Monday, May 20, 2013

When Love is all there is -Part 3

Infatuation or illusory love is something about "you" that makes "me" feel good about myself. It's your beauty, your profession, your life-style, it's how you are recognized, it's your clothing, it's your power-connections, it's your wealth, your looks, you are well-liked and lastly - your love. All of these intoxicate me. These external things fill me up and gives me an illusory feeling of stability, security, - even wholeness, could even be a feeling of complete. "Love" dependent upon something external- about you, something that I need from you isn't love ... it's neediness .... it's the proper definition of infatuation. It's really all about me and not about you. When that thing I was depending upon is taken away I feel a hole. My own hole that I desperately seeking to fill.

True life is not something outside of ourselves that we need to seek to obtain, acquire and get. True life is already inside of ourselves-already there-waiting to be uncovered and discovered. Love is a natural part of our soul's hard-drive, we just need to learn to get ourselves out of the way. We do have a natural moment to moment, justifiable preoccupation of self. I am looking to grow in my life and to be better and greater. I self import myself -I want to feel self important- Like I am someone. Dependent upon externalities are not real and fleeting. The pathway to love is that of Hashem's -making room for others. Others to exist completely in a space without them having to do anything or anything that I have to do to or for them. Once I can lower the volume on the voice inside that is perpetuating the questions of "what do "I" need , what do "I" want - I can exist is presence with another.

Okay let's just get to it already. My Rosh HaYeshiva learned that the Rambam's definition of love is "the pleasure one receives when identifying virtue in another and identifying that that person is one and the same with their virtues. You see them as their virtues. It's learning how to see the good in others and training yourself to them in their goodness (and not the natural tendency of negative criticalness which of course is less about them than yourself).

Denise and I were in Jerusalem when we decided to get married. Getting married there requires a lot of papers from a lot of offices. One day we had 3 appointments back to back to back and the paper from one office was required for the next. If you miss the first appointment you can forget about the rest of the day. I was waiting for Denise at the first appointment ... and ...... waiting ... and waiting. Half hour passed, 45 minutes passed. What did I do? Well when you are in Yeshiva you feel the social pressure of the place. I took out a piece of paper and starting writing down all of Denise's virtues. (This we call the Love game"- identifying the virtues of another and identifying that they are one and the same as their virtues) As she swept in, "Oh I am sorry, you must not want to marry me" etc . I looked up- i was virtue 44 at the time -all I as focused on was her virtues who she really was not on the fact that our day was blown.

This is what I said earlier on what we do naturally with our kids and we have to learn how to do this (unconditional love) with our spouses and the people in our lives. Constrict yourself, see the other person, have a good eye, see their virtues, and see them as their virtues. We do this with our kids and why we never divorce them no matter how bad they are. We never exchange them for the kids down the block no matter how cute they are nor how bad your kids are.

Take a piece of paper and write down the top 10 virtues of each of your family embers, then do it for your folks if they are still here, your boss, etc. While you are on the way home tonight in your car-mentally go over the list or create the list.

Oy -I am very late for minyan and got to go- I had more to say but I realize that I am rambling under the pressure of I should be gone already.

Shoshie- Baruch Hashem didn't have to create the virtue list - she naturally saw others as people see their children. her lack of self importance, neediness, and preoccupation of self allowed her to leave space for others. She was able to see them as to who they were. She allowed people to feel good about themselves and she gave them pleasure by seeing and enjoying their goodness. This is the secret of Shoshie's belovedness.give others pleasure, how to do this? Give people affirmation, validation, appreciation and respect for by seeing them as to who they truly are.

Let's all keep Shoshieing


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