Rediscovering Love Connection

Sculpture by Alexander Milov

I long thought that life had no inherent meaning — that we assign our own meaning to it. That may be, but here’s a good purpose to assign to it: Rediscovering the love that connects all of us to one another and to the universe.

As babies, we have no ego; we are directly connected to our caregivers through the same heart-to-heart love energy that connects us to the loving intelligence of the Universe. Call it God’s love that we come to recognize as love between one another. Or call it the creative nature of the Universe. It animates life, connects life and is the truth behind existence.

The forming ego sees this direct heart-to-heart connection as creating to much vulnerability. So as we grow up, we build up layer upon layer protecting our hearts but also cutting them off from union.

One result of obsessive thinking is to distract us from the present moment where heart connection can be most directly felt. The ego invents OCD as a protective measure, but it’s like protecting yourself by hiding in a cave. Sure, it’s hard to be harmed by others, but it’s also hard to live life fully in harmony with others and to feel true unconditional, unquestioned and unqualified love for and from ourselves and others.

As the ego develops, we try to approximate love-connection by focusing on similar interests or life experiences that create at least a superficial connection to others. So, we join a club, or attach our sense of identity to a subculture. As much fun as we have going out dancing to the same music that our companion likes or going to meetups where everyone shares the same interest, it’s ultimately not satisfying; it doesn’t come close to matching the unquestioned connection that we had as infants, before our ego-minds got in the way.

We seek connection in other ways. Making love can approximate a selfless bond, but cultural expectations and fantasies can get in the way of the experience being truly genuine. Some people use drugs to get their mind out of the way of connecting to others, but these experiences are often more about individual sensation and none of this captures the oneness of love we seek; it doesn’t make up for the disconnect that we can feel from everything and everyone outside of our physical body.

The ultimate challenge in life is to get back to connection, to identifying with the love that connects us to one another and to source — being centered in our interpersonal connections can help us open up to awareness of our connection to all life and the source of life.

The key is working to remove those layers of protection we’ve built up around our hearts so that love energy can flow more freely. This may require bringing our awareness to the pain we incurred in the past in order to soften those old psychic scars. By bringing awareness to the pain of past trauma, I don’t mean reliving or trying to solve past events; I mean accepting the feelings they left in us and liberating the energy caught up in those feelings through the power of loving awareness.

We can also begin to feel loving connections more directly by living more in the present moment, instead of rehashing the past or worrying about the future. The more we bring our attention back to what’s happening right at this exact moment, the less dominance OCD and other manifestations of anxiety can have over our thinking, and the more we are getting those barriers to love out of the way. You can think of it as a beautiful, glowing jewel that we have hidden under layers of protective cloth. Peel off those layers to reveal the jewel that’s been there all along.

One Book Rule

Trouble turning pages? If one way your OCD shows up is to make you re-read words on a page before continuing with a book, try the One Book Rule:

Choose one book that you absolutely will not do OCD with.

The one book rule puts one special book out of the reach of OCD. You can try it in other areas of your OCD life. For example, if obsessive hand washing is your thing, choose one washing a day when you will be free of that behavior.

If you slip, you can still celebrate your previous successes, even if they were just a slight reduction, and try again. Retraining your brain can take time. So, be kind to yourself.



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Essays, stories & poetry about OCD, culture and society, by Eric