I wanted to share a story by Jose L. Stevens that I read today about the hard lessons of love. Below is an excerpt from the article that can be found on his website http://thepowerpath.com
I bolded a few sentences that really struck me. This story made me ask myself deeper questions about a personal challenge I am dealing with. It made me understand at a deeper level why this challenge has come up for me over and over. Jose’s story helped me realize that I have been forced to confront an aspect of myself that I have not fully forgiven and embraced. I know I need to make peace with the situation or else it will continue to haunt me. Just this realization has lifted my spirit. Perhaps Jose’s story below will also inspire you to ask yourself questions about a difficult situation you may be having and to gain insights on how to change it. Perhaps there is someone in your life that really pushes your buttons. Or perhaps there is a situation in your life that keeps haunting you. Why is this person or situation a part of your life? What lessons do you need to learn? They are there for a reason. Our personal demons are there to help us evolve. Enjoy the story.
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“When we think of lessons about love, we usually think of romantic themes or the love between a parent and a child, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. The truth is, lessons about love can be extremely difficult and show up in ways that seem to have nothing to do with love at all. The truth is, that unless we learn these tough lessons, we will not make very much progress toward our eventual awakening. These lessons can be true knuckle biters and every great master or teacher this planet has seen has faced enormous personal challenges in the face of love, no exceptions.
Recently I had one hard love lesson of my own. My wife Lena and I own some land near Mora, New Mexico where we have many summer shamanic retreats, trainings, and events. We call it Eagle Bear Ranch and it is reached from the highway via a long windy, rocky, and steep dirt road that crosses land that we do not own but have an easement on. The road has been deteriorating over the years due to the rain, snow, and much use and needed work badly. I called the woman who I knew owned most of the land and talked to her about fixing the road and she agreed it needed attention. I suggested that we could save some money by using a great pile of rocky red earth that had been sitting by the side of the road for years. We could spread it over the rocks and improve the road. She said that was fine.
I have an old dump truck and a skidsteer and after a couple of months I had our Huichol friends come out and work on the road. They are very good with heavy machinery and began to make a lot of progress. They did a wonderful job and I was delighted with the roadwork. One afternoon they came back to camp upset and said that a “crazy man” had yelled at them and kicked them off the road. It turned out to be the man who owned a short section of the property that the road went through. He had bought the land from the woman’s father I had called. Legally, we had the right to fix a road that we had an easement on if the road became impassable or difficult. Yet in my enthusiasm to fix the road I had neglected to consult with him about that short section of road that he had purchased. That afternoon, when I went to look at the road, it was all trashed. In a rage the man had taken his own tractor and tried to scrape off all the new surface we had put down. When I saw that he had destroyed much of the good work the Huichols had done I was in a rage myself. In my mind’s eye, I saw my hands reaching for his throat to choke him and worse. I found it extremely disturbing that I could not stop these raging thoughts. I knew that this was not good, but I had a hard time controlling my anger. I did not want to confront him until I had better control over my anger.
I went directly to my spiritual practices. I did Ho’oponopono over and over again. This is a Hawaian shamanic practice to reduce conflict. In the short version, one imagines telling the person they have conflict with that they are very sorry this problem has come between them. One takes responsibility for the conflict and apologizes for creating a reality where there is this fight and unpleasantness. It goes something like this: “I am sorry this has come between us. I am sorry that I dreamed this version of reality where you are angry with me and I am angry with you. I forgive you for whatever I have been blaming you for and I forgive myself for whatever I have done to contribute to the problem. I love you and I love myself no matter what has happened, because I am a son of the Great Spirit. You are my brother, a fellow son of the Great Spirit, the same as me. Thank you for helping me to learn this lesson.
Try as I might, I lay in bed awake all night, still angry as hell. I saw clearly that I had created this event to learn something about love, but I was damned in letting go of the anger. Little by little, I made progress. I was able to see that this man, a warrior, represented my older brother (also a warrior) with whom I had a lot of conflict as a child. I was projecting certain things onto him that belonged with my brother, who I thought I had forgiven, but evidently I had not been thorough enough. When I was a child, I feared my older brother. He physically hurt me and one time when I was about four I hit him over the head with hammer with the intention to kill him and get rid of him. Of course I failed and all I did was make him cry and I got in big trouble for it. Now I feared what this man was doing to our work on the road and I was so angry at him for it I had similar murderous fantasies.
My wife Lena and I agreed that she would be the one to talk with him about the road because I might make things worse, given my mood and projections. She was much more neutral about the event and was able to do some healing work about the event long distance. This turned out to be very successful. She took him some cookies and visited him with my daughter Anna who brought my new four month old grandchild. As it turned out, he was contrite about what had occurred and muttered something about it just being a road. She saw that he was quite lonely and not being consulted about his section of road had triggered him to attack. They had a good conversation about how to come to a compromise. The result was that we would agree to bring in some base-course to cover the red earth on his section of road that he objected to. The entire event cost us an extra several thousand dollars but the outcome was what we needed, to be able to fix the road.
By the end, I was able to see that he represented that part of me that has at times, felt ignored and not included in decisions. While he is not my favorite character and I would prefer not to have another run in with him, I no longer feel like choking him and I am not upset anymore about what happened. When I look at the bigger picture, I realize that there are much tougher lessons about love to be dealt with. What if he had killed my family instead? What if he had run me off the road and paralyzed me? Would I be able to forgive him for that? That would be much harder, but that is what I would have to do in the long run.
Lessons of love are not just about romance. They are often about nitty gritty relationships that come up into your face to be dealt with without warning. These may have to come up over and over and over again until there is no fear left, nothing left but love. “Damn! It’s hard”. And it’s not fun, but there is no other way out unless one is willing to repeat these events again and again. I want them done, for good. This is the only way we are going to move forward in this world, to a new world, where hate does not dominate our experience as human beings. ..”