I was sitting in class one day trying to focus on the class lecture. I was bored out of my mind but interested. I was engaged but distracted. That day I felt like dancing; I wanted to sing. During breaks, I went outside and felt the energy of the world sync with my heart, and from there I recognized combinations of plants I had never seen before; I started reading the oasis created by the walls of my department building. I approached a fork in the sidewalk and felt a pull in two directions: that which I thought was familiar, and one which was empty and vacuous but foreign. Initially I went the empty route, but circled around back to what I thought was familiar. In reality it was actually an area I had never traversed, with a spirit I hadn’t noticed before. I know that moments like these are beautiful but potentially painful.
For me It’s the moment of the first splash which proceeds to fill the emptiness. It is very similar to the initial spark, the release of tension, or waking up to sunshine in the morning, or coming up for air after swimming, or the refresh of moisture after being stranded in a desert, or the awakening which follows leaving a cold room and entering into warmth; It’s a state of revelry as one is in anticipation, something my body detects in harmony with emotions, but escapes the mind; perhaps a part of It is what the Germans call vorfreude, which has no true translating in English. Or perhaps I am completely out of sync of time entirely, and I am passing a crossroad of possibility. It is Love.
I remember this feeling from before my long term relationship with my current ex-boyfriend. It was one of the most creative times of my life: some of my most potent poetry was publish in the school literary journal, I played my guitar A LOT, and I painted a number of abstract art pieces. 7 years later, I am more in sync with my body, and I have the urge to dance in the wind to the songs of nature’s untamed echoes. This, what I feel now and what I felt before, is Love. This is MY Love, and I am so grateful to be able to recognize it.
But exactly how did I come to learn of this? How did I come to recognize this feeling? I felt it once, and I had blindly sought it out. Instead, I tasted the initial sweet pleasures of the body to only have it become pungently bitter with expedient and psychologically jarring circumscribing acts leading to separation. There was no creative high. There was no desire to create a new song. Perhaps it was simply passion which I felt, but having experienced it again now, I know that it was not the divinely inspired Love I am experiencing now. Perhaps a lesser form, love. Compassion, perhaps, but not Love.
What’s worse is that the feelings for the guy who has caught my eye, again, snuck up on me as my ex did many years ago. “Nah, not my type,” I said, and dismissed him. This reaction, brings up two very dangerous things that I MUST address in some form or fashion if I’m going to maintain any level of self approval. That I recognize a pattern in and of itself brings a concern, a fear of repeat actions made more pointed in a long term relationship devoid of wisdom: betrayal. The betrayal of having your beloved lust after another woman, the betrayal of being forgotten meetings just to “hang out with the boys,” the betrayal of silence, the betrayal of possession. Do I really want to go down this path again? I have already fell into my normal habit of dismissal, so how many more of the childish demons which I have not yet exercised will affect relationships I try to nurture? Even if I should choose to pursue him, I know the pangs of unrequited love all to well. Should I even bother with the discussion?
The second issue is how many people actually know what Love is? Do they really realize what their preferred love type is? Do they pay attention enough to realize it? Do they know what it is that they prefer and actually need–spiritually and psychologically– when they have only relied on the guidance of books, friends, and family? To even answer the first question, one has to experience, and yet even I at times yearn for the virgin view of the world; how could I in good conscious say “Go out there and find out what you need by trying to love and find people to reciprocate that love?” Throughout the past two years, I’ve had both dubious and dangerous encounters with sketchy people…I’m a risk taker, I’ve been there, and even I wouldn’t advise anyone tread down that path.
The only thing of solace that I can offer you in light of this is a prayer that I recently formulated in meditation of a certain passage of the Quran (Surah 2:10-22 ish) with a little guidance from a Pakistani friend (Sufi mentor) of mine in the United Kingdom.
Entreat whatever deity you want…for I essentially inserted some elements of polytheism within the structure of the prayer, even though it is founded upon monotheistic scripture. Consider it a wrinkle in space that makes it multipurpose:
When the lightning flash, may it blind me.
When the thunder rolls, let it resonate within me.
Sharpen my intuitive senses and knowing
that [I may walk a path of true innovation innately
for the holistic advancement of mankind, aligned with your will,]
and that I may come to know the true virtue of Love
and its expressions in accordance to my true nature.
For those who are not really into the idea of being a slave or vessel for the necessity of man; you can omit the portion in bold.
The idea behind this prayer is that, if you have confidence in your very existence and experience being efficient, whatever experience you NEED to experience will experienced. So don’t be a slave to your mind as I was; if you feel a pull towards a certain path at a crossroads, be brave and follow it. You never know what you may learn.