Love’s Longing: Chapter 3 – The Love of Lovers

Pull to Partner
Almost universally, there is a strong pull within people to partner. If the pull is absent, it is usually because it has been replaced with an aversion to partnering which is the other side of the same coin. The pull to partner serves many beneficial functions. However, it is also the cause of endless heartache, craving, anger, fear, loneliness, emotional stress, and boredom. If it’s not one problem, it’s another. Yet, we are so reluctant to look at the root of the problem.

The notion of completing oneself by another is an innately flawed idea, although it is the common framework from which we approach life. As we evolve, the pull to partner lessens. It is replaced with an internal wholeness. It’s not that we don’t partner or enjoy and benefit from that partnering. It’s not that we don’t love our partner, generally a great deal more than a lesser evolved person. It’s not that we don’t throw our heart and soul and body into whoever it is that life has given us as our dear one.

However, we love with the understanding that the relationship is a gift and a responsibility, not a way of completing ourselves. We love with the knowledge that our own being has a certain serenity which will remain stable in spite of the ups and downs of relationships and life. We give our loved one the freedom to choose which way they want to go. We, likewise, maintain our own freedom knowing that we are, ultimately, answerable only to God.

When we answer first to God, we are more honest because we are less afraid of losing the relationship. We are more forgiving because we understand how other people think. We are clearer about the purpose of the relationship. We know what it is that the other person has to offer and we will hold them to it because that is what is best for our loved one.

Search Party
Although the search for love is a universal one, once it is found, the joy is soon replaced with problems such as, the reality of the other person, our own issues or the interference of other people and life. If there is not outward conflict then there is usually conflict within ourselves. To follow the search for personal love is unsatisfactory, yet, to reject the search is more unsatisfactory. Relationships are, generally, the most meaningful and powerful learning experience we tend to have in life.

The quest for love is not wrong. However, who we are putting in command of the search party is flawed. Given no other apparent guide, we put our ego in charge of the mission. That’s like putting a young child in charge of the household. He or she will oscillate between being a demanding tyrant and being overwhelmed with irrational terror. The ego asserts that it desperately wants love. Yet, it is structurally incapable of accepting it. It cannot thrive or even survive long-term in the presence of real love. Should we trust that it is going to lead us to the very thing that will destroy it? When the ego is our commander-in-chief, it will work against finding and aligning with love. Although it will claim that it is diligently seeking love, it is doing the opposite. Whenever it is in the territory of real love, it gets nervous and defensive and soon goes AWOL or defects to another team.

The companion we choose before choosing our human companions is what will determine the outcome. We choose either the ego or spirit as our initial companion. Both will be campaigning for our vote. The ego uses every trick it knows. It seduces with talk of our deservedness. Then it ignites our fear that we are actually worthless and should do all we can to hide this fact. It is the mother of all liars and will try and terrify us into accepting its guidance. Spiritual love and the ego are not compatible mates. If one is winning, the other will be losing. There are irreconcilable differences.

The Presence of Love
We don’t know what love is and so we, often, mistake it for something else and we cannot see when it is actually present. We hope, somehow, to get it from someone else. That doesn’t work. Love cannot be possessed, manipulated, threatened or tricked. It will not bow before anything which destroys the spirit. It waits for the quiet moments when the ego has finished talking, demanding, complaining, and scaring. It tries to reassure us that it can be trusted and that it truly has our best interest at heart. It tells us that even if we reject or insult it, it will not be offended.

When love is present, the conflict within our being lessens. There is an assurance inside us which is invulnerable to the ego’s constant, defeating propaganda. The more space love is given, the less power the ego is allowed. We find that the ego is simply not needed in the same way anymore.

Those Who Belong To Us
My father died suddenly when I was seventeen. Protective and adoring but totally unspoiling, he was my first great love. I have an image in my mind of sitting alone in the funeral car, waiting for everyone to come out of the little country church and drive to the town’s dusty cemetery whose small number of inhabitants are mostly a list of relatives. Sitting there motionless, I had such a bottomless emptiness inside me that crying seemed irrelevant. Some things are too sad for tears.

I recall my cousin kindly coming to find me and trying in vain to think of something comforting. Not knowing what to do, she said nothing but just stared at me through the car window. The funeral car had a fancy, new electric window which I couldn’t open and so we just looked at each other through the closed window. Her eyes betrayed what mine must have been radiating. After a while, she looked away. The grief eventually healed but not without sending me into an intensified search for life’s meaning. Death has a way of doing that.

