Being in love, as “a single soul inhabiting two bodies,” forms a natural bond of commitment.
What Is A Bond?
To better understand this co-creational power of attraction, let’s first dive down to the molecular level. According to an Oxford reference, a bond is “A strong force of attraction holding atoms together in a molecule or crystal. In general, atoms combine to form molecules by sharing or transferring electrons in their outer shells. Typically chemical bonds have energies of about 1000 kJ mol−1 and are distinguished from the much weaker forces between molecules.” See also covalent bond; electrovalent bond; hydrogen bond.
So there you have it! Even at an atomic level the power of attraction is the natural source of the energetic and biochemical composition of synchronizing oneness, from which everything material/physical exists and grows! What a dazzling metaphoric mirror of the spiritual to help us circle back around again to love!
A human relational parallel could go something like this: a relational bond is a strong force of attraction holding people together through shared feelings, interests, or experiences. If romantic, our epoxy would also include a blend of magnetics, fairy dust, and wanton hunger. As with atoms in and around a molecule, there are energetic forces invisibly making this bond stronger or weaker, more or less synchronizing, more or less stable.
With people in relationships, as with all sentient, earthbound life forms, such bonds extend across all parts of who they are (e.g. physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual for humans). And when a bond is formed from the love of a soulmate connection, its strength, along with its constituent elements, could be compared to the atoms within a molecule whose strength of attraction forms the molecule, while other forms of love and friendship the spaces in between them. Although there are, in some ways, as many kinds of bonds as there are relationships; I believe there are some characteristic qualities of the synchronizing, synergizing soulmate bond that distinguish it from all others.
After working with hundreds of couples and people searching for love, I’ve grown to believe that many have never experienced a soulmate bond; and either don’t believe it’s real, or try to make what they have seem like it is one, when it’s really their idealism or denial painting the picture they want to see. And many don’t seem to give a damn, selfish regarding whether or not they ever find it, as long as they have some kind of relationship to share. Some would call this settling, and there are a lot of reasons people might do this (e.g. economics, poor self worth, ignorance, convenience, comfort/familiarity, the wishes of others, good sex, illusion, etc.). I’ve definitely been guilty of this myself, as an amatory idealist seeing the best in everyone, until the truth knocked on my dreams and woke me up!
Understanding The Bond Of Commitment
A close friend was sharing with me the other day that she didn’t really get the whole commitment thing. She said she didn’t have any examples of it growing up, made some big mistakes in her early adult life, and knows what love is and various ways to express it, but isn’t “in love.” She said she is choosing to live the way she does for the benefit of others, but is also drawn to all the open spaces out there. Although she is doing her best to remain committed in her relationship, she doesn’t have the natural commitment that being in love brings.
***At this point I think it is important to share that I believe all consenting adults have the right to choose whatever kind of relationship they want — whether or not it involves love, monogamy, or commitment. I also believe that all versions and configurations of sexual preference, gender identity, or the absence thereof are equally as valid and respectable.
So if people don’t give a flying furbelow about whether or not they ever fall in love, or if they don’t choose to be in a committed relationship, then it is just important that they are clear about this within themselves, share it with prospective partners, and understand some implications of their choices. But if they do want to share love while in love with someone, or understand what this is like, and/or if they are struggling with the concept of commitment in relationships, then they may be at least mildly intrigued by what follows.
So what the hecklephone is a commitment? To me a commitment is a promise or pledge to do something with someone for a specified period of time (e.g. 1 year, ’til death do us part, etc.). In intimate partner relationships, such commitments can be mutual and reciprocal (as in most traditional marriages) or they can be individualized and flexible (like polyamory, open relationships, or a virtually limitless range of non-traditional relationship configurations). Another definition of commitment could be “the state or quality of being dedicated to a person, cause, activity, etc. — a pledge or undertaking.” If you are in a committed relationship, then the commitment, in part, is defined by the type of relationship you’re in. So, since virtually every non-traditional relationship has a different set of expectations and definitions, the range of commitment types within them are equally as widespread.
