My little girl was two years old and we were having a family outing at the famous London Zoo. While walking along beside her as she was having a pony ride, something suddenly occurred to me like a ray of sunshine streaming through the grey London skies. I looked intently at the young zoo attendant’s face. There was a brightness, sincerity, and happiness about her. She virtually bubbled along, pony in hand, happily carrying out her duties. She looked like she was living the life she wanted to live and was content and free as a result.
A longing passed over me. How I wished to feel so free and happy. I was probably only five years older than the girl but I felt fifty years older. The weight of unhappiness is so ageing. Then another thought crossed my mind. “There is no reason why I can’t feel the same freedom as this girl. I do not have to feel so old.” One has to agree to live with unhappiness, no matter the apparent reasons for that unhappiness.
I could choose differently. If that meant life would change, so be it. If that meant relationships would change, so be it. If that meant I would feel nervous about life’s direction, so be it. Something significantly changed in that moment. Although I had been a serious spiritual student for some years, I found that after this ray of sunshine I started to alter, in a practical way, the things in my life which were not what I wanted to be or do. I was only in my twenties and so there was still much to learn about life, even the simple practical things of life. However, I felt that I had made a turn to a different direction. I was no longer on the track of trying to somehow make my life fit in with the set notions of other people and even society. I gave myself full permission to be myself, wherever that may lead. I felt the fire of courage, independence, and creativity warm up and it has continued to grow, often taking a most unexpected direction.
Life evolves. We don’t need to ever give up on life. We don’t need to get old. It is our unresolved and repressed problems which ages us. Even if our life circumstances take a while to reflect our inner decisions, once decisions are made, everything in our life will move in the direction of aligning with that.
Every relationship is a living thing. Something which is alive is ever-changing and often unpredictable. The fastest way to stifle something is to enclose it, to make it static and sure. In such a case, the only thing that will be sure is its demise. Real, alive, breathing relationships take courage and a great deal of independence. They also take honesty and a willingness to honour not only our own soul but that of others. If there is enough substance in a relationship, the individuals involved will be drawn together, in spite of changing directions, arguments, and time apart.
With all the best intentions in the world of remaining together, one cannot predict the nature of one’s own development or that of another or the nature of the relationship’s purpose. Destiny will win the day. However, destiny is God’s right-hand man and so we can relax in the knowledge that things are always moving in the direction which is best for our evolution. This is obvious to anyone who has eyes to see and a willingness to accept the invisible life-force of Love. Love is a power unto itself. It can be trusted. We can surrender our demandingness and fear to that great power. In return, we will gain a serenity which will tend to remain constant through both calm and storm.
This article is from Love’s Longing