It was her first Tantra weekend and Leora Lightwoman (now a renowned Tantra teacher in London, England) describes this first Tantra experience in the quote above. She was partnered with a man the age of her grandfather, and realizing that her partner was gentle and sensitive, open and receptive. For the first time in her life she was “feeling love toward him; a kind of love that wasn’t conditional on the relationship being of a certain description”.
Nowadays, we experience much of life and love to be conditional; conditional on being a certain way, a specific financial status, having friends in the right circle, conditional on getting our needs met from others, not ourselves. In Leora’s case, she had an idea of what love should look like based on how she understood love, and in this workshop it was not showing up the way she expected.
Anyone attending a Christian wedding has heard the scripture verse from 1 Corinthians 13 on the merits of love, and the bottom line in this verse for each of us is:
“No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I am bankrupt, without love“.
Love isn’t conditional on what we say, believe or do. It’s not conditional on what someone else says, believes or does. Love just is. Love also isn’t always sweet and happy, chocolate and roses. Much of the time it can be blood, sweat and tears. Many of us experience love over time as a roller coaster of heart pumping emotions and attraction, yearning and deep satisfaction, and yes, even complete desolating heartbreak.
If love is all there is, and we are bankrupt without it, then why does it hurt so much?
The truth is love hurts the most when it’s conditional. We want what we want, and we want others to give it to us. If we have grown up without unconditional love we spend our time looking for the love we never had. Harville Hendrix, the author of “Finding The Love You Want”, creator of Imago Therapy tells us that we go out into the world to find your partner, your “Imago”, to heal the wounded part of you that was created from what was missing in your childhood with a certain parent. Unconsciously we go out and pick partners to heal this fragmented part of our being. And joy of joys, others pick us for the very same reason. Most people never get to the healing part because they end the relationship when the healing work shows up because it hurts so much to go there.
“I was feeling a love that wasn’t conditional on the relationship being of a certain description”.
Imagine being in a relationship with someone where it doesn’t have to look or feel a certain way, where there are no conditions for love. This was what Leora was experiencing. Instead of judgment, love was present. Imagine that the love that’s present is coming from you. If you’re fortunate, it could also be coming from your partner, or another person. In Leora’s experience the love from her workshop partner caused her to feel a love toward him, without the relationship having to be of a certain description. They were two people who were able to express unconditional love toward each other in their joint Tantra experience. This is often known as agape love, God’s love, spiritual love. I call it trusting love.
Now, I’m not a religious person. I am a spiritual and practical person, so let’s move on to something you can do to help you experience this kind of love.
Unconditional Love. Trusting Love.
- Imagine a recent love relationship and try to think about what bothered you most about the other person. Here’s the tough part. According to Imago, it is likely that you too have this trait because it is the wounded part of you that needs healing.
- Now begin to think about owning that trait. Yes, I’m asking you to accept that what this person has/is, you have too. This may be difficult, not obvious, and almost impossible to believe, but get over yourself. Relax your ego and be open and honest with yourself. How do you have this same thing going on within yourself?
- Now accept yourself with the aspect of this trait that makes some sense, and don’t try to change a thing. Accept the good and the bad, the light and dark. Remember you need both to be fully authentic.
- Now think back to other partners, past and present, and love them without any condition that your relationship be of a certain description, in just the same way you did for yourself in the previous point. Accept everything about them and love them exactly as they are. Nothing else. Just accept and love without conditions.
- Notice if this is a challenge. Remember I’m not suggesting you stay in a relationship with them. I’m only suggesting that you feel love toward them, without conditions.
It’s not easy to feel love without conditions. It’s not easy to accept others, flaws and all because most of us didn’t grow up this way. It’s not easy to accept and love ourselves because many of us are so wounded. This wounding is likely from our parents, but it’s not their fault. They probably experienced the same wounding and they loved you the best they could.
It’s one of the most difficult things in the world to love others without the relationship being conditional on a certain description. Our society is full of hurting, wounded people and our egos get in the way when we judge others and want life to be different so we feel better. Most of us need to feel the kind of love for ourselves that isn’t conditional on the relationship with ourselves being of a certain description. It starts with us. It starts with you.
Now just because you love and accept someone else, this doesn’t mean you have to hang around with them if you don’t want to. Nobody said stick around with people where you don’t feel good. Just know that it’s not about them. It’s about you, so don’t think badly of them. Instead send love to them, and more importantly, give yourself some self-love. As soon as you do that, everything will change. This is true love. This is authentic trusting love. Avoid love bankruptcy by giving yourself (and others) unconditional trusting love.
Tantra is the exploration and experience of Divine Love in ourselves and each other. It is a tool we can use easily to access love without conditions, without limitations, without judgment. It can help you feel more whole, more complete, happier, and yes, even more sexy! It’s a powerful, ancient practice which can give you a deeper access to yourself, others and trusting love.