As you continue to open to yourself, your capacity to receive, give, and share in love with other people grows. Consider this simple metaphor: a closed box cannot receive anything. As you punch a few holes into it, then air and light can start to filter in. This closed box are all your ideas about when and how you can receive and/or give love. Most people are closed boxes, and be honest with yourself; you've probably been a pretty closed box yourself. Even if you feel like you've been an open person who has felt overwhelmed by the emotions of others, this tends to be an indication that you've been closed off to your own love. Unable to tap into the stabilizing force that is your own love, every passing breeze has swept you off in this direction or that, leaving you banged, bruised, and frustrated. Often then leads to becoming a totally closed box once more.
But fear not. It does not have to be this way. As you journey inwards into the depths of your own love, you may be surprised how love deepens in your connections with other people.
The First Loving Surprise: A Soulmate AppearsI don't use the word "soulmate" like others, so you might want to skedaddle on over to this blog post to see what I'm talking about: "Soulmates and Other Myths That Bind Our Love." Often as we open up, this tends to be the time when a soulmate or some other powerful love connection appears to really knock our socks off--in good and bad ways. But usually, the opportunity for learning the lessons that this form of love offers us gets missed because people still rather have a fantasy than a reality. A soulmate makes it difficult on us to believe in our fantasy of the "perfect" romantic partner because they tend to have a lot of opposite traits that trigger our core issues regularly. You're an introvert, and your extroverted partner is always wanting to go out and do something. This keeps triggering your fear of the unknown or some other issue. Not surprisingly, your insistence on staying in is triggering your soulmate's issues around close intimacy and facing him/herself. With soulmates, it cuts both ways.
If you turn towards these lessons and continue to grow, you can have profound breakthroughs, and those breakthroughs continue to break down that box that had encased your heart and your life. More light and love start to shine in, and as such, your ability to connect with others grows. This can radically change the shape of your relationship with your soulmate. In time, you may find that all the intense energy that attracted you to him/her is gone. Why is this? Because what you were really seeking were parts of you. Now your soulmate has nothing that you need. If you both decide that you want to stay together, then your relationship can evolve further because now it becomes based on choice rather than these karmic attractions (attractions based on the mostly unconscious need to learn certain lessons). This is a very different place to connect to others, and like I point out in "The Joy of Not Needing Anyone or Anything," it is profoundly supportive.
Another Loving Partner Appears, Better Than the Last
As you go, you may suddenly find other partners who are even better at connecting with you than before, and it can be quite easy to get caught up looking for the next best thing. It can also be addictive to keep letting go of issues because of the quality and depth of connections that become more possible. I should point out that there is no end to the road of opening to love. I could say that when you have dropped all preference for what you want life to be and what you want love to look like that you'd be at the "end of the road." But this isn't so much of an end as a natural launching point into other levels of love and expression itself. Because love is always shifting and changing. As such, it's generally natural that new "partners" in love will appear as you continue to grow, and where the last partner could connect you on one or two levels, this new partner can connect to you on many more.
But as I've pointed out, the truth is that you're now connected to yourself on many more levels, which is why you can connect to others in more ways. Already we see that what is happening is that you are open to your love more and more. In so being (because it is not a doing), you are able to accept whatever anyone has to offer freely. The further you go, the less and less important it becomes what people offer. Wen you are full up on your own love, any expression of love is a gift that is easy to receive. But the minute you start to think that all this love is the result of a "better" partner, this gravy train is about to get derailed as a new level of ego in you will soon be revealed.
A Multitude of Loving Partners
I've been using the term "partner" mainly in the romantic sense for this spiritual blog post, but as you go, that term starts to mean anyone you meet. Furthermore, that love isn't necessarily romantic since romance is only one small dot in the overall painting of love. As such, you can share a beautiful loving connection with a homeless woman singing in the street. You can share a profound connection of love in striving towards a goal or common cause with a business partner. You can share a deeper connection with your cat or dog and of course with your family (albeit family tends to be the most resistant to changes in us. It's ironic in some ways, but family tends to be linked back to our core issues, and mired in those core issues, many family members are often extremely resistant to change themselves to be willing to recognize the change in you).
You get my drift here. As I mentioned, the love is different each time. So love with your business partner is how you are open to his or her ideas. In the past, you may have resisted them and made your partner feel unheard, which caused additional problems. But your openness now allows you to more fully accept your business partner even if you don't agree and use your partner's ideas, and as a result, other issues that had gotten in the way of your business are no longer coming up. You see? Love has many expressions, and it offers us so much opportunity for greater ease and support in our lives.
But you want to know about the really connected, romantic kind of deep love connections, don't you?
