By Helena Lind, creator at large
Sometimes, the idea of romantic love reminds me a bit of the concept of free will.
Everyone wants it. Until it gets difficult.
And we can’t be sure if it’s even always factual. But since I’m rather stoic and not exactly the most dreamy gal in town, I prefer empathy, respect, and loyalty to grand expressions of feelings and dramatic gestures.
But that's just me. Modern day's majority definitely begs to differ.
Is that not a bit too tall an order to ask?
And, is this very human idea of a cosmically destined relationship even relevant?
Why are we so transfixed to the concept of decreed amour?
Our literary realms, jewelry, music and film industries would not be the same without this highly marketable phenomenon of destined love.
The modern world is hooked on romantic love almost as a mass movement. Being in love, or, in between, on the constant look-out for the giddy excitement is an absolute biochemical and social must-have. That hasn’t been the case over millennia, where epic affections between two people were the exception rather than the norm.
We just have to read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—a forerunner of our wildly popular Millionnaire Romance trope—to realize the then picture.
Mr. Darcy had “ten thousand a year”, mind. And Pemberley...
And even today, in several cultures and religions, the naturally independently developed “affaire de cœr” is not exactly a priority in looking ahead to a future as a married couple. But that has never stopped us humans from dreaming and aspiring to anything, especially not when we’re talking about grand emotions and desires.
How did we get preoccupied with romantic love, especially in the global north?
And being alone is often not a societal ideal, even if we enjoy being independent. Understandably, we humans carry an unquenchable yearning for that marvelous feeling of togetherness.
And by evolution and nature, we are drawn to companionship. It’s something that seems to make us feel better on a level that we often can’t explain, and we don’t always like to acknowledge.
It’s why so many of us enjoy having pets—cats and dogs can offer us a lovely sort of companionship, and often help fill the emptiness many people encounter because of inner loneliness.
And that’s not just those living on their own. Despite being surrounded by family and friends or in stable relationships, we can still feel unanswered and even alien.
Whichever way we slice it, most of us don’t like being the proverbial island.
Humans just do not want to feel alone.
We love being around others. Even those of us that have problems with anxiety and depression still want to be around others on some level. It helps with our mood, and it helps with our general mindset. So it makes sense that so many of us want to find something more than just companionship between a friend or a pet.
And so we seek to find a deeper level of companionship; the place of the heart we can go home to after a hard day at work. Ideally, we’ll fall into the arms of someone that truly loves us and cares for us enough to listen to every worry, complaint and desperate bid to make life bend to our whims.
Also, we’ll share every high and triumph with "the One" to whom, again ideally speaking, we want to offer the same attention in return. Because that kind of love works both ways.
Then, when we manifest that yearning, unconscious, unbidden, it’s from a space so deep within that, often, it is hard to even recognize. Our soul is missing pieces, and it’s crying out for something—for someone — to show up, understand, and help us fill that void together.
To many millions on this planet, it is.
Plenty of us don’t give up hope, don’t just settle, but continue to wait for that significant other to appear and soothe the ache that comes with not feeling whole in a romantic relationship. Speaking of relevancy, let’s take a brief look at some options of preordained love:
Partners in Destiny and Destined Love.
We can indeed experience familial, platonic and even deeply romantic bonds that seem straight out of a dream. Throughout the ages, there have been reports and legends of lovers who come into our lives for various important reasons.
Sometimes, it’s a genuine friend. Or the love that we were designed to meet all along. A beautiful idea(l).
When two such people encounter each other in their lives, the flow of their feelings and their interactions can create a specific energy, manifesting in more than one way.
Suddenly we meet someone whose soul seems to click into place with ours in such a natural way that it’s as if we’ve known them forever. This can be both a wonderful yet also challenging situation.
Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, who had an instant, strong, albeit later destructive, connection, exuded an energy that was almost tangible in many movie scenes and pictures. They are famous for getting married, divorced, then teaming back up again for a second marriage. They loved each other even more than was good for them. To distraction.
Hence, Taylor and Burton had to part. Still, their love prevailed in other ways.
When destined lovers cannot be at one and have to separate, they won’t just stop being devoted to each other in their hearts and souls.
It’s said that no matter where he was in the world, at five in the afternoon, without fail, Paul Newman would call his wife Joanne Woodward.
Another example is the entwined life and shared Destiny of the controversial Nancy and Ronald Reagan.
The connection between such partners goes far beyond the often hyped romanticism found within our culture and mainstream media. We can see, even feel their love, and we often aspire to a version of that in our own lives.
Let us remember the flamboyant Napoleon Bonaparte and his empress Joséphine and the Roman emperor Augustus and his exceptional wife Livia are just two examples of real-life and legendary partners in Destiny who moved their times' goalposts for better or for worse.
Many scholars and romantics have coined Napoleon Bonaparte’s letters to his wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, the most romantic in all history?
Ever since I left you, I have been sad. I am only happy when by your side. Ceaselessly I recall your kisses, your tears, your enchanting jealousy; and the charms of the incomparable Joséphine keep constantly alight a bright and burning flame in my heart and senses.
Napoleon referred to Joséphine as his all and everything.
And Joséphine loved him deeply, albeit it wasn’t easy for her to be true to him alone in the first years of their relationship. She was a very popular, a much admired and loved lady. And, though the two of them would eventually find themselves divorced from each other in the dynastic and political interest of France, they stayed connected, and it was Joséphine’s name that was the last word Napoleon ever uttered.
We should recall that, in the worlds of historic realms and politics, love seldom played a leading role in marriage—and if it did, it sometimes had mixed results. And yet there are few scholars who can deny that certain lovers simply were "written".
