I found my divine lover and you can too.
Are you wondering if divine love is real? And if so, can you attract it? To answer that question, we have to understand that, while relationships operate in the material world, they originate in, and are connected with, a higher reality of sacredness. We have to understand that we don’t search for and find “the one” who fulfills our list of preferences. Instead, we, ourselves, become the divine lover. And that is what attracts other divine lovers.
Lovers of any gender and sexual identity. Whether singular individuals or multiple-type beings (experiencing two or more selves within their body). These relationships can be platonic, sexual, and/or romantic. Because divine loverhood excludes no one.
In my mid-forties, I still didn’t have the relationship I dreamed was possible. But then something happened that led to a partnership, now in its seventeenth year, in which I have the daily pleasure and healing of being in love. What made it possible wasn’t the luck of meeting the right person. It was a profound breakthrough that fundamentally changed my approach to relationships and that reminded me that relationships originate in a higher reality where love reigns and we lack nothing.
In this article, I will share with you what I learned because you, too, if you haven’t already, can create a sacred relationship.
In the early 2000s, before my breakthrough, I read numerous relationship columns, advice manuals, and books. Ostensibly, to improve my chances at a better relationship but, in truth, to learn to better pick up on red flags to save me from getting hurt again.
They told me to use the power of my mind, my intuition, affirmations. They advised me to perfect my list of what I do and don’t want. I even followed the suggestion to act as if I’d already found the love of my life. But late in the evening, when my head fell back against the pillow and the space next to me was empty, I was ever so aware that it just wasn’t true. I was still waiting for my soul mate. Waiting, visualizing, hoping, worrying, longing, and trying to attract the heck out of my wished-for companion — yet, nothing.
Then, in a flash of insight, I realized what I was doing wrong. And that I had to make a drastic change if I ever wanted to be in a sacred partnership. Here is what happened.
It’s November and I’ve just moved to Seattle. Being new in town and building community from scratch, I decided to get serious about finding a co-conspirator in life. Using Match.com, one of the first large-scale dating sites, I speed-date through my “winks,” (back then, it’s how you showed your interest). I’d say, “Give me five minutes with this person and I know if I want them.” Yuk, right? I ignore one of the winks because their “hello email” sounds too dear to be real. Sigh. I assume I can always get back to them if none of the other “dates” pan out.
Very quickly, within two weeks, I feel more discouraged and cynical than I’ve ever been. All these “dates” merge into a blur of desperate and futile-feeling activity. I decide to give up and stop my efforts. I’ll spend one more evening perusing the dating site and then deactivate my page. That’s when I come across something unlike all the other profiles.
You see, when you read the “About me” section of a Match profile, it basically describes the profile owner and what they seek in a date. “I love to hike. I want someone who makes me laugh. You like to read and are into indie movies,” and so on. But the description I’ve just stumbled on is nothing like that. I begin to read. “If you stayed over tonight, tomorrow morning when you wake up, you’d find me in the kitchen, making eggs and toast. I’d have set out two plates in the breakfast nook. You’d start the coffee maker and get the forks. As we ate our breakfast, you’d share about the day ahead and I’d listen to every word.” They, then, proceed to describe a week in our lives together and the role they’d play in making my world better.
As I read on, I start to feel an ache in my soul. In contrast to the caring tone of this writing, I notice that I’ve turned into someone intensely guarded. And less generous. Over the course of a failed marriage and multiple selfish lovers, I’m able to see now, I’ve developed strategies to “get mine,” and worse, of being preemptively selfish because they’re probably going to be. I feel deeply saddened by that. That’s not who I am, I think. I want to care about the needs of my lover.
It was the breakthrough moment: I saw who I’d become and that this attitude could never lead to the sacred relationship I yearned for. Reading the profile of that stranger made clear what would have to change and that I had work ahead of me! Though the profile was awesome, I did not send this particular seeker a wink; I was not ready to meet my divine lover.
