What is love?

What is the point of love?

There is no right answer, so don't worry - I'm not going to quiz you. But, what do you think?

This is the question Susan Piver asked during her talk in June at the Austin Shambhala Center. It's a good question and I've been pondering it ever since.

What is the point of love?

Is it to make us happy? Is it to make babies? Is it to fill some void we think we might have in our life?

This is a tough one for me.

It's been easy to think that my pain and heartbreak have been my weaknesses - my "failures" proof that I am unlovable and my mistakes evidence that I am inherently flawed. But what if that is all bullshit? What if these are the very things that make me beautiful, lovable and inherently strong?

This is what I've been gently peeling away over the past few years - layers and layers of bullshit I believed about who I thought I was - unlovable, flawed, weird, over-emotional, overly sensitive and insecure. I am none of these things, and yet I have felt this way for a very long time.

So, what is the point of love? What is the point of all this pain? Some would suggest it is to see and be seen for who we really are - to be known. This is what Susan suggests. I agree, though my beliefs and expectations have often kept me from really seeing and being seen in relationships (What is my greatest desire? To be seen. What is one of my greatest fears? To be seen.).

But this too is a part of the process of loving, oddly enough. Allowing my heart to break, over and over, has taught me how to love and be loving. It has forced me to ask myself questions, such as, can I be touched by my own experience? By the world around me? By other people? Can I forgive myself for falling short and making mistakes? Can I forgive others? And what does it mean to really meet people where they are without any expectations? Am I capable of that?

What about you? What is the point of love for you?

To hear Susan Piver talk about love and flesh (!), listen to her talk through The Interdependence Project. Or visit her website to learn about her Open Heart Project.