Some Connections Come Just Once
Another big lesson that I've learned is that some deep loving connections come just once. They don't have to be sexual either, although the body gets triggered to want to express your sense of emotional union with physical union. Sometimes you meet someone amazing, and you have a beautiful day together. Then that's it. You're already done. This can really mess with a lot of ego programming, which may want to go into the mode of holding onto this feeling. Letting go is always fundamental to the open box metaphor. It allows something to fully come into your life and to fully leave. In allowing someone to fully leave, you create space once more for the next amazing connection.
It's also a reminder that you have to be fully present to each moment. You don't know how long you get to be with anyone, so be fully with them now. Stop looking at your phone. Get out of your mental loops, and be with that person. Enjoy them fully even if they are not that enjoyable (i.e. complaining about work again), and then when they are gone, you are complete. There is nothing more to be said or done for that moment. If you hold back, you miss the opportunity to go deep into that moment and that connection, and that moment will never come back even if the person does. Even when the person does, that person is different in the next moment because we are all undergoing tiny rebirths every day and every moment. Every day when we get up from bed, we make a bizillion decisions about who and what we are today. What would happen if you made different decisions today? You could be a brand new person. Does that excite or scare you?
Some Deep Connections Need Time
While we are all timeless and time is a concept, we are also human. So for those of you looking for those quick connections, I encourage you to stop and sit awhile. While some things move very quickly in our lives, others grow much more slowly and will last if allowed to evolve in their own time. Often those that grow slowly take time to dig roots deep into the earth. In so doing, these connections are able to withstand much more of the ups and downs of relationships and of life. So don't be in a hurry. Let people and moments unveil themselves to you. Depending on where you are in your spiritual path, others may not be so quick, so don't rush in and out so lightning fast. The world of physical form is kinda like a plodding dinosaur, but we cannot escape this until we are done with this lifetime. So slow down. Continue to stay open, and see what transpires in the connections you are guided to create.
As always, your intuition is central to the process of cultivating deeper shared love connections. That divine knowledge within us knows where the gold is hidden, and while everyone is ultimately golden, we know in our inner knowing where some people are more naturally allied with us than others. True love embraces all, so I want to be clear that this isn't like picking and choosing people from the ego's mindset that judges everything. It is about tuning into this organic level of discernment and trusting things especially when we start to feel vulnerable. That often means we're getting closer to something real and alive.
Your Deep Connection With a Spiritual Teacher
How could I write about this topic and not mention the connections you may have with a spiritual teacher? While every spiritual teacher is different (read more here on that: "What Is a Spiritual Teacher?"), many of you will have some amazingly deep connections with your spiritual teacher. This is a beautiful thing, but sometimes, it gets mishandled because either one or both the teacher and student aren't prepared for how much love is being felt. Typically, many students are falling in love with themselves in the spiritual teacher's presence. Because students (and most people) are used to projecting their feelings onto another, they think the teacher feels the same. And this is just the start. As a student opens more fully to a teacher, they actually do begin to be able to access a true connection with the teacher. To do so means that the student is starting to see the teacher as he or she is and not as they want them to be. In so doing, a level of amazing connection becomes possible, and a time for acclimating to this level of love is important.
What do you mean acclimating to love?
Whenever something is brand new, it tends to hit all of our endorphins and emotional triggers the hardest. As we cool off in the afterglow, we can regain perspective, and as we get used to a certain level of love, it simply becomes normal. This normalizing is also why the initial intensity of a soulmate or twin flame relationship can cool down. In that cooling down, you actually can find out what feels the most true for you in those relationships or with the spiritual teacher. Although I would like to point out that the teacher is there to teach you, not to become your next romantic partner. Typically, most people have a lot of work to do on their romantic triggers, and it's why even the good feeling kind of love can overwhelm people to the point of quitting their spiritual work with a teacher or leaving a relationship with a soulmate or other deep love connection.
The Old Way of Love No Longer Useful
Then, after you've touched so deeply in yourself and others, you will notice that the old ways of loving, the conditions you used to place on it, and many of the people from your past no longer interest you. It's not that you're above them; it's that you simply have no trigger or charge there. In the past, karma was a defining aspect of love. Karma is a lesson. Karma is need. Karma is the "I must have this; I love you, I hate" type of desire stuff that is not love. It defined what you thought were attracted to along with all your unconscious programming from your upbringing. To go back to it now is grossly disappointing to say the least, and that's only true if there is a part of you that is still seeking something back there which can be disappointed.
In short, there is no going back the deeper you open and the deeper you accept your own love. You will no longer want to wait for another to love you in any certain way for you to feel love; you will instead continue to choose to be in love now regardless of the situation. This changes everything, and you are changed permanently. So trust your love. Trust the deep sharing of love that you are becoming capable of. Learn your lessons from love and continue to open. You may be amazed at what you may experience just right here in this moment on your own or with a stranger or with a loved with if you do.