Once in a while, something great happens: through the windows of the soul, you glimpse the true beauty of someone you meet. Smitten, you draw close to them, and begin a passionate process of appreciation and love for the beautiful person you see in them, and they do the same with you.

On that sacred occasion, two people recognize the inner beauty of one another, and they love that beauty out of hiding. Under the encouraging gaze of recognition and love, they come out to play together, the two of them—heart together with heart, purity together with purity. It becomes ecstatic. This is what we call the honeymoon of love, when real person meets real person, each playing without the usual masks, as the real one that they are.

Many of us have had the privilege of being on this mountaintop with another human being. You got to see the real one, the reality of that soul. You experienced the joy, the ecstasy, of dealing with the real person. Why? Because you loved them, and you loved them, and you loved them, and with your heart's love you created a context for that person to manifest as their true self. You loved them right out of hiding into the light, into manifestation.


The usual story, and the alternative story

Unfortunately, these ecstatic love experiences often don't last long, and as a result, people don't trust them very much. But the love you experience, and the person you experience within that ecstatic love, is real—much more real than dreary ordinary life. And what's more, such love and communion can be made to last. You can live on that mountaintop if you are willing to pay for the pearl of great price.

This is how the story usually goes: First, the real personality comes out under the favorable conditions of being recognized, and loved, and thereby invoked. Then, the ordinary tale of woe begins: The two people stop giving each other so much love, appreciation, and recognition, and as a result of that, both of them disappear again behind the social mask. Conditions have become unfavorable for their manifestation, and so they don't show up anymore—they won't be so vulnerable, so feeling, so real anymore. It is always unfavorable to the true self when it is no longer recognized, and love is no longer being offered. Without the eyes of love, there is no safe space. The self lacks the encouragement that would support and facilitate its appearance.

So, Cinderella turns back into a cleaning woman, and her coachman turns back into a rat. Two people saw each other for real, related together ecstatically for real, and then went back to false and fake.

And then you come to remember, like ice water, what you suffered before: what it feels like when you relate to the social persona, the social mask, the fa├žade behind which your beloveds hide. It's a terrible drag, a disappointment, a heartache.


The truth about who you are

We think these masks are real—but they are not. The truth is, the person you "become" when you love deeply is the real you. On love's honeymoon, you put your best foot forward, and your best foot is your true foot, your reality as a soul. Everything else—the everyday "self" that you hate, the fear, the hardness, the fakery, the insecurity, and the unlove—is bullshit (unreal). It's not who you are. It's just a persona, a set of social/emotional strategies that you put together over the years.

So you see, in the honeymoon you not only brought out the best in each other, but at the same time, you brought out the reality of each other. To know that for sure is to understand all of humanity truly, including oneself. Who one really is, and who one really isn't. Who I really am, and who I really am not.

I am the one who was there on the mountain in that peak experience, the one who came out to play at that time. And therefore, the truth is, I am not the social facade that I had to be coaxed out of on the honeymoon. I am not the mask I use when I retreat back into my shell, afraid to come out anymore. I am not the one who hides behind the wall of the mask, the social persona. I operate through this fake persona because I don't want to put my real self out there. Perhaps I don't want to wear my heart on my sleeve, I don't want to be the tender, delicate, wonderful, magical person I really am, because I'm afraid to. So, I live as a fake, a phony, a liar. But I'm not the mask—I'm the one hiding behind the mask. I create this impostor, this phony operator, to handle things for me while I hide in the background, safely out of sight.

Then I get the distinct impression, and certainly rightly, that I haven't really been myself for a long time. I've been this ridiculous caricature, this dimensionless persona.

What a drag it is to be hiding behind a mask, peering through holes in the mask, feeling horrible about the nothing I'm being, knowing that it's not me. It's not me that you see. Did I give you the wrong impression? If so, I apologize. The one you've interacted with wasn't really me; it isn't me that you see each ordinary day.

If you want to see me, we'll have to make a special appointment—some sacred, quality time. We'll have to make some space for the reunion.

I wouldn't be me for just anyone, you know. That ain't gonna happen. If you want the good stuff, you'll just have to earn it. You'll have to encourage it, invoke it, recognize it—and most of all, love it. Then you'll see who's who. Then you'll see the real me, you lucky dog!

One of these nights,
One of these lost and lonely nights,
we're going to find out, pretty mama,
what turns on your lights.

—The Eagles

Yes. We bring out the true, naked beauty of one another by seeing it and loving it. Love is the price for the pearl of great price—consistent love. We have learned to distrust our most beautiful love experiences. We think that they are unstable, and likely to fade. The truth is, these experiences are not unstable, but most people are unstable in their commitment to giving real, beautiful love and recognition to their beloved. It's no wonder that the experience of soul communion and togetherness should fade if we stop giving the love that created that experience in the first place. Love is constant, it does not fade unless we choose to stop giving it and living it. And the beauty of the soul is constant. It's up to us to create a context for that.

by David Truman

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