Happiness depends on something or other and can be lost; freedom from everything depends on nothing and cannot be lost. Freedom from sorrow has no cause and, therefore, cannot be destroyed. Realise that freedom.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,
I Am That, p.147
Romance, courtship, amour. Is there such a thing as spiritual dating? Is there a way to have a different experience than the one of eventual disappointment some of us seem to repeat over and over again?
There are in fact some simple rules of thumb that can help things go differently.
First of all, it pays to ask ourselves what we are looking for in someone else. More often than not, our answer to this question is ‘a lot,’ or ‘everything,’ or perhaps even ‘salvation.’
Consistently we go in to experiences looking for what we are there to get, when in fact, the way the world works is that we must embrace the opposite and know that in every case we are showing up in order to give rather than to receive. We are showing up in order to be of service.
Think of it this way: in the Vedic world view, there is only one thing. I am, so by definition, I must be that one thing. If giving is going to occur, if love is going to be present, then this love, this giving must come from me. If there’s only one thing, who else is going to choose to bring the love if I don’t? Though we may show up on a date, to a function, hoping someone will be interested in getting to know us better, in fact it is never about that; rather, it always is about us finding our way to be interested in someone other than ourselves.
Though this may seem at first to be counter-intuitive, it is the way in which we may can begin to experience ourselves as free and spontaneous and with something to give, thus allowing the flow of life to move through us. This is what we always are seeking anyway from someone else–this feeling of flow and ease and peace, this feeling of joy. When we take it upon ourselves to be the outlet for this, we no longer are at the affect of someone else. We begin to see ourselves as the source of love, as the connection to the true source of love, i.e. to nature itself. And everything we really want, really long for, really desire, always comes from nature. Never from another person.
And what about me? the small self may say. When do I get taken care of?
Of course the answer is: Always. Always you are taken care of. Always you are given to by nature, by life itself. By God, if you will. This truth of the universe, by whatever name you call it, is Source. It fills me always with everything I need. My responsibility is to recognize this truth, to count on this truth, to be expressive of this truth.
Simply by accepting the idea that we can be fulfilled in and of ourselves, and the idea that we are showing up someplace else in order to give of that fulfillment that we are, we will begin to flow more readily with nature. We will begin to experience ourselves as full, as fulfilled, as happy, completely on our own, without reference to another. The more we move in this direction, the more we will feel it and the less we will be at the mercy of anyone or anything outside ourselves.
And as this becomes our reality, then the fun really begins. Then we get to be in love with life, rather than with some one other human. Then there is no one who has the power to take away any part of our happiness.
And the humans who want to be in love with life, too? Well, they will recognize this in us and ask to come along for the ride.
Today I will choose away from my small self’s need for safety and approval and choose rather to be more interested in another person than in myself. I will ask to be shown, moment to moment, how I may be of service to the people in my world. Even if we’re on a dat
Musician Couple, Rubicon Theatre, Ventura, CA
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober