February 8

Sucking Air

February 8, 2016

Personal Growth

Roman Coombes sent me the following metaphor, which I have modified without his permission.

Take two drinking straws. One is your Imitation Love conduit, and the other is for Real Love. Put some water in a glass.
Place the Imitation Love straw just outside the glass, and suck air through it. You can pull air freely through the straw.
Now put the Real Love straw into the water and suck on it. The water flows freely.

Last, put the Imitation Love straw just outside the glass again, with the Real Love straw in the water. Put both upper ends of the straws together and suck on them.
You’ll discover that with moderate suction you get plenty of air, but little to no water.
Gradually pinch off the air in the Imitation Love straw, and the flow of water will increase.

This plays out in real life every day. If we continue to use praise, power, pleasure, and safety, it’s unlikely that we’ll feel any Real Love at all. Imitation Love is loud, easy to find, and intrusive, while Real Love requires our conscious attention, without the distractions of the world.

If you’re making efforts—phone calls, groups, and more—to get love, but your life isn’t changing, it’s highly likely that you still have one straw open to the air. Close it off. Give up your addictions: your need for approval, alcohol, anger, anything that distracts you. And then you’ll find the flow of Real Love tends to increase dramatically.

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