There are so many expressions of love; a knowing glance, small tokens, heartfelt letters, endearing expressions, and above all, my beloved's presence.
At one level my beloved’s presence is simply his physical nearness. Sitting at dinner together, sharing friendly conversation, walking side by side along the beach, feeling the closeness of my beloved's body, I am immersed in his physical presence. However, just simmering under the line of my consciousness, I sometimes have felt an underlying, gnawing feeling of separateness, of not really being known completely. I recognized, even with this intimacy we shared, that my partner and I could not know one another completely – for there is much about each of us that is a mystery, even to ourselves.
Recently, I have become aware of presence in a different context. This context has revealed to me other levels of being with my beloved that have brought even greater joy, deeper intimacy and a more nourishing spiritual bonding. Consciously or unconsciously, I believe all of us crave this deeper level of presence. We yearn to be truly seen and heard, to share ourselves with someone who listens to our emotional and spiritual self-discovery, who is able to focus on this with us. When we are deeply listened to, we more freely speak about ourselves honestly and from the depth of our being where we can begin to drop our mask and reveal our true self, our inner soul. And going deeper still, we can move beyond a presence that permits emotional disclosure to a level of exquisite presence that simply Is. This level of presence invites us to share our essence with another, to settle softly into our own Beingness. The quiet peacefulness we feel results from this shared presence, as we each rest in our own sense of Being. No longer separated by our stories, we are joined by our mutual participation in the Oneness of an all-pervasive, ever-present intelligent energy.
In a love relationship, we have at our side someone who loves us. I have been so grateful to share my life with my beloved – a path that has opened into greater and more meaningful dimensions of intimacy. As individuals, we walk, talk and experience life differently from one another, but when we come into open presence with each other, all those differences slide away. Only the Oneness remains. It is here, in relationship, that we really learn to walk this path, to open our hearts and share our open presence.
I have found that when I approach my beloved with reverence, I am able to touch the divine that lives in each of us. When I gaze upon my beloved with eyes that are open to my own soul, I am able to glimpse the spiritual nature that lies beneath our separateness. When I listen deeply, from an intuitive center, I hear my beloved’s heart speaking. When my beloved and I breathe together, allowing the breath move in and out of our bodies and mingle in the space between us, returning over and over again to the source of sacred breath deep within us, we stand naked in the mystery and joy of holy union. Apart, this connection remains; indeed, I feel my beloved’s presence even when he is no longer physically near. I feel him here right now, right beside me. I am filled with gratitude for this intimate presence in my life, a presence that reflects a Divine Beloved with in each of us.