Love Is So Much More Than A Four Letter Word

I am in St. Louis, Missouri, for a dear friend, and previous roommate from long ago, who is getting married. I am so very happy for her. Her partner and fiancé is a truly kind and wonderful human being.

I am such a cynic in the realm of romance, and at the same time, I am such a hopeless romantic. It seems that in this area, like in pretty much every aspect of my life, I am a walking contradiction, dancing in the never-ending dance of duality, of which I constantly comment on—to the point where it seems redundant and passé.

Gods and Goddesses save me from the monotony of me… and yet, here still I am. Imagine that.

I am not sure if maybe the grown up in me is the cynic and the little girl in me still believes in fairytales. Or maybe it is the little girl in me who is both… that is probably more the case.

The little girl in me witnessed one screwed up “relationship” after another—parent to parent, parent to me, others to others, and others to me (recognizing on my path now, that there is truly no such thing as “other” but you know what I mean.) The little girl in me grew up and grew old very quickly. Too quickly. And at the same time, I think and feel that she never gave up hope that there is something worth falling completely in love for. I know that is what has fueled my activism and service. I fell in love with the Redwoods, and through that experience, fell in love with this Sacred Earth and our World.

Somehow, I have been very challenged in this experience of giving myself completely to loving another human being and having that experienced in return. Growing up, and in some of my pitiful attempts at adult relationships, my experience taught me that loving people is a minefield that explodes all too frequently, causing very real physical harm as well as emotional and mental trauma.

I have spent years, hours, minutia of minutes, and multiple amounts of money looking into, undoing, and transforming all the baggage I carried around for so long from my experiences growing up. Ah, all that luggage I was carrying around, I could have started my own package transportation business. Watch out UPS! I have since unpacked much of that musty, mildewed, so out of fashion and out of usefulness trunks and boxes, but it seems I still have more, if I am to be perfectly honest with myself… and now all of you.

The more I write, the more I am clear that it is indeed my inner little girl who is the angry, hurt cynic and the ever-so-pathetic hopeless romantic. Maybe, I, the present, here and now Julia, am neither end of the spectrum, but somehow precariously balanced somewhere in the middle—without being “middle of the road” UGH!

I want to “lose” myself to Love in order to experience whole new awareness and experience of “self” while at the same time remaining true to my path and with an awareness that there is no Prince or Princess Charming. I long for and love the feeling and experience of adoration, both when I adore someone and am adored in return. According to the dictionary, “adore” means to “love someone deeply” and to “worship God.” Maybe that is why I so deeply long to adore—to experience God/dess in that space of connection and mirroring with another human being. I have tasted the Divine in the early-morning dewdrops on blades of grass in fields and in the fog-filled canopy of the Redwoods. I have lost my sense of “self” in the Sea and Ocean and at the tops of mountains and on the precipice of canyons and in looking eye to eye and soul to soul with a wild wolf. So many experiences in the other-than-human life, I have lost all sense of “self” as separate or other than. With people, I “know” I am never separate from, but I have never experienced that complete melting with and immersion of God/dess in the human experience. There is something mystical for me in the feeling of experiencing mutual adoration with another human being.

So here is to my friends and to all who are courageous and crazy enough to fall into and rise up in love. Here is to losing one’s sense of “self” in the journey of love and adoration that grows and expands what “self” can mean and hold and share and serve. Here is to all those who choose to dance across the high-wire of love and adoration knowing that sometimes that wire is attached to explosives and yet the possibility is so beautiful that they dance anyway.

Enjoy the dance.

Love, and the ever-expanding experience of what that can mean,


Published in: on June 11, 2010 at 7:22 am  Comments (28)  

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  1. Julia,

    Another great post. I love the depth, sincerity, integrity and playfulness of your writing. Please know that I continue to hold a steady vision for you to find the perfect partner in whose arms and heart “you” can totally meltdown and courageously and joyfully dance and then swim into a state of DeepSeeIntimacy.

