Updated: Sep 18, 2020
The most important thing I’ve learned is that love truly is eternal. It lives inside us and all around us. It is timeless, unchanging, unconditional, and limitless. Strangely, I’ve learned a lot about love through my experiences of loss. Initially, I learned through my romantic relationships and later through family and then transpersonal experiences.
In my twenties, some significant relationships fell apart in painful ways. At the time, I felt much sadness and occasional despair. I began to lose faith in myself and in love. But, like most human beings, life went on and I bumped along with it. Even as new experiences and new relationships developed, those two losses plagued me for quite a while. With time, however, and help from what I now know is my higher reasoning or spiritual mind, I slowly learned to process my losses and learn important things from them. As forgiveness dawned in my mind, I gained the ability to question what I had been telling myself about these experiences and how to think about them differently. This led to three important discoveries.
Thoughts define experience, not the other way around.
Love is truly unconditional.
Love is inside me; not out there somewhere waiting to happen.
I recall the surprise and relief I felt when I realized that my hurt over these breakups had faded away. Once I let it go, love was free to flow into my awareness again. I discovered that I really was okay. More profoundly, I was struck by the fact that I still felt an abiding and unconditional love for these people. The form of that love was certainly different. But, I learned that form does not define, contain, or limit love. Only our thoughts define and limit love. Once I let go of the hurt and stopped identifying through it, my mind was free to return to love. Additionally, I learned that once I recognized that I love someone, I love them always. Because love is unconditional, limitless, and eternal. This truth is deeply healing.
In addition, the passing of loved ones raised new awareness about the truth of love. My first significant loss was my great-grandmother Carrie. I felt tremendous sadness and a deep sense of loss when I got the news. It came as a great surprise to me that as I sat crying, I suddenly became aware of her presence all around me. In my mind, I heard her clearly ask me to please let her go and not feel sad. She let me feel her excitement and enthusiasm for the next part of her soul’s journey. To this day, I am intensely grateful for this experience because it helped me realize that our relationship still existed. Again, it looked different on a form level after that. But our love for one another never changed. It is still with me today.
My maternal and fraternal grandmothers, my uncle, and my father have all passed out of their physical forms. But all of them continue to love me and I love them. I still feel their presence from time to time, particularly the presence of my father even though we often struggled with one another during his life in the body. All of that struggle faded away once I realized it was simply due to a deep misperception; our inability to recognize and open up to love. I realized the struggles never taught me the truth. The only thing that ever was, and still is, unshakably true is that we have always loved one another because that is our true nature. This was a remarkably clarifying and deeply healing realization for me. A great burden fell away from me and now my heart has become even more open to love.
A terrifying but ultimately beautiful revelation involved an incident with one of my sons. He was critically hurt and his life was hanging in the balance. As the ambulance pulled away to rush him to the hospital, my grief and fear felt overwhelming. My entire body was shaking as I gathered my things together to head over to the hospital. I had no idea what I would learn when I got there. Suddenly, though, I found myself down on my knees filled with intense gratitude and love. My heart opened fully and I felt myself move into a state of awareness that is hard to describe and yet unforgettable. At that moment I knew with absolute certainty that no matter what happened to us on a form level, our love is eternal, limitless, and unalterable. It could never be taken from me or from us. I felt deeply grateful for every moment and every experience I had ever had with my son – the good and the bad, including the terrifying experience I was involved in at that moment. Only love matters. Only love is real. Only love is meaningful.
This experience changed me forever. I am no longer terrorized by the thought of loss anymore. I understand that I will still feel sadness. I will go through mourning just like everyone else for the loss of the form of a relationship. But, I will not lose myself or the loving relationship. This realization shifted something in me that has opened me up to life in a new and more trusting way.
Finally, my current growth edge involves realizing that love binds us all – the whole world. We are all a part of a larger whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Every human being is vital to us all. There is no relative worth. When we learn to feel love for everyone we encounter, and respond with compassion and kindness to the world around us, we grow in incredible ways. We become greater than we have ever imagined possible through individual achievement.
These are just a few examples of the lessons I’ve learned from love. I share them with you today in the hopes that it will help you tap deeply into this amazing state of being within you. No one sits outside of love. We are all made from love, of love, and exist in a continuous field of limitless, unconditional love. Only the stories we tell ourselves in our mind can temporarily block us from love. But even while we’re blocking it, it never leaves us. The truth remains true for that is the nature of truth. Love is always there within us waiting to be remembered, cherished and unleashed into our experience.