Love is not an energy, but an openness… Love is a natural state of being which we can at any time choose to experience and if we wish, express…

In a recent article published in “Concepts” magazine, Scott and Shannon Peck noted that the world is experiencing a “love crisis”. Millions of people are feeling starved of love… Love is big news, in both positive and negative ways. Remember the recent “I love you” computer virus? Everyone who wants positive change is promoting love and billions of people long for the presence of love in their life.

If love is indeed simply and openness and a part of every one of us, then why are so many starving for love? Could it be that our own concepts and ideals are preventing us from finding and accepting love?

Young love…

When we are young, we love unconditionally. This may be because we have not yet experienced the rejection, disappointments and pain which we later associate with love. When we are young, our love receptiveness can be as simple and as natural as catching the eye of another human being.

What follows seems like magic… We hold that glance for what appears to be forever, we feel an opening in our chest, our stomach, perhaps also in the sexual area of our body… The openness and opening up part of the experience will leave us feeling excited, invigorated and even breathless. There may follow a sense of wholeness, completeness and balance that is beyond compare. For a brief moment we have been in love!

Teenagers, especially young girls, seem to fall in love with a refreshing frequency. This love is categorized as “puppy love”. It is often dismissed as being not being deep or the “real thing” by persons who believe themselves to be older, wiser and more experienced in life. Indeed, as we get older, love becomes compartmentalised in one way or another by most of us. Looking back, we can see that these first experiences and openings to love are a completely natural and normal state of being. Furthermore, they are a state of being which can be always so.

Love as we get older…

Moving along the pathway of life, we often become guarded and closed towards the natural state of love. Love may become a glorious desert that we allow ourselves to consume from time to time rather than an everyday way of being. We may also however, later in life, come to this realization that love is an openness and a conscious choice. We do choose when, what and who to experience openness with… So why then don’t we love enough?

The reasons for love being compartmentalised and rarely experienced are many and varied. Lack of trust and lack of interest are two prominent ones. We fill our lives with and prioritize so many other things that we forget until love happens again how valuable that openness is. We forget what pleasure, wonder and delight love brings…

The very expression “falling in love” brings with it a connotation and feeling of being out of control. Yet when we do fall in love we are actually very much in control, even if we do not realize it. There is a part of all of us that relishes the idea of being out of control. We use it as a moment of escape from the rigidity and controlled perception that we have of ourselves and our lives. We delight in imagining and believing that when we fall in love, we are somehow taken over, even possessed.

Love glorious love…

There are few people who have discovered anything more glorious or delightful than the feeling of being in love. We continue to be fascinated by the process, the symptoms and the experience. Love has been romanticized and continues to be romanticized by each one of us on some level. Countless books, movies and dreams re-enact love’s dance. Love is still one of humankind’s most treasured dreams and highest aspirations.

We are at a point however, as said, where many people feel that love is not an everyday state of being. Love is seen as something that happens rarely, to be expected maybe once or twice in a lifetime. Perhaps not to be expected at all.

Many people sit alone waiting for love to come. Many also struggle with the idea of loving and being in love with more than one person. Many feel that love cannot be real or deep if it is shared. Dilemmas are created by logical thought. We indulge in analytical comparisons of the different states of love rather than accepting each moment of love joyfully. There is a part in all of us that enjoys having a problem to wrestle with. Indeed, it becomes a drama to envelope both our sensitivity and sensibilities…

We have great expectations of love, taking it in our minds to often unreachable heights. Sometimes we place the ideal of love on such a high pedestal that is seems an impossible dream. We do not see or even believe that there exists a person that can be the catalyst for our opening and openness. A person with whom to be in love… The natural state of openness and of being loved and in love, in our minds, becomes complex and confusing. Perhaps at such times of seeming complexity we need to think with our hearts as well as with our minds. The only persons blocking the natural experience of love and being in love is ourselves…

Falling in love….

There are many triggers that help us to fall in love with another person. Many ways to drop our shields and defenses and to enter into a state of natural openness with both ourselves and another. A look, a smile, an empathy, a feeling of sameness, somehow feeling on the same wavelength, a kindness shown, a vulnerability…

When we fall in love, there is a part of us that feels safe to do so. Our own innate conditions and criteria have been met, complex or simple as they may be. We will all at different times in our lives go through our own process before we allow ourselves the openness of love. For some the process will be short, for others long. We each have our own patterns and conditions to be fulfilled before we let go and love. It might be that first we need to check that we can trust that other person, that they will be responsible with our love, even worthy of it. We need to know that our love will not be used against us. Many of us want to be sure that we will be loved in return.

“Soul Mates”…

Over the past few years the concept of “soul mates” has become yet another block and barrier to true love. It has complicated even further the simplicity of love. This idea of “soul mates” has fostered the idea that we each have one person whom we can love more easily and more completely. Someone who is more right for us than anyone else… All other loves may be good, but a “soul mate” has become the ultimate ideal.

I have met with many couples going through rough patches, with many of them facing serious problems. Without the concept of “soul mate”s these people might well have moved on within themselves and worked through their problems together to find something between them even greater and beyond what they even imagined… Instead, many of them simply break the relationship off.

It never stops amazing me how many of us are with exactly the person we need to be with to grow, realize and move on within ourselves. If we really dislike something in our partner, chances are that they really dislike the exact same thing in us. We constantly mirror each other in our relationships. I am not suggesting that anyone should stay in an abusive or bad relationship. I am just saying that perhaps, even then, we at least need to take a moment to see why we are in such a position. To work on the patterns that keep drawing us into and keep keeping us in those relationships and see how to create new ones.

