Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.
My friend was reporting her last break-up: “I told him I loved him, and that was the beginning of the end. What I meant to say was I loved spending time with him. But that word, and then suddenly we’re in the thick of it and before you know it, it’s over.”
The idea of love, the speaking of love, the search for love, the entire realm of love, seems fraught with confusion and peril at every turn. Except for those times when it’s not, you may say; but even at those times, when all is butterflies and rainbows and a world of possibility, is it real? Do those times ever last?
According to the Veda, love is the reason we are here. The story goes like this:
There was a point when the relative world was Not. Rather, Totality was simply Itself. Oneness. Pure Being. Nonduality. Then Totality gave itself the supreme gift of forgetting its oneness, in pieces, here and there. Why? In order to experience the joy of re-uniting with Itself.
This ‘re-uniting’ is what we humans call love. Self looks across at Self, recognizing Self. ‘Hello in there. You’re me. I’m you. together we Are.’ This is love.
This is how nature experiences love. Through us. And what occurs inside each of us when we have this ‘recognition’ experience is what we usually mean when we speak of love.
From this point of view, everything becomes quite simple. In order to experience love, we simply stop ignoring the Truth–that the universe already is one, whole, complete thing. That I Am this one thing; and that this other person must, by definition, be that one thing as well.
By knowing love is here to be found, we can’t help but find it. By looking for Oneness in each other, we will call love forth. Our experience of love is completely in our own hands. There is no one who is going to give me love; but the world is full of those to whom I may give the love that I am.
No one can give me love. And yet, love is here to be had. I need only allow myself to welcome it into my life; to say yes to the love that already is there, inside my own heart. And then to give it away.
Today I will find someone at some moment to love. I will give a friend or lover a hug for no apparent reason. I will smile at a stranger. I will let go of my judgment of someone and choose to see her as doing things the best she can. And I will love her for it.