    I’m always here as your Friend, who holds you in absolute and utter adoration for the magnficent jewel you truly are!

    with warm aloha,


    PS~ I’m reaaaaly looking forward to the day when I hear news of your total meltdown into your BeLoved’s arms! It could be happening any day NOW…so be a good girl scout and be prepared 😉

  2. jb what to say your starting a new chapter and maybe i should be silently watching on my white horse, but your astray and the god/dess who loves you wants you back on YOUR path. be ye not decieved i’m not preaching any one way all roads lead to death but how we get there is the gift of free will. i am praying for your protection as i write cause i too am restless. there are BIG CHANGES in the wind and seasons are upon us before we are prepared for them, keep the lamp lit the bridegroom is afoot. =}happy thoughts

  3. Wow. Your post touched my heart. I know exactly what you mean because i have similar feelings in me. I will never get tired of saying how amazing you are!

  4. I am not an expert on the subject, just a student of it. I want to tell that small girl a very small thing. ‘Sweetheart, this is not a perfect world. People are not able to always provide what you may want from them and they can keep failing at what we expect from them but a basic test of life is a small question: ‘can we still love?’ And Love is often not what what we “think” it is; its not the thoughts, they seperate. Its a heart that cares and trusts the other and life. It pays attention and does not want to be more or less than the other because it understand the other is in one and one is in the other. Its the mind that does not go into you and me and one is not being a romantic here, we are talking only facts. Its the heart that is not filled with things of mind: stuff, ambitions and wants. Love is the game for who can just be.

  5. That couldn’t have rung truer, as I too, long to “lose” myself to Love. Sigh…

    Thank you Julia. Just beautiful.


  6. What a lovely exploration of yourself. Or your self. I hope in matters of love (true love), it all comes together for you. Thank you for sharing such honest Truth with us.

  7. You beautiful woman you…
    You’re very honest.So cool 🙂

    Enjoy your day! evening! not sure

  8. Want to know something funnier ?

    I went to a vocatoonal school for three years to learn carpentry … about twelve years ago or so ,l joined Greenpeace , Peta ,Sierraclub and .
    I have a girage to do woodworking in instead I donate to the four nonprofits each month …

    I have a feeling that most of my cousins are republican … I list myself as being a green party member …

    Julia … you definitely LOVE the outdoors … YOU ARE A VERY BEAUTIFUL PERSON INSIDE YOUR MIND …

    I too found that I needed GODS GREEN EARTH … Most of the humans here… ( they only think they are human )… would rather do drugs and would not care to plant trees or grow a vegetable garden …

    Maybe I should put some coal ashes in some water and ask them if those would do more interesting things than the drugs … LOL ! JULIA … YOU DEFINITELY ARE A GOOD LOOKING GIRL ! You are a beautiful butterfly !


  9. And you would cause the sun to see your light and then be shamed

    You cover darkness with a thousand secret flames
    With your love, oh my love, oh my love, my love

    And I would cause the winds to blow a hundred different days

    And bring the perfumes of the gardens of the ways

    Of your love, oh my love, oh my love, my love

    Crystal and the clay, nights and the day

    All on the prince’s seal

    Eagle of the sky, lion of the earth

    This is what the seal is worth, what the seal is worth

    Holds all of the dreams of a man

    Tapestries, wishes of man, pictures and visions of man

    The spirit, the soul of the man

    And he would vow to love her for the rest of all his days…

  10. = -+ So human, A broken heart is often the price we pay for Love. The $64 question, Is it worth it? Will we Love our Heart in its broken condition as much as we do in its state of Loving reckless abandon?
    Throwing fate to the wind is so rewarding so dangerous so exciting and can leave quite a mess to clean up afterward. The memories will last a life time even if the ride doesnt. Big ♥ ♥ felt hug.
    Happy you stayed on this ride.

  11. I always liked this little quote that I heard once – thought it might hit funny bone for you

    “There is a story about the greek gods. They were bored, so they invented human beings, but they were still bored, so they invented love. Then they weren’t bored any longer, so they decided to try love for themselves. And finally they invented laughter, so they could stand it. “

  12. Speaking of the ancient Greeks, they gave us lots of types of love!
    PHILO – love (philosophy “love of wisdom”)
    PHILIA – loyalty and brotherly love
    STORGE or PLATONIC – friendship love
    AGAPE – love of humanity, universal or unconditional love
    MANIA – madly in love
    PRAGMA – practical love, or, head over heart
    LUDUS – love as a game
    EROS – erotic love
    Plus, Sappho the poetess from the Isle of Lesbos. Yet, True Love transcends labels.

