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Is there a love beyond longing?


As I began life on the other side of despair after falling in love with a woman who loved me yet wanted me not, I thanked this immense being for relieving me of the primal longing for a soulmate I had felt all my life. She asked with surprise: “Will love now be devoid of longing if the longing you had always felt in life has come to an end?”

What a wonderful question! As I sat with this question, asking myself most truthfully if longing has actually come to an end, I found otherwise. Presently, I do not feel the longing I had always felt in life, for a soulmate. I feel a sense of peace in standing alone. A sense of peace that allows me to show up with love that has a sense of freedom and clarity, because this love is devoid of the confusion of unfulfilled longing. The ending of this confusion helps me meet people where they are in life, without being carried by the momentum of my own longing. While I do feel like there has been an ending of the primal longing, upon contemplating this question more deeply upon her welcome nudge, I would say that there is a scent of longing, still alive, but one that is light, like the scent of honeysuckle. This longing feels like it is in its right place in my being, so I am not showing up with an ocean of longing, that of my ancestors and of my own from my short life.

But another question has arisen, may we be assuming that love has to be a certain way, as one with longing? Could it be that love may be much more than the “love” we know? Is not the love we think we want, the love we have already experienced, therefore just a memory? Is not the love we imagine we want, still a product of thought, and therefore limited by our narrow circumstance and experience? Because we attribute to love only that which we have experienced, imagined, felt, or read about, could we be holding ourselves back from what love may actually be, may also be? Could love be something entirely new, always, not something we have already imagined or experienced, but a little bit like the warmth when the sun breaks through the silver room in Seattle, a breaking that may have happened before, but the warmth we feel in that present moment, permeating through every fiber of our being, is entirely new, alive only then, and any memory of it afterwards is just that, memory, not the thing itself.

The question then is, with respect to romantic love, what is it that blocks us from the profound newness of the moment, and hence love? Is it not the images we have in our mind, our memories of our past feelings of love, and our expectations, hopes, fears, and thoughts? If so, what do we do? Do we suppress it all then? No can do! Because we can clearly see that suppression desensitizes our being. So how do we remain sensitive to all movements of life, so they can bless us like the scent of the jasmine that’s sneaking through my window right now?


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