Have you ever been in love? Of course, you have. You wouldn’t be here otherwise. I say this with a certain sense of conviction because os.me is full of people who are on a spiritual journey. And you don’t contemplate walking a spiritual path to solve the equation of your existence unless you have been deeply in love at some point in your life. In fact, that is where being religious is different from being spiritual. The former is possible with just devotion and determination but not the latter.
After all, spirituality is about the discovery of the highest form of love, the kind where you not only lose yourself completely but also all your fears and insecurities. The incessant chatter of a scared mind fades away into the background. A certain vulnerability emerges with its own twisted sense of joy, like scratching a drying wound that’s itchy on the edges.
In my talks (and probably writings too but I can’t recall), I have spoken about Bruce Lipton, PhD, a developmental biologist. I came across his bestseller The Biology of Belief almost a decade ago. (In case you are interested and want to trade two hrs of casual web surfing for something thought provoking, here’s a link to his lecture on the book.) So last year when I received The Honeymoon Effect written by him, I thought I should give it a read because good authors are like Tibetan Mastiffs, a rare breed.
In The Honeymoon Effect, Bruce Lipton talks about how after a divorce, he went through another failed relationship. He vowed to never marry again but love is like Netflix, a couple of bad shows puts you off but they don’t stop you from checking out the catalog. Again and again. Plus it’s not free, you have to pay a subscription every month. Nothing worthwhile ever is. Love too requires time, attention, care, and respect with a lifelong subscription. Getting back to the book, I wish to cite this interesting passage (a warning for the serious seekers: it has a small dose of humor):
One cold Wisconsin winter day I was sitting alone (as usual), ruminating again about the woman who had left me. I suddenly thought, Goddammit, leave me alone! A wise voice that occasionally appears at pivotal times of my life responded, “Bruce, isn’t that exactly what she did?” I burst out laughing and that broke the spell. From then on, any time I started obsessing, I would laugh. Finally, I had gotten past withdrawal through laughter, though I still had a long way to go to get my act together!
How far I was from getting my act together became crystal clear to me when I moved to the Caribbean to teach at an offshore medical school. I was living in the most beautiful place on Earth in a villa by the ocean with gorgeous, sweet-smelling flowers; the villa even came with a gardener and a cook. I wanted to share my new life with someone (though of course not get married—I was still fixated on my morning mantra [of never marrying again]). I wanted more than a sexual partner. I wanted someone I could share my new life with in the most beautiful place on Earth. But the harder I looked, the less I found, even though I had what I thought was the world’s best pickup line: “If you’re not doing anything, how about hanging out with me at my Caribbean villa?”
One night I tried what should have been my surefire pickup line on a woman who had just arrived on Grenada, the picture-perfect island I had come to love. We went to the yacht club bar and chatted. I thought she was interesting, so I asked her to stay for a while instead of going back to her job working on a yacht. She looked me in the eye and said, “No, I could never be with you. You’re too needy.”
The bullet hit—I was blown back into my chair in silence. After a long, stunned moment, I recovered my speech and managed to say, “Thank you. I needed to hear that.” Not only did I know she was right; I knew that I needed to get my own life together before I could have the truly loving relationship I so desperately wanted.
Then a funny thing happened: as soon as I let go of my desperate quest for a relationship, women who wanted a relationship with me started to appear in my life. Finally, the true inspiration for this book, my beloved Margaret, entered my life and we started living our lives like those portrayed in the romantic comedies I once dismissed as fantasy.
I guess Dr Lipton has managed to share some remarkable insight into building a loving relationship: the absence of neediness. Love is not a substitute for loneliness. I know it sounds so counterintuitive, for don’t you go out looking for love when you feel lonely? Maybe. But such relationships don’t last long. True and healthy ones are built on the foundation of mutual love, respect, and fulfillment. Love is not a bandage for the ailing heart, it’s not some polymer adhesive to plug the holes in your life. Instead, it’s more of a joint celebration with someone who benefits from your presence as much as you may do from theirs. It’s that emotionally and spiritually rewarding mutual co-existence that is the bedrock of true love.
In other words, when you are excessively needy and desperate, you cling naturally. These emotions cloud our thinking and in the name of love we start to justify everything we want or do in a relationship. In my humble opinion, only someone who is fulfilled within can develop meaningful and loving relationships with others. First you have to be in love with yourself (not narcissistically of course, but spiritually). Such self-love will prod you to respect yourself, it will infuse greater self-esteem in you and encourage you to give meaning to your life by devoting your intelligence to something you care about deeply. With that comes an extraordinary sense of self-fulfillment.
And a person who is fulfilled within is the only one who gets to experience and share true love. For, you need to be emotionally rich to pay the love bills. It is therefore no coincidence that true spirituality will lead you to the purest form of love and true love will turn you into a sublime spiritual being.
A person submerged in love is indistinguishable from the one merged in the Divine. 1 Pick either path. You will discover something new about you.
|↟1||The videos are shared in a lighter vein, to show the delusion in both.|
Loving is inevitable. Giving is optional.Don't leave empty-handed, consider contributing.
It's a good thing to do today.
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