As I open myself to write this entry, my heart feels full with rich, diverse, and sometimes conflicting emotion. I am growing fast and furiously, which is how I like to grow. I like to jump in – head-on – to lessons that present themselves, and do my best to push myself towards honoring that commitment if resistance arises. I know that when lessons materialize, they are coming up to help me heal and overcome a block, or develop a necessary strength, so I can more freely, fully and dynamically express my beautiful soul, and the magical love and life within it. I’m happily hanging in through my growing pains.
What drew my attention when I looked around my room contemplating the subject matter for today’s post was a sumptuous picture of a tiger I had printed out from a website on animal totems. We are within the Year of the Tiger in Chinese astrology, and when I stumbled across this page, I was moved to copy it and place it on my wall, along with a brief description of Tiger Medicine.
Tiger is one of my animal totems, I discovered, and many of the qualities identified in this description of Tiger Medicine resonated with me – mystical healing abilities, power through gentle flow, feminine energies, sensual, watery, passionate nature, working well at night, etc.
The heading on this page about Tiger Medicine reads: “Passion, Power, Devotion.” As I today once more admired the photo and wise teaching words, it struck me more deeply how vital these beautiful qualities are in relationship.
These three words have, perhaps, a different connotation for each of us as they filter through our individual experiences. There is our more superficial interpretation, and then there are many layers of deeper understanding about each quality.
I find that every truth in love reveals itself to me a little more deeply as I myself grow. So, as we explore deeper understanding of these qualities in relationship, it is good to also stay in touch with the fact that this is only a small piece of its truth, and of its truth for us as unique beings.
Passion – Out of all three of these words, this quality is perhaps the most limited in our collective superficial understanding. In the area of relationship, we often associate it only with sexual attraction and intercourse. Sexual passion, especially in a loving relationship, is wonderful, magical, energizing, empowering, life-affirming, fulfilling and glorious. . . . It is often a substantial part of a romantic soulmate relationship. It is sometimes a big part of the attraction itself. Yeah!! I LOVE it.
Passion in non-sexual terms in relationship is also key to the health and longevity of a loving relationship, soulmate or otherwise. How I look at it is that passion involves an openness to vitality. In a healthy relationship of any sort, if we stay in touch with the passion we feel – for them, for ourselves, for Divine Presence, for art, for life, for love, etc. – we stay in a truer, more aware, open and receptive state.
From this state, Grace can enter more completely, love and magic can express more actively, and our Souls are freer to create lives for ourselves that are more joyful and aligned with who we truly are, both as individuals and as couples. Being open to the vitality and the magic of love and life helps us to have better relationships. Staying in touch with passion makes it easier to stay open.
It is not hard to see, also, that when we are open and receptive to the beauty of life, the pathway to our Hearts is clearer and our loved ones can more easily come to them.
Power – Our personal connotations with the word “Power” are most likely all over the map. We each have our own sense of it. It is used in so many contexts, and used both with positive reference and negative.
When I think of power in relationship, I think of the spiritual gift and purpose of it. What is present, and also potential, when love is experienced with honor, sensitivity, care, tenderness and commitment. I think of it in the context of working with the love between us with wonder consciousness and compassion to fulfill its higher purpose, to bring out the very best in our loved ones and in ourselves.
Soulmate relationships often have a lot of power because they magnify our souls, and what we need to learn to better express them. We can misuse the power by being manipulative, controlling, self-absorbed, ill-willed, etc., or we can rise to the occasion that this sort of great love offers us. We can choose the higher road, grow through the challenges, and become the beautiful being it is demanding of us.
Devotion – Devotion, too, has a deeper meaning than what we traditionally connote. It is more than simply being faithful. I am coming to understand it with increasing clarity myself lately, and know, too, that there are yet many layers of its truth for me to explore.
My experience with devotion is that, in addition to faithfulness, it is an organic awareness of the higher truths of the love between myself and my beloved ones. It is a subtle, yet strong and steadfast, knowing that this love is eternal, and a tender, unwavering dedication to it. An innate knowledge that regardless of the shape or form it may take on the physical plane, its true beauty and life remain constant.
It is also a conscious commitment to honoring that “knowingness,” a commitment which involves surrendering to faith in something greater between us and still being in touch with healthy needs and boundaries as human beings.
Devotion is an art that will be cultivated in our relationships if we become more aware of it and open to all it has to teach us. We can always go deeper in our experience of all these qualities, because they are inborn gifts of Love Itself, and Love is limitless.
Love is a boundless force teaching us more of Itself through Passion, Power and Devotion.
May the “FORCE” be with you!!!