absolute crucial tool and we would never hold it back when the intention to express lovingly is compatible with the Expression itself.
‘We came to a mutual understanding of not needing the other to change, but everything had already changed.’ The moment we let go our investments we have in this human form, love can do its amazing work.
Yesterday was Chinese Valentine’s Day. The legend goes that a pair of mythical figures, lovers, can only meet once a year on this day. The heavens built a bridge for them to meet. It is supposed to be very romantic and painfully sweet. For starters, no love is ever painful. And secondly, only seeing once a year, no matter what the reason is, is a choice. Relationships with each other are a door to reflect and evolve, the choice to meet only once a year is not a relationship (there is no Skype in the legend) but an avoidance of relationship rather, to vacuum the definition of love to be a perfect picture full of emotional yearning yet devoid of the gold—our Livingness.
Very true, the body does not lie. And the authority and closeness first and foremost is always to my own body, not to any person, situation or thing.
Going to those ‘no go zones’ is where we need to go so there’s nothing in the way of being intimate with one another. Any time I smooth over what I feel the world becomes dull and loses its magic. In the past I’ve put on a great show of pretence that all is ok. Reading this I’m inspired to go deeper and clear out what doesn’t belong.
Is tearing down our walls and exposing who we have hidden for lifetimes, the most loving gift we could ever offer ourselves and those around us!
The true gift to anyone that is. Love is never just for one special person. Then that person we have chosen to spend our life with will truly receive what is love.
What have we done to the nature of the day when days like Valentine’s Day, birthdays and Christmas day are filled with so much expectation and pressure?
There is no conformation or a true celebration of togetherness in any of them.
If our one day of the year on love is devoted to the comfort of the superficial, then we are setting ourselves up for the rest of the year to not go deeper.
“We came to a mutual understanding of not needing the other to change, but everything had already changed” – that’s so beautiful Adele, the change that occurred being the realisation of this.
Actually we all are longing for love and to have that reflected in our (intimate) relationships. The only way to let this happen is to let go all the guards, ideas, beliefs and any picture and to fully rely on the rawness that is underneath. The love that then can surface will show us the way and what true love in a relationship is. It is purely divine and with respect, decency and enormous appreciation for the being being exposed in its rawness and vulnerability.
The beauty of having an argument that starts of with all the hurt we then feel and tend to blame on the other is in the end in the understanding that it is our own responsibility to become open and transparant and deal with these hurts in a way that they do not work out on the other. Nobody has to change, but everything then has already changed because this is not the normal way people tend to deal with their hurts.
It is indeed amazing the opportunities we are given to look at our own hurts, patterns, beliefs in our relationships to never feel less, but to be obedient of the movement of love always deepening.
Rather than trying to fit the pictures of romantic love in life, can we first live the love that we are in essence with each other.
If we do want to live true love with each other, that is the only place to start, be in the essence of ourselves and with each other. All relationships are one relationship, I really appreciate this simplicity.
This is a beautiful example of commitment to truth, to bringing the utmost honesty to relationship – whether that takes 5mins, 5 hours or 5 days … rather than covering things over with ‘should do’s’ such as flowers, hearts and chocolates on one day of the year.
Be it 500 lifetimes, the commitment back to love is unwavering.
I love your Valentine’s Day – no gadgets, tricks or impositions but total honesty and delicious transparency, warts and all. It is rare we allow ourselves to fathom these depths but, when we do, the results speak for themselves.
The results do not only speak for themselves, they are emanated in space as a role model so to say available for others to choose and experiment with. It is so much grander what we are earthing in energy when we are deepening our connection with the love we are from than we only experience in the physical.
So many of us can have superficial or convenient relationships that can tick all the boxes and look great from the outside but are slowly but surely killing us inside so committing to truth as a stepping stone to true love is really the only option.
Being perfect on the outside is impossible but when we need to upkeep this appearance, it is deeply straining without the inner foundation. What I question is, the couples who show their perfected but empty relationships in public—what are we really telling the public? That that is already sufficient in a relationship. Just for show is good enough. But we can all feel the emptiness and we accept the lies and this has become our marker of love.
I would question how is it possible to bear even one moment of a non-evolving relationship, how much of ourselves have we chosen to numb?
Beautiful expression – our love is whole, never a part. What I got from this is that there is no reason to stop loving or to be more loving on Valentine’s Day than any other day.. I am inspired by The Way of The Livingness to make life more about love and the fact that our love is an endless movement we can connect to or either move away from.
Commitment is key to have a flourishing relationship with ourselves and all others. A commitment to consistent exploration of what is true and is not true, with a humbleness to always be open to learn.
Very beautiful yes…commitment is the movement of true will. Knowing the roots of where we are from and will return.
The fact that you spent Valentine’s day without the exchange of gifts, did not have a special dinner or instagrammed photos of you together… and were in disagreement to boot, yet had never felt a love so true is reason to look much more deeply into what love is, and what have we accepted love to be – that in truth, is not.
We have fallen for an emotional, romanticised ideal of love, borrowed from fairy tales and Walt Disney – to our great detriment and at a huge loss to true settlement.
I remember being a teenager and thought love was all you see in the movies but in holding onto a picture without feeling the substance is a huge let down. That sparked a long long journey to find what love is about.
We’re here to reflect love on every day, to be a constant terminal of love.
We can get carried away with a picture of love – the romantic emotional type where Valentine’s Day is measured by the flowers and nice things people do – but I know love to be a different feeling – that it is always developing and deepening and that we cannot have a picture of it because it is always about a relationship we have with ourselves and others.