About Falling in Love

the kiss-yogaI recently received a letter from a friend who has been going through a rough period in her life. She told me she had been single for a long time but a couple of months ago she met someone who seemed perfect for her, whom she shared a real connection with. But then all of a sudden, the relationship ended, for no clear logical reason.

The question she asks is why she keeps attracting such experiences, since it’s not the first time someone disappeared from her life suddenly, and wonders if there is something in particular that she should change about herself.

In my understanding, the reason we suffer is not because we are bad people or because life is bad, but it is simply because we mistake certain basic principles of life.

“I open myself to him with the idea of learning and hoping to grow spiritually together, showing him how much I appreciate him and making him feel loved,” my friend says. That is very beautiful and sincere, I know she is saying what she really feels and believes, but often what we feel and believe is not completely correct.

We don’t grow spiritually together with another person. We grow spiritually with ourselves, learning from whatever experience arises in our life. We don’t need a partner to grow spiritually, and we don’t need to NOT have a partner to grow spiritually. We grow by embracing ANY experience that life brings to us, partner or no partner.

The reason why my friend – and most people – wants a partner (other than the innate force to procreate for the continuation of the species) and the reason why her and most people want to make their partner feel loved is that we feel empty with ourselves alone and we want company in order to make ourselves feel better. Then, the truth is that we don’t really love our partners for their own sake but we love them for our own sake.

Of course there is another huge reason why we look for love and that is that WHILE WE ARE IN LOVE we do feel whole and complete and expanded and blissful and joyful and radiant and bright and satisfied and what not. And that is wonderful, and there is a lot to learn and experience from it. This state is like a window from which we can experience our real self… except that all these beautiful qualities are borrowed to us from that state, and they will go the moment we fall out of love, which usually takes between two months and two years.

There is nothing unusual in this. Most people in our society are doing the same. And that is why most relationships either don’t work, or they create more unhappiness than happiness in the long run.

Maybe my friend is actually very lucky because instead of taking years – or lifetimes – to realize this, she was given the opportunity to see it now.

It is not something easy to observe. It takes a lot of courage to be able to see that the reason we ‘love’ somebody else (I put love in brackets because this love I am talking about here is not real love, but it is the love that most people think of) is because we feel something lacking in ourselves and we hope that by finding somebody else we will feel complete again.

There are theories upon theories upon theories upon theories about how to have a better relationship, how to find the perfect love, how to become a great lover etc. etc. but they all miss the essence of the problem. They all miss the fact that the reason why we suffer so much with relationships is because our interest in loving is most often based on our need to feel loved, in our need to be fulfilled, in our need to be given from outside what we cannot find inside.

When we feel something lacking in ourselves and hope to find love in another, we become attached to our object of love. And when we become attached to our object of love, we become fearful of losing that object. And when we feel fear, we lose all possibility to be what we really are, and instead, we create an act that we hope will keep a grasp on our object of love. And when we grasp, we become beggars, beggars of attention, beggars of company, beggars of love.

To me, a relationship is not meant (as it is presented in much of our literature and movies) to be a place where we can complete ourselves. A relationship is a place where we share our wholeness, our inner love, our freedom. But this sharing is not a necessity, but something extra we bring to our already fulfilled life.

In my view, as long as we are hoping for another person to give us the happiness we cannot find in ourselves, we are going to suffer disappointment. It may take a few months, or a few years, but the disappointment will come.

Love is not outside, in the world, or in another person, but love is what we are. And for me, this discovery is one of the most important things we can do with our lives.

For my friend, what she is looking for now is love, but it could also be a job, or adventure, or more money or power or fame or even food. All these and many more are crutches people use to escape from the void they often find in themselves. There is nothing intrinsically wrong in any of these things, except when they are used as substitutes, as fillers of our own sense of purposelessness.

The sense that we lack meaning is not a problem, but a whisper of life telling us that there is something fundamental that we have not realized yet. And that fundamental thing is the discovery of our own inner fullness.

