“Ultimately, all thoughts are sponsored by love or fear. This is the great polarity. This is the primal duality. Everything, ultimately, breaks down to one of these. All thoughts, ideas, concepts, understandings, decisions, choices, and actions are based in one of these… And, in the end, there is really only one. Love. In truth, love is all there is. Even fear is an outgrowth of love….”
–Neale Donald Walsch “Conversations with God III”
FALLING IN LOVE
(From “Illuminata” by Marianne Williamson)
Falling in love has been getting a bad rap recently. Supposedly more sophisticated types suggest that falling in love is an illusion, a state of non-reality because it is based on failure to see the love object as a “real” human being. According to this view, “real” love sets in only at the end of infatuation. A beautiful smile or dreams of greatness, for instance, are not considered as real as one’s tendency to squeeze the toothpaste from the top of the tube.
From an illumined perspective, falling in love is not neurotic but rather one of the few genuinely non-neurotic things we do on this earth. Falling in love is an effort to retrieve Paradise, that dimension of bliss where no one is blamed for anything and everyone is fully appreciated for who they are. When we fall in love, we drop for however brief a time our tendency to judge. We suspend our disbelief and eschew our faithlessness in another human being. What usually happens after that is not that we finally wake up to reality. What tends to happen after that is that we fall asleep to reality. We cannot wake up to our brother’s imperfections, because the perception of imperfection is itself a non-awakened state. Our spiritual perfection is not altered by our imperfect personalities. Seeing perfection is seeing the light. Falling in love is not an illusion, as much as falling out of love is a fall from grace.
What we see when we fall in love is not illusion but truth. We want to fall in love because we want so much to return to God. Of course we want to escape a darkened world. We want desperately to go home to a place where all of us can see how beautiful we are.
Some people say that falling in love is a state of denial. It is, actually. In love, we are in a positive denial—a denial of darkness. What then occurs is that we start to believe the serpent’s lies—we begin to see good and evil: “I like him, but he doesn’t make enough money” or “I like her but she’s too high maintenance.” Spirit has celebrated how wonderful they are; now the negative mind gets to celebrate how guilty they are. Guilt is the ego’s orgasm. Most people do not have the personality structure to hold on to the strength it takes to love without judgement. And so love’s magic dies, casting Adam and Eve out of Paradise.
As our minds are illumined, we become better at romance because we become better at being human. We become better at forgiveness and support and love. The enlightened world will not be one in which no one ever falls in love. The enlightened world will be one in which everyone is in love with everyone all the time. There will be no judgement, therefore no blocks to the awareness of love. We will see each other as God created us: as the perfect, loving and lovable people we really are at our core. The purpose of romantic love is to jump start our enlightenment.
There is a difference between romance and love. Often the true path of love begins only when romance has begun to taper off, for love is the capacity to see light when darkness has begun to eclipse it. Love is easy when romance still lights everything in shades of pink, when the experience of a relationship is like the canvas of a sweet Impressionistic painting. Once the reality of our wounding reveals the darkness still lurking in all of us, romance might die, while true love does not.
Many people are proficient at romance who are not proficient at love. They see the humanness of their partner and say, Nah, I want romance again. Then they start over elsewhere, beginning again the path that will always end up in the exact same place.
The choice to follow love through to its completion is the choice to seek completion within ourselves. The point at which we shut down on others is the point at which we shut down on life. We heal as we heal others, and we heal others by extending our perceptions past their weaknesses. Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who that person is. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is. Forgiving others Is the only way to forgive ourselves, and forgiveness is our greatest need. Running away from someone else’s darkness is a way of running away from our own, in the false belief that in running we can escape. But we cannot escape. Our self-loathing will always meet us down the road, no matter how fast we run and what fancy footwork we’re doing. Failure to see our judgment of others as an extension of our judgment of ourselves denies healing to both people—until the next time the lesson comes around, which it will.
Without forgiveness, love has no meaning. It has no fullness or maturity. Only when two people have shown each other the worst side of our natures are we truly ready for the task of love. Then we’re ready to begin. How tragic it is that so often we stop everything just as we reach the starting line. That is why we must always pray to see the truth about a relationship: not just our truth but God’s truth. “May God’s will be done, not my own” is the prayer for ultimate fulfillment because it seeks an emotionally higher ground than the fulfillment of our immature desires. We must move past the narcissistic preoccupation with getting the love we think “works” for us. The point of love is to make us grow, not to make us immediately happy.
Many of us have forsworn the chance for the deepest love in reaching out for the easier one.