How do you know if you truly love someone?
Potentially In Love
What a beautiful question to be pondering. And I have good news. Because on the deepest and most profound spiritual level there is no separation between you and another. You are an aspect of that Oneness, and all that you are is Love. So the truth is: you’ve always been in love with everyone.
Of course, I realize that you’re effectively asking if there is a way to tell if you’re ready for a relationship with someone. So my answer seem overly abstract, but in the end it really isn’t, so let’s take a moment to look at things more closely.
When you were born you simply had experiences. There wasn’t even a ‘you’ yet to have them because you couldn’t think that you into existence. Back then, when you were a baby who couldn’t even recognize you in a mirror, there was zero separation between you and the world. But as we increasingly learn more words, we naturally begin to divide up the world. And how we divide it is based on our preferences.
Having preferences is fine —it’s what makes each of us into individuals. The problem is when we begin to think of our preferences as being right or wrong. Then other people become either bad or good, and that’s how we divide people up and steal connections from ourselves. Our love becomes conditional.
When our love is conditional, we will only share our open love with people that line up with our preferences. But even those people that don’t align with our preferences will still 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 our personal likes and dislikes. That can be hard to accept when people are very different from us, but it’s inevitably true.
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. We could take two sworn enemies, but if they suddenly need each other to survive we could bet that they will begin to see the value in each other.
That fact means that, in a healthy person, all that we are striving to do is remove more and more thought-barriers to love. We are attempting to expand our circle of who we can love by coming to an understanding that the separation we feel, exists only through our thinking.
The feeling of ‘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 the expectations we thought into existence. And as long as we go around with a lot of expectations we will have a lot of heartbreak.
To the contrary, 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.
In the end, love is not your worry. 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.
Just as we become who we are, others become themselves. And other than our approval of that fact, there isn’t anything else to consider. If we don’t accept that we are naturally different, then we will have conflict. If however, we can see that we are all differing aspects of one larger thing, and that our differences are only ephemeral, then, like the great avatars of our world, we would find ourselves 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 perfect and lovable they are, even with their imperfections. In that state of mind we can see it’s only a matter of our friends having the wrong perspective.
Of course, later, when we fall out of love, we suddenly change how the world works and we place more value on our thoughts than our vision. Then we label the other person as ‘wrong’ or ‘undeserving,’ when really we’ve just done as our friends previously did and we’ve developed different 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.
This nice thing is that, in the end, 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. And that is totally in our control. The longer you keep your judgments at bay, the longer you will experience the glory of true love. And you can do that any time, with absolutely anyone.
All the best.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.