There’s nothing to convince you of the power of Grace like falling in love. I can recount hours of idle wondering–could I have a soul-mate? What would she be like? What would she look like? Where, when, how are we going to meet? But wherever and whoever she was, I couldn’t find her. Waiting, searching… she never showed up.
One day, I read something simple and profound. Whatever qualities you hope for in a soul-mate, cultivate them in yourself first. That’s the law of attraction or the law of resonance or whatever you want to call it–what’s going on inside will be reflected outside. We can cut out all the woo-woo if we just look honestly at the dynamic of most relationships: we have unresolved issues, we project them onto our partners, and there’s conflict. Our partners have unresolved issues, they project them onto us, and there’s conflict. Why is there conflict in relationships? The reason is so simple! There is conflict in relationships because we expect emotional fulfillment from our partners.
So yes, Grace is easily misunderstood. Grace isn’t a force that gives you what you want, when you want it, to ensure your happiness. That’s the path of the acquiescent parent, and it creates children who always want more and don’t respect boundaries. Nor is Grace a judgmental force that wants you to live according to certain rules to prove that you are worthy of Grace. That’s the fundamentalist parent, who raises children who must rebel or submit to these arbitrary structures.
Grace is actually a dynamic power that we align with. What does it mean to be out of alignment with Grace? It means that we are dissatisfied, looking for fulfillment in the future or despairing about fulfillment altogether. To move into alignment with Grace means to move into the present reality of dissatisfaction and come to terms with it. What is this dissatisfaction? How does it persist? What sustains it, what shakes it? One thing that sustains dissatisfaction is unawareness. An unwillingness to recognize that we are dissatisfied and really feel what that means will keep the dissatisfaction going as a pervasive background noise. Awareness, on the other hand, begins to shake it. Because when we really see the dissatisfaction, apart from our ideas about why we are dissatisfied, we can start to deal with it as a simple state, not really rooted in anything. It’s only because dissatisfaction really has no roots that it can disappear.
Can you see the paradox that is emerging? It is our dissatisfaction that creates longing for a soul-mate, but it is also our dissatisfaction that keeps us from being able to receive Grace.
Ultimately, the only force that is powerful enough to wash away our dissatisfaction is love. And not just any love–pure, unconditional, universal, compassionate love. At least, this is what our love moves toward. The love that triggers and flows with Grace is the love that moves by shattering boundaries and crossing chasms. To move with this sort of love is to give yourself up to a process that will bring you into and intimate relationship with the totality of existence. That’s the goal! To love everything and everyone, and so, in a sense, to sacrifice your individuality to the whole.
How terrifying this can be! And yet, it’s what we truly long for. Because if we move into love with the whole of existence, what is left to be afraid of? This is the perfect peace we all seek.
There is a tremendous shift in perception that is demanded here. Usually when we meet or encounter someone and feel a lack of love–experienced as anger, fear, indifference, or whatever–we will blame that person or certain qualities we perceive in that person as the reason why WE are not loving. But if we are walking the way of love, we should see this experience as an invitation to extend our love into a region where we had previously withdrawn it. The mind will invent all sorts of reasons why it is dangerous or unwise to extend our love here, but the heart knows that extending love everywhere is the only true course. It may take us down roads that the mind sees as pure folly. The heart will learn to laugh at the mind! To be a divine fool… ahhh, what ecstasy!!!
There will be challenges, certainly. There only needs to be a little willingness in the mind to surrender to the heart, and these challenges will be conquered, one at a time. They will come up time and time again until they are transcended completely. And then they are no longer challenging! And so, pure love has us caught in its gravity well. Do we really believe we can escape? No, this is the only path that gives us any sort of real fulfillment, and we will have to see it through to the end.
It is as we surrender to this path that we align with Grace. And as we align with Grace, something amazing happens! Life reaches out to support us, and one of the most beautiful ways it does this is by revealing our soul-mates to us. In my understanding, we have many soul-mates. A soul-mate is anyone we feel truly at home with, truly at peace with, and who shows us, time and time again, the beauty of what we have cultivated within ourselves. A soul-mate is someone who sees a personal challenge for what it is–an opportunity to grow in love. And so, when there are difficulties between soul-mates, the potential for transcendence is clear and within reach, always. Soul-mates are people we can turn to when we feel overwhelmed with our work in the world, and who provide a sort of safe haven where we can recharge our batteries. Soul-mates make it easy for us to drop our defenses and extend our love, and teach us how to do it with others. And as we grow in this path, we will start to find soul-mates everywhere, in all the people we meet.
The love we find in others is simply a reflection of the depth of our own surrender.
There’s nothing like falling in love to teach you how to walk the path of love. The phrase “falling in love” is very revealing–in many relationships there is this amazing period of falling in love, and then there is a much less pleasant period of hitting the floor of reality. But what is this floor we hit? It’s actually just a wall we have built to protect us against love. We perceive something we don’t like about our partner, and we have to learn to extend our love there as well. Or our partner begins to perceive things they don’t like about us, and we have to learn not to take these projections personally and move into a position of service, recognizing that we are here for the other’s growth as much as they are here for ours.
If we can make these shifts, love will be a perpetual falling! We keep falling deeper and deeper into the other person, into ourselves, into life and the present moment. And it’s a free-fall, and within that free-fall there is a freedom and a bliss. And at a certain point, we realize that we’re not falling but rising! And we’re pulling the whole world up with us as we rise–and this rising isn’t a struggle, we’re being pulled up by a vast chain of divine lovers, and by the source of all life. Then, as the revelations and insights of those who went before us trickle down, we experience such bliss, such devotion, such happiness… and this is how we know we are on the true path.
The other beautiful thing about soul-mates is that, quite often, we find that we share many interests and past experiences, and so we move in the world in compatible ways. We can build things together, create together, carve out new ways of living for those who are yet to come. We gather together around our devotion to love and share our gifts with the world. What a magnificent journey! And we’re all in it together, to whatever degree we recognize that this is the case.
Thank you for reading, and giving me this opportunity for service. May awakening and total love be yours!