There is a small group of people who are our special ones: our partners, children, and other loved ones. It is usually not more than a handful or two of individuals over a whole lifetime. They are our dearest ones. Somehow, they belong to us and we to them. We didn’t really choose them but nor did we not choose them. Our beloved children, who we would die for without a second thought, did not just randomly come to us. Long before their material arrival, they were a part of us, as we have always been a part of them. Partners and other dearly loved ones, likewise, did not just randomly appear in our life as if, just as easily, we could have missed them or replaced them with some other “random”. No, they are the ones that were marked in our heart already. We recognize them as belonging to us. This belonging gives love a certain stability, permanence, and resilience.

People are naturally drawn together – those who belong to each other. It’s a very instinctive thing. Such important decisions as who to let into our life and in what way we will let that person in are best made from a deep knowing in our heart. Many relationships seem irrational to other people. Sometimes, the depth of a relationship and what the people will do to remain together may seem incomprehensible. If we understand there is a certain belonging to each other then it helps to go with the flow of life. Sometimes, people come together for a short time as that is the design of that relationship. Sometimes, it’s a lifetime. Sometimes, it’s much longer than one life on Earth.

Destined Relationships
Sigmund Freud knew from much experience working with the human psyche that there is a deep, often, buried and unconscious knowing which can safely guide the individual along the best path in life. He said that when it comes to the really important things in life which can be complex and unpredictable by nature, it is best to listen to the deepest voice within oneself which will have a tendency to know things that the rational mind cannot work out. We may choose to ignore the signals of certain instinctive connections because they are uncomfortable or challenging. We may not like the way in which something is evolving.

We will, most likely, have a tendency to outline to God the way we want our relationships to evolve, with whom, and with what timing. Our preferences and attractions are very important and help us to head towards that which is truly meant for us. It is how we find those we are meant to share life with. The dedicated power of a strong intention will draw what we want and need towards us. However, life is complex and insisting on the exact unfoldment of things can work against that which is in our higher interest.

Relationships are a compound of many factors. We may not get what we want. Sometimes, we’ll get what we want but it won’t be what we thought. Sometimes, we seem to get nothing. Rest assured, that nothingness can quickly and definitively turn into something quite different. Flexibility, gratitude, and trust help us to go with the flow and still move in the direction we wish to travel. An attitude of letting be and patience will do a great deal to heal disappointments and reinforce our emotional and spiritual growth. Such an attitude will also avoid irrational and regrettable hissy fits which can leave lasting scars and destroy what otherwise would have a been a most beneficial relationship.

In the end, so long as love is present, we will not miss out. Love attracts love and it is always rewarded. We must trust that our love will inevitably return to us, even if we cannot demand in which way and at what time we will have it returned.

Possessiveness
Belonging is also the great precursor to possessiveness, demandingness, neediness, and general painfulness. Once we have our dear ones, we become so attached to them and so afraid that something will take them from us that we try to make ourselves more secure by making sure they cannot depart. Of course, it is ridiculous. Apart from the problems of human relationships, there are many other factors which impinge on our carefully thought-out plan of attack. Life, itself, will always hold the upper hand in that battle. And so, one learns to have a more flowing approach to the movement of life. Seeking but not demanding. Hoping but not insisting.

Timing
How do we know when a relationship has run its course? As relationships are based on agreements at an unconscious level, at any stage, that relationship may rightly come to a temporary or permanent closure. It could be that, far from being a failure, the relationship worked superbly well and met all its purpose to be together and now its time to move on. If the purpose of the relationship has been met then one can feel happy to move on, knowing that there will be no bad karma from that relationship. Sometimes, the relationship is not working because one or both people need to learn things that will have enabled that relationship to be a success.

Relationships and Affairs
Relationships don’t break down because of affairs. Relationships break down because of what is happening within the relationship itself. Affairs are the end result, not the precipitating factor. That doesn’t mean that the participants are aware of the breakdown and, even less, that they have openly communicated about it. However, when the relationship has already started to dismantle at an underlying level then one or both people are vulnerable to being drawn into a relationship with another person. Not infrequently, having an affair is someone’s unconscious way of being able to move on from the relationship. It’s not a great way and it will carry the karma of betrayal. Honest communication, although painful and inevitably angry, is preferable.

