It’s so easy to get hooked into the fairytale. Boy meets girl. (Or girl meets girl. Or boy meets boy. I do live in San Francisco.) One sweeps the other off her dainty glass-slippered feet. She surrenders herself to his warm embrace, and they live happily-ever-after in a castle.
Except that his mother abandoned him when he was a child, so he’s got Mommy issues. And her father was an alcoholic who molested her, and twenty years of therapy haven’t quite healed the wound. He comes from a family of martyrs and she comes from a family of victims, so they fit each other like hand in glove. You complete me.
Romantic love can be an incredible blessing. It’s an opportunity to practice intimacy and revel in the communion of two souls. It’s a chance for our souls to grow, to learn, and to mirror back to each other the Divine spark within us.
The Love We Really Crave
But beware the pitfalls of romantic love. So many in our culture suffer from what the shamans call “soul loss,” the condition that afflicts us when we’ve become disconnected from our own souls and the Oneness of life. When we suffer from soul loss, we feel within us a void, a hole, and we try to fill that void with the wrong stuff- food, sex, alcohol and drugs, excessive busyness, and…yes…romanticized ideals of love.
“You Complete Me” Is A Trap
As long as we’re seeking another person to fill the hole that comes from our own disconnection with the soul, we’re doomed to failure in our love lives. The whole “You complete me” myth makes us misty at the movies, but in real life, it’s disastrous. Romantic love only works when two complete beings lift up their wholeness in Divine union. Yes, we have Soul Mates in this world. If you believe in past lives, then perhaps these people are the ones we’ve traveled many lifetimes with, so when we meet, we have karma together. We look into each other’s eyes, and we simply know each other. It’s seductive to meet these people. You feel an instant connection, and you don’t know why. It’s easy to get swept away because the intimacy can feel very intense, very quickly.
But it can also be yet another trap, if what you’re trying to fill with the intimacy of a soul connection is the hungry ghost you can never feed, the void of soul loss.
Where True Love Resides
If you’ll never fill the hole with romantic love, how do you fill it? We each must fill the void by strengthening the bond with our own individual souls before we go out in the world and try to find someone else who will complete us. Some, like my friend Christine Arylo, internalize this love and call it “self love.” (Celebrate Christine’s Madly In Love With Me Day on February 13 here). Others, like my friend Tosha Silver, externalize this kind of love as a love of the Divine Beloved. Personally, I think it’s both. When we connect with our souls, we experience the Divine within us, and what’s not to love about our own divinity? When we externalize this love and honor the transcendent relationship with the Divine Beloved, we recognize that we are but a drop of water and the Divine is the ocean. Either way, this kind of Divine love is necessary in order to truly connect with another individual. When we fill the void of soul loss within ourselves, we are fully whole and can meet another joyously from this place of wholeness.
A Way To Deepen Your Relationship To The Divine
My friend and mentor Tosha Silver has seriously changed my life with her teaching about how to deepen your relationship with the Divine- within and without. I can’t express enough how profoundly Tosha’s teachings have influenced my own journey of awakening. Literally, in the book I just finished writing- The Anatomy Of A Calling, I was writing about my search for the holy grail in medicine, and the last chapter of the book (spoiler alert!) is about how I was seeking the wrong grail, and what Tosha is teaching is the REAL holy grail.
Her teaching about the true art of surrender has transformed me and many others. She reminds us that the moment we identify a desire or a problem we think we have to solve, we need to TURN IT OVER to the Divine. Tosha calls it an “offering.”
How To Make An Offering
Let’s use romantic love as an example. Let’s say you’re yearning to find the love of your life, wishing you had someone to love this Valentine’s Day. Or maybe you’re struggling in a relationship and wish you could heal the relationship. Both feel like problems you must solve. Find the right love. Fix the relationship.
But what if you don’t have to fix it? What if you’re so connected to the Divinity within you and outside of you that you can simply OFFER your desire or your problem to Divine Will? What if you then no longer have to solve the problem or feed the desire? What if you can really trust that the Divine has it handled, and that your micromanaging of the issue is not only not necessary; it’s actually counter-productive?
To help you learn how to offer your problems to the Divine, Tosha is offering a free teleclass Offering- The Key To Joy. (Register free here.)
What Is An Offering?
In Tosha’s own words:
“After years of working with people in crisis, it’s the single act I’ve watched folks forget the MOST. When a challenge appears, whether financial, health, love, whatever, the ego-mind scrambles for solutions. We’ve been taught the problem belongs to US. Panic, fear, or dread arise: We’re up at 3 AM flooded with anxiety.
Yet, the quickest way to unstick is OFFERING.
It returns the problem to the One it truly belongs to. The right path,the right actions, are shown at the right time.
OFFERING IS NOT:
Blocking or denying desires,
Giving God a shopping list
It’s actually IMPASSIONED SURRENDER. A profound invitation. Casting the burden. Offering allows miracles and surprises far beyond what the mind could conceive.
OFFERING navigates that tricky space where Desire and Detachment meet.
The ego has NO idea how to do this. Its very NATURE is to cling. To everything! But this practice allows even the most raging desire to melt into a preference. OFFERING is the key that opens the door to a Divine life.”
Join Tosha Silver for her Free Teleclass.
May Your Valentine’s Day- And Your Life- Be Filled With Love
May you reconnect with your soul. May you feel Divinely loved. May you love Divinely. And may you feel the ease and peace and grace of knowing that finding and experiencing love is not your problem to solve. Turn it over. Surrender. Know that you are lovable. Dive in. Melt.
May you, first and foremost, always know you are loved, with or without a Valentine.
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