In this three-minute clip from HBO’s hit show True Blood, Sookie Stackhouse realizes she is in love with two people at the same time. Rifted between these two equally-powerful emotional forces, she can’t understand how this could even be possible; let alone how she can deal with it. In her despair, she decides that “there is only one way I see this ending, and it’s me walking away with neither of you.” I have been intrigued by this particular scene ever since I first watched it two years ago. I have pondered on the possibility behind this situation in real life terms many times since then, and posed the question to friends and family in an attempt to trigger a moment of clarity. Yet, it wasn’t until I was caught up in a similar situation that I finally came to untangle the mystery behind this unconventional, yet perfectly normal situation.
The biggest Aha! moment of my life was when I realized the difference between true love and co-dependency. What most people call love today, is really a co-dependent addiction designed to fill in an empty cup of self-love and self-worthiness. In other words, many of us get into a romantic relationship with a great deal of insecurity in our own loveability and inner beauty. As a result, we exchange words and tokens of love with the expectation that our partner will return the favour, to affirm our loveability. When this fails to happen the insecurity and unworthiness that was already present gains momentum, breeding an even higher degree of unworthiness. Eventually, we get caught up in a vicious momentum of lack and misery and we search for that perfect prince or princess to fulfill our incompleteness and save us from our own selves.
On the other hand, true unconditional love is love without expectations. It occurs in the instant when two people who are complete in their own selves and know that they are beautiful, loveable and worthy just the way they are, come together, not to complete each other but to share their completeness. Love without expectations can only be achieved when we are entirely confident in who we are and we don’t need another person to save us, or affirm our inner beauty. When we love from this perspective, there is no need to receive something back because we don’t need that love to prove our loveability. On the other hand, we express our love because we are loving beings and we simply have to express ourselves. If another person reciprocates this love then this is just an extra and very welcome bonus!
No Boundaries to Love
“You can only love someone as much as you are willing to love everyone. This is how true love works. Making someone your special love object, your holy cow, doesn’t create love; rather, it leads to dependency, possessiveness, jealousy, neurosis and ten thousand other forms of fear.” Robert Holden
What the distinction between true love and co-dependency helped me understand, is that love is the most natural force in the universe. All the dramas, traumas and problems surrounding the subject of love, really stem out from the co-depended relationships that we are constantly being exposed to in movies, TV Shows and novels, that we end up reflecting in our own lives. However, when we realize that love is all that really is, then it becomes easy to accept that there is nothing wrong with loving or being in love with two or more people at the same time.
The above quote by Robert Holden unfolds the fact that love is limitless, and there really are no boundaries to how much love one can express and receive. The premise behind this understanding is the fundamental teaching from A Course in Miracles that, “Only love is real.” If this is so, then every single person in this world, every animal, and tree, all animate or inanimate objects are made out of pure unconditional love. Since love is the essence of who we are, the essence of all that it, then anything other than loving everything and everyone is a dissipation from who we really are.
Of course, this principle has nothing to do with being in love with every single person on this planet. It is simply a concept that broadens our awareness of what love is, and opens up an infinite amount of possibilities with respect to expressing love in any and all ways.