Let us look at a few more examples of this type of deep, passionate, all-consuming, yet ultimately challenging type of love throughout history and in our myths and religious texts.
It is t’s obvious that King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba were special lovers. The story of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon is a magnificent example; a narrative which has undergone extensive elaborations. Their royal romance has become the subject of one of the most widespread cycles of legends.
The Torah tells us how King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba whatever she asked. Which meant a lot in those days.
But if we’re destined for each other, why isn’t love easy? People often assume that when you find one of these destined, soulmate relationships, it will be easier than other types of relationships.
We like to expect this because of the closeness of true friendship often found with this special person, the depth of connection we feel with ‘the One" and those often described similarities that can create the vivid sensation of having finally "reached home."
But when deep passions stir as well, these sparks can become raging flames. Such powerful sensations can also bring about irrationality fed by impatience, sometimes by obsessive demeanors and demanding expectations, as, for instance, highlighted in the Arthurian tale of Lancelot and Guinevere.
One of the most valiant knights of the Round Table was known as Sir Lancelot of the Lake.
He was loyal, wise, strong, and kind. And mightily attractive.
But clandestinely, he was in love with King Arthur’s Queen, Guinevere. Lancelot rejected all the other ladies, such as the famous Demoiselle Elaine of Astolat, who fell in love with him and died of a supposed broken heart when Lancelot found it impossible to reciprocate her feelings.
Lancelot’s undying love for Guinevere eventually turned into a force of destruction. Their relationship was based on emotional turmoil born from a longing that shouldn’t have been acted upon.
Those were the days when most people could not simply go and live their emotions.
Today, they would responsibly renounce their powerful positions to leave the court and their glorious pasts behind for a simple yet meaningful new life of shared love and purpose, right?
Ideally speaking. Realistic? Rarely.
Never forget the collateral damage in the wake of such decisions. And, equally, never forget that not all humans are as well meaning, generous and open-minded as they like to see themselves. Because those NOT begrudging such a step will be few and far between.
In our modern day, it may seem all too easy to set eyes, if not ideas, and even design on someone we’d better skip. Easier said than done. Therefore, challenging, demanding, draining, passionate, painful, haunting and addictive are all descriptors we can also apply to deep love.
But if it truly is what it is, perhaps it’s like that for a manifest reason? But is it?
Sometimes, as with the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, love and even parting of ways come with manageable strife.
Other times, such as with the ladies who loved Sir Lancelot, it can create a whirlwind of passion that borders on dangerous and makes for superb, eternal stories.
What’s that old saying again? Love is never easy, folks.
And destined relationships aren’t, either. If they’re worth their salt.
Age, illness, misfortune and tragedy can get hold of anyone, anytime. Good looks, sex appeal, success and wealth fade.
Life is hard.
The one big difference for partners in Destiny is that their attachment, mutual affection, respect, and trust stay strong. Extraordinary love always looks beyond and it grows even stronger when challenged. Because, as detailed above, extraordinary feelings rarely come easy to begin with.
Those proverbial trials and tribulations are part and parcel of this territory, so, if the going gets tough later, it won’t spook a proper partner in Destiny.
Love is more than just romance and eros. It’s something that maybe a meant-to-be and all-encompassing, yet perhaps deliberately or circumstantially ignored, major element of our lives.
The relationship that ignites a spark within our soul is more than just idle daydreaming, looking for just another flirt to make us feel good about our day, and so much more than a few quickly typed text messages and heart-shaped emojis, let alone a one-night stand.
Because it’s not fleeting! And there is not much actual place for infatuation or love-bombing, nor mind-numbing sexual obsession.
Just this majestic, knowing and cosmic dark-blue depth of belonging. It’s ever so different to, and so much more than any other relationship or friendship we may have been involved in.
We’ve all got an idea of that through the internet-famous hashtag of someone that you would go to jail with after a Friday night out. Ring any bells? Such a cute basic example of a special other, or a destined friend.
Both types are someone that we would do the unthinkable for. We may also encounter them not as loves but as our guides, willing and able to lift us out of misery and navigate us through life. Often, though, they may not tell us what we want to hear.
Maybe. Yes, you read that right: maybe.
Everyone wants to meet that one empowering person who connects with their soul so utterly and completely. We want to meet the Agent of Destiny that sets our life to rights, that fits together with our own being so utterly that it seems obvious we might have met them before, even in a different life.
Lovers bound to meet each other, playing out the hand that Destiny has given twice, or even several times over—an endless loop of learning and meaning through which we can meet repeatedly, to complement each other and heal.
There are no guarantees.
Our path is always twining, twisting, and changing. That’s what it means to be a spirited being after all.
And … we must make our own way and choices.
We walk down a road that Destiny may pave, a toad often also defined by us, since we actually always have a say.
We often make mistakes or take the wrong turn. There are going to be times and lives where we simply don’t meet our destined lover. Or we do, but we cannot be together. More on that in my next book.
Choose no other route but that of caring, compassion and responsibility. In fact, better prepare for patience, pain and even sacrifice. Because it may just not be possible to be as one soon, not even in good time. Perhaps not at all.
Being true partners in Destiny comes with responsibility and it also means each of us knows we must never damage the other or their existing world, even if the latter experience is difficult and unhappy.
Unless it’s a necessity in a higher sense.
And, while we’re on it, we do not really need the other to complete ourselves and cover up those shortcomings. The magic awaits in complementing each other in absolute sincerity, acceptance and synergy, not through clingy or lazy neediness.
Are you ready for that?
We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.
More on Love and Destiny in Helena Lind's The Destiny Book: Rediscovering the Mother of Spirituality.
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If you wish to find out more about The Destiny Book why not read the article A Teaser to my Book on Destiny by Helena Lind.