Two years ago, I met a person and felt this whoosh of love. It was immediate, giant, and unlike anything I've experienced in the past. I wasn't remotely looking for love. I was in the process of separating from my 26-year marriage to a man. She's a woman, I'm a woman. I've always fully accepted gay people but I'd never questioned my own sexuality before, so I was and am baffled. I knew her in a professional way but we'd see each other around town and flirt and chat.
Then about a year later, she married her long time partner. I'm still here feeling that longing, that whoosh, and I have absolutely no idea what happened to me! When I met her, my life was in meltdown: illness, separation, moving etc., and then the huge mystery of THAT, the all-consuming rush of feeling. I question this because I'm not a frivolous person who pines after unavailable people. Well, I guess I am, because I'm pining after her, an unavailable person. But mostly what I want to know about is that whoosh of energy right upon meeting. It was like a huge wave, it was electrifying, immediate. It was love, and what do I do now?
Life is a journey of self-discovery AND of self-creation. The electric shock, the “whoosh” you describe, is indeed, as you yourself said, nothing other than LOVE. It was Cupid’s magnetizing arrow, a bolt of cosmic life force, the strongest energy in existence. As happened to you, it usually hits us—bulls-eye in the depths of heart and soul—precisely when we aren’t looking for it. And what do you do now, indeed?
You embrace, with gratitude, the gift from the cosmos, designed to show you that you are still fully capable of being lovestruck, even after all you’ve been through in your previous relationship. It’s a miraculous reminder that you are in a brand new beginning that’s only disguised as an ending. It’s a timely reminder that you are still profoundly and cracklingly ALIVE when it comes to romantic longing, shakti-force, lust, eros, and sensuality.
Beyond taking that reminder to heart, what you do is just commit to undergoing the experience. The experience will do the work for you of learning the lessons. Experience the experience. Feel the feelings (yes, feel them fully—embrace them!), and learn the lessons. Other than that, you do absolutely nothing. You just sit in the uncomfortable complexity of all you’ve shared here, and expand into full embodiment of these new truths about who you are.
Eventually it will become more comfortable to embody all of who you are. A woman with these feelings for someone who is unavailable; a woman in the final throes of a divorce; and a woman who has newly woken up to a freer, fuller, vaster expression of your sexuality. With these things more or less reconciled within you, and the container of who you are broadened, that is when the lesson will have been learned.
Our soul measures a successful life by different terms than our culture does. For instance, the soul measures according to how much we grow, how much we learn, how much we self-actualize, how much we evolve, how much we expand, how courageously we live our authentic truth, how much we “give,” and how much we bring forth what’s within us to be brought forth. The soul has no interest in whether or not we “land” a given love interest.
Love is that galvanizing whoosh you described, and then immediately that whoosh becomes a cane hooked around our neck, yanking us into love’s classroom. And there we take a front row seat, whether we like what we are learning there, or not.
Because love is a force stronger than our will-power, we will always be compelled to stay put in that seat. Again, we might not like it, we may try to use our will-power to flee, but ultimately it’s as if we are hi-jacked, through love’s magic, into a new and unexpected course of study.
Love is the lure, the beacon, the magnet, the draw, the cane around our neck, inviting—allowing for—the lessons of love to have their way with us. When love beckons, we will follow its lead, even if no actual physical relationship emerges. For love really just wants to command our attention and is perfectly happy to teach us what we are meant to learn, even with the object of our desire totally absent.
What is love, really? It’s an energy force, the most powerful in existence. It permeates the quantum reality, forms the content of the cosmic consciousness, is the stuff of the “invisible realm” that surrounds us. We ARE love, just as much as we experience it, just as much as we give and receive love in our lives, and just as much as we know it when we see it. AND love is also an ultra-strong, undeniable feeling that takes hold of us.
Love is a force stronger than our own will-power, that’s for sure. It highlights the limitations we ourselves have over the full control of our lives. The fact that we create our own reality does not equal *controlling* it. Love pries and cracks us open, blowing new winds into our sails, letting in slivers of light where before there was darkness. Love does this whether we were looking for that or not.