Being IN LOVE Creates A Natural Commitment
For those sharing monogamous heart-centered love relationships, I believe the commitments are naturally form from the oneness of this love — the single soul inhabiting two bodies. I don’t see it as something we need to create or develop, but rather something that is already there — like the love itself. If a relationship is formed from this love, then this will take time, but the love itself is already there, like a glistening emerald, waiting to be found. When sharing it, our beloved is just as much a part of who we are as we ourselves are, and the natural bond of our commitment is as much with us as it is to them. This kind of natural commitment doesn’t exist within love based on potential, because, in such relationships, the love is for a future possibility, not the person we’re with right now. And natural commitments can’t be built on possibilities (a commitment based on possibilities would need to be artificially constructed). This could be hard for people to relate to if they have never experienced the natural commitment that occurs when sharing monogamous heart-centered love. I’m sure versions of it exist within other configurations of committed relationships as well, if heart-centered love is being shared and the lines of commitment are clear.
Commitments that naturally occur in monogamous relationships can also be seen in other non-human animals. Morgan Greenwald, in “25 Adorable Animals that Mate for Life,” writes that, according to the World Wildlife Foundation, about 5% of all mammals and 90% of birds choose one partner for life. From sea horses and swans to gray foxes and gibbons, these lifers are presented in this post. In “11 Monogamous Animals that Mate for Life,” Claire Nowak says we can all learn relationship lessons from a wide variety of animals that mate for life. She says, regarding macaroni penguins that, “These adorable couples dance when they see each other, called “an ecstatic display.” They puff up their chests, swing their heads side to side, and make a gurgling-like sound. Once their baby is born, the father looks after the chick while the mother hunts for food.”
Check out her post to find out more about the monogamous creatures that stay together for life. These, along with a flock of other posts, describe how mating for life, monogamy, and relationship commitments occur naturally and are not unique to humankind.
*The point here is that, whether formalized or not, such commitments occur naturally from the bond; whereas other commitments are artificially and formally constructed as a verbal or written pledge or promise. Obviously these mammals and birds don’t have written agreements, and only they really know what they communicate through their own languages, actions, and vibratory energies; but their choice to mate for life seems organic, as is ours when it derives from heart-centered love.
How Our Greatest Strength Can Become Our Greatest Weakness And Undermine The Naturalness Of Commitment
Although humans, based on their own measures, have the potential for greater conscious awareness, intelligent behavior, and cognitive control than non-human animals; they can also use these evolutionary gifts to defend against, deny, and destroy any semblance of the truth. My general definition of truth is: that which is natural without being altered. Now non-human animals, plants, the earth, and its elements are comprised of non-material consciousness and are conscious in the sense that they are aware of and responsive to their surroundings; but most of them do not appear to have the capacity for being consciously aware of their own consciousness. . In other words they, in their own way, are awake to what surrounds them, but they cannot observe themselves in this awareness or operate based on such self awareness. So I guess we could say they have external but not internal awareness.
So humans may be the only earthly entities capable of altering that which is natural — twisting the truth into something it is not — as this is an internal cognitive process. I believe humans were given the ability to self observe and internally process higher consciousness in order to bring their developing understanding of the universe into their own conscious awareness, and then share this knowledge with the world to help it evolve. Instead, this ability is underutilized, while elements of it — the self-observing parts — are used in the service of the human ego.
