True Love…What it is – REALLY?
Ever since I was little girl this concept of true love was sold to me everywhere: the movies, TV, church, within my family. It seemed the most magical thing, the perfect matching of Yin and Yang, the Ultimate Goal. But I learned true love also required one other essential ingredient: TIME. Not just a few years years, but a lifetime.
There is something brave and romantic in the idea of witnessing and sharing one’s entire life with another, through better or worse. But still, with over two million divorces being filed worldwide each year, I can’t help but wonder: Is it time for a new definition of true love?
I know I ‘truly’ loved my ex – deeply and abundantly. I know I’ll always love him in a special way, even though its nature has changed. Somewhere in my bones I FEEL that he and I were meant to come together and share and learn all that we have. The teachings have been immense. And for that, I am profoundly grateful. I refuse to denigrate our love, call it anything less than true, simply because it didn’t last forever.
I don’t believe that the millions of people who divorce are just ‘immoral’ folk who ‘gave up too easily,’ like many argue. Nor do I think it’s a sign of our social denigration. I believe two vital messages are being plastered across the heavens for us all to wake up: 1) the real nature of true love and 2) how to accept and process death.
The Real Nature of True Love:
I wonder if love is not so much something we find within a relationship, as much as within ourselves. I wonder if we cling – sorry, ‘love’ – our spouses as much out of fear as we do true love. “It’s a big bad world out there after all,” we’re taught. Don’t we find comfort in knowing our partner HAS to stay with us? They made the vows, they made it ‘legal’, therefore they have to love us regardless of our weaknesses and flaws. We may not be happy with him on a day-today-basis, in fact, he may even disgust us, belittle us, ignore us…but having ‘someone’ reassures us we aren’t alone. So little do we think of ourselves that we stay where we are, inert, captive…but safe.
I think love of oneself is the ultimate kind of love. Not arrogant or egocentric love, but a deep, caring, spiritual awareness and acceptance of Self. If we were to individually achieve such a state, we’d love others more abundantly and unconditionally, not just one partner, but everyone: our extended families, our communities, the divorced children of our neighbors… This kind of love wouldn’t be exclusive, it would be ALL-INCLUSIVE. It would look humanity in the face and see the connectivity of all, instead of hiding behind a spouse and one’s children to feel a sense of identity, purpose and peacefulness.
Accepting and Processing Death:
Death is something we’ve been taught to fear in our culture; we run from it, avoid it, resist it, even though it is intrinsic to all life, even in the dawning and setting of each day. Maybe divorce has become ‘pandemic’ to make us globally confront our beliefs about death and ‘endings.’ We are so AFRAID of it that in a crisis situation like divorce, our fears and anxieties rise up to take centre stage and control our feelings, thoughts and actions. But if we were taught to manage endings – which are TRANSFORMATIONS, death and rebirth all rolled into one – we’d be more skilled to handle the process from a higher and natural place within us. We’d put our children first, no matter what. We’d have more compassionate for our partners. We’d give ourselves the time and space to GRIEVE, and understand that that grief is not only normal, but an important part of letting go.
I don’t have anything figured out. Maybe none of this makes sense to anyone but me. But at the end of a lifetime, whether ‘love’ happens with one partner or five, one things is for sure: change. You can run and scream and protest as much as you want. But when your higher Self comes knocking with a big life lesson, you can’t hide.