Why love matters is beyond simple description.
The power of love is notably felt in the romantic phase. Feeling powerful, free of pain, invincible and higher than high is an amazing life experience. Yet this experience eventually fizzles out; it’s not sustainable.
We can chase it; we can’t contain it.
Romantic love, and the stories we tell ourselves about it, pull us into the highest highs and push us into the deep funks.
Love is a powerful force indeed
In the early stages of our romance, we felt the chemical swirl of feel-good hormones and daring behaviors. The hot and steamy seduction connected us deeply. The pursuit of these passions dominated our days.
Then came the mental wrestling match: Is this really happening? Is this okay? Is this the right time? What about _____ (fill in the blank)? All of this mental meandering resulted in the back and forth, together/apart dance of our relationship.
You know what I’m talking about?
Then came the subsequent surrender. We fell, hard, in love. Hooked on the drug of love. Biological imperatives called the shots; we were hooked.
From here all things are possible
And it was complicated. I met Marc in 1997. There was a lot going on in graduate school as these flames of passion licked our beings. Rarely is falling in love a clean situation. Other people are often involved. Marc was married at the time. I was in the early stages of sobriety and wanted to treat people honorably; myself included.
Difficult decisions determined the future. We were tempted and waited. We slipped and slided. We merged and collided. We broke it off and waited. Divorce proceedings simple. I was blamed as the “other woman.”
During the lulls, the resultant longing and disappointment sometimes made me hurt so much I would wish I’d never even engaged.
My body’s wisdom knew this man could heal me in ways I couldn’t on my own. My body’s wisdom knew we would create amazing things together.
Surrendering to the wisdom of my body, I committed to the relationship. I quit stirring the worry pot and I let the mental meanderings settle, my soul softening to the moment.
Romance reminds me of my meditation practice
In romance, I’m falling in love with my wholeness. I see my wholeness when I look in my beloved’s eyes. I think it’s outside of me. It’s not.
In meditation I am searching for my wholeness. I think it’s outside of me. I realize it’s not.
In romance I feel blissed out; I can experience this in meditation also.
My mind, left unchecked, bounces back and forth between things I want more of and things I want less of. I praise people or I blame them (including myself). It is a dizzying game of push and pull. This game creates suffering.
This doesn’t get me where I want to go. When I’m caught up in praise and blame, I’m basically manufacturing my own misery.
Romance can do this, too, where we often-times stay stuck in blaming the other person. We get caught up in the power struggle and end up blaming our drug dealer (our lover). The very person who generated the feel-good chemicals in the brain, now becomes target for our disappointment because the feel-good chemicals of romance, to meet and mate and procreate, are not meant to last forever. We need to evolve to something more sustaining.
When my mind is freed of the burden of attraction and revulsion, I’m free to settle into the moment. Fresh moment. New awareness. Joy and freedom. This is the joyful journey I’ve discovered in my primary love relationship. I’ve moved beyond push and pull (for the most part) and settled into sustainable sweet connection. When we drift, we recalibrate back to this again and again. I believe in the power of love.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”