Have you tried to live on this planet without making a single choice for a whole day?
I can’t think of any mission more impossible than that, given that even if we spend the day in bed, we have by default chosen to stay in bed.
When making a decision, we hardly ever ask ourselves “what am I feeling that is leading me to act like this?”
You might choose to sleep the whole day because you are exhausted after overworking yourself for weeks. Or, you went a bit too crazy the previous night and now stay in bed to avoid the discomfort of dealing with something weird you did. Only you know.
Life would be easy if our reasons were that straightforward. Truth is, motives co-exist. You can help a friend out of the sheer joy of spending time together, at the same time that you fear losing friends if you are not “friendly”.
Same action. Different motives. Different experiences.
The fact that ‘light’ and ‘dark’ reasons coexist doesn’t mean that they have equal weight within us.
The main driver motive impacts where we are acting from, and what we get to experience. The only issue is:
are we aware of our drivers and what we are actually experiencing?
Humans we are, and we have a tendency to justify our actions for loving, socially accepted reasons — and hide the dark reasons from ourselves.
At its core, this is why living out of love is harder than we think: because whatever we are doing can be done both out of love and out of fear. It is about where we are doing anything from — and we don’t look very deep into that.
Living out of love is an inspiring message, and yet a hard one to apply in practice and live by, for we can take actions that look lovely on the surface — but for fearful reasons.
So where comes the question:
Are you living life from love or from fear?
Are you pursuing joy and pleasure — or evading suffering?
…and how do we answer that?
To answer the questions above we need to develop self-awareness and embodied presence. That’s because we can’t fully trust our minds.
Our beautiful and powerful human mind is a trickster. It loves making up stories to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.
At the end of the day, we all want to see ourselves as good people — even if we all have good parts and not-so-good parts within. And that’s totally ok.
Understand this: we all lie to ourselves, and a lie only works if we are not aware it is a lie. In psychology, this is called self-deception: the process of denying or rationalizing the importance or significance of a certain event, in a way that conceives the truth from ourselves so as to not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception.
In other words, we lie to ourselves to preserve ourselves. It sounds so bad but truly there’s a great reason for this: it makes daily life much easier. Self-deception helps us to cope with life and keep going, so we don’t have to deal with lacking alignment and insincerity all the time.
That’s why self-awareness is so difficult. According to psychologist Tasha Eurich, only about 10%–15% of people actually are self-aware.
When we don’t pay much attention to what we are doing, what we are thinking, and our integrity, it is much easier to deviate from our core values, act out of alignment — and engage with self-deception.
Here’s another thing: self-awareness only exists in the present. It requires us to be here and now, paying attention. It is in presence that we can feel what we feel, be it love or fear. When we are constantly somewhere else in our minds, full of worries and fear, we are not present and we cannot look at ourselves.
In other words, living from love is hard because the mind is making sure we are not seeing how much fear we carry within ourselves.
Again, the mind does this to preserve us and simplify our lives, so we don’t have to deal with much pain. It makes life practical, but we also end up with a life without much love — and not even understanding what love feels like when it is anchored in our everyday lives. We get totally disconnected from our body sensations, feelings, and emotions, as the mind runs the show.
The key here is the energy of love: expansive, heart-led, body-felt, nurturing, connected, oneness. Unless we connect to this energy as we act, we are not acting out of love, but out of a mental construct of how we think love should act.
The mind can tell us we are donating money out of love when deep down we can be feeling pity, resentment, or reinforcing a sense of superiority.
When we donate money thinking it was out of love but actually led by pity and superiority, what we do is reinforce a sense of righteousness, and not experience love.
See the difference?
To connect to the wholeness of our being requires us to connect with more than just what our minds tell us. It goes beyond doing something because that is what is “right”, for that is a thought. What is the emotional and energetic driver under it, really? What is the wholeness of your being experiencing, if anything at all?
Thoughts are great at justifying things and controlling us so we do not engage with our pain points.
If we try to make sense of our experience only through the mind, we are doomed, because it is the mind that is creating these hidden sides of us. It is through presence, embodiment, and self-awareness, that we see what is going on. That is how we get to experience and act out of love — or realize how much fear and ego we actually carry.
This Impacts Us Directly, Daily
Are we choosing our job out of fear of having no money, or out of love for how we want to live and what we want to do?
Are we taking environmentally friendly actions because we fear environmental collapse, or because we love nature?
Are we allowing ourselves to feel love — or are we consumed by righteousness and fear?
When we live from fear we live based on “have to’s”. This feeling generates pressure and dissatisfaction. “Have to do this” “must do that”. Out of fear, we burn out and are never enough.
Our actions and their practical result might be the same, regardless of the reason. But we don’t live the results. We live the processes, the day-to-day, the how.
The what is the destination. The reasons, the feelings, the process make the road we walk on every single day.
Yet we care so much about what we are doing, about doing it correctly — but not how we are doing and how we live through it.
The HOW is the key. The HOW is your life, day after day.
To live overflowing with love and pleasure, we need to allow ourselves to stay in the present moment, fully immersed in what we are up to, in contact with our bodies and physical sensations.
Love is spacious and relaxed.
Fear is tense, struggling.
In any given choice, what expands you — and what tenses you up?
Release from any physical tension caused by unconscious fear.
The way to expand love is to allow ourselves to feel love. To act out of it.
Not with our minds telling us we are choosing love but by actually surrendering to feeling this energy and being guided by love as we act.
That is how we get turned on by life.
If what we want is a life based on love, we can allow ourselves to feel love -and act out of it.
Love is already here, in every second, in our every breath, in our every choice.
Ready to go deeper into your heart?