We do not make mistakes. On some level we do know exactly what we are doing at all times. We are victims only when we choose to be. We each have the strength somewhere inside of ourselves to move beyond that state when we decide to.

The Perfect Picture…

When couples first meet, they take a good long look at each other. In fact we all do this when we meet anyone new, without registering all that we see. We don’t register it all because it happens very fast and we are not used to recalling all that we saw in that first moment. We simply are not realizing what we do… When two people first meet, they each sell the other the best possible picture of themselves. As the relationship develops further, this euphoria slowly ( or fast sometimes! ) fades, and the perfect picture of the other is replaced by the realization and perhaps acceptance of so called “imperfections”.

We could call imperfections basic humanness. How disappointed and disillusioned we become when this point is reached… Some people never get over the disappointment they feel toward the other and the dream of love. Trust is broken and barriers between the couple are built. This is true in all relationships. At some point, there will be disappointment and disillusion. Perhaps then we will go on to accept humanness in the other and continue to love, but with reservation… But then the complete openness of love is no longer in effect… When we do stay as open as possible and work through the feeling of being out of love we have a perfect opportunity to learn much about ourselves, others and life.

A True Story…

I would like to share a short but true story of an experience that I had many years ago. It was an experience that brought home to me the simplicity and the reality of love. This experience, among others, made me realize that love is unconditional, natural and constant and does not necessarily need expression, recognition or reciprocity.

I was in my mid twenties and had just arrived home after traveling abroad. I arrived in a town where I knew no one, so decided to stay at the local hostel. This hostel offered long term rooms to rent for both single men and women. It was clean, reasonably priced and had a cafeteria open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It seemed like the ideal place and I needed somewhere to begin.

I settled in my room, bought flowers, opened the blinds and made some small changes that helped me feel at home. On the second or third day, I began to be aware of the inhabitant on the other side of the wall, in the room next to mine… There were small occurrences, the radio being played at different times of the day, footsteps going in and out, nothing special or out of the ordinary… I began to feel the other person’s presence at night when I slept. I became aware that I was walking in and out of my neighbor’s dreams…

I continued about my business, looking around the area, finding the things I needed. But I was changing. Life was changing, day-by-day. Everything seemed lighter and brighter. It was like being in a state of constant springtime! Excitement and anticipation filled the air. The coming and going of the occupant next door continued…

Then it stopped. For a day and a night I heard nothing. I sensed that my neighbor was not there. I found myself missing the presence, straining to hear the once familiar sounds. A day later the presence returned. I started to feel love and openness for this solitary being on the other side of the wall. As the days passed, I was thrilled to feel such a joy and openness. I was then on a constant emotional high that felt as if it would never end. I knew that this was how life really was, and all the time it was not, I had been missing something.

I felt a sense of balance and well being beyond measure. I loved everyone and everything and it seemed that the world and love shone back on me wherever I went and whatever I did. I knew that the openness that was me, was love, and being in love. I knew then also without a doubt that I was love. The realization was made even more poignant in its simplicity. I knew that I loved the person next door, and that the wall between us in no way separated us. I did not know then if that person was a male of female, and it did not matter. I was calm. I knew it did not matter if I never saw that person. I had no need to tell that person of my love. I realized then that love needs no response or recognition. Love simply is.

Love Is…

Love in an openness and a state of being. It is not an energy – something that we tap into and use – although it is often described and perceived as such.

The perception that love is a feeling or an energy, keeps love separate from ourselves. It allows us to feel that we can dip into it, or stay out of it, as and when we choose… This perception of being separate from love also builds up illusions of love. We put love on a pedestal so high that even though it is the thing that we most want, our concepts make us believe that is never quite reachable. Belief that love is outside and separate from us also fosters and nurtures deep rooted beliefs of unworthiness and draws struggles and unhappiness into our lives.

Love is perceived as an energy most often by those who are not often in it. By those who are not aware that they are love and those who continue to search for it, not realizing that it already is there.. And yet, all that is needed to exist in love, is a slight shift in thought and perception… The fact remains and always will. We can be love, in love, and all of the time if we choose to be! We only need to open ourselves up and accept this natural openness and state of being.

“The Love Station”…

We can be in love anytime that we choose… To feel love, try this simple exercise…

Imagine that your heart and your chest are wide open… Imagine that there is nothing there at all, only a big empty space… Allow that big empty space to grow bigger and bigger. Expand this area as much as you wish. Next, think of someone or something that you love or think of the last time you felt really loved… Recall, feel and enjoy those feelings again…

Remember that love is not limited to another human being. You can think of an animal, an object, an idea or ideal, anything that brings to you the feeling of love. While you are doing this exercise, you may feel a warmth spreading through your heart and chest. Let the feeling expand all through your body. Now let every other thought and emotion go by simply focusing on and imagining that you are breathing and floating in this feeling of love and warmth… Finally, with your mouth open, breathe deeply from your stomach this feeling all through your body until you feel completely full and satisfied… Stay for a while and enjoy the sensations of love…

As you practice this short exercise regularly and become comfortable with the feeling of love, you will realize that you do not need to ever feel starved of love. It is true that as you feel and accept love for yourself, you will become more lovable to others. Your openness that is love will be more easily accepted and returned by people that you meet and even those that you wish to be loved by.

Allow yourself now to experience and enjoy all of the openness and all of the love that your already are. It is not complicated! It’s just like tuning yourself from one way of being to another, rather like tuning a radio. Isn’t it time you changed channels and tuned into you, “The Love Station”?