But I used their essay as an example and lesson. To help me identify the areas I needed to work on, I imagined what a partner would experience with me. Now, that may not sound all that earth-shattering, but try it. See how it feels. You may find there is a real impact, a shift within you. This is not to be confused with mulling over how your future partner may judge you. That’s something else, entirely. Here, instead of wondering what that individual will think of you, you try to imagine what they will get from your company. Will being around you make them blossom? Will they feel good about themselves, not because you’re flattering them but because you hold them in the circle of your sacred attention?
Once I conjured my most splendid divine lover and imagined how we would conduct our sacred relationship, I had to acknowledge that I would not be a good match for them. Oops.
They would be accomplished in that they’d have created a meaningful life. They‘d have a spiritual practice that connects them with source. I had that, too, but not around dating. Where relationships were concerned, until my breakthrough, I was reactive and stumbling around in a world of illusion.
But now, my search for someone else suddenly morphed into a search for myself and into championing the person I was rediscovering. For example, being loving had mattered to me. So I took baby steps to put my heart on my sleeve instead of acting too cool for school. I chatted with strangers, never mind if it was TMI. In the morning, I put dollar bills into my coat pocket to give to people who seemed to need them. I dared again to make eye contact and deal with the awkwardness that sometimes ensued. In short, I showed the real me that I was before I developed dating survival strategies (which, as such things often go, bled into the rest of my life).
These changes also affected how I thought of a partner. Instead of that “sharp dressed” clever, “shiny object,” I refocused by envisioning a relationship, rather than an individual. I began to think in terms of mutual chivalry, caring, and nurturing. My attention shifted from fearing that the relationship of my dreams didn’t exist to simply wanting to experience these attributes. I could do that by being more chivalrous, caring, and nurturing.
Refocusing is a key ingredient. It starts the process of becoming an embodiment of what you care about, rather than a bundle of longings tied up in how things aren’t the way you wish they were or think they should be. It helps you advance from being fearful that you won’t find your soul mate to acting more like the sacred being you, yourself, are.
To be honest, I didn’t think of it that way at the time. I didn’t say, “Hey, let me act more sacredly.” But that’s what my actions created. So go ahead. I encourage you to take your own actions that express the miraculous being you are. You may find they will mend you from the outside in.
To help heal my internal state, I made an effort to replace cynical thoughts about my single status with loving thoughts for myself and others. Your mental landscape is central to your life experience. It not only creates the filter through which you see life, it also casts you in its light, affecting how the world is able to see you.
Whenever I noticed myself being judgmental, I pulled divine consciousness into the material world by practicing unconditional love. I’d say under my breath, “I love you,” to people I noticed I was judging. Of course, you don’t always notice, so don’t beat yourself up. Unconditional love is not a skill you put in your back pocket but a process you initiate over and over and recommit to again and again.
I got books I had by Caroline Myss, Deepak Chopra, and Neil Donald Walsch down from the shelf and reread some of the chapters that seemed salient for my present growth. Together, all of these efforts helped to reorient my focus away from wanting to meet “the one” to becoming someone who could be “the one.”
Manifesting more of my spiritual side calmed and centered me. And it kept me motivated. Whether I found my soul mate or not, this change was good!
Done with speed dating, I finally responded to that one person I mentioned earlier. Remember? Their email had raised a red flag because it sounded too endearing. Well, this time, I interpreted their email differently. It occurred to me that they may not be too nice. That, maybe, it had been me who wasn’t nice enough.
Early in the new year, when we finally met up at a casual little eatery in Belltown, I didn’t mentally look them up and down. I didn’t play it cool. I did what I’d practiced. I put my heart on my sleeve. I was vulnerable. Interested in who they* were and what they were saying, rather than listening to them through a filter of past disappointments and societal expectations.
Being authentic creates a very safe space because the authentic self is an illuminating and illuminated expression of the divine self (in contrast to the socially adaptive persona) that intrinsically creates a field of love. It made it inviting for Steven to be themself.* It naturally sparked their interest in me, not simply as a potential “date” or “mate” but as a human being, as a whole little universe to explore and discover and share.
