To engage in a Unique Self encounter, you must stay open as love through the pain.
By Marc Gafni
To make contact in a Unique Self encounter, you must know how to avoid the ritual of rejection that so often arises from the ego’s contraction. When you feel hurt, your small-self ego contracts. Unless you make an effort to counter the ego’s inertia, you fall out of divine communion. You fall into UnLove. Unique Self encounter asks that you not fall out of divine communion and become degraded by UnLove. It demands that you not get stuck in the coiled contraction of the small self.
The ego will tend to take hurt and turn it into an insult, which offends your existence. Then to compensate, you set into motion the ritual of rejection. It goes something like this:
1. You experience the pain of hurt and/or rejection.
2. As a result, you feel small and insignificant. It even puts you in touch with your nonexistence.
3. To feel less small, you lash out and inflict hurt. In your ability to hurt the other, you experience power, which makes you feel like you exist again.
To enter a Unique Self encounter, you must resist the gravitational pull of UnLove. You must identify as part of the larger field of love. You experience yourself as part of the seamless coat of the Universe. This is the source of your authentic power. This will allow you to receive hurt inflicted by others as a wound of love and not as an insult. You wear your hurt as a battle scar in your struggle for love. You bear it with pride and dig- nity. You are freed from the compulsive need to inflict pain on the one who hurt you in order to prove you exist. You know you exist because you are in divine communion, that is to say, identified with the larger whole beyond your particular part nature. The trance-ending of ego into Unique Self- realization is animated by the quality of love. Love motivates and manifests the spontaneous action of care and compassion. Egoic self-contraction is the quality of fear. Fear motivatesand manifests the reactive rituals of egoity.
To live and act as love means to keep your heart open through the pain of heartache and hurt.
To live and act as fear means to allow the pain to close your heart. You can practice love by practicing opening your heart even when you feel hurt.
Rather than turning away, closing down, and striking out, you keep your heart open. This will help you act skillfully instead of reacting clumsily in these situations.
When you practice opening as love moment to moment in the face of the hurt, the power of the past weakens. Old wounds are in the past. If you open your heart in the present, time after time, the power of the past recedes.
You will probably always feel the pain when you meet UnLove in relationship. But you do not need to feel the closure, which deadens your heart and your life force. You can continually practice love rather than closing down into UnLove. You can feel your self-contraction and choose to change the way you react.
You are not a victim of your past. When you stop either ignoring or overdramatizing past events, you also stop unconsciously using life trauma from the past to avoid giving the depth of love that is yours to give in the present moment.
The pain of the past may have come to you through another. Your present reaction is yours. You are doing it. You must assume responsibility for your own complex of reactivity. Reactive emotion and reenactment do not need to be a fact of your nature. You can take your armor off. You can unguard your heart and trust yourself to live and love from an intense armorless vulnerability. This is the safest place from which to live.
For some people, especially those with fortunate childhood circumstances, opening through hurt is not so hard. For others, it may be the work of a lifetime. For all of us, it is perhaps the most important work we can do for our own love and freedom, and the love and freedom of the others in our lives.
To be weak in love is to exclusively identify with your separate self, which is always already insulted and empty with craving.
To love is to know that we are all lost and found in the same reality together. To love is to stay open in gratitude and joy even as you know that love breaks your heart.
In one of the great mystical moments of Western biblical myth, the patriarch Jacob sees Rachel, the love of his life, for the first time standing by the well. It is the original story of love at first sight. When you see another truly, your seeing plunges you into love. In their first meeting, the story goes, “Jacob kissed Rachel; he then raised his voice and cried.”
Why the crying? Answer the Unique Self mystics, “Because he saw he would not be buried with her.”
To love is to know that you will feel the pain of separation. This is the paradox of love: love is suffering, yet to live and not to love is madness. We do not liberate ourselves from the suffering of love by detaching ourselves from love itself. Liberation in the path of love is to suffer the mortal circumstances of your love so completely that you are moved beyond your self. You are moved beyond your small self to your True Self and then to your Unique Self, where you realize that you and your beloved will always meet again. Only then can you love fully from your unguarded heart. You are profoundly in relationship from the fullness of your unique personhood, even as you have evolved beyond the egoic self-contraction of your small self.