Unlock the Secret in Romantic Love

Romantic Love : The Great Gauntlet

Joseph Campbell speaks about four great opportunities in life through which all enlightenment can be attained. He lists romantic love as one of these.

I remember pedestalling romantic love in my youth. Every movie, every book, every fairytale lead to the hero taking the maiden by the hand at the end of his challenging journey. The hero’s story was the journey ‘to love’. What the authors failed to tell us was that the heroes growth had just begun. We see them blissfully riding off into the sunset and we never see what befalls them. So, we make up our minds that glorious sunsets are what we are after.

In truth, the most courageous thing any of us can do, is to go down the road ‘of love’. That is where the adventure really begins. And what comes with adventure? Excitement, challenges, celebration, sorrow, loss… And renewal. Renewal if we allow the adventure of love to forge our heart and ways that were not us yesterday.

In loving another human being we invite an obstacle course like no other. And what we do on obstacle courses? We laugh, we cry, we want to give up, we want another shot… And we happened upon a daily conundrum: “where do I place this obstacle course in my spirit?”

We can curse it and leave it behind… And no one would fault you for that. After all, people fall from the great adventure everyday. They settle for shanties and shacks on the side of the road. Or one can proudly proclaim, ‘I am a fool. And while I am doing love, I am allowing love to do me.’

The celebration, along with the pain, sweat, and tears are what obstacle courses are about. Some curse the great adventure and their story is always the same, “I gave up on love, because love gave up on me.” They tried to love as they loved yesterday. Where Romantic muscles could have formed, instead are scars. In attempting  to remain the same, without acknowledging gratitude for the adventure … there is bitterness.

I have sat, and held hands with those who have outlived their partners. And I want to share this with you. They miss the arguments, the disagreements and the pit falls as much as they miss the light. They would relive every smiling and screaming moment of it.

All the experience of loving shapes us… If we allow it.

You don’t have to be courageous .. ‘The path that challenges also provides’.

… take the path.

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