I have begun in my daily living to incorporate a practice to help me feel a continued sense of connection to others, and through this practice better learn how to maintain a freedom to stay present with my offering of love. It surprised me how many times I would create distance between myself and another person by judging whether or not they were treating me the way “they ought”. This was how I determined their worthiness to receive my full love and attention.  The less we know of someone, the more assumptions we make of them. The more we think we know about someone, the more we feel they have to live up to those memories. We have more expectations of them because we are filling in the blanks of the moment, and when we learn differently or are treated differently, we feel betrayed by THEM. Not our brain for making the assumption, but blaming the absence of what we expected on the other person. Somehow our ego decides that WE have been uncared for, or deceived. The assumption in this case is that we are not being loved.

But what if the assumption is love? What if we can soften into our hearts so that we remain tethered to people in a loving and spacious way. The following exercise will allow you to feel, regardless of the person or situation, that deep down, everyone is trying to offer that love to you.

Visualize someone in your life that you feel a little contracted around at this moment. Allow yourself to see this person far away, maybe stuck in traffic, behind a wall, trapped in a ditch, lost without a map, behind a stack of paperwork to finish. Envision that amidst that, they are desperately trying to reach you with their love. Trying to get to you with all their might, but there is too much in the way. We get to put aside blame and judgement as to how or why it’s taking them so long, and simply be with their love however distant it feels to us. It is irrelevant whether the hindrance is justified or not; be it emotional, physical, or mental. As we look beyond all the interference, we will find that the traffic is always ours to look past. If we can put aside pragmatism of what stands in our way and see that behind it all everyone is trying to love, we begin to invite it in with more abundance. When we help to clear the way, and focus in on the love rather than the absence, then the antennas of our hearts get a boosted signal. We become a homing device for that love. This work doesn’t require us ignore the boundaries we wish to place, or be taken advantage of by people’s behavior, but simply allows us to stay tethered to people in the space of our hearts rather than choosing to cut the cord. When we make it our job to be available to the awareness of this love, we stop making it about how the other person needs to try harder. The more we listen, the easier it is to feel.