Rising in Love

Anvy Tran

March 6, 2013

Fairy tales, teenager romance novels, love songs, chick-flicks; I have grown up surrounded by the idea of a beautiful boy. I have grown up seeking this beautiful person, dreaming of love, waiting for a prince. However I don’t think I would have even realized the concept of love if I hadn’t read about it, heard about, watched it on a screen.

Because all of these books, stories, movies tell you such a beautiful story that you forget that they didn’t teach you how to love, how to create love. They don’t teach you that the first love of your life is not going to be the cute boy next door, the mysterious guy in your art class, or the man whose eyes you catch in a coffee shop. It can’t be. The first love you will ever have will be yourself. There is no one before that. It may have been excitement, desire, dependency, lust, romance, or possession but it was not love. You have to be your own first love because before you could possibly love another human being, you have to be bursting, overflowing, filled to the brim with self-love. You have to realize that love is not a small phenomenon that happens every once in a while but that it is your whole life.

And once you realize that love can only be your whole existence, you come to learn that love is endless, boundless, beyond anything you have ever known. Then when you are no longer able to contain the love that pours through you, surrounds you, releases from you; you will be able to share it with others. And this love is very special because it will be presented as a gift. It is a gift because you ask for nothing in return for your love. The act of loving is the joy. You don’t want anything from the other person. If they choose to accept your love then you feel grateful, if they don’t it is still okay. It is not about you. And when love is a gift, it is a beautiful. It is no longer an exchange, a bargain. There are no longer conditions. You don’t love this person because they love you. You don’t love this person because they make you feel happy or secure. You simply love. Think about it. How can love survive with anything else? It is only love when it is unconditional.

My condition is jealousy, it always has been. It is the deadly sin that comes most naturally to a person who is insecure. When you are insecure, frankly, you just want to secure things. You want affection and attention from the people around you. You are possessive of the ones who care about you. And I have learnt that once you make a possession out of a human being, you reduce that person to a thing. But this has to be done because you can’t possess someone who is full of life, full of depths that you will never know. So you make them into things, objects, and this is one of the worst things you can do to someone. There is no respect. But this is just one of the more obvious traits of jealousy. What secretly happens to jealous people everywhere is that we become trick into thinking jealousy is love. When you become jealous you become overwhelm with passion. You mistake this passion for a great and intense love so you hold on tighter and tighter, suffocating the person you supposedly love. You don’t want this person to leave; you beg them to stay when they want to go. It makes you disregard the desire of the other person. It wants to kill freedom.  And when I realize that I was an undercover freedom killer, I had to let go of my jealousy. There is nothing I understand more than freedom.

Allowing jealousy to leave my heart and inviting love to grow is a series of conscious moments. Love, I have realized, is a skill. I’m sure at one point it wasn’t as difficult for humans. But in an age where people are so accustomed to guarding their hearts, allowing the heart to remain open takes practice. Permitting the heart and body to be filled with nothing but love takes practice.  It is something I have been working these past few months in Ecuador. I am so grateful to my supportive cohort and loving host family who have lend a hand in cracking my heart open.

And from my first glimpse of love, I believe that love is enough. When you have love nothing else is needed, nothing else is quite as important. That is why I believe that there should place more emphasize on self-love in our world. When people don’t know how to love themselves, they try to substitute love. Glory, command, power, drugs, influence, money, are all just substitutes for love. Whatever it is, it is always destructive. These substitutes are the cause of all the pain in the world.

If only children could grow up learning that they are love. If the world could realize that love is here today. You are love! Stop looking outwards for love and turn inside. Love was here all along.

Anvy Tran