I'm so in love with The Mastery of Love that I don't even know where to start. Um, also, if you don't like spoilers scroll down to the quotes, (or maybe further) because I'm about to write a novella about this book. I burned through the book in an afternoon, and then bought the audiobook, so I could listen to it all day. So, I'll start here, at the end, with the concept of The Stalker and The Dreamer. The Dreamer controls the dream, knows it's a dream, and The Stalker is looking to find the where the dream has been going. Now the term stalker has some pretty negative connotations, meaning that you follow someone around with the desire to, know them, at best, and conquer or harm them, at worst. But here you're not stalking another, you're stalking awareness, and not just any awareness your own private awareness. You do this in order to see where you've fallen. If your life isn't what it could be, you need this in your life. Because once you decide to unsubscribe from all of the little things that have been pulling your attention to and fro, you'll reclaim the energy that is rightfully yours, and it always has been, you've just been giving it to fear.
So you stalk your reactions, all of them, and become committed to feeling the sensations of all the things that make you uncomfortable, and the things that bring you joy. But as we all know, the negative always seems so daunting. It's easy to go there first. So, every time your awareness becomes entangled with something that gets a reaction out of you, you sit with it. What have you created with this? What story have you told yourself around this?
This has nothing to do with love, does it? After all, a book called The Mastery of Love, should be about love at least in some sense. It is, but you take responsibility for that love by working on each and every thing that is getting in the way of it. It's your love to give, keep, or share—although there is a bit in there about not putting it into the hands of others. Read it, you'll see.
And fear, fear is such a huge premise in this book. There is a polarity of fear and love that he explains in a way that is pretty much undeniable, and once you learn it you can't unlearn it. I'm not sure why you'd want to, but yeah, it's real. Don't worry, I'll publish like half of the book here in quotes in a minute. Hopefully, you can get a sense for what it's about, and the magic that lies therein.
“You don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.”
One of my favorite parts of this is explaining the meaning of respect. The idea that if you respect someone you deem them capable of handling their own lives. You give out a hand, but don't assume that they need you to coddle them because they are as capable as you are to clean up their own mess. The act of doing things for others, picking up their stuff, emotionally or otherwise, comes from the idea that they are somehow not capable of taking care of themselves, implies that you know better and that you have uncovered a power that they couldn't possibly possess. But they do, and if they're not interesting in bettering the situation that's on them. The ultimate point is that we don't try to change those we love, nor do we possess the ability to do so.
“Life brings to you exactly what you need. There is perfect justice in hell. There is nothing to blame. We can even say that our suffering is a gift. If you just open your eyes and see what is around you, it’s exactly what you need to clean your poison, to heal your wounds, to accept yourself, and to get out of hell.”
Hell is the dream, or it can be, doesn't have to be—that's kinda the point. The stuff that is in our external world is very much the reflection of what we have believed, or dreamt all this time. Those things we've held as truth, even if they're painful. Even if the younger versions of ourselves would want to shake us into a time of love, joy, and innocence again. We think that time for us is over. It's not.
“the real mission you have in life is to make yourself happy, and in order to be happy, you have to look at what you believe, the way you judge yourself, the way you victimize yourself”
He makes such a strong case for this. All you have to do is look at what is bothering you and let the story you've told yourself around it boil up and feel all the feelings, and choose whether or not you want to continue living this way. I feel like the idea that everything is self-created really bothers some people, but I think it's liberating. I mean it sucks to have to take responsibility, but to know that life can be something so much greater, and easily at that—I think that's liberation. You do have to let go of a lot of the deconstructive stuff that has been propping you up. It's just a little discomfort, but similarly to Micheal Singer's ideas in The Untethered Soul, "pain is the price of freedom," what's on the other side is so much better. It's not a lot of pain, but you have to stop yourself and look at your relationship with your mother or sister, or brother, or money, of your job, or your lover, or yourself, especially yourself. Ugh self-abuse v. self-love takes up a big chunk of this book, for good reason. You have to look at the ways you're being a real jerk to yourself, and some of those things are self-created and some were the "emotional poison" handed to you through others. The black magic, if you will. The way others tried to cause you harm and you accepted because you thought maybe they knew more than you, or worse, that in some way you deserved this pain. You don't.
