Wisdom Love is a Gift and an Assignment A new book offers up spiritual advice for modern relationships. By Meggan Watterson and and Lodro Rinzler This is an excerpt from Meggan Watterson and Lodro Rinzler’s book, How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People) (Hay House, September 15, 2015). ••• Many of us have been fortunate enough to experience love. Which, in turn, means many of us (unfortunately) have also experienced heartbreak. And then, of course, there’s the relationship we have with ourselves. Meggan Watterson and Lodro Rinzler cover all of these topics (and more) with ease, using spirituality—she has a Christian mystic background, while he’s a lifelong Buddhist—and personal experience in their most recent release, How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People). In real life, the duo are actually friends, a fact that benefits the flow of their writing as they divvy up each chapter to share their personal perspectives. We’re fortunate enough to have an excerpt, written by Meggan, to share with you now. It’s about staying in love at all times. She titled it, “Becoming Beloved:” Getting to love someone is both a gift and an assignment. In a way, since we can’t contrive who our heart claims as beloved, it’s a calling and a divine purpose to love. And it’s not always easy. When we love this much we want to know that this love will always be in our life. Yet for me, happiness within a committed relationship seems to require that I accept the separations and distances our lives will always ask for us to endure from those we love, whether it’s death or just time apart. If I can accept the necessary separations, I can embrace this love all the more passionately. In a way, happiness in love is maintaining a paradoxical mix of full commitment and nonattachment. Letting go of what this is going to become and just being fully present to what this is right now seems to work like sacred alchemy for me. Love—true love—means no longer waiting. This has been my soul’s koan from the start. True love isn’t about finding that magical (mythical) someone who will transport me and evaporate my problems like a miraculous healing balm. True love starts from within. True love is when I see all those judgments and barriers that have kept my heart barricaded for what they really are—opportunities for my love to reach where it never has before. Every broken and closed off aspect of us is just another chance to exercise our capacity to love. Practicing, with devotion, that ability for us to let love reach within us where it has never been is the inner work that transforms our experiences with the people we encounter. So often when we allow someone to remain in our lives who belittles our potential, treats us unkindly, or really doesn’t get who we are, it’s a reflection of the need for our own love (within us and for ourselves) to expand. We can get disappointed; we can gnash our teeth and pull our hair because we are so distraught over the perceived lack of love this person is demonstrating. We can get very “Why me?” I know I have. But when I began to see that the people who disappointed me were actually giving me an opportunity to look at my own lack of self-love, my whole life and all my relationships drastically shifted. When I edited the moniker of my status from single to indie mom, I acknowledged that I may not have any control in a partner’s choice to remain in a relationship, in love, but I have complete sovereignty in choosing how I will respond. I can use my indie mom status to benefit again from the space I’m afforded by being single and not in a relationship. And I can practice the trust needed to not be afraid that I’ll remain indie, as in, alone. I can practice a Disciplined Hope that everything is kairos; everything is divine timing. And I can choose to trust that what’s next, and who’s next, is only more love. For more spiritual advice for modern relationships, check out How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People), available from Hay House and on Amazon. Cover image courtesy of Hay House — Meggan Watterson is an author, international speaker, and Harvard-trained scholar of the divine feminine who inspires seekers to live from the audacity and authenticity of the voice of their soul. Her first book with Hay House titled REVEAL: A Sacred Manual for Getting Spiritually Naked is described as “ignited prayer” by Eve Ensler, “life-changing” by Dr. Christiane Northup, and “a blessing to the world,” by Gabrielle Bernstein. She has a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University. Lodro Rinzler is a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and the author of five books on meditation including the best-selling The Buddha Walks into a Bar… and the award-winning Walk Like a Buddha. Over the last 14 years he has taught numerous workshops at meditation centers, businesses, and college campuses throughout North America. Lodro’s columns appear regularly on the Huffington Post, Marie Claire, and Elephant Journal and he has been featured on WNYC, WBUR, FOX, the CBC, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company. He is the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership, an authentic leadership training organization, and lives in Brooklyn with his dog Tillie and his cat Justin Bieber.