01.01.2002 Love, Connection, Sex

          I was thinking about what love is. We speak of love too often without fully understanding what we're really saying. Love is feeling that we can have. We often think of it in terms of actions or caring, but I think it's most tangible as a feeling. We associate those feelings with certain actions and so we begin to think of actions as loving or not, because some actions help us feel love and some don't. I've noticed that I feel love when I feel connected to a person.
          What is it to be "connected." For me is like feeling safe with them in such a way that I know that they want me to be happy and will not intentionally do something to hurt me. I want to be with them. What happens to them affects me. Their happiness affects my happiness. I feel that I understand them in deep ways, usually understood as heartfelt understandings. There is the sense that they feel the same way too. Those feelings together are what I think of as a very meaningful connection. They are attributes that I can point to and notice.
          Love is not really a thing or an action. Like a connection we can point to things that help us feel love. Feeling love is not something that can be described any more than a color can be described. We can name things that we associate with love, but love remains a feeling.
          When we feel connected to a person, we feel love in some fashion. Many people confuse love with sexual attraction. Sex is often referred to as making love, with individuals having slightly different views about that. If we're having sex with someone and not feeling love, then it's really not making love, is it. It's something else. Making love means doing something to make you feel love. Sex is a great way to do that because sex is a very physical connection. Connections are what we do that yields the sense of love.
          Some say that god is love. If so, then love is god. I believe that this is so. When I'm with someone and I feel a deep sense of love, I interpret it as being with god in a direct way. I want no more than that moment to last forever. It has never lasted forever for me. I believe this is because this life is about doing things. The world that I see is filled with doings that don't inspire the sense of love. It's also filled with many doings that inspire love.
          I believe that we are all connected in ways that the mind has difficulty in fathoming. The mind has difficulty with fathoming how existence even began, so the mind as we experience it, has it's limitations. Connections exist between all that exists. This can be seen in many contexts, from the house blocking your view to the love of a beloved partner to the mystical connection with what we may think of as god. Connection as I have used it is referring to matters affecting the heart. The house blocking a view is not a heart connection in that it is just there. A beloved is something more. The connection is deeper and felt like love. True and deep connections will engender feeling love.
          I like to feel love more than any feeling that I have known. The details of living life as we do in western culture poses many obstacles to feeling love. Love is so powerful that feeling love is always available and so we also have many loving actions taking place and many people experiencing love. Fundamentally, though, western culture has not focused on the heart as much as the details of making and acquiring things. Again, there are many heartfelt actions taking place, but that is not so much because of our political and economic system, but because of the great number of loving souls in the west.
          We can love each other without feeling love. We can see that in families most easily, especially between parents and children in today's world. We see arguments and hurtful words being expressed parent and child as children wrestle with the views being presented through the media and amongst their peers. Love is not the feeling felt in that moment. It may even go so far as to be quite the opposite. But the connection remains strong. Undeniably strong as is evidenced by the suffering that follows.
          Suffering results not from disconnection, but from the connection itself. Any disconnection is not real. That is, the child running away and the parent saying "good riddance" is not a really a disconnection at all. It is a parting where the connection remains deep and strong, even though the memory of each other may fade. Feelings between them may arise of a variety of kinds, but all relating to a connection that was never severed, only seemingly so.
          So people who love each other can feel not loved. The connection is there, but their awareness of the love within that connection is not. It can be due to misunderstandings or misinterpreted events. It can be due to frustration that is released with the one's we love. We are often more willing to say hurtful things to a loved one that we would never say to a stranger. We are sometimes more able to forgive a stranger for something he has done as we recognize his weakness in a compassionate light and yet not exhibit the same level of compassion towards the ones we profess to love.
          So lovers fight and hurt each other while the love still exists. The connection certainly exists. So that's what I believe is all around us. Love. Connection. It's just not within our awareness sometimes, or perhaps most of the time.
          If there really is a love-based connection, why is it sometimes not felt? Because love is nurturing and we do things that may not be taken as nurturing. We do things out of stress, frustration, misunderstanding that may even be hurtful, intentionally or not. These things are done out of carelessness, ignorance, frustration with our own selves, and learned or copied behaviors. So when such things happen, the love underneath, that flows to make this experience even possible, is not felt. I'm speaking of the love that I take to be god. If we believe that god has created all things then that love created the world that we experience and that love is ever present.
          Because we are focused here, only here, it's the doings of here that affect us most directly. Love for us as people, humans, is most directly a reflection of what happens to us here as physical beings. Our thoughts can cultivate it, but we rely on the tangible events in the lives that we are most immersed within. So the tangible is more real that the intangible. The street is more real than god. This is not a bad thing or evidence of a problem with us, as some might feel. It's evidence of the majesty of creation. Creation of the seemingly tangible out of the intangible. Physical out of nothing. No-thing to some-thing from some-one.
          If someone were to suddenly hit you over the head with a stick, you will probably not feel love for that person. But if that person told you that he just saved you from being bitten by a poisonous scorpion and you may be alive because of what he did, your not feeling love would likely turn into feelings of love. So our perspective plays perhaps the ultimate role in feeling love.
          Back to sex, my favorite subject. Sex for men and women is tangible. The tangible tends to overshadow the intangible. Sex gives us some form of connection, which I believe is partly why it is such a powerful drive. Connection is a powerful drive. Loneliness is a lack of sense of connection. Sex is a way for many people feel connection of some sort, which is a step towards finding the feeling of love. That's one reason it's called "making love," and could be called "making connection." So connections are good and therefore a good sexual connection can be a wonderfully spiritual experience.

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