How Ego Issues And Defenses Can Block Access To Natural Commitments
When, through our life experiences, we develop ego issues and their supporting defenses, we may begin denying truth and replacing it with illusion. Such issues might include 1. fears of not being good enough, 2. fears of being mistreated, 3. fears of being controlled, 4. fears of being lied to, and 5. fears of being abandoned. These issues could play out through 1. Hypersensitivity to criticism or settling for less in relationships; 2. blaming others for mistreating us when they’re not and seeing unfairness in normal or neutral situations; 3. Believing others are trying to control us when they’re not; 4. Believing that trustworthy people are untrustworthy; and 5. Always believing that others, especially relationship partners, are going to leave us; respectively. Defenses supporting these issues could include 1. Needing to be right, being a know-it-all, and being judgmental; 2. Acting like a victim and falsely accusing others of abusing us; 3. Trying to control everyone and everything and feeling controlled when we can’t; 4. Falsely accusing others of breaking our trust and then altering our relationship with them based on our misinterpretations; and 5. Being hypersensitive to possibly losing a relationship partner, reacting as if every little thing is a threat to our relationship, and accusing our partner of wanting to leave us in the absence of any truth that supports this; respectively.
If our awareness of truth is altered by such ego issues and defenses, then a natural commitment may not be accessible from our love. (because it would be blocked by the perceptual filters created by the ego issues and defenses). Unresolved trauma issues may also prevent the realization of a natural commitment.
How Unresolved Trauma Issues Prevent The Creation Of Natural Commitments
As discussed in the post “Trauma Ties,” here are some insights regarding the effects of unresolved trauma issues on cognitive/emotional perception, vulnerability, and conscious awareness of truth. And as you may know or have imagined, the stress response of survival mode along with trauma triggers do not allow for continuous access to real love, much less a natural commitment deriving from it (because of situational distortions, an inability to remain emotionally vulnerable, and the derailing of higher consciousness by fear).
Have you ever noticed that, when caught in the clutches of a stressful moment, some people freak out and do exactly the opposite of what they really want to do, what is in their best interest, and what supports their goals and dreams? If they’ve experienced heavy trauma — especially during their childhood — then reaction patterns like these may keep them tethered to familiar people and situations from or like their past — keep them running back to the bondage of those familiar trauma ties. Anyone can trigger into survival mode (stress response) when experiencing stress, but for those with serious trauma histories, survival mode may not only automatically catapult them back in time into the reliving or re-enactment of a past trauma, but it may also make the most familiar elements of the past seem safe and comfortable during the survival mode moments (because of their familiarity) — even if they cause pain, or were themselves the source of all or part of the trauma. And, for them, this all takes place automatically, usually seems justified in the moment, and then, after the smoke from the illusion of a fire clears, they’re often shocked by what they have done. And if it involved a relatively new relationship partner, friend, or job; then they may fear they have done too much damage, are “too fucked up,” or may lack the strength to turn it all around. If this happens, then they may expand the range of what they do within their safety zone, but remain tethered to its familiarity and perceived comfort — bound to the past and its present-day constituents by their invisible trauma ties.
Dr. Michael Levy writes, “An individual may also seek out a person who is like a past abuser and reenact a past traumatic relationship out of a need to change the other person in order to feel better about herself. For example, a woman who was abused by her father and who blamed herself for this found herself in a relationship with an abusive man. The woman’s unconscious attraction to this person was rooted in a desire to get him to treat her well, which, if successful, would have ameliorated her feelings of self-blame and badness. She never succeeded, however, and a reenactment occurred. Although her effort was an attempt to master an earlier conflict, it was a maladaptive one: she continued to be involved in a destructive relationship where her needs were never met.” So even though she was subconsciously trying to master the past trauma through a current relationship — by seeking the familiar and trying to create a different outcome — it backfired, and re-created the past in the present. Dr. Levy further explains, “For many victims of childhood abuse, dealing with other people on an intimate basis is a high-arousal state because past relationships have been marked by terror, anxiety, and fear. As a result, when establishing relationships, they avoid novelty and form relationships that, even if destructive, are similar to past ones.” This can also help us understand why traumatized people often run from relationships that are notably different from the abusive one — that don’t contain the destructive elements they are trying to gain a sense of mastery over, and that are healthy, functional, and unconditionally loving.