For me, the deepest meaning of our life is the realization of that freedom.

6 Comments Add Yours

  1. oana

    Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it, Carlos.

    Reply
  2. Sonya

    …place where we share our wholeness, our inner love, our freedom… this is it!, very enjoyed this post, simply amasing

    Reply
  3. Rucsandra

    You explained everything so clear and so meaningful. The first time I read this post I enjoyed it a lot, I thought to myself “true, true”,but the second time it gave me shivers: “love is what we are” because I realized that I always forget this.. If only we could integrate it, our lives would be like a dance, just the enjoyment of every moment, of what is; with or without someone by our side..
    Thank you for being a constant reminder of the true beauty of life!

    Reply
    • Carlos

      Do we ever forget our name?
      Do we ever forget we are a man or a woman?
      No, because these and many other concepts are deeply implanted in our mind.
      To never forget that we are love and to be able to live our life from that understanding requires a long and arduous study of ourselves and the world. What is love? What is life? Who am I really? What is the meaning of all this? To find the answers to these and other questions has to become not a hobby, not something I ‘think’ about on my free time, but it has to be a very important issue in my everyday life. Actually, from my point of view, it has to become the most important issue in our whole life.

  4. adrian

    Hi Carlos,

    I am wandering for some time which is a purpouse of a long time relationship.
    Of course, I am (too) in a relationship that has problems. Because we both have problems with ourselfs, we both start to understand that.
    But the question could be a general one.
    You say: A relationship is a place where we share our wholeness, our inner love, our freedom.
    OK, but if we did not (both) found all those beautiful things, a relation is a war field with two dead bodies… If we did found them we could share those achievements with everybody, why just limit to one person?
    It seems go me that society, formed by people like us, ignorant and scared, invented and consolidated the idea of the couple and relationship as a drog, a trap, a fake direction.
    Is a longtime relation helpful for the discovery of the oneself? Probably as any encounter or situation, could help or not.
    What is the purpouse of a lifetime relation? Leaving together, people tend to get in time almoust identical minds (the “happy” case), sharing the same ideas about life. But can that really help?
    Can “being in love” help you make some steps in the good direction? What do we still wait after 2 yrs in same relation? Is the relationship ment for the week ones?
    Can love in a couple last for a liftime? And how could you define love for the other?
    Why choose a certain person as your lifetime relation? It is so aleatory, so “by chance”… Could have been milions others. And even if nothing is “by chance” and we get what we need or deserve – we change in time: do we need or deserve the same person for all our life? Seems doubtly to me.
    I would very much like to know your thoughts on that subject, maybe in a future note…

    Thank you,
    Adrian

    Reply
    • Carlos

      Hello Adrian,
      Very nice questions.
      I am sure one could write a book for each of the questions you asked, but without going much in detail, here are some answers. Basically, what I like to transmit with what I wrote is that ‘love’ and ‘being in love’ are two different things, just like city and country are also two different things. The city depends on the country for its existence, but the country is independent of the city. If the city is or is not more, the country remains. In this, city is like ‘being in love’ and ‘love’ is like country.

      I separate what you wrote in different parts and added what I wrote after each of them.
      I hope this is useful. But please, do not hesitate to wrote back if what I say is not clear.


      Q: I am wandering for some time which is a purpouse of a long time relationship.

      A: I don’t know…other than your desire to be with that person for a long time.

      Q: Of course, I am (too) in a relationship that has problems.

      A: Who hasn’t? I really do not believe there are many relationships that do not have problems. Now, having said that, everything is possible and so perfect (or almost perfect) relationships are possible, but very rare. And in my experience, they don’t depend on the attraction or even on the love, but mostly on having their deepest needs and fears being mutually met by the other person. And most of the time, this is not even done intentionally, but unconsciously. For example, a person with a lot of fear may have a long term relationship with a person that has a need for protecting others. And the need for protecting others may come from his or her own need to be loved. And so when these needs get met, relationships tend to last.
      Of course the love and attraction also have a big influence, but in the long term, and from the point of view of how long they last, usually they have a secondary effect.

