Love can be a mixed mess of ups and downs, so you should know what lies in the path ahead.
The dance of the masculine and feminine is the most ancient of dances. We were all born of it. We move in and out of one anothers’ graces in a sweet, sexy, dangerous ballet. We weave in and out of time and space, pirouetting , undulating through birth and death, threading the needle.
Romantic love coupled with physical intimacy is one of the most mysterious forces in existence. Its creative and destructive power is awesome and terrifying. It brings all of our issues to the surface.
With that introduction, here are a few thought-provoking guarantees to rattle your worldview and get you feeling fully with me (and trembling with me if you have to).
There is this all-encompassing spiritual love, and then there is this focused, romantic love, and there are any number of dances between the two. This mostly springs from my diversions into romantic love.
- You will fall in Love.
- Sigh. Cue the music.
Love is not a choice. Our physiology, our soul falls in love, acting upon forces and driven by mechanisms that we can’t understand. The entire universe is moving like clockwork and we each play our part. Past lives, karmic debts, vibration, life lessons all play a part in this massive, diligently orchestrated passion play.
And then choice comes in.
We can choose to embrace the love that enters our experience, or we can choose to deny it.
We can choose to dive in fully, experience the rapture, the ecstasy, and the pain. Or we can shrink away, try to numb ourselves, fold over, collapse.
On of the most terrifying moments in my life has been that moment just before choosing to surrender to love. It is frightening enough to surrender to a business, an idea, a creative masterpiece, a location, a way of being. To surrender to love tests our limits.
This moment, this exquisite moment, can feel like standing on the edge of a cliff. We’ve spent a lifetime sprouting wings; now it’s time to fly.Oh how the mind chatter assails us in these moments. Why? Because our ego is about to suffer a blow of epic proportions. If we listen to the voice of fear in moments like these, we begin to doubt our wings.
We’ll create outlandish stories to justify our fears. She’s too this; he’s too that. In the moment, they seem to ring so true. But there is a larger Truth at play here. These little truths are the mind chatter arising and arising again to keep us insulated; separated.
- It Will be Frightening
When we know that we are not in physical danger, and fear grips us, let’s open our eyes. We may be on the cusp of something beautiful. If we can stay present, grounded, centered, we can proceed to move into the realms of love. In fact, only love that is frightening contains the ripe seeds for the deepest passion. Love that is easy is usually compulsive and expensive, emotionally, economically, energetically. We haven’t been primed for it; forged in fire. Our wings have not been cultivated.
We leap into the expanse of love with our tender hearts exposed, expecting to be slaughtered. This is what vulnerability is. Surrender. We unconsciously invite soul contract after soul contract into our lives so that we can evolve spiritually. We made this arrangement because we desired a challenge.
Welcome to the fray fearless lover.
- Your heart will be broken.
Suddenly the music stops with a squelch.
Wait a minute. How is that celebratory? How is that life affirming?
Because we need our wounds, our pain, our chaos and confusion to evolve. We grow from the dark and fertile soil of these experiences.
“There is a crack in everything… that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen
“We need the chaos in our soul to give birth to a dancing star.” Neitzsche
Trying to insulate ourselves from future pain robs us of our present moment. Where there is fear, rapture is scarce; our fierce flow trickles to a halt; passion wanes.
Accept that your heart will be broken in one way or another, and many possibilities open. You will be parted with your beloved in one way or another, by the end of life if not before. Accepting that simple fact leaves a lot of space for pure being, a lust for life, and celebration of the human experience.
Are you resisting this one? If so, please go from house to house, and get me a mustard seed from a house where a broken heart has never entered (I’m playing with a Buddhist parable here).
- You Will Grow
Through the cracks in your broken heart, you can let love gush and unleash it upon the hungry world, or you can go into hiding for a while and pretend you are alone. You are casting off friends and family; angels and animals. You are even sending signals to your cells to slow down and stop emanating so much juicy life force.Perhaps you wish you could even cast yourself off. If you could, there would be nothing left but a space for love.
But you can’t. Not yet.
You must feel, experience the pain viscerally for a while before it can explode into your full expression.
“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin
- You Won’t Understand It
If it makes perfect sense, it isn’t the deepest love. This isn’t a cynical resignation to the meaninglessness of life… it’s an invitation to embrace the mystery of it all. We spend so much time, money, and energy trying to understand everything.
What about when physicists get to the smallest particle of matter known to man (and woman) and discover that the building blocks of life cannot even be understood by the rational mind? What then?
Does life fall apart at the seams?
Not exactly. Consciousness expands. We Grow.
There are so many forces at play that we can’t understand from within our own lives, because that’s how the game has been designed.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Kierkegaard
Have you ever seen Cloud Atlas? It does a beautiful job of speaking the unspeakable, and exploring the concept of love across lifetimes.
Soul contracts vibrate in our solar plexus or our gut. Sometimes they vibrate in our heart. When we look into their eyes a chill runs down our spine and we know without knowing who they are. This is how we spot them amidst a sea of anonymity.
How do we know we are on the path with them? Because we will feel pain and confusion. Deep pain that drills into our very soul and confusion like a black abyss. There will be titillating moments of rapture and bliss, don’t get me wrong. But the pain will be the signature. It isn’t like the every day pain either; it shudders like an echo deep in a mountain, shakes the moss off of old trauma, and awakens slumbering dragons.
It shakes our foundation, rattles our teeth, stands our hairs at attention. But we know beyond knowing what it is.
- On your Deathbed, You Won’t Regret It
Can you imagine lying quietly at the end of your life. What do you imagine will flood your experience, as you teeter at the edge of a new world?
I think we will look on all of the people that we’ve loved, and summon up those moments when we loved most fully; most fiercely.
Maybe I will remember up one of those warm smiles, those wet gazes, those tender embraces that became defining moments of my life. How the vibration shifts. Perhaps I will say to myself: I lived… I fully lived. Maybe there were moments when I went into hiding. But when I loved her, that night on the water, where we held each other as the sun set. I can say without doubt that I was fully alive. And if I go back (when I go back), I will do it all again.
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