When I was a teenager my house was a New Age paradise with a library harboring the latest books by Louise Hay and Deepak Chopra. While witnessing my mom's healing journey, I devoured them. One of those books, The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success by Deepak Chopra, taught powerful principles for happiness and fulfillment. As young as I was, I understood the laws of Pure Potentiality, Karma or Cause and Effect, and even the really complex principles like Dharma or Life Purpose.
I loved the book and was able to understand and embody the principles it taught me, except for one: the Law of Detachment. And it haunted me for years. I couldn't wrap my head around how, when you really, really, REALLY want something, you're supposed to detach from the outcome?
In my late twenties, while I was in grad school, I felt the desire to find my love -- that special one. As many of us have likely experienced, it wasn't an easy journey. Love can be tricky, likes to hide, and sometimes doesn't show up when it's supposed to.
I learned to tango, because I've always loved dancing and I absolutely love that music. But there was a part of me that hoped one day I would find myself spinning, held in the arms of that passionate, good-looking special one. But I couldn't find him at the Milongas.
I went out with friends with the hope that I'd find that smart, good-looking guy at a bar or a party. I traveled to amazing places, like Riviera Maya, because I always loved the mysterious and the native cultures of the continent, but also with the secret hope that I would find that adventurous, free-spirited man at the Spring Equinox in Chitchen Itza. He wasn't there either.
During that time, I dated some really interesting men. But something was always missing. Something wasn't clicking.
Finally, when I was close to graduation and about to move to the U.S. for my postdoctoral work, I came to terms with the possibility that I might not find that special one. I accepted that there are dreams that happen and others that don't -- at least for some of us. I realized that life has other things to offer and to enjoy. I became open to the idea that if I was going to find the love of my life, it could happen at a time and place totally unexpected and uncontrolled by me.
I finally let go... I didn't bother anymore to look for love...
I decided that with or without a special one I could and SHOULD be happy. I began dating myself, practicing extreme self-care, and nourishing myself in a loving way. I would take walks on Sunday mornings in gorgeous neighborhoods in Buenos Aires like Palermo and Recoleta. I would visit the arts and crafts markets and get myself treasures. I continued to dance tango not to find anyone, but because I loved it (and because embraces are always nourishing!). On the weekends I would take day trips outside the city to get closer to nature. I would go to concerts on my own when I couldn't find a friend to go with and that was perfect. I would cook healthy, nourishing meals for myself, and experiment with new recipes for my friends. I learned to appreciate good wines, music, and candles.
Life became so rich and fun! I was totally in love: with myself, with my life, with things just as they were.
I was in that mindset when I got invited to a high school reunion in my hometown, where I have rarely been since moving to Buenos Aires. Not having any particularly interesting plans for that weekend, I said to myself: "Why not? Maybe I should go..." And I playfully wondered if my secret, impossible love during my high school years would be there, too. The smart, kind, adventurous, fun guy that I secretly admired - who, I realized in that moment, I had been looking for since I met him -- and wished one day would 'see' me.
So there I went. And there he was. And as soon as the gathering was over we began to chat and catch-up about life, re-discovering all the interests, passions, and desires we shared. We exchanged phone numbers and long story short... we got married one year later. That night was the beginning of the many adventures we continue to share.
Ironically, the secret spot where I found love wasn't a trendy bar or online platform (although it could have been!). I found love in that sweet spot where I began to love and nourish myself, to be in love with life, to play and have fun. In that place of detachment from the outcome, Love surprised me. As it usually and graciously does, in perfect and divine timing.
When we relinquish the attachment to the outcome and open up to uncertainty, we step into the field of pure potentiality where anything is possible, including our deepest desires. At the moment I didn't even realize that I was experiencing the Law of Detachment, but as with good wines, it's all about aging...
As I revisit some of those books as resources for my work I recall the experiences that led me to my own transformation. Now I can see clearly that I was learning a profound lesson. And once I understood that lesson, I began to experience the powerful, organic manifestation of other deep desires.
But that's for next time...