People often assume that those most likely to have affairs are attractive, confident people who have many admirers and have easy access to likely lovers. That’s not so. People who have a genuine, high level of confidence do not tend to have affairs because they usually understand themselves well and live a relatively conscious life. They are not insecure and do not crave the affirmation of other people to make them feel good. They are accustomed to admiration and are not particularly affected by it. Their inner confidence cultivates a calm and polite but disinterested response to other’s advances. They also have a tendency to be conscious in their partnership and so when there are issues, they will work to fix them.

People of middle-level confidence are more prone to affairs. They have enough personal appeal to attract interested parties but not so much that they no longer find it tempting. It’s not just the sex. An equal, if not greater, pull is the affirmation and self-confirmation that one temporarily gets from the interest of others. It is highly seductive to the ego. Like all addictions, it is a bottomless pit, never satisfying but for fleeting moments, always drawing the victim deeper into its clutches.

Fidelity and Infidelity
Some people do not have to consider the issue of infidelity because they are not able to attract the attention and affection of anyone to be faithful or otherwise to. For such a one, the task of this lifetime is to become a more beautiful person so that others will be drawn to them. It is the person’s inner being – their confidence, engagingness, and contribution to life – which will have the most impact on an increase in attractiveness. It is surprising to see how supposedly ordinary looking people suddenly seem to radiate beauty when they have improved their level of happiness and self-esteem. People look at them whereas previously they were ignored and overlooked.

For others, who have already learned how to attract people into their life, there is a whole different set of problems. As one evolves into a more assured individual and one naturally has a greater magnetic appeal to others then these problems become magnified. Sexual fidelity and infidelity is a highly emotive topic and almost everyone has very strongly held opinions about it, often, for reasons they do not even understand. To break the usually unstated but definite expectation of sexual fidelity can and, often, does have life-changing consequences with much suffering involved.

Sexual fidelity, however, is only one aspect of the whole intricate matrix of intimate, human relations. There are many ways in which humans relate closely to each other, get what they need from others, and give what they have to give to others. Love that does not turn out how we want, can turn some people into enemies. Thus the saying, There is a thin line between love and hate. Such people can spend years, decades, and even a lifetime blaming any number of people for the injustices they have supposedly endured. Love which can turn into hate is not true love at all.

How To Not Have An Affair:

  1. Talk through difficult issues with your partner. Don’t let your partner become a stranger. Work issues out, even if some issues take years. However, don’t stay for a lifetime in relationships that don’t work. It’s the right balance between love, care, and loyalty to another and love, care, and loyalty to oneself.
  2. Value your relationship. Make it a time priority. Many things that we feel encroach on our time are actually dispensable, either temporarily or permanently. If you have a very busy life, such as with small children or a demanding career or a combination of family and work, make an ongoing and uncompromising effort to have time for your partner. And in that time, really pay attention to him or her. Don’t be one of those women who spends large chunks of her life talking endlessly to girlfriends with no real benefit to anyone. Certainly, don’t be one of those blokes at the pub with his mates every night, although I am assuming that those blokes are not reading this book! A relatively brief, de-stressing whinge, a joke, an outing with friends, some time away from one’s partner, perhaps a holiday on one’s own or some deep conversations about the problems of human relationships with trusted people are all healthy outlets.
  3. Don’t use other people to make yourself feel good. If you find that you are vulnerable to the advances of others or you constantly seek the attention of others you are in a no-win situation. Any affirmation you receive will be momentary and your need will be insatiable. If we care about other people we will not feed another’s crush on us because we enjoy it. To deliberately make your intentions towards someone an unclear matter is to use someone else’s heart for your own pleasure. There is a big difference between a flirtatious, self-seeking person and one who is warm and open.
  4. Value friendship. Be open-hearted in all the relationships that you choose to have in your life but draw a line and don’t cross it. When I was a young adult I heard a distinguished, older, Jungian psychologist answer a young man’s question about his attraction to women of varying archetypes. He wanted to know how he could choose and be satisfied with just one type of person. His older mentor said, “Marry one type of woman and have other archetypes as your friends but don’t cross the line.” That is probably easier with a little age – perhaps because the body pushes less with its biological instincts or because the mind pushes more with its life experience and wisdom or because the spirit has enough momentum to remind us of the karmic consequences of our actions. Nevertheless, if we are tempted to cross the line, we can remind ourselves of the long-term damage rather than the short-term satisfaction. Live your life as if you are transparent and everyone can see your thoughts and actions because, at some level, that is actually the case.