  13. Sounds as though Prince Charming better be pretty understanding with a few psychological skills too.

    ~ Have you been to Forest Park in STL yet?

  14. Haha, I’m extremely understanding and would devote myself completely to her in an instant. 🙂

    A heart as beautiful as hers is rare my friend.

    Watch full screen.

  16. Dear Julia,
    Beautiful post and message to the world. I really enjoy reading your blog so please don’t give it up!


  17. I just watched your interview on “Lunch with Bokara” and was amazed at your depth. It has taken me a long time to understand the things you were speaking of, and it was a pleasant experience to see that others feel the same as me. If you are ever in Florida, lunch is on me George

  18. Thanks George! : )

  19. When we speak of ‘love’, don’t we possibly speak of the idea we have created in our mind of ‘the other’? We ‘love’ that idea, that judgement; in fact, when our opinion changes, our ‘love’ changes, doesn’t it ?
    So, whenever we feel disappointed, it is because we prefer not to see our-and-the-other’s true colours.. for many reasons.
    There should be nothing to complain of, apart from the fact that nobody likes to admit of being wrong; so we tip over frustration on the other.
    Will you be so kind as to comment ?

  20. thank you for mirroring my deeps again. It is exquisite agony, this human life. And quite the dance!

    charred to cinders
    and still smiling!


  21. A beautiful dance. You paint a picture with aspects, words, characters, ideas, ideals, trauma, drama, hopes and dreams that I can certainly relate to (Being an inner child on the weekends and sometimes on alternate thursdays and tuesdays depending upon my schedule).

    I have had some similar challenges and dances. What comes up for me is the no-ledge that I am so afraid of letting go of the ledge that I am only capable if I do so before I consider the possible consequences. Once I think about the whole thing and consider and try to be rational about the whole think I end up in the same place. Not dancing but placing my feet in the right places carefully, never losing my balance, maintaining my resolve to be honest with myself and go for what I admire and want and love and seek yet maintaining my safe approach and careful considered intellectual excercise.

    My results have been varied.

    I have found that when I have lept out into the depths of liquid loverlyness I have not yet regretted my experiences…. and everytime I have taken the time to think about it and carefully enter I have missed a few things and locked a few windows and doors onmy way… and the worst part is that the uninhibited dance IS love. The rest is pontification. Like watching television as opposed to being filmed I guess.

    One day perhaps I will get it right and find a partner who can keep up and slow down and wants to maintain a connection whilst we dance our way through the room, caressing one anothers’ hands, lower back and face.

    “Everyone wants to fly but no one wants to risk falling down..”


  22. Could it be that in presencing one millisecond of deliscious honeycomb heart immersion-surrender beyond the shallow waters of our amnesiatic ravenous hopeless romantic and simoutanously amnesiatic hopeless ravenous cynic unfolds the oceanic embrace of our inner eternal beloved perpetually beconing us home to wild love,unfathmobable adoration? Whenever,Wherever,Whatever

  23. There are plenty of people who adore you, Julia. You’ve just got to adore someone back! 🙂

  24. “Romantic Love” really is a mine-field, Julia – only you don’t know where the mines are – until you step onto one. Sometimes, in a romance – you spend all your time – just tip-toeing your way through – hoping not to set off any of those hidden emotional bombs – while trying to keep the illusion of care – alive!

    Romance is for medieval knights and the movies, I think – and I’m not sure if I believe in Princesses or Prince Charmings – or, even in Happily Ever Afters …anymore. (Yes, I USED TO)

    But I do believe that some people share a bond. Not so much an emotional one – as a spiritual one. It’s almost as if they resonate at the same frequency.

    Maybe THAT’S what Love is – a SPIRITUAL RESONANCE

    I spent a good part of a year – up on a tree – just several feet off the ground – way back in 1991, when I was studying in University. It wasn’t for any protest – it was just something I always wanted to do. (And it was only for one or two hours at a time) But THAT was the first time I knew what it felt like to be part of the Living Planet Earth – to be connected to a much greater Life Force. But the more time I spent with Nature – the less connected I became with the people around me. They had their own shared experiences – which were different – from mine. And I couldn’t quite see the World like they did – anymore. It was this “uncommon experience” – that set me apart – or, rather separated me from my friends and colleagues.

