Episode 17: Your Love Widget
This week, Adam reflects on a comment by Joel Osteen, that toothy evangelist of the Prosperous Christ. When we truly believe in what we create at work, we throw ourselves in heart and soul and assure success. What if the product of your creativity, your widget, was not a web design, a crafted contract or mended teeth. What if the "thing" you created daily, the object of your focus and your creative efforts, your "widget"… was love itself.
Adam Gilad: Hey welcome back. This is Adam Gilad and you’re listening to The Fearless Lover. This week I want to say a few words about what I call your love widget. The thing about love is that people really get hung up on fear, fear of not having it, fear of losing it. And the point is never to be fearless. We always have our physical fears, but it’s to have our fears, and as the saying goes, “Fear it and do it anyway”, if it’s something that we really value to accomplish in this life. So lets get past the idea that you shouldn’t have any fear. We always have physical fears and we deal with them. But this week I want to talk about your love widget. Nice title. Bet you’re wondering what I mean. I want to say a few words about it. I want to say a few words about clinging and I want to say a few words about letting go and what it means to create your love widget.
Adam Gilad: So everything in our Western romantic tradition about love is really about clutching. When you think about it, and even when you don’t think about it, the marriage contracts has its roots in property contracts, and then it’s overlaid with all kinds of religious stigmatism, if for some reason you grow out of romantic love over time, because of the language and the nature of contract you’ve transgressed God. Even though fewer and fewer people actually believe that, the words remain and the words do have an impact and the cultural tradition does have an impact. Clinging always has an attendant fear. And clinging when it comes to romantic love is all over our popular music. It’s the “I can’t live if living is without you” and “I would die without you” and “You are my everything”. Well here’s an alternative; how about, “You are my nothing”, or rather, “You are my no thing. In fact, you are an expression of all love to whom I can offer my all love”. So what does that mean? It means that my love finds deepest expression in my moment to moment offering of my best and most open heart to you. Not easy to do, but doable. Another way of putting it; “I find joy in service to your opening, and your joy and your relaxation into your own deepest and greatest expression of love as you live it, without my expectations, without my attachment.” And it’s more than this. It’s not even “I love you”, but “I as love”. “I as a vessel or conduit of love find joyous expression and fulfillment in the moment loving you as an expression of love in bodily form”. This feels so much better than, “I need you. I can’t live without you”, all that clinging and attachment that just pervades our traditions.
Adam Gilad: Now notice when I talk about this kind of fearless loving, the emphasis is on giving. It’s on the moment to moment. Because ultimately when we love one another it has to be moment by moment, it has to be a conscious and unconscious decision. When we clench and don’t feel like loving one another, we open our hearts and we love anyway even if we’re hurt, even if we’re angry, whatever it is, but we don’t stop the flow of love coming from us. This is the ideal. When we truly love one another it’s not just me and you. As it’s been said, we are love loving love. Self as an expression of a larger love, loving another person as an embodiment of a larger love. No thing loving no thing, no one loving no one. Rather all love loving all love. It’s a different way of approaching love. Now fearless loving is beyond the ‘I’, the ‘me’, that sense of identity, which we all come to coddle and protect and defend, and we do it all day long. This little passing personality, this ‘I’, which is just a confused and cramped and ever changing conglomeration of ideas that’s going to change anyway. Now how much more expansive and inexhaustible to be a vessel for love beyond the twists and quirks of our particular personalities. With fearless love the emphasis is always on the offering, not for our own sake, but for the sake of the recipients of our love. With fearless loving you’re always in the now, loving outward. There’s no need; it’s not a contract or a statement, that, “I swear to God and hope to die that I will feel something forever.” ‘Cause with that there’s always the implicit threat that you’re going to break your promise, and that is fear once again. Hey, it’s like your parents told you when you’re a kid, if you had good parents, I’m lucky I had good parents, and they said, “As long as you try your best you can never be regretful or ashamed.” Winning was never really the point. Giving yourself fully to a worthy pursuit, that was the point, that is the joy in itself. And it’s the same in love; giving yourself fully to a worthy pursuit. Fear, in this case, now dissolves into a quiet shadow, when your emphasis is on full offering and flowing outward rather than drawing attention inward and giving your best in all the details moment by moment, fear just dissolves. This counts for your intimate partner and your intimate love life, and actually just like your parents told you about sports or school or whatever it was, it’s the same for business. I’ll show you what I mean. I found this quote from Joel Osteen, that just sweet nice evangelist you see with the great smile. You see him in every bookstore and all over TV. There’s an article on him in (?) portfolio, and there’s a passage where the writer is talking about his sermon writing, about Joel’s sermon writing, and he writes this, he says, “He believe resolutely in the value of the product”, ‘cause he’s sitting there writing his sermon this morning, “He believes resolutely in the product he is crafting in his office on those quiet mornings when he writes.” Osteen says, “Very rarely will you find a company that produces a widget where everyone is mentally and spiritually into producing a better widget. There’s a purpose behind what we’re doing”, Osteen says. “We believe in our widget. We’re doing more than giving people a good time or a better toothbrush, ‘cause it’s hard to put your heart and soul and sacrifice so much just to make a better toothbrush.”
Adam Gilad: So think about this a second. If love is the something that you’re creating or generating in your life, and I hope it is, you’re here, do you, as Osteen says, believe in it? Because when you believe in it you can put your heart and soul into doing it. Do you believe in love that you’re creating day by day as your widget, as the thing that you’re producing for the world, starting with the people around you but opening up to all people and all beings? Are you into loving? Do you believe in your love widget, your product in this world? Are you designing something, love that will provide better love value, to put it in business terms, for the people you love? Are you doing it for yourself? The great thing about fearless love is that it always renews, it always refreshes. There’s an infinitely present well to draw from, always a now. No matter how mean or cruel, forgetful, hurt, nasty or oblivious you’ve been in the past, and I’m sure you have, I sure have, no matter how you were in the past or how you may be in the future, you can draw on an infinite source of love right now and express it. Every spiritual tradition recognizes this. In Hebrew, one of the terms for God is HaMakom or “the place”, the place you can always draw from and return to, the immovable place that is yours no matter where you are, kind of touch stone. And as most traditions recognize, the formula is simple; God is love. Now, I don’t personally make any claims to know what God is or isn’t, or even what the word signifies, but God, the concept, is the embodiment, if nothing else, of the human expression of what is infinitely always present, which is a bottomless well of love from which to draw and share, always ready to be tapped. Now, don’t think that’s true? Here’s why I think it is. You can get kicked into your most loving self in an instant. Maybe it’s a baby’s face that does it. Maybe it’s a sudden apology from a lost lover or a family member. Maybe it’s a simple embrace and you’re body floods with the ability to just love fully, your heart melts, which means your ego melts. And now that that’s melted, you get to build a new love widget right now. You get to literally retool yourself and offer yourself as an even purer fearless expression of love. Even if your new and improved widget gets rejected, hey you gave your best, just like your parents told you was the key. And besides, there’s always tomorrow, not to mention now, and now again, and now again, and now, and now, etcetera.
Adam Gilad: Hey, this is Adam Gilad for The Fearless Lover here on Personal Life Media. I hope you’ve enjoyed these thoughts. I love thinking about this, I love thinking about it fearlessly. I love this widget. And I love creating my love widget, which constantly breaks, and I’m constantly mending it. Send me your thoughts at thefearlesslover.com. This is Adam Gilad, Personal Life Media. Check out all the other great authors, speakers, writers on personallifemedia.com, and I’ll see you next week. Bye-bye.