We’ve all been told heaps of stories about what love is and what rules we should follow to find love or to keep love alive. More often than not, these different stories can be contradictory, leaving us confused about what it is we are actually looking for. But what’s also typically common among these myths is an underlying belief that love has to be something outside of us. Well, the good news is that the truthabout love is much brighter than these myths allow us to imagine.
In my own life, I’ve radically transformed from acting passively as a slave to love, to realizing that I have all the power I need inside myself with regard to feeling love in my life. In other words, I now know that the source of feeling connected in my life comes from myself, and this fresh, shifted perspective.
But before I awakened to this truth about love, I was stuck in painful patterns that held me back and was further away from the reality of love than I knew. I was in back-to-back relationships from the age of 13 to 31. And while I’ve loved my partners, I also spent too trapped in romantic illusions about love that had me constantly giving my power away and thinking that this other person was the source of my happiness, and that it was necessarily meant to be forever.
Needless to say, any time I went through a breakup, I felt like I was experiencing a death. As a result, my romantic dramas began to take an unhealthy toll on my body, mind and soul — until one day when I woke up to a completely different way of seeing things.
It took a breakup that dragged me to the ground and an accompanying willingness to begin my spiritual journey. I discovered beauty in my feelings of brokenness, and came out on the other side empowered with a new level of truth, peace and clarity I never thought was possible.
With that, I’ll share with you five inspiring lessons on love and relationships that I’ve learned on my spiritual path.
1. Love is everywhere.
Love does not have to be “found” through an encounter with another person. Believe it or not, the world is a mirror of our perceptions of ourselves. I’m sure most of us know about “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” We begin the day thinking we will feel unhappy — and, lo and behold, we have a bad day. That’s an every day example of the way our minds have power over our experience.
By the same token, when we honor and respect our needs above all else, everything else lines up on the outside. When we reconnect with our power source, our inner peace, unconditional love within through our devotion to a daily spiritual practice, we tap an inner wellspring that will overflow into our relationships. This love is greater than any love and way beyond romantic love.
2. Your soul mate is not your fantasy partner who looks like what you want on paper.
First of all, we have many, many soul mates. Second, soul mates either come into our lives to help us in our healing for a certain period of time or help us fly even higher than ever at a moment of intense growth. A particular soul mate may even end up a life partner eventually. It all depends on where we’re at within our own personal growth processes.
3. When a relationship ends, it doesn’t mean it “failed.”
Regret doesn’t do anything to create positive change in our lives, plain and simple. And from a higher spiritual perspective, everything is always perfect; it is only our judgment of how we think things “should” look that causes us suffering.
Relationships don’t have to be forever in order to be successful. A successful relationship might be one in which we’ve learned particular lessons so that we can move on to another relationship beyond our wildest dreams. It is when our learning is over that the relationship ends (or at least it’s meant to if we are strong enough to walk away and “complete the assignment”).
Not all relationships are lifelong partnerships. When a relationships ends, a completion has taken place. If the separation was made with love and compassion, then the lesson-to-be-learned has also reached a point of completion. That way, it won’t come back around in a new relationship to haunt you with familiar painful patterns.
4. The real reason love is everywhere may surprise you.
As I mentioned, love is everywhere. But the real reason that you will be able to see the love everywhere is by first realizing that you are your own source of it. When we learn to tune into the present moment, each moment of every day, we realize that there is actually beauty and knowledge to be gained in all experience. This creates a spacious mind, a sense of resilience, and ultimately, feelings of love and connection in our lives.
You are already whole, and no other person can or will complete you. As we become strong in our inner core, and able to be guided from our intuitive place of higher wisdom, we can choose that which serves our highest good, partners who are also whole and complete so that we can join in harmony rather than from a place of lack.
5. You are the one you’ve been waiting for.
You are the hero of your own life. You can save yourself and create your own life. You don’t need to wait for anyone. Similarly, you don’t have to be the rescuer or the hero for another person. You can just be you. The right person for you will want you rather than “need” you.
When we begin to shift internally, connecting with our true source of love and power within, our world begins to change and our relationships deepen, expand, grow and sparkle in ways that go beyond fairy-tales and Hollywood films. These are relationships built on two whole, happy people coming together to create something even bigger than themselves, positively affecting those around them.
Love was never meant to be only about two people; love is about cooperation, collaboration and connection. As Mother Teresa said, “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”