Join me on a little journey into the oft uncharted territory of love.
A newborn baby knows love. It knows when it’s being loved and it knows how that feels. In fact it has no way of telling these two things apart. Sure it can also feel hunger and discomfort too (from a full belly, or a full nappy). All of its ‘knowing’ is in feeling. It has no language and no prior experience to act as its frame of reference. It is, in effect, love – just love. Beyond hunger and discomfort it knows nothing but love. Hopefully it receives plenty.
Over time a baby, as it grows, receives a lot of other stuff – much of which goes on to form its ‘personality’. It learns language which it begins to use to try to make sense of what is going on around it. It also learns that love is not always forthcoming. It learns that its own behaviour can sometimes influence that which is available, and it tries to encourage that to be love – but may have to find love in the form of attention. Unfortunately, for some of us, any form of attention appears more like love than ‘no attention’.
As the baby grows on its journey toward adulthood it goes through a number of changes. At various points on that journey it acquires, or is given by education, new ‘traits’ or behaviours that it subconsciously ‘thinks’ (or feels) might help it get the love it needs. Its understanding of what love actually is might be changed by this process, too.
Each new trait becomes part of that individual’s personality – the eventual complex combination of those traits becoming that persons ‘unique individuality’ – which some might refer to as ‘ego’. Some of those traits may work against the others. All of those traits make use of the mind – even if subconsciously. The initial objective, of seeking to feel, and indeed be, love, is easily and typically, lost in this process.
In simple terms, our development might look like this:
Baby: unconsciously directed by feeling – living and feeling love in the moment (‘innocent’).
Child – Juvenile – Adult under construction: unconsciously directed by acquired ‘traits’ (personality/ego) – primarily living in the past (reflecting, dwelling) or in the future (projecting, worrying) and hence compromised. This is often compounded by a possible changed understanding of love (‘corrupt’).
Adult (whole): consciously directed, defying traits – primarily living and feeling in the moment, aware of past and future and the effect traits might have on reactions – choosing instead considered response influenced by original (‘innocent’) feeling of love. Some might refer to this state of being as ‘enlightened’.
I’d suggest that the objective of our journey in life is to get from Baby to Adult (whole). There is no time limit. It’s never too late.