To experience permanent joy, we must look within us, says SANT RAJINDER SINGH
We seek to love and be loved. During our life’s journey we may go through many relationships in search of the perfect love. We want a love that will fill us with warmth and joy. We desire a love in which we will be accepted for who we are despite our faults. We want a love that will not leave us and which will last forever.
Throughout our life we experience many relationships. There are those, of parent and child, brothers and sisters, friends, lovers, and spouses. We want fulfillment in each of these relationships, and we are disappointed if something goes wrong with them.We have expectations that the love between us will manifest in a particular way and are disappointed when these expectations are not met. While we rise above the challenges in some relationships to form a stronger bond, in others we break off the relationship.
Even if we find a wonderful relationship with someone, we may have to suffer the loss of our loved one through illness, separation, or death. We may wonder, is there any love that is permanent? Is there a love that knows no separation and no end? The answer is yes. There is a permanent, lasting love in the empowered soul. There is an unconditional love waiting for us within. Connecting with that love envelopes us in warmth, joy, and ecstasy.
Is there a love greater than any in this world? Loving relationships reflect the love of the empowered soul. One of the greatest loves we know in this world is that of the parent for a child. If we were lucky enough to experience the love of our parents, we may recall how much they cared for us.They worked hard to earn money for our food, clothing, shelter, medicine, education, and toys.They spent great amounts of time nurturing us.If we were on a sports team, they may have watched us play. If we were in a school performance, they may have taken time to attend.Even if we did not have a loving relationship, our mother still carried us in her womb for nine months and underwent the birth pangs to bring us into the world.
In our adult life we may have experienced a romantic love. We may have found ourselves falling in love with someone and becoming lost in the intoxication of that love. We may have felt that all the problems of the world and our worries disappeared in the company of our loved one. Time seemed to fly and we could have been lost for hours in conversation with that person or in looking into each other’s eyes. The romantic love made us blind to each other’s imperfections and faults.
If later in life we became parents, we experienced another kind of love. We may have been overwhelmed by the feeling of love as we held our baby in our arms and looked into his or her eyes. The tiny fingers wrapped around our hand may have filled us with an indescribable sense of warmth. We finally may have come to realise how much love our parents felt for us. No sacrifice was too great to make sure our child had the best food, clothing, and toys.
These outer loves are but a small reflection of the great love that exists in our soul. If we multiply the greatest love we have known in this outer world by tenfold or a hundredfold, we may have some inkling of the love that awaits us within.
Read any account of a near death experience and you get a glimpse into the great love awaiting us within. Many of them describe a meeting with a Being of Light, from whom they felt more love than they ever felt on earth. It was an all-embracing love that enraptured every pore of their being. The recipient of that love was filled with a divine sweetness and intoxication that they did not want to give up. The Being of Light may have helped the person go through a life review of all the good and bad deeds. Yet, no matter how bad someone was, the Being of Light still overwhelmed the person with unconditional love. For the first time in the person’s life, he or she felt loved to the very core of his or her being.
Although the love of the Being of Light is greater than what many people ever feel on earth, that too, is but a portion of an even greater love- the love of God. God’s love is beyond imagination. The Being of Light’s love is a drop of God’s love. The soul is a drop of that same love. That spark of God within each of us is love personified. Its very nature is love. We carry that infinite love within us.
The Sufis refer to God as the beloved. Much of mystic poetry and scriptural text uses the terminology of lover and beloved to describe the soul and God.While it appears that they are two entities, the lover and the beloved, the final revelatory moment uncovers that they are one and the same, the soul and God are, in essence, one. The journey of discovery leads the soul from believing it is separate from God to its ultimate enlightenment when it realises that it is one with God.The mystic journey is the story of the separation of the soul from God and its final communion. Thus, if we tap into our empowered soul, we are actually diving into the ocean of the Lord’s love.
We look for fulfillment in the outer loves of this world, which may give us transient joy for a while.Yet, we can also have a permanent joy alongside our outer loves. We can experience the love of our empowered soul. This love will not take away from our outer loves; rather, it will enrich them. We will still love our family, our spouse, and our friends. The difference is that by tapping into our soul’s state of unconditional love, we can receive all the fulfillment and intoxication we desire.We no longer have to depend on anyone else to meet our expectations. We can be satisfied from within and not dependent on another for joy. Instead, we will pour out our love unconditionally. Instead of seeking to take love, we can give love. By doing so, we will find that our relationships are smoother, more harmonious, and more peaceful. The tension and anxiety that come from trying to get another person to meet our needs can vanish like a passing cloud. Instead, we can be fulfilled from within and be free to enjoy a richness in our relationships.
The writer is a spiritual leader
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