I remember too, that I was slightly irritated and perplexed by comments like these. Not because I felt like I was missing out, being a childless person at the time – but because they seemed exclusionary. These concepts, if they were true, would exclude those without children from experiencing the “highest love” and the “greatest thing” in their lifetime. I also had the sense that it kept this great love narrowly pointed at the child – a heck of a lot of pressure for the kid, while again excluding others.
That’s the potential problem with any relationship or person we make “special” – too much pressure! Our expectations are higher, our fear of losing the other astronomical, and our sense of reality skewed.
It’s a set-up for disappointment. What we love more than anything is largely our idea of the other person and what we want them to be and do. This goes for “soul mates”, partners, children… Meanwhile, they are just going about life being who they are. What if we loved them moment by moment for that?
We take on beliefs like ‘We could not live without them’. Then what happens if they leave us, by choice or by death? Could we love ourselves, others and Life enough to go on and be happy with or without anyone in particular?
I understand, having a child now, how much emotion and investment there is in the relationship. My heart feels like it melts and it aches for her. She looks incredibly beautiful to me, and I perceive her as gifted and talented. That’s all fine. The error is when we think we are more connected to them, spiritually or because of blood relation, than we are to everyone else on the planet, when in reality we are all one. What if we loved everyone with that only-for-our-kids or that soulmate kind of love?
I leave you with one special (just like the rest of us) person’s words:A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. -Albert Einstein
Heart Cloud photo by Halit Yesil.