Excerpt from Amy Edelstein’s book Love, Marriage & Evolution: Chapter 2
When it comes to love between people in a context of spiritual realization, there’s no single recipe for how to be. Love is based more on alignment with our deepest understanding and greatest care, than it is on how we happen to feel at any particular moment. That’s a subtle but powerful reorientation— and can do away with over-imbuing any particular moment in a marriage with undue significance or with a static expectation that we will never be able to create.
Love is based more on alignment with our deepest understanding and greatest care, than it is on how we happen to feel at any particular moment.
Becoming increasingly conscious of our experience, of the changing emotions and factors that generate love in any relationship, develops a multicolored palette of expression for our commitment and affection. Our priorities in life will ebb and flow. There’s not going to be one fixed code that enables us to know in advance how to express a maturing of interpersonal love or a dawning revelation of more profound spiritual Love. We can track our development by how increasingly aware we become of the way our experience moves in us, what insights are emerging, and how those new discoveries are guiding our behavior and attitudes. There are different kinds of love in a marriage—love that we seem to instinctively feel for each other, a magnetism or chemistry, and love that’s earned over time, through shared experience, and through the demonstration of our more noble natures to each other in times of trouble.
Cultivate and nurture both kinds of love, respecting and honoring the bond that brought us together, respecting and honoring each other for the personal commitment, values, and higher purpose that’s upheld. There are also certain qualities and attributes of love that bring us together and actions or ways of being that strengthen and enrich the love between us. They include our value for and adherence to the path development, our trustworthiness and commitment, our support and spaciousness, and our passion for the sacred in life.
We can both allow ourselves to let go to the awakening of a spiritual love and take care of those around us.
The more we engage with inner transformation, the more we grow to appreciate how much courage we need to make progress on such a path. Changing culture from the inside out requires exceptional commitment. Recognizing this commitment in another generates love. When we see our partners engaging with the challenge of self-knowledge and the intention to affect positive change in the world around us, love becomes clothed in respect and honor for our partner’s fortitude and willingness to struggle for inner independence.
How does this ideal look in the world of breakfast and bills? It looks like patience and forbearance. There may be aspects of our partner’s personality or psychological structures that they will struggle with at some point in their development. And sometimes we will struggle to change for a period of time, maybe even years. This can create some strain at times.
When we are committed to higher ideals, what we value in our partner is their intention, courage, and effort, and we will have patience through more difficult moments, extending support to see how their path unfolds over time.
When we embrace a spiritual path with the fullness of ourselves, our intention and spiritual curiosity can take us beyond anywhere we’ve known. Through effort or through grace, we can step off the cliffs of the known and tumble headlong into a free fall of revelation. The love of God dissolves all separation, all difference, all other. Mystics seek to drown in Love and never return. “Inside love there is more joy than we know of,” poet Kabir writes. Falling into that bottomless well of divine intoxication can overtake us.
When we awaken to the spiritual context of our lives and see a vaster way of relating to all existence, sometimes people feel they can’t even use the word “love.” They can’t even relate to it anymore because it seems so partial, so much less than the magnitude and beauty and glory that we are awakening to. Expressing special intimacy or love of another can feel like a denial of this greater reality that is nearer than near, more present than our very breath or heart. It can feel like telling anyone in particular “I love you” would in some way a denial of the larger context that we’re newly in touch with.
This revelation is profound and beautiful. Still, it can be disconcerting to those we do indeed love. My pragmatic response to the intoxication experience of universal Love that comes from Spirit, is to drink of it responsibly, have care for those close to you. Know that movements of Love in us, including Divine Love, change in form, expression, intensity, and feeling. We can both allow ourselves to let go to the awakening of a spiritual love and take care of those around us.
This is an excerpt from Amy Edelstein’s new book Love, Marriage & Evolution. If you like what you read here please download the entire book, and share this content with friends and family.