The mystics of all traditions have taught us that love is not to be sought; love is what we are. Love is what is here in each and every moment. But today we mostly seek love in intimate relationships; in fact, we have made the words love and relationship almost interchangeable.
The expectations we have today towards our intimate partners are an all time high, we expect from a single person now what we used to receive from an entire village. We want security, passion, we want to be met emotionally, intellectually, sexually and even spiritually while we are looking for transcendence and self-discovery.
Relationships are the mirror in which we see ourselves, as we are, with our reactions, our trauma, our fears, our loneliness, pain, grief. Relationships are our crucible to awaken, to grow to truly know and be ourselves. But seeking and pretending to love somebody who matches our long checklist of requirements for being met is a fantasy, it is not love.
If our happiness exists only because someone loves us we are suffering and will be continue to suffer because doubt will always be present, we’ll fear to lose this love, we’ll fear betrayal, we’ll live in doubt. It will not last, maybe it is not real, what if it could be better… And with these thoughts in the back of our minds we live in doubt, fear, we forge false expectations and often, in our swipe right or left society of illusionary hopes, we will leave our partners NOT because we are unhappy with them, but in the ephemeral hope that we can be happier with someone else tomorrow.
Love and intimacy are not conditioned upon our needs, expectations and fantasies.
When we humbly feel our own need for feeling safe and we don’t project it onto another human being, a deep transformation happens and we can love without demand, without a fantasy.
The purpose of relationship is not to provide consistent feelings of safety, certainty, connection, and validation. It is not to fill us in all the ways in which we feel incomplete. The beloved is not here to appreciate and validate our carefully crafted identity, but to challenge and at times disappoint us. Relationship, surely, is the mirror in which we discover ourselves. Relationships invite us to step into the terrain of the unknown and to depth of our own hearts.
We are embedded in a relational field, life is a movement in relationship. To be related is very essence of existence. Without relationship, I am not. To understand myself, I must understand relationship. So, relationship is a mirror in which I can see myself.
The invitation of the beloved, in each of its forms, is to step fully into the crucible of relationship where we no longer limit the mystery of love’s expression, but surrender fully it what is here and now, love is only in the present, love is never not here.
As Rumi says:
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”