Love, Death & Relationships… It isn’t personal.

I had a revelatory dream a few months ago. I woke up with the words “God is impersonal”. (When I have dreams that are like messages, they usually take the form of written words or simple statements. I don’t have these often, but when I do, I remember.) After I woke up, I immediately got it. I understood it completely. But of course! God loves everyone; God permits everything; God has no preference, goal, or agenda; God is unconditional. [I’m using the word God, but please know that I don’t believe in a religion, or even the concept of a God, or Higher Being, separate from average living beings. God is just a word for “that which can not be named” in this case.]

This dream has become even more relevant & clear lately. I’ve had so many people contact me about deaths that they are dealing with, as well as heavy issues regarding romantic relationships. I spoke/emailed with everyone, telling them my thoughts on the matter. (I loved being able to have such intimate conversations. Being able to share life’s deepest topics is such a gift that we rarely share. Most people aren’t willing to be that vulnerable.)

As I was going through my day yesterday, my head was swirling with all that I’ve heard/read from people lately about relationships & life. I was also stewing in my own struggles (my own resistance to life, my resistance to what is). I was sitting in a very noisy Manhattan cafe, bustling with people & aliveness. It was quite loud & everyone’s day-to-day conversation topics all coalesced into one sound. Similar to that of white noise. An answer came to me in that moment, one that I knew was connected to the God dream I had some time back. The answer was, “It isn’t personal”. I had the same feeling again — I knew the truth in that statement & I knew it profoundly. Just as I did after the dream. I held that statement up to the suffering I felt about my relationship & about life’s deepest questions that remain unanswerable: it isn’t personal.

This idea of a “me” gets us into so much trouble. Something is happening to me; someone is rejecting me; someone is leaving me; someone is no longer in-love with me; someone died on me; something died in me; something is wrong with me; someone is mistreating me; someone is misjudging me… it goes on & on, & there is always another way to say it, but it all boils down to the same thing. We are separate individuals, in control. I want to say it again — we are separate individuals, in control. How confused we are when we think like this. In my opinion & in my experiencing & in my knowing — we have no control over anything, & neither does anyone else.

I’m going to list for you a few examples of how I have no control. (And just to be clear, this is not a debate. I’m just sharing with you my personal thoughts.) Who I fall in-love with; who falls in-love (or out-of-love) with me; who I find attractive; who finds me attractive; if people will be on time; if people will be late; when I wake up (naturally); when I fall asleep (naturally); when I have to urinate; when I have to defecate (naturally); how my heart pumps blood; how my digestion processes food; how much my nails & hair grow; how many sets of teeth I grow; how my voice sounds; the color of my skin (naturally); the color of my hair & eyes (naturally); how my body & face is shaped (naturally); what talents I have (naturally); who likes me; who I like; who likes my work; who’s work I like; how other people behave; what people believe; how other people think; the weather; the seasons; the family I was born into; the country I was born in; the thoughts I have; & the choice of my own birth or existence!

Considering all the things I mentioned, how could we take things personally? That would imply that we have some sort of control, or that others have control. Another thing I noticed in the cafe filled with human beings & white noise, was the humility beneath it all. Under the faces & the talk & the fashion & the music & the food & the work & the intensity of it all…. there was humility. Just simple beings being without even realizing it. Beings that have no control over each other, or themselves. Beings that are no different from the simplest of life that will soon face death. Like leaves turning brown on a tree in autumn. They fall when they fall. They may bang into each other on windy days. They may fall on each other on the way down. Some may decay before others. Some may shine brighter. Some might last longer. It all happens as it needs to happen. The leaves don’t take it personal. And why should they? It’s not about being a leaf (or a separate individual). It’s just life. Life living life. Life being lived. It’s not my life, or your life. It’s just life.

[The video clip posted was from the film Koyaanisqatsi. If you would like to watch the whole film: click here.]



Filed under loss & death, more love

9 responses to “Love, Death & Relationships… It isn’t personal.

  1. terrysingh

    ahh…where have you been master.
    your wisdom is so ever profund yet so simple.
    i can read it ove and over again.
    this is love.

  2. Sita

    Beautiful :) Just some thoughts (and a few quotes) that came up with the term Impersonal:

    It made me think of a part of the text of a kirtan, part of my daily prayer: “cintya acintya”, conceivable yet inconceivable. Swami Prabupadha said: “One who knows God, knows that the impersonal conception and personal conception are simultaneously present in everything and that there is no contradiction. Therefore Lord Caitanya established His sublime doctrine: acintya bheda-and-abheda-tattva — simultaneous oneness and difference.”

    About relationships: often in hindsight we realize the lesson we learned from them. I’m grateful and learning to ‘take it not personally’, it’s part of our path, the Play we’re in :) In the end it’s all about Surrender in a spiritual sense, not listening to our ego all the time. Or as Lao Tzu said it better: By letting it go it all gets done.
    I believe religion is a great help, but also think that as soon as it is ‘ours is the only way’ then there is distraction and confusion. Like Gandhi said: I am a Muslim and a Hindu and a Christian and a Jew and so are all of you.
    Christianity and Hinduism have a Personal God, I love that. Buddhism, taoism etc. is impersonal, I love that too. Although we all have a part of the personal/impersonal God within us, the ego often gets in the way. Someone did something to us (complains of the ego), or we want something (this means control of the ego)…Eckart Tolle talks so beautifully about it.

    Thank you Aimée, love this subject. We’ll probably learn about this as long as we live :)
    ♥ Sita

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Sita. It really added to the conversation.

      “conceivable yet inconceivable” and “simultaneous oneness & difference” — absolutely!

      I think it’s important to see that the contrast is something that someone can see, or experience. But to make that contrast mean something, that’s the tricky part that people seem to get lost in. (That’s the suffering. Not what happened, or what is happening; but what you are making it mean.)

      In general, language is such a tricky thing. How can one use words to say what is unknown & unnameable & without meaning? We just say what we can & hope that the people listening have their own knowing & can see through the words.

      Yes, for sure, this subject is so vast, one can spend a lifetime delving into it! :)

  3. Khalid

    How refreshing to read this. It took me out of my worried little head for a moment. This is helping me understand the idea of being “powerless”. I am vacationing in Barcelona and there is the most amazing pride festival going on here. The most amazing looking people all around and I want do badly to partake in all the festivities. To feel a part of. Thinking that maybe if I take a substance, somehow I’ll be more connected to it all. I decided to put it off till tomorrow. I had a lovely time just Chatting with a stranger over dinner, but somehow I want more. More connection. More fun. To finally “experience” this circuit party the way everyone else experiences it. Then I realize I am sleepy as hell. I’ll sleep tonight and maybe I’ll party tomorrow. Maybe I’ll realize that this right here is enough for me.

  4. Reblogged this on bareadventures and commented:
    Thank you for this Aimee! Just what I needed right now xx Janna

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