Falling in love is one of the most wonderful and scary journeys we can make. Most everyone enjoys falling in love in theory, but in practice we put limits and roadblocks to the falling. As soon as we find someone interesting we typically begin to organize, categorize, put the relationship into some mental frame so we don't fall too far, too fast, too much, and get hurt or worst, crushed in the landing. From nearly the moment we begin falling in love, most people are preoccupied with as soft a landing as possible. We don't want to be disappointed. We don't want to be left hanging. Our open heart feels great, but let's not lose everything in the process. Who knows where the heart will take us? With love comes endless questions as we try to control the heart from flying away into too much awe and mystery.
Where will we live? What will we do? How many kids? In our falling in love, the mind races to manage somehow what is happening in the heart. Of course we enjoy the feeling of love, but only so much. We and everyone around us is trying to make boundaries. Have you considered this and what about that? There's a great conspiracy to limit love, its size and intensity. Let's love one another but not get carried away. Where are the great masters teaching us that being carried away is what love is all about?
Fortunately, there is a moment in the falling in love when only love exist. Who cares what others think and more important all our own worries and concerns? For now, there is only love, nothing else matters. This moment can last days, weeks, years. We hear of couples in love after ten, twenty, fifty years and longer. More often we hear about neighbors and friends who are somewhere in the midst of dividing property, breaking up after a few months or years, after one or two kids. Love's hard landing and eventually separation has over shadowed the falling which was too little and too long ago. Love grows old quickly after the falling stops.
Love in modern life does not have a very good reputation. For many people having a significant other is a distraction, curse, something to avoid at all costs. Love is too consuming, too heart wrenching, too messy to deal with. The number one defense against accidentally falling in love is to stay busy. Let's be practical! Who has time for such a journey? Few ask what is time for other than love? Some people who say they are available for love are nevertheless more prepared for the landing. Their list of likes and dislikes are very clear on their dating site. Everyone is warned. Everyone is on alert for liars and out right cheaters. The bottom line is if you are interested in me, be sure you have read and fit into my profile. There can be some falling in love as long as it has limits and does not interfere with the apartment I love, career, friends, family, sports, daily activities, my pet, hobbies, and winter vacation in Colorado. Love is fine and okay as long as my life is still comfortable, safe, and easy.
In the pre-Internet days, it took months or longer before we knew about previous partners, sexual preferences and what we want from our next partner. Now this and a lot more is all in the profile before we have even met for coffee. The great falling in love and slowly getting to know one another is old age. No-one really believes anymore that love conquers all. With love anything and everything maybe possible but love is more known for its downside than its miraculous powers.
Most people think falling in love is something about seeing one another naked. It is actually seeing something much deeper. Falling in love is seeing the angels underneath the skin. Under the appearances of life, what we do, wear, think, and say is something more, is life's real beauty. Underneath our likes and fears, habits and attachments, underneath what everyone else sees is something special that only the lover can see. There is the unique presence we call love. Falling in love is recognizing this unique presence and wanting to enjoy it forever. Heaven and earth are no longer separate. There is only heaven. People who are in love say they feel like they are floating. Love has taken over their normal world of schedules and demands. Love makes each meal special no matter how it tastes. It blows up the small moments into art, fun, colors and sounds to laugh and cry, scream and whisper about. Love is living in the now. You know you are in love when there is no past, no future, so much now. Life is a grand ship floating in the eyes and heart of all lovers. There is an endless ocean within and all around us. Life and love and everything good stretches for the horizon in all directions. You want to keep falling into this ocean.
Why would anyone want to fall out of love? Where is there to land when the falling is so freeing, so absolutely liberating? Why would anyone be looking for an escape, a shoreline to hold onto?
When you are not in love everything is about being comfortable. When you are in love, comfortable is not so important. Some people hope for love. Others give up or live with just a little or just enough. These days many are proud of their independence. They don't need love. They enjoy being in control. Everything is planned with nothing left to chance. If chance, luck, and grace are what love is all about, I don't want it. Anyway, if I love too much what will people think? Who wants to rattle the heart only to be judged by others in their jealousy and misunderstanding? I would much rather be safe and sure before risking. How many people do we know want life all safe and sound without the tears and joy of love? How do we tell them, "Love is more than worth dying for. Love is worth living for!"
These days of brief love, sex, in and out of the relationship, we consume relationships like we do pizza. We can fall in and out of love in a matter of hours or days. Why are we in such a hurry? We don't need to know everything now. How will it work out? What will we do? The questions are all part of love, part of the heart falling open. We could fall and continue falling. Love has its own safety net in its truth and divine shelter. The human heart can fall for a long time in love. It's okay. Feelings of nakedness, acceptance, compassion, lust, joy and disappointment are alright. They are just feelings. Falling in love is letting go of our judgments, wants, and agenda. We are beholding something else. Love is the season of Spring that is blooming as long as the heart is breathing. Let's fall into the arms, all the faces, and silence of love. There is so much falling to do.
Don't we realize our concerns about landing are just our fear of where love is taking us? Is there another journey more spectacular? Some say love is blind. Others insist it is just a lot of chemicals let loose in the brain. Maybe they are right. Maybe we have to be blind before seeing clearly. Maybe those chemicals that take over lovers are the same chemicals traveling through the bodies of our children as they smile and cry and dance their life. Falling in love is falling into all the pain and wonder the heart has stored in its vast treasure. If we don't fall in love, falling deeply into love's domain, how will we ever know the true gold and jewels buried within us?
In truth there is no landing. There is only falling into the arms of what life presents. Despite all our resistance, protesting, and certainty to the contrary, we are all falling into every thought and feeling, the great silence of love's body. Let's celebrate all lovers! Our children are the best examples. If we find someone older, whose eyes show us they are in love, let's sit at their feet, and ask them their secret. How do you fall and keep falling in love?
Valentine's day should be everyday. Today I celebrate my wife, best friend, partner and lover for more then twenty years. Ruth, will you be my valentine?