Jealousy
We all know the sting of jealousy. It’s painful. Jealousy within the context of a love relationship is really fear. We are afraid that someone will take away that which we have become so attached to and, to varying degrees, have based our life on. However, that fear can quickly turn into anger. Even though we will not have meant to hurt our loved one, that is exactly what we will do in proportion to our jealousy. It’s a destructive human trait although it is automatic in human nature unless deliberately curbed.

If there is genuine cause for concern over your partner’s fidelity then take a serious and searching look at the state of the relationship. If there is no legitimate cause for concern, in order to calm our fears, we can remind ourselves that we cannot be our partner’s one and only blessing in life. Healthy people need a variety of people in their life. In turn, they bring that emotional health back to us. We don’t want a needy or obsessive or possessive or depressed partner. The reassurance and confidence that our partner gets from knowing that he or she is an attractive person adds to the whole person that they bring into all of life including back to us. Their emotional well-being is to our advantage.

When our partner is jealous, we can reassure them that we know what we are doing (make sure that you do know what you are doing), and if there are any issues they will be discussed fully and freely with them (no withholding information), and that our intention is to be a loving and sharing person in life. Then live like that so your partner will believe you. You will even believe yourself.

Possessiveness
As humans, we have a great tendency to want to possess those who are important to us. The more pivotal they are in our life, the more we will have to fight the feelings of possessiveness. To some extent, they are inevitable. We can conscientiously work against these feelings of fear, doubt, and the corresponding anger which will often arise.

We don’t know when a compatible person will come into our life. We don’t know, for sure, if they will leave or stay. If they leave, we don’t know if they will return. We don’t know if we will always feel the relationship is compatible and if we will want to be there. We don’t really know anything. We can only graciously accept what life brings and all the terror of change which comes with it and then keep moving forward. Life is not static. It doesn’t start nor does it end. It changes form. It is ongoing with highs and lows, successes and crushing failures, experiments, beautiful moments, touching visions, angers, forgiveness, awe, and love.

If we learn not to grab, insist, manipulate, or force then the precious moments have more chance of just appearing, usually when we are not looking. They may even stay a little longer, if we do not grasp onto them insisting that they do not move. With practice, consistency, and commitment to the evolution of the partnership, something beautiful and meaningful has a chance of evolving. It is for the very reason that we cannot control other people, and that they may be very different to us, that something alive and interesting may happen in life.

Love is not sour, it is sweet and soft. Love is not moralistic, it is wise. Love is not prudish, it is open and sensitive. Love is not resentful and closed, it is grateful and expectant. Life is complex and relationships equally so. To love freely but not to hurt; that is the balance. And it is a balance which constantly changes. Not only does one have to deal with one’s own desires, emotions, and needs but one also has to deal with other people’s desires, emotions, and needs. Combine this with the fact that life is constantly evolving and the inner being of people is, likewise, constantly evolving and it creates a complex field to navigate.

Honest and Transparent
Maturity in the area of relationships means that we have an unselfish desire for the happiness of other people as well as for ourselves. We will have an honest and transparent approach to life and those close to us – no lying and no withholding information. We will have outgrown lust in its destructive form, although there will be a recognition of the role that sexuality plays in our lives. We will certainly have outgrown a player mentality which uses sexual and emotional conquest over others as a repeated source of self-confirmation.

We will have an understanding that life is complex and constantly involves mental and emotional growth, and that this is the point of life. We will know that while there is a commitment to moral and ethical goodness that the form of morality and ethics will vary depending on the vast array of factors that life will present. We will have a desire to stay emotionally alive and not become one of the walking-dead who are living a life full of fear and deeply repressed issues. If we are fortunate, we will also know of the invisible Love that helps and guides us.

Guiding Factor
Most people place many restrictions upon themselves and other people in an attempt to keep their life under control. These restrictions are usually fed from a base diet of guilt, shame, and fear. Relationships are full of these sorts of boundaries. Of course, it is better to have strong guidelines if the people involved will be worse without them. However, it is possible for people to have much more freedom in their relationships when they have the emotional maturity and spiritual integrity to manage it.