    That was to be, just the FIRST of MANY uncommon experiences to come. But what I realized was that – FEW people – really ever leave their chosen path in Life. And those that do – always find it hard – to convey their amazing personal awakening experience – to those who have not.

    Imagine my awe – when I discovered in 1997 – that someone had climbed a Redwood and stayed up there for TWO YEARS! (All kidding aside, I was envious of your experience!) But even then I knew that – HERE was someone who KNEW what it felt like!

    I guess that REAL Love is an awakening experience of sorts. And I think it must be a unique and uncommon experience. And most people probably even fear it – because it takes you far, far away from where you thought you “ought” to be. Very different from the romantic love so readily experienced in movies. I think REAL LOVE is both SCARY – and AWESOME!

    Kinda like climbing a TREE! =D

    I ADORE you, Julia!


  25. The following is an offering of an immensly precious Dharma Jewel that continiously daily informs/shapes my vision and how i deeply, sincerly and passionately in my own all too human imperfect(sometimes even dowright pathetic) way Try to dialogue with every expierence that arises,

    A Manifesto on My Willingness to Grow

    Written by Kali Ma as the Manifesto read by the students of the Practitioner Training 2004, Lesson Zero

    I am willing to admit there might be more to any and every situation than I see or understand.
    Realizing this, I see it is more honest to be open-ended, and accommodating, making room for
    previously unseen possibilities.

    Ideas about who I am and who I am not are always incomplete until I actualize full realization;
    even then, ideas fall short of actuality. Therefore I will take these notions very lightly in
    interactions. So when “I” am offended it is not that big of a deal, since there is so much confusion about who that “I” really is. What is more important than what “I” think, or what “I” want, or who “I” is or is not, is the direct reality of the moment. The ultimate reality of the moment always includes the highest good for all, in all the three times. Living this truth saves me energy I waste defending my “I,” which is too easily offended, controlling and generally uptight. Instead “I” expand my “I”dentity to encompass and open to the one in front of me and the needs of the moment. I recognize that the path of Dharma is unraveling all the confusion and suffering around the “I” and am willing to find out through experience why that is. Then my experience can become “life” centered instead of “self” centered.

    Belief cannot substitute for direct communication with the intricacies of experience in the
    moment. I recognize that belief gets in the way of relating to the moment as it purely is, because
    through beliefs I block out, resist, close to, grasp on to, or ignore some aspects of what is in front of me. In truth there is no good reason to close.

    I experience how fixed ideas, and fixations put me in a fixed state of being. The ancient teachings have said there is no concrete reality. Modern Physics has said this. My own experience reveals this over and over again every time I discover things were not what they seemed. Though reality appears in distinct ways, these are just appearances, and symbols of underlying dynamics and a function of my own view and vehicle of perception. The more definite and concrete I view things as, the less I am viewing things as they are, the less I am open to the undercurrent of actualities, complexities and dimensions. Even when there are definite aspects, this is only half the story and I look more deeply so as to not miss the ineffable. Things as they are exist dynamically, beyond definition, in constant change, non-dual, indivisible and beyond what rationale mind or limited view can grasp. I open to this fluid, and alive quality of existence by moving beyond all rigidity and by refraining from taking appearances as “real.”

    Preference and aversion cause me suffering by dividing life into pre-conditioned notions of what I
    like and dislike. Like and dislike are a way of avoiding direct communications with things as they
    are in the moment. Rather than hang onto dislikes, I open to the opportunity of the one taste,
    where I recognize my own resistance to the innate purity, richness, possibility and compassion of
    what is in front of me. I admit that when I go into the states of dislike, don’t want, can’t stand,
    hating, blaming others, self-righteousness, rejection and disassociation, it is my clinging to
    suffering and suffering as a protest against what is.

    To grow is to change. When I do things the same way over and over again, I get the same results. If I want different results I must be willing to do things differently, new ways of being, new choices, new actions, new attitudes. I am willing to experiment with my life. It is more risky not to, since I could easily miss that life in my strategy to protect myself from it. Change is only difficult when I don’t change with it.

