Love is Spiritual
It’s not commonly expressed today, but love has a spiritual facet that shines beyond the “let’s get it on” mentality, the openly and seeming exclusive equation of love with sex.
The original word “spirit” separated itself from the physical, as in body and soul, the physical body distinct from the mind.
I’ve pointed out numerous times that lovemaking, the physical uniting of two people, is an important aspect of romantic love and that passion and the sharing of passion can and should be frequent and wonderful events. All things considered, amour must be expressed physically, and rightfully so.
What I’m presenting here for your thought is that love also exists on another level, a spiritual level which ultimately or basically is more important than the physical.
“He is adorable.” “She is my inspiration.” “Our love is awesome.” Such adjectives are (were) spiritual or religious words.
In applying them to love and love relationships, I’m not looking for a theological argument, simply pointing out that love has its religious and/or spiritual overtones. The one you love is elevated above mere mortals. That is as it should be: your loved one is special, unique, the one among many.
I caution you: do not say your loved one is “awful.” That word means awe-inspiring, but in today’s careless usage it means just the opposite. “Awesome” might be a better choice.
However you want to praise your loved one, he/she deserves the high place in which you place her/him. As the Psalmist said, “This is my beloved....”
And your beloved says, “Believe in me,” and you do. You believe he or she loves you, loves (in the sense we’re talking about here) only you, will care for you, support you (emotionally, that is), will sacrifice for you. Your beloved has become a lesser god or goddess in your eyes. To the rest of the world he may be a clod or she may be a mouse, but to you he is Apollo; she a lioness.
Believing in your partner, you are rewarded. Life is not a bleak trek toward nowhere; it’s an adventure of the soul. You are not alone; you are in the arms of sustaining love. You are not an insignificant, almost non-person, individual; you are somebody vitally and eternally important. You are not a failure; you are potential and promise. You are not weak; you are made strong.
That relationship is awesome. You adore your partner because he/she helps make you better than you believed you might be. It is she or he who inspires you to fulfill your potential. Your partner is life and light and beauty and fills your existence with all that is true and holy. Being loved bestows those blessings upon you.
Then, and only then, when you return your beloved’s gifts in like kind, are you able to prove your love for him/her.
Is it heresy to equate the love of a man or a woman with the love of a deity? I don’t think so, not if that person is your world and your universe. He or she cannot create a universe or a planet or an ocean or even a flower, but in a sense, the one who loves you does create the world in which you live.
And in turn, you create his or her new world.
I say “new” because until we love and find love, our world is incomplete and of lesser worth. When love and a faithful lover comes to us, it’s as a new day aborning and a new life birthed.
Emerson said, “I believe I shall some time cease to be an individual, that the tendency of the soul is to become Universal....” Am I misusing the great American philosopher when I suggest that in love one does cease to be an individual and becomes a pair? Emerson never would suggest that the individual ceases to be; he would insist that the individual is greater when part of a larger whole. He wasn’t speaking about the love of two people, but the truth applies. And in this there is the truth that the soul tends toward the universal impulse called love.
Later I write about reality and dreams (images). The image of love is within each lover; the reality of that love is greater than either lover. Emerson would agree, for that greater reality is the universal theme of love.
Like all spiritual quests, this test: not to avoid or retreat from love but to risk whatever will be by running forward toward newness with love in your heart.
That’s what I mean by spiritual. Love is a reason to be and to have faith in our being. Amen.