Is romance an interpersonal phenomenon? Do we really need another person, a lover, a spouse, a significant other to be available with us physically, mentally, and emotionally to have romantic experiences? If such arrangement is not available, is there no possibility of having romance in our lives?
What if requirement of two individuals for romance is a big lie that society has created around us so that we follow its prescribed life script? What if the current picture of romance is actually coming from desire to sell more chocolates, flowers, movie tickets and other such goods?
What is romance really? Is it box of chocolates, hurried kiss and bouquet of flowers so that you can check the “romance” off your to-do list and get busy with the next thing? Not even close! Romance is a very different dimension of experience.
Romance is experience of being intensely present.
Sometimes it is like shot of intense awakening you get when you splash your face with ice-cold water. Other times it can be sensual experience slowly unfolding in time, like losing yourself in listening to an enchanting musical melody.
We make a big deal about sharing romantic moments with someone else, so much so that we deny ourselves romantic experiences we can have in solitude and sometimes only in solitude.
In our search for a significant other in human form, we continuously ignore the most significant soul mate of all : The Universe!
When we say that our self, what we call “I”, ends where our skin ends, that makes everything outside our skin, the “other”. Therefore, the world just outside our skin, which is this universe, is the first “other” we experience, and it is also our most “significant other”.
Universe, is your closest, and eternally present significant other, cradling you with infinite hands, present with you in your every breath, creating magic in front of your eyes so that you can join the galactic romance that is continuously unfolding in front of you and for you.
You and the universe together form one living process, therefore, you really are a half person and half universe.
We can tune into our universal significant other in very romantic way, if we keep our awareness clean and clear of mental clutter and emotional chatter.
If we can wash off veil of symbols from our eyes and shut off mental dialogs in our ears, then simple things that we tend to ignore, are revealed as the sources of most romantic experiences.
Just looking around, you can see array of colors, textures and tones that are intricately merging and blending with each other.
The experience of sun is romantic. Majestic sunrises, colorful sunsets, warmth of the afternoon rays on your skin, is a sensual treat and if you are willing to just be with your senses and stop thinking for a while, you will see how romantic it is.
The sound of water is romantic. The trickling of rain on rooftops, the bubbling stream, crashing waves! And if you know how to really listen, even sound of running tap water is delightful.
As we get better at tuning into our primary senses such as sight, sound, touch, and taste, simple everyday life experiences become incredibly romantic. If you are willing to keep in touch with your universal significant other, you will find richness in unlikely places. Deep looking at a flower, at a dewdrop on leaf, raindrops on spiderweb. Deeply inhaling aroma of coffee in a busy cafe, or smell of earth after first rain.
Romance is our awareness delighting in the subtleties of the senses it is observing. Through sense perceptions, the presence of other touches our heart.
You need only yourself, but you need yourself completely, to experience this romance, the rest is generously provided by your universal significant other.
If you think company of another person is needed to be romantic, you are narrowing your possibilities of romance significantly.
Unfortunately, at this point in time, most of us humans are totally lost in the frantic activity of mind. Most of us can’t be present with ourselves, we can hardly be present for others.
If you postpone romance until you find a suitable human partner, you may end up searching your whole life and miss out on the real thing. Even worse, you might lose your presence all together in the search, so much so, that even if the man or woman you are looking for, sits in front of you, you will be lost in your cell phone and complain to him or her about your day, totally missing the delightful presence that was being offered to you.
Instead, see if you can be present with your universal significant other in your solitude. When you start romancing the universe, then sometimes the universe suddenly looks back at you, romancing you, and if you are especially lucky, it looks back at you through human eyes. Then for that moment you can feel the romance that Rumi has captured here so beautifully.
“Your eyelashes will write on my heart the poem that could never come from the pen of a poet.”
unsplashPhoto Credit: Nikita Kachanovsky