Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to be Loving in a Cynical World

by umair haque, coach, lover, vampire: https://umairhaque.com/how-to-be-loving-in-a-cynical-world-974d54f5baac#.osm96wnd8 

Rebel Against the Three Kinds of Cynicism

How much of your day is spent at the behest of cynics? Or, worse, being one? I’m betting: probably the majority.

It’s what we do now, right? Vent our bitter frustration to perfect strangers about the leaders and institutions who’ve left us twisting in the bitter wind. Bitch, whine, moan, a third of your life a day at the screen. A third of your life. Hey, I’m as guilty as you. But it doesn’t help.

Help us be more loving. Which is, we learn too late, all that really matters, the moment the doctor regretfully says: “Sorry. Your time’s up”. The true enemy of love isn’t suffering. It’s cynicism. Cynicism is the assassin of love. It poisons its possibility, steals its gifts, attacks its innocence.

It’s understandable. Cynicism’s got a razors’ edge. We’re looking for one, to cut ourselves with, to relieve the pain a little. Yet I’m not suggesting you go collect the assorted works of Barry Manilow, retreat to the yurt, and live a saccharine existence of doe-eyed dopey hopeless idealism.

This is an age in desperate search of rebellion. But cynicism is a cheap rebellion. True rebellion has always been the fierce strength of love. Not giving up on all that’s great, worthy, improbable, whole in you. But standing up for it.

There are three kinds of cynics: 1) people who want to make money without giving anything to the world; 2) people who want power over people, not possibility for them; and 3) people who believe they can lift themselves up by pulling everyone else down. Each is just the same idea in disguise: giving up on human possibility. 

Erase the three kinds of cynicism from your life. Starting with you. Then move on to the people around you. If you can’t cut them out of your life, then at least ignore them when they tell you how, what, why to live. And you’ll be a little, my guess is a lot, more loving now. Love is sharper than cynicism. Really want to be cut open, so your beating heart is naked in the light? 

Be the other person. Reverse the three kinds of cynicism. Do it because it matters, not just for the approval, mentions, fans, money. Do things that give people possibility, not take away their power. And most importantly, lift everyone - yes, everyone, no matter how much they’re trying to pull you down - up. Not for a sense of smug moral superiority. But because … 

Embrace the Struggle To

Why do we want to be loving, anyways? The reason is simple. There is no reason. Love is the end of reasons. Not just in a trivial “hey man, love is craaazy” sense. Love is the end, not the means. The end of what? Of us.

We love what we do, who we are, where we go, in order to be more creative, true, happy, fulfilled, productive, efficient. That’s the conventional wisdom. It’s right, in the sense that “that happens”. But it’s not really true.

We don’t love “in order to be” anything. We struggle so that love can be. Love is the single great reason each and every one of us works, suffers, toils, fights. We don’t love to struggle, we struggle to love. Love is the struggle. And we find purpose, meaning, destiny, not just temporary relief from the constant soul-crushing pain of a pointless life, only when we really see why.

Sure, maybe I’m the last of the romantics. But that’s not why it’s true. Don’t believe me? OK, imagine I gave you everything you ever wanted. Or even better, ever could want. All the cars, houses, objects, trophies, boobs, pecs, fans, designer gold plated VIP room “experiences”. But there was a price. You’d never really love any of them. And so they’d never love you. Would you take my deal?

Any human not desperately running away from the midnight of their demons shouldn’t. There is everything to be lost, and nothing worthy to be gained. We don’t love so that things can happen. We exist so that love can happen. Can what? Unfurl, create, imagine, defy, build, give, endow, connect, breathe, move, happen. When we experience those moments, which are better called movements, because they happen without words, between people, that’s when we really feel deeply alive, abidingly present, bursting with joy. 

Embrace the right struggle. Not in a childish way. Not the struggle for having, owning, wining, dominating, and so on. Just the struggle to let love be the end, not the means, of whatever is happening in you, through you, with you, by you. Embrace it in every moment and not an instant of this precious and beautiful life will be wasted. 

Get Over Yourself

And yet. When “we do” things that are really worthy, loving, great into our memories, it’s not really the “self” in us acting, is it? If it was the self, we’d never do them at all, because there’s no self serving reason. They are self destructive. They blow apart who we think we are. So who is the actor? 

Get over yourself. I mean this in a zen way. Like a koan. So literally that if you really think about it, it should implode your mind. Good. Let’s take each word in my little koan one by one. Get. Obtain, move, flow, release, surrender. Over. Upwards, ascend, beyond. Yourself. The little idea of “I” being the only self there is. Get over it. Ascend beyond it. Climb through it. Let go of the rope.

Who is acting when we do anything really worthy in this life? Not the self. Something beyond self. If you really want to be a little more loving, step back. Just be still. Sit in silence. And see that the actor whenever there has been real beauty, truth, connection, grace, fulfillment, nobility, rebellion in your life was never you at all. It was the self beyond selves. I say that not in a poetic way, but again, in a zen way. Hyperliterally, so clear it should break your mind wide open.

The you in you and the me in me is not the actor of anything worthy. So who is it? The me in you, and the you in me.

Let us go one tiny step further. I know your brain hurts. If there is a me in you, and a you in me, what is that self ? It is the pure self in all of us, which is common to us. It is unchanging, inalienable, ever present, not “me and you”, but “me in you”. Loving is the action, and the pure self is the actor. Making contact with that true and pure self, not ego, and letting it act, without effort, hesitation, with ease, grace, is all being loving is.

This is what true non-judgement really is. Making contact with the me in you, and the you in me. Really experiencing it. Anything less, and you’re still a judgmental dick. Wait, did I just contradict myself? Yup, to make a point. That was the I in me, not the you in me, the pure self, speaking.

All this, letting go until we can get to the pure self, where no judgment and compassion reside. That is perfect movement in an imperfect world. It is discovering the strength in your fragility and the heartstopping beauty in your brokenness.

Now you are understanding what being loving in a cynical world really is. Rebelling for struggling to get over yourself. It’s the simplest thing in the world. And that is why it’s so beautifully hard.

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