Of all the incredible emotions in the world, there is probably none that so easily turns us upside down and inside out — none so commanding and fascinating, all at once — as the power of love.
Who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by love and feel that incomparable excitement? Or enjoy the sense of belonging and purpose that only love can bring?
And yet, how often do our relationships with those we love end up disappointing us? And when they do, how quick are we to judge and blame the person on whose love we had pinned all our hopes?
How can the love we feel for someone turn so quickly to hate when they don’t do what we want, or they betray us, or they just won’t change those annoying habits?
It’s true that our relationships with others are often challenging.
But the real problem is not with the other person . . . or with love itself. The problem is that our understanding of love is incomplete, which is one of the reasons why it remains so superficial. For most of us, the idea of love comes with a “happily-ever-after” fairy-tale mentality; a mistaken set of beliefs whose childish hopes of a partner’s perfect love for us comes with our right to blame them for our pain whenever they fail to perform as prescribed!
But there is so much more to love than we imagine.
Our relationships with others are not just about what we want them to be; they are part of a celestial plan through which we are given the opportunity to use them in order to develop into our own highest possibilities — for the benefit of ourselves, our partner, and ultimately . . . all of humanity.
True lovers serve as a mirror to one another so that each can be perfected.
And as each grows, the capacity for compassion and real love between them grows, as does the level of goodness in the world. Then love’s purpose can be fulfilled in us, and our relationships with our partners, families, friends, every one we meet, are transformed for the good of all.
And there’s more still . . .
Through our human loves we come to touch the possibility of connecting with a Divine Love that already dwells within us.
These truths have been known by the great masters since time immemorial. Here are just a few examples.
Love never divides people. It unites us all:
We are all of one substance, and members of one another; for the one who loves his neighbor loves God, and the one who loves God, loves his own soul.
~ St. Anthony of the Desert (251)
The more we love, the more we are able to love:
As you express unconditional love, you become more than you previously perceived yourself to be. You become illumined, the full manifestation of your divinity. ~ Mayan (325)
True love is the expression a Higher love:
Lovers do not themselves seek and yearn. In all the world there is no one seeking but He! ~ Jalal al din Rumi (1207)
True love elevates everyone:
To be united with the Beloved is to love all, for in all dwelleth the Beloved. ~ J. Krishnamurti (1895)
To experience true love is to fulfill the Divine’s higher purpose:
There is a kind of divine, celestial design directed by a conscious order of love that not only underpins all of our relationships, but whose purpose it is to help us perfect them.” ~ Guy Finley (1949)
How to Find the Love You’ve Been Missing
I decided to make love the theme of this issue of the OneJourney newsletter because OneJourney founder, Guy Finley, has just released a new book, Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together — and I wanted to make sure you knew about it.
Love is a problem for so many people. We fall in love with such great hopes, and then watch helplessly as things fall apart. In Relationship Magic, Guy explains why we fall in love, how we fall into problems, and specific actions we can take to keep love alive.
Guy says, “It’s easy to love someone who does as you wish; but to love a partner — unconditionally — in the midst of a conflict… that’s Relationship Magic.”
This book really can open your eyes to new understanding about yourself and your partner, and help you bring more compassion and real love into every moment together.
But it’s more than that. One of the things I especially appreciate about this book is that you can use what you learn from it to improve your relationships with your children, your parents, your coworkers, the checker in the grocery store, or even the stranger you pass on the street. This book truly can awaken your heart and enliven your world.
To get you started, here are some helpful Questions and Answers I took from Relationship Magic that can give you some insight into how to refresh your relationships and make them new:
Being renewed by love, and beginning your life all over again, are one and the same interior action. It starts with becoming aware of, and then bringing a conscious end to all lingering relationships you may have with old thoughts and feelings that want you to keep seeing your life through their eyes.
Do you have a quote from your own tradition that speaks of the power and promise of love? If so, please submit it to the OneJourney Living Book.
Dr. Ellen Dickstein, The OneJourney Project