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return to love return to innocence
Photography by simon shim

return to love return to innocence

by Ellen White ellen white
Cultivate Relationships | Couple

Love. Devotion. Feeling Emotion. These are the opening words to the famed 1990s Enigma song 'Return to Innocence'. This song moves me to the core. The song proceeds with: Just believe in Destiny. Don’t care what people say, follow your own way. Don’t give up the chance to return to your self.

This song and message is an amazing portrayal of Love as a 'return'. A return to who we were before it all went ‘wrong’. Before society and family clouded our belief system of where to go in life and what to believe in. A return to a pure organic state where fearless emotion provided the path for clarity and direction, before we learned to block them. A return to a place of innocence that transcends mind or replaces mind because it is who we were before 'mind' even came in to play.

As a former co-owner of a dating website that was amidst a pool of mainstream internet dating, I strive for a unique voice in a world of statistical gratification. I am exposed to many approaches of finding love. I come across seminars that 'teach' how to 'get love'. I would learn of coaches providing strategies for love. I was surrounded by dating sites which connected love through pre-conceived statistical notions and geographical-based decisions. Yet within my deepest core of being, I reject these approaches by saying Love cannot be taught, manipulated or learned. It is a return to the deepest part of self that never gave up believing or wanting it.

Love, as an emotion, can not follow the dictate of words. Love cannot be contained or structured in my opinion. Just as sadness or happiness cannot either. These are innate emotions that are felt and driven by a force outside of our mental faculties, which is both beautiful and scary. It is beautiful because it is free expression. It is scary because it is free expression. Today’s culture is not accustomed to living life from this innate place of pure organic emotional experience and expression.

Today’s culture is mind-driven and fearful. People want to control outcomes and are struggling in the context of society’s definition of relationship and life. People try to make sense of love. They confuse love. No matter how many classes I take, or books I read, my heart will never love something that it doesn’t feel love for innately. There are other words to describe that experience which I believe comprise the definition of relationship today, including function, compatibility, friendship, tolerance, acceptance, attraction, sex, family, habit and cultural tradition.

I recently read a quote that connected me to my personal and deeper understanding of love. “Life and love happen in a second. Yet it takes preparation to be ready to receive them.” This implies that real love hits and it requires recognition. Recognition, at this level, comes from preparation. Preparation, at this level, comes from cultivation. Cultivation of the desire to dream, to ache, to understand and to want. The experience of love is difficult to explain.

I watch people aimlessly trying to grasp it. Society gages love through structural definitions such as 'relationship' or 'marriage'. If someone is married, they must have real love; they must be doing something 'right'. Marriage, the successful kind, is a function of function. Sometimes, love has nothing to do with it. Yet the world chases this premise, suffering in the process of not understanding how to succeed in it.

I think as a society we have yet to tap into a glimpse of what real love is. The world anxiously tries to define it and make it something attainable through some process of logic. I believe real love, the kind we ache for, is a pure return to the self, to the innocent. To feel it, we must go backwards, which in actuality is forward! We need to undo where we’ve been hiding and get RAW.



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