“The Past, Present and Future of Love”

“To love…right now…is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.” – Alan Cohen

The Past, Present and Future of Love

Now is the only time we can love. Did you know that? Yet so often, we are tempted to love in either the past or the future. That almost never works in a good way. To have a great love, our attention must be on the ‘now.’ If not, we can’t be present to either the one we love or ourselves. Love only lives in the present.

When someone puts all of their attention and focus on the future, they are living in hope. Strangely, hope is never the same thing as having. Try ‘to have and to hold’ in the future. You can’t, can you? And that is the point. Quite often, when someone is always looking to the future, they are running what we call a ‘hope structure.’ That means, at some level, their systems are not safe with actually having love in their lives. Instead, they must always defer love to the time it will all work out, when their partner will make those changes, when I make those changes, when my prince or princess charming comes along, etc. This makes ‘love’ available only as a feeling, but not as a reality.

Such people are often more in love with a dream version of their partner. If you take away all the glitter and gold of that future version of the loved one, you will often find that they are not in love with the real flesh and blood version. This inevitably ends with disappointment for them both.

On the other hand, some people love with attention on the past. For every thing that happens in a relationship, some part is constantly comparing it to the past hurt and trying to avoid it. You often see this when somebody has experienced deep betrayal of trust. No matter what the new partner does, there is a deep projection of past pain. As a result, they can’t actually see the present partner for who they are. Instead, the past colors every moment. The ‘next’ pays for the ‘ex.’

When our focus is on the past, we can’t experience anything new with love. This means on some level, that our systems are only safe with the past. Consciously such folk say they want it better. Yet subconsciously, it is a different story. This inevitably leads to a continuing grievance with love. Nobody wins here.

When we are truly safe with love all of this changes. We begin to experience the spontaneous joy of loving in the present. Loving in the ‘now’ means we can begin to see our partner as they are. We begin to fully appreciate them. Our hearts can now say with depth, ‘I see you.’ There are no colors bleeding into the present from either the past or the future. The darkness of the past is no more. The bright lights of the future do not blind us. Instead, we can offer the greatest gift of love – to be present with another fully. We witness them! In turn, they can mirror back to us all that we offer them. Everybody wins here.

Whether we love in the past or future, it is all learned patterning and therefore adjustable. In my upcoming workshop, this is some of the new material. I will delve into this much deeper and offer some tools for how to adjust this. Yet for now, just notice how much of your time and attention is spent on the past or future in a relationship. Are you safe to have love now? Are you safe to have anything different with love? What do you want NOW with love?

 

Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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