My favorite author Khalil Gibran describes Love in the book “The Prophet.” He states, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.”
Love comprehends the sacredness of space and allows for expansion and growth in one’s self. When we have understanding that to love is to be unconditional, without need and possession, and do not grow on top of each other but rather grow individually with a specific path designed uniquely for each one of us. It is freedom in allowing the one to bloom into his/her own purpose and never hindering that. Sharing the space with one another, obsolete of judgement and suffocation, but with absolute liberation.
He continues, “Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself."
It's often challenging to think, I will allow my partner the freedom to love openly and authentically. We can say we want that but what does that look like? Often times it doesn’t look like what we expect. Most of us desire possession of attention, affection and time. We don’t desire to share our loved one, that’s what we call commitment. But love isn’t to be hoarded and it isn’t frivolous either. Love in a relationship is higher agreement. Both individuals must be on the path of true growth, spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally within oneself to become whole. It’s within the wholeness of one’s self, the fullness of love within, that one can have the capacity to share the overflow while honoring the individualism of the other and giving them the space to expand. Love yourself wholly and openly and you will discover what true love is.
"Love" by Miko Underwood is exhibited at the RIO III Gallery in Harlem, NY through January 15, 2018