Today is a holiday for Eros, for romantic love, and I don’t talk about that subject very often. It is probably a topic I could have a lot of fun with because I have seen it go awry in humorous ways, tragic ways, and ridiculous ways in my life and in other’s lives. In other words, I have some stories to tell.
It cracks me up how people idealize one another, and it breaks my heart to see other people’s hearts break. On Valentine’s Day, I want to offer inspiration about romance, especially to those who are immediate, warm, and not completely logical about their affections and affairs.
Everything in our modern world is built for speed and convenience, but it isn’t convenient or speedy to get to know another person deeply. Whatever speed you roll, consider slowing it down as far as possible and deeply listening and talking with someone before getting involved. Maybe this idea doesn’t seem as sexy as love at first sight, but talking deeply is part of building a strong foundation.
A Little More Conversation: A little over a year after my NDE, I met a couple at church who seemed unbelievably in love, and I asked them their secret. A light glowed around the two of them, and if I had ever seen two people who were soulmates, I felt certain these two were it. I asked them if they thought they were soulmates, and they smiled and said people often asked them this question. They told me that they had waited a long while before ever kissing or becoming intimate. They knew from the first meeting that they were attracted to each other, but they both had wounds from their past and unresolved issues from childhood and didn’t feel ready for a relationship.
They made a vow to talk for an entire year before kissing, and they managed to do this by sitting and sleeping on separate couches—all the while, never touching. Let me emphasis that point. My twenty-three-year-old brain thought that I would probably have to do most of that talking on the phone. I doubted my own resolve. For instance, if I don’t want to eat cookies, then I don’t keep them in my house. Because if cookies are in my house, I am probably going to eat those cookies.
This couple, however, talked late into the night and deeply listened to one another. Much of what counselors get paid to do is to deeply listen, so I can imagine that listening brought them both peace and healing. She said that she knew almost every one of his childhood wounds, romantic wounds, his wishes, his dreams, and desires by the end of that year. He also understood her fears, wounds, desires, and hopes. Of course, I asked if it was difficult not to kiss, and they both laughed, saying they also heard that question a lot.
She said that they felt completely one before they ever kissed, often dreaming of each other and feeling each other’s presence long before the consummation of those desires. I thought about how even at an early age, many of us have many wounds. Most people don’t take the time to get to know one another deeply before becoming intimate. Intimacy opens many wounds, and then people end up getting triggered and terrified when all they needed was more understanding and compassion.
Twin flame/Soulmates: In my recent interview with the lovely Tara Rose, I couldn’t hide my cynicism about the twin flame phenomenon that populates countless blog posts and YouTube videos. I think people too often simply don’t know one another like this couple knew each other, and then they feel a powerful rush, pull, soul connection, and intensity. However, if they haven’t dealt with their wounds, they might be nearly crippled by some of these wounds and run from each other. Though powerful feelings can show us the outer edges of how we are able to love and how we are not able to love, maybe it is important not to attach a label to anyone or any experience and to be open to a better, soulful experience with someone else later in our lives.
Those of us who have seen a lot of life, can see patterns. There are people you might encounter who mirror deep parts of yourself, and you will feel extreme levels of passion. However, sometimes this isn’t healthy because the feelings aren’t grounded and partly exist in the realm of fantasy. There are other connections that grow a little slower and have a slower burning fuse. Maybe you complement each other and function beautifully together. When you are very, very lucky, you might get high levels of passion upfront and long-term compatibility. Maybe you are also at a place in life where you know how to communicate calmly, honestly, and directly. Maybe you can weather the storms of life with grace. And maybe, you can simply see the whole thing with some detachment.
There are no guarantees, of course. Maybe that couple I met years ago is divorced now. In my fantasy, they aren’t divorced. But, even if they are, I know they gave themselves a great start. They did the best they could for their hearts at the time, and that is what I wish for you. Do the best that you can for your hearts.
I give this advice with love and with hope for you, especially those who are young and dreaming of an amazing relationship. I hope you find it. However, take loving care of yourself. Love yourself first. Get to know someone as deeply as possible before becoming intimate. Don’t manipulate to “get” the love you think you need. That will never work. You have an endless supply of love from the divine, and if you choose to love another, stand in your own flow of love. Give love. Let the experience make you more whole, even if it rips part of you a part if it must. Know that you are o.k. You are fine. You are loved. No matter what. You are loved. You are not alone. You are loved.