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What is Love? Longing, Union, And Seeing The Divine Within

Above all else in life, we do well to tend to that rich family feeling our lives are built upon as our love for one another grows and unfolds. It is upon this feeling that we build our lives as healthy individuals, families, communities, and nations.
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Spiritual teachings throughout the world tell us the same thing: We are all one with God; in our essence we are all Divine. But throughout life, the tendency is to not see that in everyone. We only tend to feel that deeply for the ones we love. When we fall in love, it is a joyous celebration of the re-union of our soul with that of our beloved. We adore that place within them and it can move us to tears of joy.

The longing then is to bring all aspects, all levels of our lives into total mergence. When we hug, we can't hold tightly enough. When we share, we can't share fully enough. Regardless of our desire and efforts, some degree of separation remains since we are two autonomous beings. At first glance, that seems to be a barrier to the fulfillment of our desire to merge. But in fact, it is a beautiful and exquisite blessing.

That slightest degree of separation enables us to adore at a distance, however miniscule that distance may be. It is that blessed adoration, reverence, and longing to merge that is what we call love.

Theologians might argue that if such separation dissolves away, love would find fulfillment in its own dissolution. That slightest separation, that adoration at a distance, would no longer be possible because there would be no separation.

Still other theologians might argue that both union and separation can exist simultaneously. There's that deepest level where we are in fact one with our beloved. Yet simultaneously on the more relativistic levels of life, there is a slight separation we autonomous individual beings experience that enables us to love--to adore at a distance.

Love comes in many forms. We love our spouse, we love our children, we love our community, and our friends. In another sense, we love our world and all of humanity. In every case, the same fundamental principle applies.

Love is said to deepen over the years. But perhaps we do better to say that it broadens. From the moment one falls in love, it touches the very depth of the soul, the place of unity that underlies all of existence. Yet through the years, that love expands. It broadens to include the memories of precious moments and times gone by. It weaves the fabric sometimes called the family dynamic. Our lives then become enshrined and wrapped in the comfort and richness of a sweet family feeling that nurtures the soul and gives purpose to our lives.

It is natural in life for there to be times that twist and strain such feelings of communion. We do well to be attentive to that. Even though the bonds are stronger and more flexible as they grow through the years, they are also fine and delicate. Snags and pulls within the bonds tug at the heart strings of all involved.

Above all else in life, we do well to tend to that rich family feeling our lives are built upon as our love for one another grows and unfolds. It is upon this feeling that we build our lives as healthy individuals, families, communities, and nations.

The state of our heart strings determines the state of our lives. They can be nourished and comforted, yet they can also be strained. Wherever our lives lead, they can also be healed.

So tend to your heart strings and the heart strings of those you love. After all, regardless of the pace and nature of our daily life, it is the heart and soul of our family that we call home and we return to, replenishing and nurturing the soul of our lives.