“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
There is something about this quote by Khalil Gibran that speaks to a quiet and reflective corner of my heart. I feel, with his words, love is allowed to breathe, to move freely, to escape the boxes of definition and ownership that we set up to attempt to comprehend an energy that is far beyond our human comprehension.
When love is young, we attach to the physical form, we allow ourselves to be swayed by cultural or familial expectations; we place restrictions on our partner to lessen our fears and insecurities; we grasp; we question; we look for reassurance, and tie another soul down to our expectations. We may stay in a relationship or marriage that is no longer fuelling our most authentic Self. We may judge others. We may gossip when we have no inner glimpse into the heart or path of another soul.
When we do any of these things, we move away from the gifts and energy of true love. We may even be moving in opposition to it.
However, as we explore the spiritual side of love, we begin to recognize the independent soul path of our partner, and respect our own longings deep within. We support one another but no longer define ourselves and our value by the relationship. In fact, the relationship begins to transcend any of our imposed limitations or typical definitions. We begin to allow love to flow, to deeply touch and move us, but we would never attempt to tie it down. We revere its wisdom. We watch the way it wants to be tended, but would dare not try to claim any command of its tides.
But embracing love in its entirety, challenges us also to accept and understand the devastating and difficult aspects of this transformative energy. Spiritual love is not always romance and roses. It is deeply demanding, asks for surrender and invites profound change. It challenges us to truly examine what we value, why we think and behave the way we do. The great Sufi mystical poet Rumi wrote:
“The way of love is not
a subtle argument.
The door there
Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling,
they’re given wings.”
Falling is an inevitable aspect of love. We fall into love. We fall out of love. We fall into our failures, we fall into vulnerability, we fall into fear, we fall into loss, we fall into suffering. We fall, head over heels, into the realization of our imperfection, our tremendous capacity to feel and care, and the depths of the mystery we are a part of.
In its essence, love does not fit within our perfect boxes of expectation or relationship. It escapes the nets of human logic, breaking free from the forms it seems to appear within, remaining forever formless. It is the connective energy that moves us and takes us to experiences beyond our small self. It is the kiss of the prince to awaken the sleeping soul. It pulls us closer to our essence, our Self, the divine mysteries.
What I adore about Gibran’s quote, is it embraces the spiritual notion that love needs space to be what it is—that we lose love when we attach too tightly to a person or an idea or an expectation. He recognizes the infinite ocean that is love and encourages us to allow it to flow, like the moving sea, upon the shore of our souls.
On the spiritual path, love is not a form and attachment, it doesn’t follow our social guidelines and definitions. In fact when we over attach to the form or our own expectations, we are often filled with turmoil, fear, and further suffering.
“Real love makes you see things as they are. . .Where there is love, there will be stillness and peace.”
Master Choa Kok Sui
Indeed, real love allows for deep acceptance. Somehow, even in the midst of turmoil, great change and suffering, there is an essence of stillness and peace that remains within, as an anchor to ground and steady you.
As spiritual aspirants and yogis, we must begin to reflect upon our definitions and notions of love. After all, this is the energy that is the key to unlock the gates of illumination and oneness. Love is the Great Doorway, but we must walk through it knowing it is greatest of all human feelings, but will forever remain a mystery. . .
Let us, as we love, leave space in our togetherness for the deep and holy mystery that is love.