My latest learnings have been about how my concept of love has not been much of a concept at all. Really, if you came up to me and asked, "what is love?", I would start into it with conviction and end up with a sense of having vaguely described a black box. Or maybe a red box with glitter on the outside and velvet lining on the inside. But what's in that box?
The practical definition of love that Bears and The Option Institute teaches - accepting this person, wanting the best (their best for themselves) for this person, being useful to this person - gave me a real concept of love. Looking around at how love is depicted in movies, how other people express it, and observing myself in loving my wife, sons, family, and friends, I've become fascinated with love and how people do it. How do YOU do it?
As I interact with my son, Eidan, in his Son-Rise Program, which to me encompasses all of our togetherness, I continually ask myself a round-robin of questions, "am I loving Eidan as big as I can?" and "am I connecting?" and "am I being useful and user-friendly?" and "am I WITH Eidan, totally aware, present, and available?" I sometimes forget to check in with myself on these things and, at those times, Eidan clues me in by becoming exclusive, or recently, making an "unh-unh" (no) sound in response to whatever I'm doing.
With the Son-Rise Program promoting love and acceptance to a primary focus, and learning how to keep myself tuned in to the love frequency with Eidan, I thought I was kind of done with my learnings about love. Ha! ...and ha! again!! The Option Process is about learning to love yourself, Clyde said in a class at Extraordinary Man. Hmmmm, I thought. And I turned to myself and asked the same questions I ask when I'm with Eidan. Woah, I thought. Being useful to myself is not only ok, it's awesome! Being with myself, aware and present with myself ROCKS! Accepting myself: how I lie to myself, how I try to get what I want in unhappy ways, and how little I actually have looked at myself objectively... that's priceless. Especially in my love relationship with Jennifer!
It's clear: a fulfilling, beautiful, and connected life starts with getting real with ME. Not looking for reasons to beat myself up, but exposing the ways in which I feel powerless, fearful, or otherwise uncomfortable, and then using these opportunities by exploring them and finding answers as to what beliefs are behind them! In seeing, owning, and accepting all of me, I find new ways to be useful to myself and create excitement, joy, and love in my life.