    To grow is to see things I have not seen before, and to see in new ways. All subjectivities are equal. Therefore, I respect others subjective point of view as equal to my own subjective point of view. As my view broadens to encompass one other, another and another and all other, gradually expanding into boundless view, where things are seen as they are, rather than as my version or the way I see them. The way I begin this broadening of my view is by letting go of ideas that I am right and the other is wrong and by entering into an open way of being that encompasses the attitude of the great mantra “Maybe that’s true.” The mantra, “I may have no idea what is actually going on,” opens me up to what is beyond idea, beyond self-righteousness and makes room for me to communicate more fully with what is actually going on. Right and wrong is a very primitive way of viewing circumstances that are multi-faced, subjective and continuously dynamic. Rather than polarizing against other, I will cooperate in non-aggressive communication to find out what other’s experience was, after full receiving that, I will share my own work together to arrive at a higher understanding of how to relate well with one another.

    Blaming others is a way of avoiding my responsibility for all that happens in my relationships, life, mind, and experience. The great mantra, “It’s me,” reminds me to take myself to task rather than project on others, focus on their faults and shortcomings as a way of stalling from doing my own
    inner work.

    I am the cause of my own experience of what happened, no matter what other causes caused what happened. Every moment is an opportunity to take a fresh perspective, to rise again, to bring forth the lotus from the muck and to discover the indestructible reliability of dharmas certain emergence from suffering.

    Unwillingness to receive instruction, correction, and criticism keeps me as I am. Willingness to
    welcome feedback gives me the opportunity to activate dormant wisdom, and awakens new skills. When I receive feedback that triggers my tensions, I will recognize that my tension is the problem, not the feedback. Even if the feedback is imperfect, ill-timed, unwelcome, or from someone I have decided is not worthy to see my faults; the tension is the problem, the fault itself is the problem, not the messenger who bore it. Even if I don’t think I am like that, even if I don’t mean to be like that, it may be there. “Maybe that’s true.” If I cannot connect with it’s truth in the moment, I will at least be willing to consider it, to sit with it, to dialogue and find out where other is coming from, rather than dismissing what I don’t want to hear.

    Going after a person who has upset me, is like a chasing down the person who started the fire that is burning my house down. The fire needs to be put out. Whatever tensions are triggered by
    relating to others, I will digest and transform the tensions through the Sadhana method first, and
    worry about the fire starter second.

    When I have tensions with others, rather than harbor them and decide that is who other “is” or
    that is who “I am,” I will see it as an opportunity to grow and build authentic relationship. I will sit with the person involved immediately and engage in practice to dissolve those tensions. Only once we are in the non-tense state will I begin to dialogue or think about it. This way I move forward with what I received from the most relaxed and spacious part of my being.

  26. Dear Julia,

    Your writing is such an indicator of your beautiful spirit. The sense of self you lost in the ocean might be realized in your writings more if you wrote with less “I”s. Just a humble suggestion from one vegan sage to another. From what I understand Zen sages and Yogi sages have some differences in philosophy though. What you are doing has worked for you in the past, so perhaps my suggestions are too bold.


    Mark N.

  27. Julia,

    I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if this has already been pointed out. I feel that intimate Love given from one person to another and received in return has the most potential to be manifested and to last for ages and can have the best chances to happen, not when one loses themselves in the Love of or from the other person, but when one finds their own true self and that Love and God/dess light within.

    When we are in the moment and in our true self we can accept and become a conduit for Love into our self instead of losing our sense of self to Love.

    I’m not certain this makes sense how I have typed it. 🙂

    Love To You-


  28. As I read your post about love I couldn’t help thinking back about the storms you faced in Luna. The way you gave way to the fierce and violent winds during that storm, the way you just let go…remember the words that came to you that night, ‘the trees in the storm don’t try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go” … and afterward the awakening and a complete renewal of your spirit. True (not fairytale) love calls for a similar yeilding of mind, body, spirit, the way your entire being yielded to the the storms in Luna and your resulting metamorphasis. I learned so much from your book and each day apply those insights on so many levels including in the matter of love…as you well aware, the simplest lessons are sometimes the hardest for us to learn…love you deeply, ana

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