Evolved people are entitled to more freedom by nature of their capacity to not harm and to intend good. Such people make decisions unselfishly, in a way which is healthy and beneficial to all involved. When a person has a higher level of consciousness, intelligence, and goodwill then the strict boundaries that are around most relationships become meaningless and redundant. There is a guiding factor which is better, stronger, and healthier. It is love. When we have love in our life, we cannot lose. The form may change. The expression of love may change. But when we have love in our life, we cannot lose.

Falling in Love
Falling in love is falling in love with our own and another’s truest self. It is ignited by the presence of another but we become beautiful ourselves as well as seeing beauty in the other. A man or woman in love is a magnet for love and affection from everywhere. While we deeply appreciate who God has given us to love, nevertheless, we can learn to be in love with the whole of life. To be in love with Life is to be in touch with our spiritual essence. It is to see beauty and loveliness wherever we go. It is to see the glow of divinity in all those around us. There is less need to fret over our loved one’s presence or absence. There is less need to possessively fear our loved one’s affections or interests. Love does not come from another person, although, it will pass through another’s heart. It comes from the great source of all life.

If we try every day to find that place inside us that can see a little more light and give a little more love, the quality of our life will improve significantly. We all long for love. It is the human inheritance to have such a longing. However, we must discover that in order to find it, we must give it. And when we learn to give it, we find that it is, quite amazingly, everywhere around us.

Surrender and Wholeness
The bedroom is the place of surrender. It is where we surrender to sleep each night. As Dr. Hora would say, “Sleep is practising to die.” We release from the day, from our troubles and worries and from our excitements and projects. We surrender to unconsciousness, never knowing for sure if we will wake up again. And, of course, the bedroom is the place where we make love.

Sex asks for a surrender to our own body, as well as a surrender to the body of our loved one. However, sex is not only about surrender. It is also about wholeness. Our body, healthy and alive, is only the starting point of that wholeness. Our auric field is the far greater part. It is this energy field which we are giving to our partner in the bedroom. No matter what we do or don’t do, say or don’t say, this energy field is speaking so loudly that it will certainly override all other conversations.

If our energy field is looking to be completed by another person, it will be too busy asking, hoping, and cajoling to concentrate on bringing a whole person: strong, capable, warm, confident, free, and appreciative. We don’t ask our mate to complete us. We bring something worth bringing, to someone who wants and loves that something. If we don’t have that completeness then we need to look for it everywhere, every day, in every way we can. We will find that somewhere, least expected, there is a beautiful wholeness about us that was there all along but, somehow, for all the craving, looking, demanding, and begging, we failed to see.

Sex and Healing
Sex can be very healing. Healthy, balanced, and loving sex is beneficial to the wellness of the individual. Physically, it balances the body. Emotionally, it binds the couple, even long after a relationship may have changed form. Spiritually, it can pull the individual out of themselves. Far from the ugliness of selfish or troubled sex, good sex is a reminder of the beauty, joy, and blissful surrender of the spiritual realms. In those realms, there is no division or craving. There is unity, fulfilment, expansiveness, and trust.

When a person does not have a mate, the sexual momentum can be transferred into the higher energy centres. This will often happen automatically. It adds to the individual’s intellectual, emotional, and spiritual power. We are designed to evolve and we have many aids to help us with that task. The deliberate sublimation of sexual energy for spiritual purposes is a very valid practice and has its expressions in all religious cultures. Such traditions value celibacy for those very intent on spiritual progress. Generally speaking, it is best to do what we can to create the life we want and then to let destiny and the Divine work out the details.

The craving for sex in the human is the shadow of the spiritual craving for joining with all that is beautiful. That is why it is so highly valued and protected in relationships, without people even knowing why it is so precious and important. Ultimately, spiritual love is faithful not to a person but to Love itself, which will naturally include certain people. Love will choose not to hurt or harm. It will also choose not to stifle one’s being or live a life of repression or cut off another’s reaching out. From the highest spiritual perspective, in the less physical and more ethereal realms, these questions have no relevance. There is not only no infidelity but there is also no fidelity. Who would be the person that is being faithful? And to whom? Spiritual love encompasses everyone. All souls are boundless, complete, and free. We are, in our spiritual being, already married to everything Divine and separated from nothing good.

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