      Q: Because we both have problems with ourselves, we both start to understand that.

      A: All the problems are with ourselves. There are no problems outside. A problem is only a point of view I ‘chose’ (I put chose in brackets because we usually do not chose our thoughts but they just appear in our head).
      If we could see a ‘problem’ form a different point of view, there will not be a problem any more but just a situation that needs my attention. So, 95% of our problems, or more, are problems created in our own mind.

      Q: You say: ‘A relationship is a place where we share our wholeness, our inner love, our freedom’. OK, but if we did not (both) found all those beautiful things, a relation is a war field with two dead bodies… If we did found them we could share those achievements with everybody, why just limit to one person?

      A: Yes, I completely agree with you. If you don’t have those qualities usually relationships turn into war zones of ‘me’ against ‘you’, of ‘my’ needs against ‘yours’. But, If we did find these qualities in ourselves, WE WILL share them with everybody, not just with one person. But even so, you may not chose to have an intimate relationship with everybody. You may love everybody, but you may not be in a relationship with everybody. A relationship is a mix of many things, not only love. I my feel whole and free and full of love, but still not feel physically attracted to everybody. And physical attraction is one of the reasons for starting a relationship. Or you may love everybody but have very few things in common with the majority of people. Having things in common is another reason for a relationship.

      Q: It seems to me that society, formed by people like us, ignorant and scared, invented and consolidated the idea of the couple and relationship as a drag, a trap, a fake direction.

      A: I don’t think society invented the idea of relationships; it is more that, based on different cultural needs, an ideal form of relationship is formed. During the golden age of Greece, for example, real love was only possible between men; women were relegated for procreation. That was just another ‘fashion’. There has been matriarchal societies. Now we tend towards free societies. But none of them ARE the solution. They will all have their pros and their cons. To me, the solution is not in a relationship, but in finding love in ourselves. The solution is freedom from dependence from the other person (same sex, opposite sex, several partners, one partner, whatever).

      Q: Is a longtime relation helpful for the discovery of the oneself? Probably as any encounter or situation, could help or not.

      A: If you understand what the discovery of oneself really mean, everything is useful for it: being in a relationship, being single, being a parent, whatever. We don’t need a relationship to found ourselves, but we don’t need to be free from relationships either. It depends on many things.

      Q: What is the purpouse of a lifetime relation? Leaving together, people tend to get in time almoust identical minds (the “happy” case), sharing the same ideas about life. But can that really help?

      A: Help for what? If you are looking for truth, if you are looking for yourself, that search does not depend on you being single or married.
      If you are looking for comfort or security it will depend on the kind of relationship you have. A happy relationship makes your life better. A conflictive relationship brings pain.

      Q: Can “being in love” help you make some steps in the good direction? What do we still wait after 2 yrs in same relation? Is the relationship ment for the week ones?
      Can love in a couple last for a liftime? And how could you define love for the other?
      Why choose a certain person as your lifetime relation? It is so aleatory, so “by chance”… Could have been milions others. And even if nothing is “by chance” and we get what we need or deserve – we change in time: do we need or deserve the same person for all our life? Seems doubtly to me.

      A: All these questions are good, but to me they all are based on the believe that being in love is of primordial importance, and to me, it is not. ‘Being in love’ is related to another person, but ‘love’ is related to yourself. ‘Being in love’ is about finding love outside, ‘love’ is about finding love in you.
      ‘Being in love’ needs ‘love’, but ‘love’ does not need ‘being in love’. Love is independent of a relationship. A relationship is love, but is also security and comfort and fear and companionship and many more things.
      We don’t need a relationship, but for most people a relationship is nice to have. But we do need to find love (if you want to find truth) and love cannot be found outside of ourselves.

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