The past few weeks I have started to feel different, very different. I am not courageous enough to describe the shift I am going through for fear my use of words may manipulate this experience. I don’t even want to speak of it to the people around me. But in this experience I picked up a few readings which I fell in love with and really want to share.
Losing someone is a very painful experience. I am mourning as He is, and they are….everyone has and will. One can be detached from the outcome of forever but still pledge it and accept that nature, the universe, God, fate (however you call it) has a way of order. And the order will always be nourishing for your development if you live from your true nature (with a compassionate spirit, living in the moment, living with acceptance). I met someone over a 30minute lunch and was moved by the most obvious simple thing he said. Yet at the time and place it meant something, then the next moment he was gone. But his words has stayed with me. As soon as he said those 5 words, I said ‘Now I know why I met you.’ And he nodded his head. I don’t know where he is, all I remember he was a Dutch fisherman/sailorman.
Hilaz and I had a beautiful beautiful relationship, admired by many who knew me. We became one. There was little self, it was always us. I met him many years ago and within the first few meetings we knew we had a strong strange platonic connection. Our love was unconditional, very mature, and divine in many ways. Souls merged. But we lived with a certain degree of detachment, knowing that we will love wholly irrespective of outcome. There was no need for forever. Each day in the moment was enough. I wrote in my book in the context of loss ‘One can love wholly without the condition of forever. Love is not conditioned by indefinite time. Love anyway, however short or long. Love wholly. Such detachment from the ever-lasting outcome of forever creates acceptance and happiness. When the physical construct of the one beheld is long gone, you know the soul remains’ His does. And ours is a beautiful story. I can’t tell my story without telling you about him first.
I also share this type of love with my brother Amir and my Chacha Ismail – and other people as well in less obvious ways.
Separate as individuals, United in Love
How does one remain detached yet give completely to a relationship?
This is a paradox. A healthy relationship allows both individuals to grow individually, to pursue his/her own identity, to maximise his/her own potentials. This is a part of being detached. When you can maximise this because your other half encourages it and expands it for you, you will inevitably be bound to him/her because all of it is such a beautiful feeling, you will give wholly and completely.
Individual identity, growth and space is very important. It is also important to accept that the way you are is perfect the way you are. You are quite capable without a partner. It’s not a condition for happiness. Therefore if you love someone from a sense of completion, you are not loving another from an individual need you want fulfilled. You are loving that person for that person alone.
Of course in practice it is difficult to completely love out of being complete in yourself – but being aware of it can go a long way.
The other thing I can add but find difficult to expand further in words is when there is detachment in love, there is freedom and space. I think this freedom is a birthright and very natural to people (oh and a beautiful one) and can lead to spiritual, intellectual, and emotional development. Think about it; the freedom to have your own conscience, the freedom to learn anything, to move without restriction. It is a beautiful feeling, a gift almost. Inevitably because the freedom is so maximising in so many ways, you will tend to bind yourself to the person who gives it to you. Now take the word ‘bind’ in its larger meaning, not attachment, but unconditional love. The freedom in the relationship to grow as individuals makes you more bonded lovers. Its a paradox – freedom of option and of creation leaves you the one most obvious choice- I think the saying is ‘If you love someone let him go, if he comes back he’s yours, that’s how you will know’
The Sufi Path of Love
There is a way of loving the world; being in love with it. Sometimes I feel this sense of euphoria – which sounds eccentric and insane but is surprisingly extremely calming. The last time I felt it was just tonight; whilst I was crossing the field I breathed in (I always take deep breaths when I hear,see, smell something beautiful) and smelt the density of wet soil…then I remembered one late evening walking down the same field I saw little insects leaping forward with every step I took and felt it was all so beautiful.
What if you felt that with other people? I always tell my friends how in love I am with my brother. It is an odd word yes…but it is how I feel. I feel the same way towards my Ismail as well – actually even more so because he is such a beautiful person in heart, such a beautiful person.
This is the Sufi Path of Love. Once taken relationships become different. As human beings we feel the need to be certain about things, and we tend to categorise things, people and relationships. So for instance if this man is my father, therefore he will behave a certain way to me, I to him and we can only share certain things with each other. Physical affection after a certain degree becomes quite disgusting etc… If this woman is a stranger, I will not trust her, it would be odd for me to smile at her, I won’t hug her as soon as she tells me her name. These categorisations are categorisations that has risen out of social expectations and need for definition, hierarchy, certainty. It is easier if we all know where we are in the social web and how we interact with each other.
It doesn’t make it natural. It’s nurtured. The Sufi Path to a large extent does away with all these assumptions and barriers. It doesn’t tell you what a relationship should be like, it doesn’t require any definition or if human language requires a definition it is an all-inclusive one. Actually this is not difficult to grasp and is widely practiced. Today’s mothers are love advisors, best-friends and guardians to their daughters. My brother is my friend, my younger brother, sometimes my older brother, he is a man who puts things in perspective for me, I can hold him like a someone holds a lover with great ease … we do not interact using our age or educational differences or kinship as a gauge of how to speak to each other or how we respect each other. We are just two beings with a free flow of energy, thoughts, love and words between each other. We are receiving and giving with ease.
My Ismail is another man I am not sure what kind of relationship I have with him. Is he My Uncle, legal guardian, mentor, foster father, best-friend, or my child? But this is it, when I love someone completely and allow a free-flowing connection between me and the person, such definitions are unnecessary or if not completely artificial and restrictive. A Sufi saying goes that after such a connection between two people, it is hard to discern who is the lover and who the beloved, who is the teacher and who the student…..
This is also my answer to people who think it is unnatural for me to be married to a person and intentionally live away from him. The ‘family home’ is a social construct. And we are dynamic enough as human beings to create other ways of being with another. (Btw, I am not married, or at least I know I didn’t do it drunk in Vegas, or did I? Joking. Really I haven’t been to Vegas)
I will write more in the coming days!