Romantic love...a fleeting, priceless thing in a pricey world. Where do we look for it? In dreams, in visions, movies, in our own ideals we have of others? The endless search for a life partner, a soulmate, a confidante that knows no bounds, one might say, is a universal search. We seek for another soul to hear and share our deepest secrets with, we yearn for a bond unrestricted by time, space, or any other material concept that may stand in our way. Ultimately, we seek a kind of acceptance and connection that makes us feel at home and utterly safe. However, by definition, this search is almost entirely an inner search. What do we need but a counterpart that feels like a much too familiar part of our Self? More like kin, a closeness that just gives and lasts without ever being exhausted. It is a search that must collapse all expectation into naturalness, that must give up thoughts and ideals to the eyes of the heart. It is a sight that is inner, and so most may be blind to it, or too afraid to open to.

In the fear of finding our kindred spirit, we bask in our own self-criticizing dialogue with ourselves. We so often demand out of ourselves things that the other may never even want. We spend our days trying to be "perfect" for when they arrive in our lives covered in light and glowing in our eyes! The most fastidious of all activities is the one that self-judges. It isn't what mother nature intended when we came into the world, when we were created. So why should we continue to engage in these self bending behaviors? It is simply a societal artifact that spans many years, many ages. It is the act of self-hatred to mold us somehow into an image that our beloved! This is the torment of the modern man, hidden, suppressed, sobbing. It is the discrepancy between love and the idea of love, the brainy notions and projections that arise out of our own consciousness that poorly define love for us and demand a specific way of loving. In the physical world, a myriad of limitations may arise in our pursuit of a counterpart.   

    This occurs firstly through the process of expectation and projection. We muddle their own presence with our own wants and desires, and if self-critique is still not put to rest, criticizing them would only be a matter of time. Perhaps their behaviors weren't as our expectations dictated, perhaps their image has deteriorated through time, etc. This is the unmasking of what we really must find in order to truly love We must find the eternal light within, the most beautiful love of all, the love of spirit. The love that is truly unconditional, the very love at the bottom of creation, the reason why we are alive! The exuberant love that knows none of the mental chatter, nor does it judge it. It is the selfless love that one reaches through endless blows to ourselves in the shape of external mishaps. They all led to this, and they all tell us something very important, that that "someone I waited all this time to arrive was "me"! And this is a joyful encounter, pushed out of endless tries to comprehend love.

In the relationship with ourselves, we must arise triumphant before ever being able to fully find love in another and thrive in it. It is our projected self-image that stands in our way, waving its fingers and telling us to go back, and do some more inner work. It is also these demons that show up when we seemingly fall in love and we still find them there lurking in the dark meddling with the very dynamics of our new-found lover. They will peer into the very fabric of the relationship, for they belong to us, not the other person. We may even attach them to the other person, like a clutch. In the world of thought forms, they can be parasites in our lives, literally. They can do much damage to even the most pristine of relationships. It is this very reason why working through them beforehand is necessary, quite vital to any partnership we wish to enter, if we wish for it to be true and long-lasting.

This puts a great safe keep on finding love though, because we will truly be ready to meet the one when we are ready to meet our true self, say "I love you", and genuinely care for every part of who we are. Then we can move on to others. We must care for the flaws, appreciate them, and care til the very last tiny piece of ourselves. There must be no exception, no discrimination here. This is the nature of unconditional love, and it is quite difficult to realize even in an entire lifetime. It is the essence of who we are and why we are here. To reach this destination is a remarkable feeling, an exhilarating moment of peace, and not with others, not with our lover, but firstly with ourselves.

Mina Vintila is a Chicago-based writer, advisor, and activist. In her passionate approach to everything she does, she makes an effort to aide humanity in any way possible. As a writer, she started when she was 11 years old and was never caught without a notepad everywhere she went. She was published regularly in the Roosevelt University Torch newspaper as a poet. She loves fairy tales,  vintage jewelry and is a true idealist, as her writing reveals.

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Comment by Mina Vintila on July 9, 2013 at 8:56pm
Absolutely! I just saw this comment, I am so sorry. Is it too late to add the bio?
Comment by Trevor Taylor on June 1, 2013 at 4:10am

Mina - great. We will be running this in one of the July multi-media editions.  Could you pop a brief BIO in at the end of the article pse...

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