How do you know if you truly love someone?
Potentially In Love
On the deepest and most profound spiritual level there is no separation between you and another. You are literally One, and all that you are is Love. So the truth is: you’ve always been in love with everyone, you just have thoughts that tell you otherwise.
I realize that you’re effectively asking if there is a way to tell if you’re ready for a relationship with someone and my answer might seem overly abstract, but in the end it really isn’t so let’s take a moment to look at my point more closely.
When you were born you only had experiences. You didn’t even have a You yet. You couldn’t think one into existence. There was zero separation between you and the world. But as you increasingly learned words you began to divide up the world and you did so based on your preferences. Having preferences is fine—it’s what makes you, You. The problem is when you begin to think of your preferences as being right or wrong. Then other people become either bad or good, and that’s how you steal connections from yourself. Your love becomes conditional. You will only share your open love with people that line up with your preferences. But even those that don’t will remain whole and perfect and just as much a part of the universe as you or I. They are entirely and thoroughly loveable despite not lining up with your personal likes and dislikes.
So why don’t you love them? Well again, deep down you really do. If we stripped away all of the pretences that exist in your world and you met them as only a human being and not as an identity, you would feel a closeness to them that would amaze you. You can take two sworn enemies, but if they suddenly need each other to survive you can bet that they will begin to see the value in each other. And in a healthy person, all that they are striving to do is remove more and more thought-barriers to love. They are attempting to expand their circle of who they can love by coming to an understanding that the separation they feel exists only through their thinking.
So heartbreak is really us learning that our ideas about people are not the people themselves. We say people have let us down when really we mean they did not meet our expectations. And as long as we go around with a lot of expectations we will have a lot of heartbreak. But if we view these experiences wisely, we can come to see that each new heartbreak offers us a chance to take down our barriers and open our hearts to more and more people.
You don’t need to fall in love with anyone. The universe has already taken care of that for you. All you need to do is to see the other person for what they truly are—which is someone who you could have easily become you. Once you have seen how You were created you will suddenly realize that you are only made of thought, and so is everyone else. And just as you became you, they became themselves. And other than your approval of that fact, there isn’t anything else. If you don’t accept that we are naturally different then you will have conflict. If you can see that we are all aspect of one thing and that our differences are only ephemeral then, like the great avatars of our world, you would find yourself with the capacity to profoundly love literally anyone.
Intimate, romantic love is generally our first insight into this reality. Other people will question us and wonder why we are with this or that person, and yet we can see clearly how lovable they are. We can see it’s only a matter of our friends having the wrong perspective. But then when we fall out of love we suddenly change how the world works and we label the other person as wrong or unlovable, when really we’ve just done as our friends already did and we’ve changed our ideas about the person.
Romantic love can be a beautiful first gaze into the vastness that is true love. It is an often fleeting look at someone without judgment. If we want to be developed in our life both spiritually and with our relationships, then the very best thing we can do is to encourage ourselves to keep our judgments to a minimum and our appreciation to a maximum. Because it’s not the person that’s our access point to the limitless potential of true love, it’s our openness—our lack of judgment and opinion. The longer you keep your judgments at bay, the longer you will experience the glory of true love. And you can do that with absolutely anyone.
All the best.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.