The Path to Love

“You were created to be completely loved and
completely lovable for your whole life.”

All of us need to believe that we are loved and
lovable. We began life with confidence on both
points, bathed in a mother’s love and swaddled
in our own innocence. Love was never in question,
but over time our certainty clouded. When you
look at yourself today, can you still make the
two statements every infant could if it had the
words?
I am completely loved.
I am completely lovable.
Few people can, for looking at yourself honestly
you see flaws that make you less than
completely lovable and less than perfectly
loved. In many ways this seems right to you, for
perfect love is supposedly not of this world. Yet
in a deeper sense, what you call flaws are really
just the scars of hurts and wounds accumulated
over a lifetime. When you look in the mirror,
you think you are looking at yourself
realistically, but your mirror doesn’t reveal the
truth that endures despite all hurt:
In a way it is amazing that you do not realize
this, because underneath everything you think
and feel, innocence is still intact. Time cannot
blemish your essence, your portion of spirit. But
if you lose sight of this essence, you will mistake
yourself for your experiences, and there is no
doubt that experience can do much to obliterate
love. In an often hostile and brutal world,
maintaining innocence seems impossible.
Therefore, you find yourself experiencing only
so much love and only so much lovability.
This can change.
“In spirit you are unbounded by time and space,
untouched by experience. In spirit you are pure
love.”

Although you perceive yourself in limited terms,
as a mind and a body confined in time and space,
there is a wealth of spiritual teaching that says
otherwise. In spirit you are unbounded by time
and space, untouched by experience. In spirit
you are pure love.
The reason you do not feel completely loved and
completely lovable is that you do not identify
with your spiritual nature. Your sense of love
has lost one thing it cannot afford to do without:
its higher dimension. What would it be like to
restore this lost part of yourself?
Mind, body, and spirit would unite–this union
creates the love you have to give. You and your
beloved would unite–this creates the love you
have to share.
In our deepest nature each person is meant to
be the hero or heroine of an eternal love story.
The story begins in innocence, with a baby’s
birth into a mother’s loving arms. It proceeds
through stages of growth, as the young child
step’ out into the world. With more and more
experience the circle of love widens, including
first family and friends, then intimate partners,
but also taking in love of abstract things, like
learning and truth. The ripening journey brings
us to love of giving, and the blossoming of higher
values, such as compassion, forgiveness, and
altruism. Finally there is the direct experience
of spirit itself, which is pure love. The journey
climaxes in the same knowledge that a baby
began with, although it couldn’t voice that
knowledge: I am love.
You know that you have fully experienced love
when you turn into love–that is the spiritual
goal of life.
Not many people find the spiritual goal of life.
The aching need created by lack of love can only
be filled by learning anew to love and be loved.
All of us must discover for ourselves that love
is a force as real as gravity, and that being
upheld in love every day, every hour, every
minute is not a fantasy-it is intended as our
natural state.
“However good or bad you feel about your
relationship, the person you are with at this
moment is the “right” person, because he or she
is a mirror of who you are inside.”
The union of self and spirit is not only possible
but inevitable. The spiritual meaning of love is
best measured by what it can do, which is many
things.
Love can heal.
Love can renew.
Love can make us safe.
Love can inspire us with its power.
Love can bring us closer to God.
Everything love is meant to do is possible.
Knowing this, however, has only made the gap
between love and non-love more painful.
Countless people have experienced love–as
pleasure, sex, security, having someone else
fulfill their daily needs–without seeing that a
special path has opened to them. Socially, the
“normal” cycle of love is simply to find a
suitable partner, marry, and raise a family. But
this social pattern isn’t a path, because the
experience of marriage and raising a family
isn’t automatically spiritual. Sad to say, many
people enter lifelong relationships in which love
fades over time or provides lasting
companionship without growing in its inner
dimension. A spiritual path has only one reason
to exist: it shows the way for the soul to grow.
As it grows, more of spiritual truth is revealed,
more of the soul’s promise is redeemed.
When you find your path, you will also find your
love story. People today are consumed by doubts
about their relationships: Have I found the
right partner? Am I being true to myself? Have
I given the best part of myself away? As a
result, there is a restless kind of consumer
shopping for partners, as if the “right” one can
be found by toting up a potential mate’s pluses
and minuses until the number of pluses matches
some mythical standard. The path to love,
however, is never about externals. However good
or bad you feel about your relationship, the
person you are with at this moment is the
“right” person, because he or she is a mirror of
who you are inside. Our culture hasn’t taught us
this (as it has failed to teach us so much about
spiritual realities). When you struggle with your
partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every
fault you see in them touches a denied weakness
in yourself. Every conflict you wage is an excuse
not to face a conflict within. The path to love
therefore clears up a monumental mistake that
millions of people make–the mistake that
someone “out there” is going to give (or take)
something that is not already yours. When you
truly find love, you find yourself.
Therefore the path to love isn’t a choice, for all
of us must find out who we are. This is our
spiritual destiny. The path can be postponed;
you can lose faith in it or even despair that love
exists at all. None of that is permanent; only the
path is. Doubt reflects the ego, which is bound
in time and space; love reflects God, eternal
divine essence. The ultimate promise on the path
to love is that you will walk in the light of a
truth extending beyond any truth your mind
presently knows.
Excerpted from The Path to Love by Deepak
Chopra.

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