When those with unresolved trauma issues experience such stress or trauma triggers, due to the dramatically varying nature of their perceptions and beliefs, they are usually not even able to maintain a sense of safety and trust in their relationship over time, much less a natural commitment from love.
So, if we fall in love with someone with ego issues or unresolved trauma concerns, as with addictions, narcissism, or insecurities; we may be falling in love with their potential, not with them.
***It is vitally important to remember that these are the people we want to open our hearts to through the offering of professional services, community support, or friend/family encouragement; but NOT THROUGH AN INTIMATE PARTNER RELATIONSHIP!
Why Falling In Love With Potential Doesn’t Work
If we fall in love with the potential of what someone could be someday maybe, then a natural commitment will not occur, because its foundation is not there yet. This can also leave people wanting more, since the potential for something can’t meet our needs. I mean, think about it. If you’re starving and have the potential for a raw organic kale salad and have no freaking idea if you’re ever gonna get it, then how well will your hunger get satisfied and nutritional needs met?
Many relationship problems start when we fall in love with what someone could be sometime in the future, instead of who they are right now.
In “Falling In Love With Potential,” Tamara Angela says “I have a horrible habit of falling for a person’s potential. A horrible habit. I like to see the best in people, and because this is real life and not a Looney Tunes cartoon, there are no true bad guys. Everyone has redeeming qualities. Everyone. And that’s where I mess up. Somehow, I focus on the good and hope that the not so good gets better. Then the romantic and the dreamer in me wants to believe that those not so shining qualities will improve over time and that love itself will help us to triumph over all.”
Monica Torres, in “Why We Owe It To Ourselves To Stop Falling In Love With Potential” says “When I was in my late teens, I dated someone that struggled with addiction. I was not aware of the severity of the issue and I chose to take a ‘strength-based approach’ and focus on the positive because when you’re nineteen and an idiot, love conquers all. While he was flawed, he was good-looking and charismatic with a sense of humor. I chose to minimize his crippling anxiety and insecurity and instead focus on the man he could become with just some tender loving care and a dash of codependency. Although addiction has roughly a 10% recovery rate, I was certain that my relentless effort and dashing good looks would overcome trivial forces, such as human nature and scientific findings. When I finally ended the relationship because I could no longer ignore how unhealthy the situation was, he made a profound statement that changed the way I approached dating moving forward:
‘You fell in love with my potential.’
He was absolutely right- I fell in love with everything he could be if he could overcome addiction, if he improved his self-worth, if he could only cope with his insecurity and treat me as a partner rather than a possession- but he couldn’t. I was merely tolerating who he was in the present because I was in love with the person I believed he would become in the future.
Throughout this process, I learned that there is no greater waste of one’s time than to fall in love with potential.”
So if we fall in love with someone’s potential, then we’re trying to connect with something that isn’t there. Seems like a no-brainer to make sure we connect with someone, in heart-centered love, who is already what we want and what we need.
Healthy fulfilling relationships derive from what is there right now.
The Benefits Of Heart-Centered Love and How To Recognize It
Since relationships based on future potential or love lookalikes have been linked to early mental decline, depression and diabetes; focusing on the health of our hook-ups may prevent the premature evacuation of our faculties. Life, for all of us, comes preloaded with its share of bumps in the road. When we share it with another, we are bound to experience some stress, conflict, or challenges along the way. If we are in a superficial or unfulfilling relationship, one based more on potential or settling than a heart-centered love connection, and find ourselves longing for the deeper love our spirits crave; then we could be visited by a variety of additional health concerns. We need real love, from a natural spiritual source, in order to be healthy. Such love is commonly referred to as Fourth Chakra, or heart-centered love, and is an element of soulmate love. Many confuse the emotions and sensuality of Second Chakra connections with the spiraling fusion of Fourth Chakra love. Second Chakra connections are always a part of Fourth Chakra love, but Second Chakra connections alone do not contain Fourth Chakra love. Why settle for Cheetos and Coke when you could be savoring some rosemary goat cheese with a natural organic red!
