L´earning to Love
Gloria Ornelas Hall
Lesson 7: Pain
There is no pleasure without pain. Survival depends upon pain to react to danger and the pangs of growth. Just as an egg has to hatch for the birdling to emerge, the human ego has to suffer shattering for the Light of Understanding to penetrate. But just as the qualities of pleasure differ from ‘pleasure’, ‘happiness’, ‘joy’, ‘satisfaction’ and ‘peace’, depending on the level of perception, ‘pain’ is felt at a physical level; ‘suffering’ at an emotional level; ‘resentment’ at a rational level and ‘depression’ at soul or spiritual level. Whatever we call it we recognize the difference.
In loving, we should teach our young ones to protect themselves physically from sexually-transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. But we should also teach them to say ‘no’ and ‘set limits’, at an emotional level; to ‘commit’ at a rational level; and to ‘be true’, at soul-level. We have to teach them to wear a condom round their hearts, to protect the intimacy that harbors Love. This inner space is where we keep our ‘D’ignity’ (from ‘igneous’) lit. This intuitive creative space is where we dialogue with our Higher Self, God, the Holy Spirit, each according to his or her religious or beliefs. To have this sacred, inner vessel shattered by disbelief, aggression, ridicule or abuse damages the capacity to receive and hold Love.. which seems to leak out and leave a painful inner emptiness and void.
This hopelessness is the new epidemic that is hitting the young. With the social, political, religious crumbling of institutions they no longer seem to have anything trustworthy to grab a hold of, when doubt pulls the floor from under their understanding. Violence has permeated into homes with lack of respect, abuse, violation and hatred. Adult disbelief in God, truth, righteousness makes it harder for them to believe in Love. No wonder they prefer anesthetizing their awareness with post-war, existential nihilism, alcohol and drugs. Relationships have made human feelings and couples dispensable and disposable, limiting sexuality to a moment’s pleasure. There is no commitment, since they seem to harden awareness from feeling any deeper. One would hope that this crisis, be the evolutionary shattering of all social imposition and external norms, that regulate, control and limit Love today, giving way to new forms of relating.
Once through hopelessness, will come re-newed openness. Survivors are already portraying what seems to be the basis of more honest relationships (though seeming, insensitive). They are bolder, truer to themselves (though challenging social mores). They seem to see themselves in others, with a holistic approach to nature and humanity that makes their loving more ‘ecological’ and integral. Their acceptance of others comes with patience and understanding. They no longer limit Love to binary ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It seems to be more inclusive, reintegrating new patterns of social cohesiveness, creatively binding differences with more flexibility, rather than criticizing, attacking and destroying what doesn´t fit. So whether it be differences in loving between genders, religions, ages, races, social marriage or divorce, Love seems to emerge purer and stronger.
Let’s hope I´m right.