“If you take your happiness and put it in someone’s hands, sooner or later, she is going to break it. If you give your happiness to someone else, she can always take it away. Then if happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love, you are responsible for your happiness.”
This concept is a lot more romantic than it sounds. I bump up against the idea that only we can make ourselves happy, with the idea that love, as in love that comes from other people, can't make us happy. I think there can be both, but one has to precede the other. This is what I'm learning—you can have all the things, but first, be all the things. But living in a world where we are very distinctly taught to externalize our happiness, it's so hard to consciously realize money, success, clothes, relationships, romance, altruism, and kindness, those things are not happiness. Expecting kindness is not happiness. Happiness is an internal process where you start to see the beauty, and kindness, and love in others through the expression of it inside yourself. And you do this by clearing out the ways that you're keeping it from yourself. Because before conditioning, love is the natural state.
“Humans hunt for love. We feel that we need that love because we believe we don’t have love, because we don’t love ourselves. We hunt for love in other humans just like us, expecting to get love from them when these humans are in the same condition as we are. They don’t love themselves either, so how much love can we get from them? We merely create a bigger need that isn’t real; we keep hunting and hunting, but in the wrong place, because other humans don’t have the love we need.”
Again, who is not in the endless pursuit of love and acceptance, if not from another person, then from a community, or finding a life they love? This hunt is everywhere. But through the application of Don Miguel Ruiz's principles, we grow it inside first and then see it everywhere else. Life becomes very much what we make it, or rather, what me make ourselves. So with this end in mind, I diligently stare at my empty bank account, or a pile of dirty laundry, or a lull anywhere in my life and wonder, "Why does it bother me?" "What am I making this mean about myself?" It's a lot of work because a disorderly house, depending on where and how you were raised can mean so many things from the idea that you don't care about yourself and your home, all the way down to you have a disorderly mind. Cluttered home, cluttered mind, and all of that, but Ruiz explains this is just something you agreed to believe, and a pile of laundry can just be a pile of laundry. The disorder you associate with it is inside. So commit to moving the disorder and the sense of internal chaos and the laundry becomes something a lot simpler to deal with, and you won't put yourself through the hell when it piles up. This example sounds trite, but think of thousands of these things inside you, all having their own unique meaning and you'll see you've built a life on criticizing yourself for what you've left undone, making it mean something much bigger than what it has to. We can all internally find peace in chaos, but it's a choice.
“Life is nothing but a dream, and if we are artists, then we can create our life with Love, and our dream becomes a masterpiece of art.”
Someone once told me I wasn't an artists. It was one of the most painful things I'd heard, ever. But when I got it to move out of me, it dragged so much more with it. You can't make a living as an artist, for one, or that it's not a real job, for second. The daggers that others throw at us can be so revealing of what we've chosen to believe for ourselves, and as we stop accepting them as reality these wounds close up on their own and people can keep their own poison. Or find someone new to infect with it, until one or both parties decide it's time to stop living in hell. Whether or not people choose this will never be your responsibility. Ever.
I'm happy to end things here because it's the final point. We paint our lives through our beliefs, and one way or another we choose to accept the truth that was laid out for us, and choosing something different takes a lot of energy, but I so believe it is possible to completely rebuild all of life, and maybe bit by bit, all the world.
I am so grateful for all that I've learned and all the teachers out there putting pen to paper to make sure the world has even a little less suffering than before.
Possibly the most important lesson I have learned recently. If you don't feed your mind, someone else will. source: Always Sunny on tumblr
I need so much more bed yoga in my life. source: Zulu & Zephyr
I don't know what more a person could ask for. source: Southern and Sun Kissed
The world needs more flowers. source: Three Rivers Deep
I need to bring some of these windows into my dream. source: Killan and Co
Such a beautiful photo series. source: Adenorah
Always. source: Dallas Clayton on Instagram
Ugh, yes, again learning this very clearly through the works of Don Miguel Ruiz. source: June Letters
So grateful that my yoga practice has arisen much more organically these days. source: Boho Mixology
True, built it inside first. source: Killan and Co
I've been trying to add more stuff to my photos. More styling or whatever, and this reminds me just how much I love simplicity. source: Silver Blonde on tumblr