Removing Barriers

My Experiment: Part 12

You can read Part 11 here: Digging Deeper

At the end of yoga class the other day, the teacher (the wonderful Dagmar from Montezuma Yoga) shared a poem from Rumi that deeply resonated with me: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and remove all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

I’ve heard variations on this teaching in the past, my meditation teacher used to say that the feeling of love we experience with another person may appear to originate from that being, but actually they are only reflecting back the love that is inside us. You can feel love at any time, it doesn’t have to be dependent on someone else. That lesson sounded nice at the time, and I wanted to accept it, but I wasn’t ready then, I didn’t believe it in the core of my being. Hearing Rumi’s poem, this time it really sunk in.

This is a topic I’ve often struggled with, the quest for the “One” has been a major preoccupation throughout my life. I’ve had this basal, underlying belief that once I find the right person, everything will be ok. In the first months of a new relationship, when I’m deep in the throes of infatuation, it does seem like all is right in the world. But then the infatuation fades and I begin to think the person isn’t right for me. This has been a pattern that has repeated itself over and over again, because I’m looking for someone to complete me, but no other person can make me feel complete. I’m already complete, I just need to remember that, but it’s been a challenge.

At sunset that evening I headed into town for the weekly open mic. The moon was two days shy of full, hanging bright and low in the sky as I started my journey down the road along the coast. Moonlight danced with the sun’s final rays on the shimmering ocean, creating an otherworldly landscape that pulled me out of my head and into the moment. The teaching from Rumi resurfaced in my mind and unlocked something deep within me. For the first time, I felt a feeling of love coming not from another person, but from within me, from my connection to the universe. The sensation started in the center of my chest and radiated throughout my body, filling me with joy and contentment, happiness and bliss. I felt full, complete, I didn’t need anything from the world or from anyone else.

I arrived into town with a huge smile on my face, and the rest of the evening was amazing. Walking into a social situation like that, already feeling happy and complete, makes it easy to have fun. My usual mild social anxiety of wondering how I fit in was absent, because I felt like I fit in wherever I was, with whomever I conversed. I experienced some enjoyable connections with other people, conversationally and musically. Needing nothing, wanting nothing from others allowed me to just radiate joy, and I think people felt that and responded with positivity of their own.

This experience felt like an immense breakthrough for me. A decade of spiritual seeking and self-discovery finally yielding major changes within me. At the time of this writing, I haven’t been quite able to get back to that state of feeling intense love within me, but I feel changed, fundamentally different since then.

The path continues!

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