Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Tristan and Isolde, Orpheus and Eurydice — explore what are widely seen as the Great Love stories of history and literature and you’ll see some common themes: tragedy, death, violence, doom. Heck, diving into true Love may even get you castrated or sent to a nunnery, as seen in the historical Love story of Eloise and Abelard.
In our default culture there’s an underlying message that Great Love is dangerous.
That it won’t last.
That the ones who listen to their heart and choose to be fully expressed Lovers will somehow pay a dire price and be forced to succumb to Great Tragedy. It’s a cruel world, a world not suited for Lovers, so if you choose to be a Lover prepare for astronomical pain and disaster!
Better yet, leave the Great Love stories to the myths and legends; like Jesus, the Great Lovers died horrible, painful deaths so that you don’t have to! You might not get to live fully expressed in your desires, but at least you won’t be persecuted, castrated, shamed, or forced to suicide.
Wait! Can we back up a second?
Thank you very much Hollywood, history, & Shakespeare, but at Amant we’re ready for an upgrade in the mythos of Great Love stories. Don’t get us wrong, we still get all weepy when Maria says goodbye to her dying beloved in West Side Story, or Romeo and Juliet call it quits to find a more suitable world for their Love in the afterlife. However, we believe that there are other Great Love stories (with much different outcomes), that aren’t currently being told.
We want to help change that.
In the default culture, Great Love stories seem to indicate that death or tragedy is the inevitable fate of the Lovers, and that it all ends there. Taken literally, these stories are not helpful at all, and could even scare us out of pursuing Great Love! But an aspect of these stories that’s worth paying attention to is the reoccurring symbol that in order to claim Great Love one must have a willingness to die.
This could apply to our own lives by looking at the fears and limitations we need to let go of in order to be more expressed Lovers.
What are the old ways of being that need to die, so that you can claim Love at a whole new level, free of shame or blame? In order to be a Great Lover you must be willing to surrender, to let go, and to let the part of you that’s afraid to be vulnerable die and transform into something else. It’s worth noting that leaving the default world behind and claiming your own Great Love story requires deep courage, inner strength, and devotion.
Imagine This: inside your own heart a Great Lover has been there all along — perhaps sleeping, petrified, or imprisoned— but even still, waiting for a moment to come alive.
But beware! As you choose to claim Love entirely and respond to life as a fully expressed Lover, it very well can cause waves of discomfort or controversy around you. If most people believe the old story that pursuing Great Love leads to tragedy, than criticism or concern for your newfound liberated expression could be how friends and family show their care for you. Yet, as a newly emerging Great Lover, it’s up to you to be courageous and pursue living in Love in spite of any criticism. In this way, you will pave a new path for others to follow. Know that any discomfort you may experience is only temporary, and that in this day and age you won’t actually get castrated or sent to a nunnery for claiming the life of a Great Lover!
As we claim fully expressed Love, the biggest death we’ll experience is an identity death. Because life as a Great Lover looks different than an inside-the-box life, we might discover art we want to create, adventures we want to take, a difference we want to make. Things that used to matter to us may lose meaning as we explore the full range of feelings and experiences that only a Great Lover may know. So yes, there is a “death” that Great Lovers may face, but it’s a metaphor for claiming life fully, for letting go of playing small, and for stepping into the mystery of Love.
So what does claiming Great Love look like? The Great Love stories we’re interested in are filled with Lovers who are creating passionately with each breath. These are the Lovers making positive change from a place of grounded inspiration. They speak up on behalf of the natural world and the hidden, vulnerable realms of dreams and imagination. They dance for no reason and sing to feel free. They have relationships that serve something beyond their personal dynamic, treating each other with respect and honor.
They build each other up to shine as brightly as possibly.
Relationship is a sacred practice that invites deep presence, cherishing, and ongoing participation. There is no competition or fear of losing Love by growing or being fully expressed.
These are the Lovers who simultaneously weave between their ability to take action and create change in the world, versus slowing down to receive inspiration for creating and expressing the gift of their Love.
The Great Lovers celebrate the full range of their emotional expression. They feel the grief of a suffering world while also experiencing deep gratitude for the beauty of Life — the opposite of numb — and make a daily practice of becoming more sensitive. While the sweetest songs they ever sing may be between the sheets, they’re also passionate about being awake, aware, and allowing Love to flow through them.
The Great Lovers of the world are secret agents of sorts, leading lives both outlandish and sacred, and showing new possibilities of what thriving in relationship and life can look, feel, and taste like.
The Great Lovers fear no death because in claiming Love fully, they are complete with each day as it ends, and inspired each morning as they wake. Living each day as if it’s their last on earth is not a philosophy for the Great Lovers, but a practice that infuses each breath with meaning and purpose.
All we need is Love, and the courage to claim it fully.
The Great Lovers of the world help infuse all of our hearts with the courage to live Love more completely each day. Death is inevitable, but we don’t need to believe the default world’s myths that would have us live in the shadows of our deepest desires, chalking the life of the Lover up to one of misery and defeat.
We can be triumphant as we claim our own selves as Lover and choose to create Great Love stories each day. And we can be proud of the choices we make to live Love more fully.
Have you ever heard of a dying regret where someone said they wish they had “loved less?” Never! In fact, the most common dying regret is “I wish I’d lived the life I wanted to live rather than the life that others had expected of me.”
The default culture does not expect you to live life as a fully expressed Lover. However, what the default culture expects of you is completely irrelevant. What matters is whether you are secretly desiring to live your own Great Love story, whether you have the courage to break out of the mould, and whether you will celebrate the other Lovers of the world as they inspire a new generation of Great Love.
Crush all expectations and do it for Love. Fully expressed, deliciously wild, passionately inspired Great Love.