From 2011-2014, I was associated with the Deep Coaching Institute. First as a student, then as a mentor, and then as faculty-in-training. I always thought that I was learning to coach using the Enneagram. Learning to coach deeply with my clients.
But then I realized that what I had really been learning is learning to love. To love deeply. Myself and others.
What do I mean? Learning to love? Do we need to learn how to love? Isn’t it something we do naturally?
I don’t think so.
Men often think that love is expressed through sex. But sex isn’t love. We can call it love, and perhaps many men equate sex with love. But it isn’t. Sex is biological, physiological. It’s about our chemistry, our hormones. It’s totally delightful, but alone it isn’t love.
Love goes beyond. It’s about feeling your partner’s heart, which is incredibly tender territory. Beautiful territory. Territory that cannot be experienced without being open to vulnerability. To the unknown. What is it like to really touch another’s heart? What does it take to trust at a level that we let ourselves be fully seen, fully known, whether during sex or apart from sex?
A lot. It takes courage. And a commitment to living life fully.
e.e. cummings suggests that “Love’s function is to fabricate unknowingness..”
What does that mean? To love is to not know?
Loving is the willingness to encounter another, and ourselves, with curiosity, compassion and tenderness. It’s the willingness to discover the present moment, whatever it offers. Whether it’s glorious or painful, sad, or scary. It’s the willingness and ability to encounter all that is revealed without running from it.
Osho says: “The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person – without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other. ”
Love is a state of being. It’s not a product of relationship. Love has value only because it gives you aloneness and unknowningness. It gives you space enough to be with who you really are – your essence.
That’s not to say that love doesn’t bring togetherness, but unless you can be alone, you can’t be together. Togetherness is rich, infinitely rich, but only if both persons are utterly independent. If they’re dependent on each other, it is not togetherness – it is slavery, it’s bondage.
How does this relate to unknowingness?
Well, aloneness, together with truly experiencing another’s heart, means that we must provide room for the unknown. For feelings and thoughts that may arise that may be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Feelings and thoughts that may be scary. From which we may want to run or hide.
But it’s in being with the unknowing of connectedness – connectedness with ourselves and with others – that we make room for grace, for magic, for new knowings and new experiences. For what can only be described as love.
And this is what I’ve learned from DCI. I’ve learned to be more comfortable with my vulnerability. I’ve come to realize that through vulnerability, authenticity arises, and others have trouble resisting someone who’s authentic. I’ve learned the joy and pleasure of being curious about another and resisting the urge to fix, or to think that I can fix, myself or another. I’ve learned that in allowing myself to be uncomfortable and to not know, room is made for magic to happen. For transformation to happen.