THE WELLSPRING OF LOVE WITHIN
You can search far and in hungry places for love. It is a great consolation to know that there is a wellspring of love within your self. If you trust that this wellspring is there, you will then be able to invite it to awaken. The following exercise could help develop awareness of this capacity. When you have moments on your own or spaces in your time, just focus on the well at the root of your soul. Imagine that nourishing stream of belonging, ease, peace and delight. Feel, with your visual imagination, the refreshing waters of that well gradually flowing up through the arid earth of the neglected side of your heart. It is helpful to imagine this particularly before you sleep. Then, during the night, you will be in a constant flow of enrichment and belonging. You will find that when you awake at dawn, there will be a lovely, quiet happiness in your spirit.
One of the most precious things you should always preserve in a friendship and in love is your own difference. It can happen within the circle of love that one person will tend to imitate the Other or reimagine himself in the image of the Other. While this may indicate a desire for total commitment, it is also destructive and dangerous. There was an old man I knew on an island off the west of Ireland. He had an unusual hobby. He used to collect photographs of newly married couples. He would then get a photograph of that couple some ten years later. From the ten-year old photograph, he would begin to demonstrate how one of the couple was beginning to resemble the other. Often in a relationship there can be a subtle homogenizing force which is destructive. The irony is that it is usually the difference that makes one person attractive to another. Consequently, this difference needs to be preserved and nurtured.
Love is also a force of light and nurture that liberates you to inhabit to the full your own difference. There should be no imitation of each other; no need to be defensive or protective in each other’s presence. Love should encourage and free you fully into your full potential.
In order to preserve your own difference in love, you need plenty of room for your soul. It is interesting that in Hebrew one of the original words for salvation is also the word for space. When you are born on a farm, you realize that space is vital, especially when you are sowing something. If you plant two trees side by side, they will smother each other. That which grows needs space. Kahlil Gibran says: ‘But let there be spaces in your togetherness, let the winds of the heavens dance between you.’ Space allows your Otherness to find its own rhythm and contour. Yeats speaks of: ‘A little space for the rose breath to fill.’ One of the lovely areas of love where space can be rendered beautiful is when two people make love. The one you love is the one to whom you can bring the full array and possibility and delight of your senses in the knowledge that it will be received in welcome and tenderness. Since the body is in the soul, the body is illuminated all around with soul light. It is suffused with a gentle, sacred light. Making love with someone should not be merely physical or mechanical release. It should engage the spiritual depth which awakens when you enter the soul of another person.
The soul of a person is most intimate. You meet a person’s soul before you meet his body. When you meet soul and body as one, you enter the world of the Other. If a person could bring a gentle and reverent recognition to the depth and beauty of that encounter, it would extend incredible possibilities of delight and ecstasy within love-making. It would free in both people this inner wellspring of deeper love. It would reunite them externally with this third force of light, the ancient circle, that actually brings the two souls together in the first place.