Process of Illumination

Where Does My Love Go?

Every once in a while, I pull a card from one of the many Tarot or Angel Card decks I have. One of my favourites is the OSHO Transformation Tarot. I like it because, in addition to the simple explanation of the card meaning, it also offers parables and teaching stories from the worlds greatest wisdom traditions including Zen, Buddhism, Sufism, Tantra, Tao, Christian and Jewish mysticism, which helps to put the overall theme of the card into context.

I pulled a card today because, as I mentioned last week, I’m still experiencing the effects of a major shift. Perhaps it has to do with the Cardinal Grand Cross, which  will be peaking tomorrow (April 23rd) but, whatever it is, it’s unbelievably intense and it’s been immensely challenging for me, emotionally, over the past 2 days, in particular. Remember when I wrote last week in “Vancouver: My Step-City” about re-tracing my steps and re-evaluating an old issue and seeing it more clearly? Well, that theme is most definitely playing out this week and, as I suspected, it has to do with my relationships with men.

Without going into too much dramatic detail, let’s just say that I’m now beginning to understand and appreciate my own capacity for love and, to be honest, it’s pretty overwhelming.

I discovered this because I’m being forced to come to terms with the fact that I’ve been holding a space in my heart for someone who has moved on. I held this space for him because our love and our connection was so great… we were/are “soul-mates” and I truly believed that it would “conquer all”. There was little doubt in my mind that, somehow, someday, we would find each other again and I was willing to be patient because, at the same time, I believed we both had our separate journeys to travel and much to learn as individuals. I hoped that our personal growth and time apart would only help us to become better partners for one another. At least that’s how I chose to approach it.

I know, many people would find this very foolish, even pathetic. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but the truth is that I have willingly and knowingly hit the pause button on pursuing other relationships because it still doesn’t seem real to me that he is no longer “mine”, not to mention the fact that the idea of not having him in my life in some capacity, at least, seems unfathomable. But, to be honest, the choice not to date still feels right to me. I’m happy I haven’t just jumped into another relationship or engaged in meaningless sex because a) it’s not me and b) I’ve been putting all my energy into building a life that I absolutely love. It has been a tremendous investment in Self-Love (which has the bonus of having a wonderful trickle-down effect), so I do not regret it for a moment.

However, even though I’ve done so much work on myself and I’m finally equipped to be the partner that I always wanted to be, I must be honest with myself and the truth is, if I am to examine the current circumstances with my former love objectively, it’s time to accept that our relationship has changed.

Of course, when any relationship ends, there is a grieving process and we all know what that feels like. It sucks. At times, it’s as if the pain of it might split us in two. Unfortunately, this process rarely happens cleanly or all at once. It often comes in waves and stages and just when we think we are doing okay and moving forward, our unconscious mind/the universe offers us an opportunity to peel off another layer of our armour and dig deeper into our unresolved issues.

Well, that’s what happened to me this week. After a brief and comfortable chance meeting with my ex-love, I found myself feeling encouraged and more ready than ever to make the transition toward developing a true friendship. At the same time, however, it caused me to revisit all those old memories and loving feelings once again, which has been very emotional, to say the least.  But here’s the thing… it has also helped me to understand something.

As I was allowing myself to fully embrace the emotions that come with grieving the old stage of our relationship, what I noticed is that my self-talk went something like this:

“I wonder if he has any idea of how much love he’s leaving behind.”

“I just feel like I’ve been saving up such incredible, boundless, unconditional love for him and now I have nowhere to put it.”

“All this Self-Love work has increased my capacity to love exponentially and as long as he still seemed like an option I was comforted that, someday, I could shower him with it, once again. But now, if he is no longer an option, that love feels overwhelming. I’ve learned to channel my love energy into so many areas and it’s been incredible but, the truth is, I can only paint so much… write so much… enjoy my children so much… travel so much… chant so much…enjoy my friends so much… work so much… improve my home so much… I feel like I’m at “maximum love capacity” in most other areas of my life and even with my passion  and expression for all of those things I still have WAY too much love left over…And it was meant for him. I saved it for him. What am I supposed to do with it now?”