In a follow-up article, I will tell how we not only got over the hump of the “where is this relationship going” conversation but turned the tables on it. And about the guiding metaphor that became the North Star of our relationship.
Sitting on our hard wooden chairs at a rickety table that required several sugar packets to level off, we toasted each other, laughed and smiled and talked about our philosophies, ideas, and interests, thoroughly enjoying each other’s company! We weren’t trying to impress each other or charm each other with pixie dust. We just shared our thoughts over a glass of red wine. My friend called. I silenced the phone. Steven smiled and asked, “Was that the ‘rescue call’ from your friend?” I smiled back and said, “Yes it was.” They said, “I’m glad you didn’t need to answer that.” It was the beginning of our lifetime relationship of deep and abiding love, discovery, growth, and mutual nourishing. A partnership that we recreate over and over (which is a huge subject that deserves its own article)without a list, without demands.
Most relationship advisors suggest that you make such a list. But that’s putting the cart before the horse. It puts your focus on whom you want the other to be instead on whom you are becoming. Instead, you can guide your own evolution — towards congruousness, exquisite self-awareness and wholeness; you can guide your connection with your own sacredness. Then, something magical happens: the person, or persons, who enjoy exactly who you are will be drawn to you. They will open to you because your being real makes it safe for them to be real. And your authenticity will give them permission to be their authentic self. In other words, the divine lover in you will call forth the divine lover in them and vice versa.
When we’re unreconciled to who we really are, when we haven’t done the work to connect to the divine lover that is within each of us, we, however unconsciously, put on an act: we put our best foot forward. They, too, put their best foot forward. And how yucky is it to have to test and second-guess each other? To deal with the little letdowns and disappointments that eventually add up to, “You’re not who I thought you were.” There’s no getting from there to divine love.
I hope my story shows that that’s not an outcome you will ever have to accept.
Was it an accident that Steven, too, had undergone internal changes once a friend of theirs suggested they get on Match? That they’d changed their expectations and moved toward authenticity (in the next article I will interview them about that evolution)? I don’t think so. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” By the same token, when you become the divine lover, the divine lover appears.
To begin the process of expanding your awareness of your divine self in daily life, you can ask yourself, Who am I, deep down? Not as a question with an answer but as the start of a journey of discovery. This is different from the advice to “just be yourself.” Without the sacred journey, the “self” often is the adaptive self, the person we’ve become to survive as well as we can. That “survivalist” is ill-prepared to be a divine lover who leads with trust when things seem about to go sideways, who returns to kindness when the ego demands a line be drawn in the sand, who develops a practice of being honest which is being vulnerable, as distinct from being “straight” which is edgy and judging. Who is grounded enough to maintain healthful boundaries and provide the room for others to do the same.
In closing, I offer you an exercise to help you identify your own special starting place for your journey.
As you are willing, close your eyes and envision someone there sitting next to you. Maybe on a couch, a park bench, or in the grass by a lakeshore. Imagine their eyes, round and unguarded like a child’s, looking at you without guile. Here the two of you are, just marveling at each other. How does that feel? Unusual? Maybe a little awkward or scary? Desirable? Whatever you feel, you can let this guide you. If you felt longing, find reasons to gaze guilelessly. If you felt scared, devise opportunities to be vulnerable. In whatever way you need, seek out practices that nurture you and are responsive to your needs. You may wonder what those practices are. Well, you have the answers to that question within you right now. Because even if you’re not yet all of that beautiful, heart-stopping, heart-warming and divine lover, that is only outwardly so. Your true nature is holy, strong and vulnerable, discerning and trusting, open and grounded. Waiting for you to reveal the divine lover within you. Waiting to call to another divine lover.
*Steven uses both pronouns, he as well as they.
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Henry India Holden is a non-binary writer, life coach, divine guide, using the Tarot, workshop teacher, and Reiki master. You can learn more about them and their work at https://www.henryindiaholden.com.