Sunday 3-9-14 What does Love feel like?

It is false love that does not uproot man’s claim of “I”; the first and last lesson of love is “I am not”. ~   Bowl of Saki, March 7, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Happy Sunday!

Is this Love that I’m feeling?
I have been wondering this week if I am feeling Love – I don’t think that that I show it or represent it.  I also wonder if the peace and serenity that I feel comes off as cold and uninterested to others.  Should Love look and feel different?
Part of me says not to worry about how I may look to others, that it is an egoic concern. Perhaps it is a concern of the ego but I think it is a good question to better understand what I am feeling.
On Friday I found the daily email from “Bowl of Saki” spoke of stages of Love.  I found I didn’t understand the message in the following verses so I tagged them to spend more time with today:

Man is here on earth for this one purpose, that he may bring forth that spirit of God in him and thus discover his own perfection. The three stages towards this perfection are the following. The first stage is to make God as great and as perfect as your imagination can. ….

The second stage is the work of the heart… The first lesson that love teaches us is: ‘I am not. Thou art.’ The first thing to think of is to erase ourselves from our minds and to think of the one we love. As long as we do not arrive at this idea, so long the word love remains only in the dictionary. Many speak about love but very few know it. Is love a pastime, an amusement, a drama; is it a performance? The first lesson of love is sacrifice, service, self-effacement. … To close the eyes for prayer is one thing, and to produce the love of God is another thing. That is the second stage in spiritual realization, where, in the thought of God, one begins to lose oneself in the same way that the lover loses the thought of self in the thought of the beloved.

And the third stage is different again. In the third stage the Beloved becomes the Self, and the self is there no more. For then the self, as we think it to be, no longer remains. The self becomes what it really is. It is that realization which is called Self-realization. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

I think I am in the second stage here, the work of the heart.  (Although lessons of the greatness of God always are coming and I believe always will and so the first stage never ends.)
So from the words of the second stage, I am reflecting on what it means to lose oneself in the thought of the one they love?  I don’t think this lesson of Love is about the early passion stage of special relationships, the wanting/needing stage.  I also thought about if there was an analogy to the sex act and the intimacy shared then but I didn’t find any answers.
I decided I needed to look outside my own experience to what others might say to my question, so I Googled “What does love feel like?”
Insight came.
From the search engine responses, the fourth or fifth hit down was from Soul Pancake.  Yes! I knew this site was asking the question looking for answers to “Big Questions” – just what I wanted.
One female on the discussion board posted that love is about “me” becoming “we”.  We experience a state where we put aside our own selfish desires and put another’s before ours.
I thought that this really is a big deal when I think about it.  As a woman and a Mom I wasn’t appreciating the significance of this change in a person.  I see this reflected in my two sons, one is in a relationship and is showing acts of giving to his partner.  The younger is still in the stage of “I” and I find myself looking forward to his having a serious relationship and his learning to give of himself.
Another person on the discussion board wrote “Love the most selfless act that is all about me.”  He/she goes onto say that they learn so much about themselves when in any type of loving relationship. “Mentally it is a constant mirror held up to my face for me to stare at and analyze what is really going on. Love is a choice that forces me to constantly make choices about the person I am”, they added.
My understanding now is love is giving and service, about putting someone before yourself.  I was thinking perhaps I was supposed to feel lots of passion and ecstasy.
This made me think of part of the quote I referenced last week from Hazrat Khan.

To an angelic soul love means glorification
To a jinn soul love means admiration
To a human soul love means affection
To an animal soul love means passion.

So on my further reflecting on Love this says to me that the passionate love we first feel in a relationship is the animal love of want and need.  When the relationship matures we move into affection which means caring for one another, this is where we learn to give and serve another, thinking of them before ourselves.
Last week I when I posted the quote I looked up the meaning of ‘jinn’ and I came away thinking that they maybe individual souls that are not manifested, those who interact with us as spirit like dearly departed or guides.  If jinn spirits feel love as admiration (meaning to look up to, respect, give warm approval to) perhaps that means, from their broader awareness, that they appreciate the other for their struggles, their intension, their just being.
I can admit that I don’t understand at this time the angelic love of glorification.
So what does Love feel like for me, a seeker who wants to be loving to those special to me as well as those who come into my life each day, I think it should feel respectful, helpful, and caring.
Maybe I am doing OK.
I am going to end with my own quote – a lesson that I got from our family spiritual lunch conversation today …
“Compassion is about being in the ‘now’ with someone, to acknowledge what they are feeling right now.”

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