In Relationships

Love is an Inside Job

All my life I have been seeking for this elusive thing called love. But, looking for love hasn’t brought me any closer to it. Quite the opposite, actually.

Sometime ago I went through a trauma that woke me up. I had just lost a baby and left a broken relationship. I was so shattered that all I could do for weeks on end, was to lay on the floor and listen to silence.. it was somewhere in that silence that I entered an awareness where all desire for any kind of seeking dropped. As I laid on the floor week after week, I began to surrender to the pain and decided to listen to what it had to say. I was exhausted on all levels of my being and there was nowhere else to go.

To my surprise, what was underneath the pain, was an ocean of Love. I felt how everything I had ever searched for was already in me; like a kaleidoscope that reflects an entire world in a single fragment. Separation no longer existed – I was one with everything I had ever sought for. This was home and I had been there before countless times, but somehow kept forgetting the way back. Seeking hadn’t brought me there. It was only after I stopped seeking when the door cracked open.

Sometimes it takes many heartbreaks to understand that romantic love is not what we ultimately seek..

Have you ever been in a seemingly perfect relationship and still secretly yearned for more –  for something deeper? We wander from one relationship to the next in search of the “one” true love.

But each time you look into your lover’s eyes, you see a reflection of yourself.

We constantly buy into some counterfeit form of love: sex, romance, egoic attraction and so on. Then we assign conditions and objects to this love. But the love that needs a condition or a face is not the true story. You may be caught in the temporary delusion that love mysteriously appears when you meet a “match” or a certain outer condition is filled. When the conditions of your love affair fall out of favor, what is left of this kind of love?

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along..”

– Rumi

All the people, shapes, and forms we fall in love with in the exterior world are only ripples on the surface of an endless primordial ocean. In the end, romantic love can only remind us of the divine, unconditional, unchanging love that is our true home. It exists as a force of nature that secretly powers everything. Love can never leave you, because it’s what you’re made of. We are caught in a perpetual search for outside love only because we have forgotten this simple truth.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -Rumi

I had understood the concept intellectually, and even felt it in fleeting moments, but it had never taken root quite like this until I had exhausted myself with suffering.

I saw that what my heart really longed for was not a lover, but to return back home – to my own heart. True Love is not a question of finding anyone to love, but remembering who you are and where you come from.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Earle.

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