New age idealism is often seen as unrealistic. There is even among those dedicated to personal development a distinction where we do not wish to be perceived as practicing “new age fluff” but rather “real” and practical self development.
I would ask that we consider another perspective.
If we could have had the unconditional love that new age philosophy speaks of, if we could have had that inner peace, that true bliss and happiness – the majority of us would still be there.
What human being would not truly enjoy love? What human being would not truly enjoy bliss and happiness? Joy and peace?
We sought the reality of these ideals but we couldn’t find them to last or work in any sustainable way – and so we discarded the ideal as a myth.
We believed that if we couldn’t achieve it – then it doesn’t exist.
We touched on the new age – tried to grasp it’s ideals and found that they didn’t seem to mesh with reality. We wanted love but when faced with our own resentments, failures, anger, sarcasm and hatred were unable to love these.
The fact is the ideal wasn’t false we simply were unable to cultivate this level of love.
We were like untrained boxers stepping into the ring with a pro, getting knocked out and then blaming boxing for being stupid and unrealistic. We totally missed the point.
The pioneers who reminded us of unconditional love and divine peace were showing us a destination. It wasn’t in most cases a “how-to”. It was a more like a tap on the shoulder
to say “look over there!”
New age love is neither illogical or unrealistic – we were simply lacking in the skills and understanding of how to apply them.
Unconditional love and happiness, bliss – and all the other things we call “fluff” are destinations. Explorers of the new age connected that this is what we ultimately wanted to find. They didn’t leave the “how-to” because it wasn’t part of their message.
Their message was vision. A painting of beauty and love.
It is the journey of others to understand how to paint that painting.
Instead of rejecting the vision lets look at our skills.
Let’s look at our understanding.
Let’s look at how we can develop ourselves further.
Unconditional love is flexible and strong enough to embrace all the things that we call light and dark. The reality of this is that we must feel and face all of it. The good, the bad and the ugly. This is what it truly means to be “real.”
Work with this exercise:
Right now become observant of your thoughts and feelings.
Observe your body, your breathing.
Ask yourself if you really do desire unconditional love.
What comes to mind?
Is it a taunt or yearning? Recognition or denial? Criticism or encouragement?
It is valuable to understand the other voices, the other parts and aspects that would ridicule or restrain the places in you that desire love.
Acknowledge them all and allow them to be.
Find the places in you that desire unconditional love.
Find the places and feelings in you that desire inner peace.
Do not be concerned with whether or not the you are doing it right. Do not worry about doubts or criticisms. Simply observe them, allow them to be and place your attention on the places that desire love, peace and acceptance.
Begin to imagine the essence of unconditional love. It is there. You simply need to remember how it feels.
Without force, allow yourself to remember the feeling.
It is a feeling that encompasses all of you.
It allows what is to just be.
It allows pain to be pain. Joy to be joy. Pleasure to be pleasure.
It sits with your inner critic as unconditionally as it sits with your inner nurturer.
Bring your awareness to the feeling of peace.
Imagine and feel it. It exists right here and now. Your mind is simply learning how to remember.
Trust that it is coming in.
Whether you perceive clearly or not your attention is allowing it to form.
Peace allows all that is to be exactly as it is.
Pain is pain. Joy is joy. Anger is anger. Love is love.
Your mere attention breathes life into those embers – no matter how dimly they may appear right now. By continuing to place your attention on those feelings no matter what your doubts, no matter what your criticisms you are training your mind and body to remember unconditional love and peace.
Attention is like a torch – it illuminates what we focus it on.
Simply continue to spend time placing your attention on the feeling, the imagination of unconditional love, peace and happiness.
Then ask yourself honesty – do I want this?
The practice of connecting to this feeling will begin an inner dialogue of whether these ideals are important to you or not.
It is an opportunity for sincerity.
Sincerity is about asking yourself what it is that you deeply want – and allowing yourself to move towards this ideal. It does not matter that we have doubts, self-ridicule or criticism. What matters is that we choose our path regardless. This is what it means to be true to ourselves. This is inner strength and it is the strength required to realize the truth of the new age.