All of us have connected to another with second chakra energy. We feel the high of being with the person and we can’t wait to take the relationship sexual. This is a purely human energy center that moves in a straight line, we meet, we have sex and we are now in a relationship. These relationships are intense and feel like the real deal until about six months to a year later when we begin to see things about the person we didn’t notice because we were literally high on endorphins. Second chakra energy is only about connecting (period). It is NOT about love. Often times in second chakra relationships we continue to move in a straight line even when we notice things aren’t working out. We met, had sex, have a relationship so now we must marry and have kids. Love hasn’t entered the picture at all. So when things begin to fall apart, we begin to attempt to change our partners and the battle begins. Many people call this love and settle for these types of relationships as love.
Real love is found two chakras up the chakra system in the fourth Chakra the heart. The heart is a purely spiritual chakra. The energy of the heart moves in spirals. It’s full of twists and turns. The heart says, I want to get to know you, that takes time and in that time I’m going to see you and decide if I can accept you just as you are, if I can, I will move a bit closer to you and see what I sense from that point of view. The circle dance begins and our energies begin to evolve around one another. As we circle things shift and change and if we can stay connected through these challenges, then we know our love can support a relationship. Now, when a couple has sex after taking the time to get to know each other slowly and allowing the relationship to evolve to the point where it physically manifests the love; WHOA! Spinning, spiraling energy flows between them in a deeply connected circle dance of acceptance. Satisfying both partners on a soul level (starting with the spiritual connection, and then, over time, extending to the heart, mind, and body).
If a commitment exists in this love, then it is as natural as the open acceptance, tingling energy, and expanded awareness of our spirits; the joy, inspiration, and peace within our hearts; the stimulation, communication, and understanding in our minds; and the comfort, sweet eroticism, and mutual responsiveness of our bodies.
So here are a few things that might help you recognize heart-centered love:
- It is based upon the synchronicity of our spiritual connection, not just emotions or sex.
- It is based on what’s there right now, not what could be there someday maybe.
- Our spiritual presence and energy center are bigger, brighter, and better when they are with us.
- We feel like a part of us is missing when we’re away from them (not because of insecurity, but because they are now a part of us.
- We care more about them than we do ourselves.
- We become aware of things simultaneously (intuitively, energetically, naturally), without words or actions, and are able to share and confirm these realizations/experiences.
- Our home is being with them.
- We have a newfound patience, tolerance, and depth of understanding.
- We feel stronger, need less sleep, and have a better immune system.
- With them we are a better version of ourselves and they are a better version of themselves.
- Things just feel natural and remain manageable — despite life’s challenges.
- They expand who we are as we expand who they are.
- These things don’t go away after 6-12 months — they get stronger over time.
*Sharing such a love doesn’t guarantee that a relationship can be established from it, but if relationship compatibility and life circumstances coincide with such a love, and a relationship develops based on it; then this natural commitment will likely be part of the love. And, again, when sharing this love we don’t think about establishing a commitment, it is just something that is naturally there. We don’t want anyone else, because we have found our real home.
You might also enjoy:
“I love you and that’s the beginning and end of everything.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
“That Love is all there is, is all we know of Love.”
— Emily Dickinson
“Love is a friendship set to music.”
— Joseph Campbell
“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star.”
– E.E Cummings
“Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away.”
– Elbert Hubbard
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
– Lao Tzu
“I think perhaps I will always hold a candle for you – even until it burns my hand. And when the light has long since gone. I will be there in the darkness holding what remains, quite simply because I cannot let go.”
– Ranata Suzuki
“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.”
— Barbara De Angelis
“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
— Henry David Thoreau
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“The minute I heard my first love story – I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere – they’re in each other all along.”
“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”
“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.”
— Noah from The Notebook
“Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”” – Khalil Gibran
“We are the leaves of one branch, the drops of one sea, the flowers of one garden.”
— Jean Baptiste Henry Lacordaire
Photo Credit: Liam Quinn