Trying to understand someone is not the same as loving them, though we might think that’s a path to love. What that is is an attempt to access the heart by first going through the mind, as if the mind is a gatekeeper for the heart. (It’s not, but we can act this way.) When we live this way, when we feel a lack of love, we may seek to recreate it by seeking to create a sense of mutual understanding, but that’s actually placing a condition upon love and thinking that external things need to be a certain way for us to have a particular internal state of being.
Love can flow during both understanding and misunderstanding.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t value in seeking clarity with another person when there is misunderstanding present. Of course that can be a very helpful and beneficial thing to do. What I am saying is that we don’t have to require the prerequisite of understanding another person’s point of view mentally and making sure they see your point of view before we allow ourselves to open up to the flow of love. Mutual understanding can certainly help us open and take down our walls, yes, but it doesn’t have to be a requirement for us to love what is, for that makes love conditional. The following quote is taking on deeper meaning for me tonight:
“Spiritual practice is the capacity to offer your love even when you feel hurt, closed down, tense, angry, misunderstood, or hated.”
By love I don’t mean affection towards another, approving of them, having them be a part of your life, or even liking their behavior and choices. Not that.
It’s more about accepting others the way they are, accepting yourself the way you are, being a YES to life, and being open to allowing what is to be without closing down and attempting to separate yourself from the moment. Love is what we feel when we surrender our resistance to what is.
Surrender means to love without limits. It means to relax your guard so your lover can feel your core–authentic, unhidden, and undefended. Your muscles relax. Your breath becomes full. Your body and heart willingly open to your lover. If you are hurt, then you are hurt, but in any case you practice to remain open and full, like the ocean.