One evening more than three decades ago, my husband, Ron, left the Haarlem hospital where he was a resident and headed to Rotterdam for a Paul Winter concert in Sint-Laurenskerk, a gothic basilica from the 15th century. He didn’t know it yet, but he was rushing to make it on time for an encounter that would change the course of his life.
Alongside the concert, an American speaker and author was scheduled to present The Search for a Modern-Day Mystery School. Ron arrived late, and the church was packed, so he had to stand in the back. From there, he could hear the speaker but couldn’t understand what he was saying. Ron says he stood there crying from the impact of the man’s voice.
At the end of the evening, he pushed his way through the crowd, wanting to see the man up close. He managed to make eye contact, grabbed his hand and introduced himself. The man looked at Ron and said one thing, “Why don’t you come to America?” The man was my spiritual teacher.
The next day, Ron attended a workshop where he saw my photo for the first time, on the back cover of a book I’d coauthored with my teacher. And he says that when he saw the photo, he “knew inside” that I was the one.
What do I think of it? I believe in the probability of magic – that the universe will bring to us whatever and whomever we need to fulfill our purposes and to share true love.
We all feel compelled to find someone who can help us restore the original joy and confidence we had as young children. And we naturally build relationships with people who we hope can help us get those good feelings back. But it doesn’t work that way, because we’re the ones with the keys to everything. And as we stop chasing after what we’re struggling to get, we open the door to receiving what we want.
We’re ready to throw ourselves into another person’s life when we know that we’re loved, with or without that person, and when we know that our partners aren’t responsible for whether we feel happy. “I’m responsible for bringing the necessary joy into this relationship so that it will work for me!” Wanting what we have is the beginning of having what we want.
Ron still likes to show me the tram stop in Amsterdam where he stood with one of my friends, three years after seeing my photo. Believing all those years that I was happily married, he asked, “Whatever happened to Grace?” My friend explained that I had been divorced for seven years. And within three weeks, Ron set off for America to find me.
Love is the life-sustaining energy that we’re made of, and we direct it by conscious choice. “I decide to love. And I commit myself to that love. And I feed my commitment by acting upon it.”
Deciding to love someone means saying yes, and then believing in the yes – saying yes to “bringing the necessary joy into the relationship to make it work for me!” Second-guessing the decision to love someone – keeping one foot in the door and one foot out – unmakes the decision and blocks its success. That’s how agreements are broken before they go the distance to become commitments. Commitment says, “I’m in 100%, and I’ll support this love with my whole being.” And through safeguarding our choice, we gain a strength and confidence that can withstand anything.
Ron arrived in my life like a knight in shining armor from a foreign land. He managed to hack his way through the hundred-year-old forest that had grown up around my single parent heart. And he even managed to get inside the force field that my sons and I had built over seven years, living alone together. It wasn’t easy, and it hasn’t been uncomplicated. But he got some inner guidance about fulfilling his purpose and finding true love, and he committed to it 100%.