But what about the condensed and very intense experience of falling in love with another person? What does this mean in context with perfect universal love? As I’m experiencing something akin to this at the moment, I’ll share my thoughts with you.
Every so often, or several times over a lifetime if you’re lucky, you meet someone, regardless of label, who lights a spark in you. Hence the saying goes ‘sparks fly’ or ‘they have so much chemistry.’ There are many psychological processes that probably go into this, too many to mention here, but suffice to say, our relationships with primary caregivers, previous partners, buried emotions and personality traits influence who we are drawn to and find attractive. There might also be spiritual influences such as karma, past lives, soul mates and destiny. We can only guess.
For whatever reason, you meet someone and maybe instantly or maybe over many months or years, you find yourself falling deeply in love until pretty much all you can think about is that person. You love everything about them, even their flaws, even when you get frustrated or irritated sometimes. You share a connection that is so intensely powerful that it’s like a drug – you can’t get enough of it. In fact, science has proven that falling in love IS a drug; it has the same effect on the brain. You are bonded to that person, you miss them desperately when they are not there, you fear that something will happen to take them away from you.
Recently I wrote about love being the only answer, including when we’re struggling with aspects of ourselves and other people or situations that we truly cannot love or accept. Love is the key to being at peace with life and connecting with all of creation in all its glory and suffering. Darkness disappears when the light of love shines on it. Each of us are created from and embody this perfect love, even though we often feel and act in less than perfect ways. Part of being human is trusting the light is there even when all we see and feel is darkness.
Is there anything wrong with this? Of course not. And yet, like most human experiences, it has a flip side that we all know about: it can hurt like heck. It can turn us into wounded, jealous, possessive, desperate versions of ourselves. Unrequited love and loss in whatever forms are some of the most painful human experiences.
Despite following spiritual teachings for many years, I have had such an experience recently that reminded me that I’m certainly not immune to the process of falling in love and the wonderful agony it can bring. It had made me question whether falling in love is somehow ‘unspiritual’ because it focuses on one person rather than universal love for all. Now I know that it isn’t, it’s purely another experience, but with any experience on this plane, it helps to be mindful of what’s actually going on and seek to understand it. In my case, I’ve been looking at falling in love from a spiritual perspective.
Then I found this quote:
‘Falling in love is actually a powerful experience of feeling the universe move through you. The other person has become a channel for you, a catalyst that triggers you to open up to the love, beauty and compassion within – Shakti Gawain
When we fall in love, at least to begin with, it’s all about the other person; what we see in them, often what we need from them (until we learn to feel whole: see my post on Wholeness), what we admire about them. We may place them on a pedestal and think they are God’s gift to us; which actually, they are, just not in the way we might think. Every relationship is a mirror which is showing us our very selves; our good qualities, our not so good qualities, our potential, our buried hurts, what we wish we could be. We may not be able to see those things in ourselves so we are deeply attracted to someone who possesses them or reminds us of the qualities in a loved parent or partner. We are existing in a state of love, of being ‘in’ love, since the process of falling in love can show what we carry inside ourselves, that which is revealed through our longing for connection and unity with another person. It can remind us that we have the capacity to connect to universal love within, our Divine spark which is currently activated through the other person.
A healthy adult relationship is born when two people grow together in love. The other person may still, if we’re lucky, light our fire, but they are aware of the love that exists within, their own spark of Divinity, and seek to share it with each other without trying to possess or turn into the other. They will still admire qualities in each other but without unknowingly projecting their own sense of unworthiness onto the other. Getting to this stage can take a great deal of inner work because a lot of people search for relationships to heal the emptiness in their souls, which is natural until we learn what is really going on.
In short, falling in love, and the bond that follows, is a powerful experience which is reminding us that love exists within us when we tap into it and remember who we are.