Goddess News‘ axiom:
‘If you want to be spiritual, ask uncomfortable questions,’
Goddess News, Spiritual Blog, Divine Feminine, Dr Joanna Kujawa, Spiritual Detective :).
February is here and all kinds of stories will be published by ‘experts’ and all kinds of industries selling postcards, chocolates and teddy bears (?!) will attempt to profit from commercialising love, romance and soulmateship. Nothing necessarily wrong with it if you, literally, do not ‘buy’ into it.
Perhaps you have already noticed that I like to investigate everything that is presented to me. I am and not too impressed with status quo in anything and occasionally assume the role of a spiritual detective or ‘BS detector’.
So let’s look at Valentines and the obsession with love, romance, and marriage. According to pop songs and postcard industry – these things can beautifully be aligned after, of course, a suitable but exciting obstacles are overcome. They tell us that first we romantically fall in love, then we (after the suitable obstacles of romance novels), the final happiness of ever lasting marriage comes.
And, to be fair, sometimes this happens. There are rare but amazing couples who were each others’ first and last love, were never unfaithful to each other, their romance stayed intense until they died, etc, etc.
I am willing to make a small exception to them – although I am pretty sure that if you speak to them they will tell you of some lonely years, some disappointments and adjustments and lots of hard work to preserve what they originally have had.
For most people, however, it is not their experience and, perhaps, it should not be and, perhaps, it was not intended to be so at all.
Now, please do not get upset here and give me the benefit of doubt. Let’s look into the history of romance, marriage and soulmateship, OK?
This is a topic, by the way, that I have been obsessing about for some years and wrote about in my novel The House of the Beloved which I will be sending out to publishers soon right after I finalise my other publishing projects already with publishers.
Historically speaking, romantic love was an invention of twelfth-century troubadours from Provence in Southern France. The troubadours were the singing poets, who introduced the concept of loving a beautiful woman who was unattainable.
So, in times when marriages were arranged, the troubadours invented a courtly love, a romantic worship of a chosen beloved – not to marry her but to hold her as a romantic ideal of love that could be consummated only in secret and in great danger to the lovers.
Otherwise, they would argue, what was the point – just marriage for procreation? A boring proposition for any poet across time.
It was they who had invented secret meetings between lovers and who had glorified this sort of love. Thus in its origin, romantic love was often separate from duties of marriage at worst or just a precursor to childbearing. Either way, it was not intended as something that was meant to last – not in its romantic form anyway.
Still, that does not mean that we should resigned ourselves to a boring love life or worse a loveless life. In my life I have been very lucky and I am a big believer of allowing ourselves to experience each kind of love.
So let me share my journey with you.
In my life, I truly loved 3 men.
One, my first husband from Toronto, with that young love that is supposed to fulfil all your expectations of love in one person. This almost never works. Often, when so young we also project both our ideals and our faults at others and want them to complete us. You complete me, often heroes of romantic movies say.
My second love was a mad romance which like all great romances, had a tumultuous end (well, beginning, middle and end). But I have no regrets because who can blame years of great passion and sexual attraction – it is something to behold… and then let it go.
If you take passion to the limit, as I did, it will take you to many places where perhaps you would not choose to go, that wild ride, but also it will either burn itself out or burn you out.
Remember that Romantic Passion and morality can often clash.
My third love, is meeting of two souls, of great emotional, sensual and spiritual depth. If the experience of love can be graded – I would call it a higher love. This love can come only, after the experience of other loves.
That depth of understanding and baring each other’s beings from moment to moment is on a different scale altogether and comes from both experience and grace. It is sublime and grounded at the same time.
It is romantic because of the depth of feelings but it is wiser and more honest as it has an additional dimension to it of spiritual connection – something that a popular literature refers to as soulmateship.
It is my belief, however that it is almost impossible to get to this point without two prerequisites:
- Prior experiences of different types of love (including romance and passion)
- And even more importantly, without some form of spiritual practise such as, for example, meditation.
At the end, all love is a mirror of our state of heart, mind and soul and how could you have a soulmate without looking first into your soul and take responsibility for what is there?
I believe, that ultimately we attract partners to learn more about ourselves and grow spiritually (both on the human and divine level) and not to be perpetually entranced in each other’s presence (as sexy as it is).
Even the romantic and sexual entrancement is there for a while to show us that this elation is within us and the other only triggered it in us for a moment – that is why it can’t last in its present form. But it can last if we work on ourselves and find it within us and with practice stayed permanently established in that feeling.
Now, what does this mean for you, you can only know this.
If I were to give my younger Self an advice, this is what I would say to myself:
Remember, wherever you are you chose to be there.
