We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.
If romance is not here to fulfill us, why are we in relationships?
The Veda tells us we are Oneness. Totality. We settle into this truth when we meditate, then we return to our eyes-open state and we forget. In our forgetting we identify with all that is different between ourselves and others, rather than all that is the same, and we go about our life experiencing our separateness from each other.
Yet in the deepest part of us, we yearn for our truth. We yearn for the oneness we’ve lost touch with. We look for this lost oneness in the eyes of the people we meet. And sometimes we see something there that makes our heart catch. My God, we think. They recognize me! And I recognize them! We see something resonant and harmonious in each other. We feel safe, comfortable, comforted. We feel reflected in a way that is in some way exalted; and we feel permission to Be, simply and fully, as we are, without having to try to please anyone. We are experiencing with this other person a reflection of the oneness that we feel in unity with nature, with God. The Self in me is seeing the Self in you and recognizing itSelf. We call it falling in love.
This falling in love occurs because we are seeing a version of ourselves in the other. This other person is enough like me that I can let down my ego defenses, but enough unlike me to capture my attention. All this biochemical, hormonal soup is intoxicating, especially if we have spent years without companionship, without God. Without the experience of oneness. Love feels good.
We associate these good feelings with this other person, but in fact, these feelings are our own. 100%. They are sensations traveling through our body giving us information about what we should do and who we should do it with. Telling us suddenly there are reasons to be alive. But all of this is happening within us. It’s not coming from the other. But connection to the other allows us to feel what’s been inside. Much like electricity stored in a battery, this power can’t be expressed until there is a connection between two poles. It is this connection that allows for a flow to occur, a movement of power. Electricity.
We begin to flow attention back and forth between the two of us, and it is this flow of attention that allows all that has been stored within me to begin to be expressed; and that allows me to feel love.
This is one of the paradoxical truths of nature: that one of the best ways to experience oneness in the relative world is to have someone opposite us whom we can love. In this love and attention that flows between us we begin to experience the divine.
What is required is that we allow ourselves to be seen, and that we in turn are willing to see the other. We find someone who is appropriate for our attention, and we offer it. Not in order to get, but simply to have a place to give; and in this way we experience the other paradox of all this: that the more love-laden attention we put into the world, the more we will find that same loving attention coming back to us.
Today I will smile at the people I meet, giving more attention to what’s going on around me than to what’s going on within me. I will insist on finding in someone else a place where I may connect and express the love that moves through me and wishes to be given. I will give myself a reason to love.