As we’ve all learned the hard way, love is most certainly NOT a guarantee of anything panning out or even having a remote chance of blossoming romantically. Love can obviously ignite into partnership. But love can just as soon be entirely one-sided and unrequited. Love can be fully felt by two parties, yet not acted upon by one or both. The options are endless, for the forms love takes comprise a vast spectrum.
Generally, the outcome of the sort of whoosh you felt will veer far from the “happily ever after” plotlines of fairy tales and romantic comedies. You’ve obviously already lived the proof of that in your 26-year relationship, a sacred contract that ran its course and is now dissolving.
All in all, love is our greatest teacher and our greatest tool for personal transformation. So along with the electric charge of love you have experienced, you have officially been inducted into a powerful teaching.
Love is a burst of life force coursing through us, forcing us to attend to it. Love catalyzes an excitement and a giddiness within us. It brings an enhanced sense of promise and possibility to our everyday. It adds vitality, pixie dust, and juice to our lives, brightening things up exponentially. Even if the object of our desire has no idea of any of this.
Along with these energizing perks, love also brings its shadowy counterpart. The magic is accompanied by grave discomfort. The excitement doubles as anxiety. We second-guess our feelings, we second-guess our desirability, we might question the soundness of our heartmath, or even of our very sanity.
We decide we’re not good enough for this love to be reciprocated: “Perhaps if I were more of this or that I would be chosen!” OR, “Perhaps, rather, I’m too much of this or that.” And these lessons, ultimately, brought forth so predictably by love’s beckon, become a matter of our needing to commit to a deeper mastery of our relationship to ourselves! These sorts of lessons become a call to love ourselves more.
The thing is, once love has beckoned, we women especially can tend to become quite attached to the object of our desire. We now want that person. We want our fix! We want to partner with them. We want to be close. We want to leap over the cliff together—to FALL. We secretly want to possess them and to be possessed in return.
We imagine foot-rubs. Movies. Reading the New York Times with our beloved on a Sunday morning, wearing plush matching bathrobes, munching on croissants and sipping fresh-squeezed orange juice. We place the object of our desire in our fairy-tale fantasy—projecting them handily into the movie script we had already written, called “A Perfect Love.”
Now, along with projecting onto them and fantasizing, we are also yearning. Now we are longing. Now we are pining. Now we are downright obsessed!! Suddenly that thrilling, divinely-infused life force coursing through our veins—reminding us we are fully alive, gosh darn it, has become a full-fledged “addiction”! Yes, now we are in a fundamental state of addiction, to someone who has no idea of it. And frankly, given the ignobility of it all, thank God for that!
When we find ourselves in the throes of an obsession, it’s more a matter of the obsession having us, than of us having the obsession. Why? Because it is, to a large extent, a force outside our control. An obsession will eventually run its course. We will either land the person indeed (generally once we’ve grown and gotten a handle on ourselves), OR we will outgrow and shed the obsession.
Sometimes it’s a slow boat, having an obsession wind down, but there’s no way to rush the process. What we can’t do is overpower an obsession with our will—to just “snap out of it” and come to our senses. An obsession is something that must be contended with, as it has us in its grip. And it can happen to the best of us.
To sum it all up:
Love is the ultimate lure into life’s classroom. Love is the most powerful teacher. Love will show you who you are and teach you things about life you have never otherwise had any window into understanding. Love is a beacon cry that is hard to resist—it gets our attention, it draws us in. Our will-power and our “common sense” are no match for whatever lessons love is bringing us. We will tend to surrender. And then it’s never quite what we expect. It’s ALWAYS, yes always, a hall of study and never just the thrilling, mind-blowing July 4th fireworks celebration we were hoping for.
Relatedly, a key part of the magic of our identities is how very fluid and flexible they are. Life will for sure throw us some curve balls designed to help us discover things about ourselves that were entirely unexpected. One minute we thought we were full-blown straight, and the next minute we discover we are somewhere more dynamic on the sizzling spectrum of sexuality.
EXPERIENCE is what we are all on this planet to undergo. Some of it is uncomfortable, some of it is exhilarating, some of it is interesting, some of it is beautiful, and all of it counts for so very much. Our life experiences continually reorient us to a more expanded sense of self, a more “open” sense of self. For that is in keeping with the powerful, magical, miraculous truth of being a human being. Or to be more specific, it’s more in keeping with the grand odyssey that is being a spirit having a human experience on planet Earth.