Episode 7 – What does Love look like? Being better at relationships | Kindness | Rocco Jarman (9 min)

Love will save us all, and love will not be gentle.

sarah elkhaldy

Most of human life is relationships – personal, professional, casual.

Join me as I walk you through an extremely potent and a really effective method that has the power to improve all your relationships manifold. 

It is based on a meditation that my friend Rocco Jarman shared with me quite recently. Like most of the man’s work, it is powerful, it is moving and it is worth looking at with eyes wide open.

And as is the case with most life-transforming things, all that’s needed of you is an open mind and a willingness to unlearn and relearn.

See you in the playground. Tune in!

being better at relationships, beyond romantic love, how to have healthy and caring relationships with yourself and others

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The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

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The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Stitcher

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Most of human life is relationships, isn’t it? Whether you are a working professional who wants that manager to understand you better; whether you are a manager in your workplace who wants those employees to understand you better; whether you are a parent who can’t seem to get a hold on that kid; whether you are a kid who can’t seem to get your parents to see things from your perspective; whether you are trying to convey something important to someone via a series of podcast episodes; whether you are a listener who is liking it so much that all you can think about is how to convince your friends to listen to it too, most of your life is about relationships.

Well, if that last bit about liking the podcast is true for you, I want you to know that I love you and deeply appreciate you. Keep sharing the love.

So, back to where we were. Most of our lives IS about relationships – personal, professional, casual, etc. And I’m sure all of us have found ourselves in tricky situations in our relationships. 

There are situations where we are stumped, we have no clue how to act or what to do. There are situations where things get a little overwhelming and we regret later how we acted  – we know we could have acted better, we know we could have handled it better – but it was hard to see it at the time and sometimes, it is hard to see even after. 

We all are in such situations a lot of times. And at any rate, if you haven’t been in such a situation lately, you still cannot guarantee that the next moment wouldn’t present one, no matter how enlightened you are.

With regards to handling and processing such situations and also navigating everyday life in general too, I wanted to very briefly touch upon a message my dear friend Rocco Jarman shared with me very recently. His words were, “Ask yourself – what does love look like in the present moment, really listen to the answer, and then act on it.”

Just take a few seconds to reflect on the sheer potency of these words. I’ll go about them slowly. Ask yourself – what does LOVE look like in the present moment, REALLY listen to the answer, and then ACT on it.

The next time you are in a situation that demands a conscious action, and there are a whole lot of them in our everyday lives, consider trying this. Pause, take a deep breath and ask yourself – “what does love look like in this moment?”. Really listen to the answer that turns up. 

The answer could be anything. 

It could be just hugging the person in front of you. 

It could also be scolding them. 

It could be crying your eyes out. 

It could be being silent. 

It could be talking your heart out. 

It could be walking away. 

It could be agreeing with someone. 

It could be correcting them. 

It could be anything.

You see, love, and for that matter, kindness too, takes a variety of forms. It is not always the mushy mushy goodness and niceties we associate with it. All of the different examples I gave above, could mean love. Only you can say about yourself whether you’re coming out of love or out of displaced anger, jealousy, greed, lust, shame, fear, etc. 

Be conscious of your thoughts and you’ll see all of this in play in every relationship you engage in, moment by moment. Do not be surprised if these “negative” thoughts surface. They do, for all of us. What you need to consciously do is to not ACT on them. Dig deeper, act out of love, act out of kindness. And that takes time, give yourself that time. That’s all we need to do really. 

I distinctly remember this one example Rocco has shared many times on his Instagram. I’m paraphrasing. He says something like, “If there is a wolf at the door and you’re sleeping, and I let you sleep, I am not acting out of love or kindness. Kindness in that moment demands of me to wake you up and not to let you sleep.” 

Now, an observer who can only see the action inside the house might not be able to see the wolf. That observer might label me as an inconsiderate person, maybe even an arrogant person, maybe even an unkind person – but my action might never appear to him to be coming out of love. But that shouldn’t change my action!

Similarly, the person who’s asleep probably also doesn’t see the wolf. Who would remain asleep otherwise right? Only us humans! But anyway, that person might also not see that the act of me trying to wake them up is one of love, is one of kindness. And that shouldn’t change my action either!

For the one who sees the wolf, love in that moment demands him to wake up the sleeping person. Period.

There are various other examples you can see in your own everyday life where apparent kindness is not real kindness, where apparent love is not real love. And also, where apparent unkindness IS the real kindness and the real love.

If you are wrong somewhere, and I can see that THAT is keeping you from growing, and I simply enable you in your smallness because I have lowered my expectations from you or because it makes ME feel bigger compared to you, even though I look kind and compassionate, I am not being kind. I am not acting out of the greatest love I could have acted out of.

If someone is inviting you for something, and you decline their offer out of love for your own self, for your own peace, even though you seem unkind to them, you are not. Sometimes, saying no is the greater kindness, is the greater love.

So, what does love look like at any moment? It depends on the moment, it depends on the actors in the moment. There is no single right answer, and no one will get it right all the time anyway. No one. Not Osho, not JK, not Kahlil Gibran, not Swami Vivekananda, not Sadhguru, not Alan Watts, not Jesus Christ, not Buddha, not Lord Ram. No one. 

We can only ever try to better our interactions and relationships with others. And this sure is one way to do it. Reflect on it.

Unlearn the idea that love and kindness is only mushy-mushy goodness. Sometimes, it can be a scolding or a disagreement too.

Unlearn the idea that all apparent goodness is love and kindness. Sometimes, the greater kindness is telling the other person where they are wrong.

See the truths in these statements. And the next time you are in a pickle, ask yourself, “What does love look like at this moment?” Really listen to the answer, and then act on it.

I would like to thank Rocco for sharing this wonderful insight with me. If you guys haven’t yet, do check out his page on Instagram, his handle is @rocketsprocket. He also runs his own podcast by the name Eyes wide open life. I cannot recommend his work enough. Go through it, your future selves will thank you for it. And thank me for it too I hope. 🙂

Until next time, peace out!

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

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