I found that so interesting. As much as I’m coming to terms with the possibility of having him in my life in a new way, one of the main concerns I have is “What am I going to do with all this love?”

I don’t have the answer to that yet but, thankfully, the card I pulled served to really validate what I’m feeling. I know that the rational advice someone would be inclined to give is “Don’t waste any more of your energy or love on him. Re-direct it. Get on with your life.” And while that may be true, it’s so much easier said than done. I really liked the perspective that this card offers. It’s like I have permission,  through this transition period and as long as I still feel love for him, to continue to honour it, somehow.

The card I picked was “Conscience”. Here’s what it said:

Society goes on telling you, “This is right, and that is wrong”–that is Conscience. It becomes ingrained, implanted in you. You go on repeating it. “That is worthless; that is not the real thing”. The real thing is your own consciousness. It carries no ready-made answers about what is wrong and what is right, no. But immediately, in what-ever situation arises, it gives you light –you know immediately what to do.

Mary Magdalene and the Priceless Perfume

Jesus went to visit the home of Mary Magdalene. Mary was deeply in love. She poured very precious perfume on his feet–the whole bottle. It was rare perfume; it could have been sold. Judas immediately objected. He said, “You should prohibit people from doing such nonsense. The whole thing is wasted, and there are people who are poor and who don’t have anything to eat. We could have distributed the money to poor people.” 

What did Jesus say? He said, “You don’t be worried about it. The poor and the hungry will always be here, but I will be gone. You can serve them always and always–there is no hurry–but I will be gone. Look at the love, not at the precious perfume. Look at Mary’s love, her heart.” 

With whom will you agree? Jesus seems to be very bourgeois and Judas seems to be perfectly economical. Judas is talking about the poor, and Jesus simply says, “I will be gone soon, so let her heart do whatsoever she wants and don’t bring your philosophy in.” 

Ordinarily your mind will agree with Judas. He was a very cultured man–sophisticated, a thinker. And he betrayed–he sold Jesus for thirty silver pieces. But when Jesus was crucified, he started feeling guilty. That’s how a good man functions–he started feeling very guilty, his conscience started pricking him. He committed suicide. 

He was a good man, he had a conscience. But he had no consciousness. This distinction has to be felt deeply. Conscience is borrowed, given by the society; consciousness is your attainment. The society teaches you what is right and what is wrong: do this and don’t do that. It gives you the morality, the code, the rules of the game–that is your conscience. Outside, the constable; inside, the conscience –that is how the society controls you. 

Judas had a conscience, but Jesus had consciousness. Jesus was more concerned with the love of the woman, Mary Magdalene. It was such a deep thing that to prevent her would be wounding her love; she would shrink within herself. Pouring the perfume on Jesus’ feet was just a gesture. Behind it, she was saying. “This is all that I have–the most precious thing I have. To pour water won’t be enough; it is too cheap. I would like to pour my heart, I would like to pour my whole being….” 

But Judas was a man of conscience: he looked at the perfume and he said, “It is costly.” He was completely blind to the woman and her heart. The material is the perfume, the immaterial is the love. But the immaterial Judas could not see. For that, you need eyes of consciousness.

When I read this, I wept. To be prevented from showing one’s love feels like prison. When the people we love don’t know how to interpret our love language it hurts very deeply. I have done things, gestures, for people I love, such as Mary pouring the perfume, which have been dismissed, misjudged or even laughed at… and when that happens… when you have offered a piece of yourself to someone, only to have it fall flat, misunderstood or rejected…well….There’s nothing worse. “It was such a deep thing that to prevent her would be wounding her love.”

Love is energy. It has to flow inward and outward. My love for my former partner feels like it’s been rejected and is now in limbo but it has to flow somewhere so, for now, it’s flowing through me and onto a canvas. I’m painting a portrait of him. Crazy? Maybe. But, right now, it’s the best thing I can think of to honour the love I still feel.