“You are not successful in love just because you find a partner and stick with them for a lifetime; you are successful in love when it provides you with a way to keep learning about yourself and the world around you, becoming more connected with the Oneness of all of life, so that each experience you have – glorious, sad, or frustrating – becomes a strand in the web of your evolution.”
I am a romantic at heart, there is just no way around it. Maybe it was born of a childhood spent watching Disney movies with their promises of happy endings. Or maybe it was because my parents got married on Valentine’s Day. I cannot say. But I think I have always felt that there are special bonds that are possible between two people and, if strong enough, these bonds help us to grow in our own Spirit somehow.
A dear friend of mine recently sent a book to me called “The One”. The quote above is a brief excerpt from that book. I have only started to read the book so I cannot speak to its validity or eventual usefulness. What I can say, thus far, is that it is speaking a language that I understand. And to some degree, I can corroborate some of the truth of it for I have already been in a relationship with “the One”.
Now sadly, she had to leave this world before me even though it was my fervent wish that we would somehow leave it together. I think it was only about a week or two before she passed on, with me deep in my own feelings of grief and pending loss, that I realized that I was being given a great Gift. I capitalize the word Gift intentionally because it was a gift of the highest order – one that I could plainly see, and feel, had no other purpose but to elevate my very soul to a higher form of being. And the gift was on multi-levels : first for the gift of turning me into a true caretaker of another life – a position that neither one of us believed I had any qualifications for, or chance of success at – as well as the gift of bearing witness to the transition of a life from this physical plane of our existence to whatever exists beyond all of this. And finally, and perhaps the biggest gift of all, was that we had so deeply and unconditionally committed our lives to each other for over thirteen years. Yes, we had filled a void of sorts in each other’s life, but we had also weathered the many storms that blew our way and in so doing, and in clinging so stubbornly to our unconditional love for each other, we had continued a process of evolution of our individual souls that simply would not have otherwise been possible.
In the aftermath of her passing, deep, deep grief aside, I felt, inside, fundamentally different somehow. I couldn’t really put a name to it, but I felt somehow elevated in spirit. I had been tested to my limits and beyond, as had my dearest beloved, and we both had met every test that came our way with a steely resolve that it would not defeat us. And to bear witness to the courage, strength, humility and, in the end, surrender, that were her companions on her journey; well, she was as a teacher to me, showing me the absolute best of the human spirit under the most dire of circumstances and I came into full awareness of what an amazing Gift she was giving to me.
For a romantic like myself, you simply do not come away from such an experience unchanged. And now, nearly two years later, that sense still pervades me when I look at the experience and am not otherwise preoccupied with the mundanities of everyday life. I have not yet quite figured out what I am supposed to do with all of this, but my sense of it is that I am supposed to do something. It is not a gift to be trivialized or hoarded, but one whose lessons are meant to be shared.