6th Tenet of The Shin Dao Philosophy

When we think of being in love, our first thoughts usually turn to the romantic notion of finding and embracing “the one”… our soul-mate… our beloved. That special person who is meant just for us. When our paths cross, we may feel ourselves literally falling… uncontrollably, irresistibly surrendering to the feelings of love and admiration we feel, and it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s our fairy-tale come true!

However, in our search for that “right” relationship, we are often unaware that we are actually seeking validation of the love that already exists within ourselves. For instance, many hold the idea that if they never find that right person, they may never feel complete and tend to become desperate and needy, sabotaging their efforts. Or, if they do find someone who fits the criteria, they become possessive and obsessive in their attempts to hold onto what they believe makes them whole and happy, again, sabotaging the relationship. If we are being honest, most of us would have to admit that we’ve found ourselves in this state in at least one relationship or two! If so and you are discouraged about finding the right “one”, perhaps it’s simply time to try on another perspective of love itself.

The greatest obstacle on our path to true love is the belief that love is something we do. Love is not something we do; it is what we are. It is the energy of which all things exist. It is the essence of our being, the truth of our soul… the evidence of God within us. Love is not something that we can give or receive, but something we experience.

To allow ourselves to experience our full capacity for love is to embrace all that we are, beyond our ego beliefs, beyond our human conditioning, beyond our fear and our need to validate it from the outside, and to simply allow its energy to flow through us, permeating life itself.

In our humanness, we limit our potential to experience love through our need to express it in tangible, physical form. If there is no one to love or love us back, we often feel empty and lonely. Yet, our capacity for love is not dependent on anything outside of us. It is the gift of Spirit, and it is our own life force. To truly express love or to allow ourselves to feel it from another is to accept our own love and be willing to be fully present in it. It is not derived from the relationship, but from a Divine state of consciousness, reflected back to us in those with whom we express it. To be “in love,” is to live in the energy of love, consistently and by choice. It is to allow ourselves to fall deeply, intimately, into the depth of our own capacity for love. To experience love to this degree is to expand… to open our hearts and allow it to fill us up from the inside out. It is to surrender to being love, rather than extracting it from another.

To realize this spiritual nature of love, beyond our human need to express and experience it, is to know love in its purest form. It is beyond measure; beyond our ability to understand it; beyond our human limitations. Yet, it flows through every fiber of life and exists innately within each of us. Our ability to access it is only in our willingness to accept that we are worthy of being it.

It is in this, our truest connection with God, that we feel the most exquisite joy in our experience of love with another human being. This is an often challenging perspective to consider, as we don’t want to give up our romantic ideas of being in love, and we don’t have to. Those wonderful butterflies in our belly, the excitement and sweetness of being close to others… these are some of the most precious moments in life! But in our search for “the one” who will fulfill our longing to love and be loved completely, we have forgotten to look in the most obvious of places… within ourselves.

Love is always bestowed as a gift – freely, willingly and without expectation. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love.

Lou Buscaglia

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