Whatever other choice you would have made – it would also have had both positive and negative consequences.
If there is no growth or depth in the relationship – remember you chose to be there and you can choose to leave as well.
The only thing that truly matters is that you continue to grow and explore what love means to you.
Not the technicolour romance propagated by romance novels and Hollywood -although if you choose it – it will be exciting and will teach you many lessons.
Not necessarily marriage and childbirth – although if you chose it – it will have its rewards and satisfactions.
Not the one that asks you to sacrifice yourself over and over again – unless this is what you truly believe is what you want to experience in love.
And hopefully, not the one that worships you all the time because it is an infantile desire and there is no growth in it.
Whatever you choose, choose want makes your grow and what expands you –even if and especially if this is ot what you have heard or expected of love previously. That is the adventure of love.
Ask yourself – how would you like the mandala of your love look like now? And paint your mandala with your life.
Sending Love, Joanna
Dr Joanna Kujawa
This is a little preachy and pragmatic. I think this is your experience and certainly not mine. I’ve been in lust and love so many times and I’ve done yoga and mediation for years. All our paths are so different so any prescription is null and void. I understand this is your truth but certainly not mine. So many different levels of love, lust, sacred in he profane, but that’s my path.
Fair enough. I did not intend this to be preachy – just sharing where I am at this point. I completely understand that each of us has a diferent experience 🙂
I just think it’s important to note that this is YOUR journey and I love that you share it! Just different, which is why there are horse races right? Peace
I apologize if I came across too brusque. I have to analyze why I reacted so strongly. Maybe I’m too caught up in myself. Truly what I’m after is to lose this small ego self and enrich the true Self. I honestly want to encourage your journey and hope you understand. Peace
No problem G.:) We are here to discuss and connect. An opionionated blog on love is likely to bring up different feelings in different people. All good. 🙂 And truly, the purpose of this blog was to bring up this kind of feelings and give another look at something as complex, sublime and earthy as lust, love and spirit 🙂
Thank you, vulnerability in sharing something private is indeed courageous! I agree that there are different types of love & certainly lessons learned through each experience. I also agree spiritual practice enhances the depth of these experiences, I wonder if lust is a facet of love, or, is it the spirits way of bringing us to love?
Thank you for your comment Linda :). I think that both are true: lust is a facet of love and lust helps us to see each other albeit in a very intense way. I agree that all love experiences are important and it is important that we accept them and cherish them all. Sometimes, we blame ourselves for some experiences because they do not fit into what society tells us is valid in love. Love is love and it expands us and is always good for our Spirit and that totally includes lust.
WOW this is quite the topic for confusion! Love and lust. To me, love happens at the level of human emotion, when it’s a pleasant relationship, we call it love – when it turns to dust, we end up with broken hearts and unpleasant relationships, if we succumb to continue in the madness. Lust on the other hand is on the level of body, a conspiracy by nature to ensure progeny and continuation of our specie. So what’s love got to do with it ? – to answer Tina Turner’s super hit-song…well, I’m inclined to think nothing!! Love is love – not just romantic love, all kinds of love. Lust is lust – between two or more horny people whose hormones are still raging…not their fault, more nature’s I’d say! Sexuality on the other hand has become so madly convoluted, that now even when nature ends her madness, man wants to keep it going, with viagara, porn and what not!…But I agree (and appreciate) it was not only courageous to be vulnerable enough to self-disclose, but it pokes the reader to self-inspect on their own love lust, and lost journeys. For me, the article restores hope that perhaps a higher, spiritual, expanding, soulful love is worth the wait…that the stumbles and fumbles of FALLING in love will eventually help one to RISE in love. Thanks Sundari for as usual another thought-provoking message.
Thank you KS for your insightful comment. This is what makes writing this blog worthwhile – this kind of level of engagement. I remember our conversations on the topic especially wrt the hormones and how they can eventually wear off. I agree that the artificial holding on to lust or romance is not an answer. I think people are desperate to hold to these because they are not aware of the a different type of spiritual soulmateship (which can also be lusty if one chooses so). So I think that although I agree with you about the almighty hormones and their eventual passing which does not need to be mourned or artificially sustained. At the same time, I do not think that the distinction between love and lust is that simple. Lust can be a powerful part of love. Lust can bring unsuspected people together and take them on a mad spin which, incidentally, can also be a divine spin. I am carefully preparing to write a blog on Tantra – and that is one teaching that has a n unique perspective on love, lust, and spiritual experience. Once again, thank you for your great comment and engagement with the blog. 🙂 And yes, let’s rise in love as one of our teachers said 🙂