I’ve been contemplating love recently. Not so much love between humans, or love for the divine, or love for your cat – but Love itself.

What does love feel like?

There’s a section in the UK’s Guardian weekend magazine where famous people are asked what love feels like. I’m almost always surprised by their responses as there is often a negative connotation. ‘It hurts’, ‘Like a great misfortune’, ‘Devastating’ etc.

Being in Love is a state I desire more than any other, one where I feel most myself – so these responses truly baffle me.

Love in our terms

In my early 20s, I believed that the love I shared with my boyfriend was going to save me and make me complete. At one point I even expressed to him that I thought our love could lead to my enlightenment. Talk about pressure and expectation! He stopped loving me soon after.

Soon enough I realised the problem was that this aspiration was projected onto another human rather than Love itself – it was romanticised and externalised.

Love is unconditional

osho_loveRecently a friend spoke to me about unconditional love and how she doesn’t believe it exists. Reflecting on this, it struck me that we speak about Love not in terms of what it is, but how it impacts us and how we limit it within ourselves.

How can Love be anything but unconditional? If it is conditioned in any way, this is not a different form of love, but our own internal limitations restricting Love’s full expression.

Even when we speak of ‘romantic love’ or ‘plutonic love’ – this is saying nothing about the nature of Love itself, but the filters – both individual and social – through which we experience it.

Confusing love and hurt

Another friend of mine shared with me the other day that he never wants to fall in love again because he doesn’t want to get hurt the way he did when he was 17.

So close is his love/hurt association that he’s actively pushing away intimacy and opportunities for love, believing that it’s only going to lead to the same kind of hurt he couldn’t open to when he was younger.

Love is not the problem

This breaks my heart. Love is not the problem here, it never was. His deep aversion to feeling pain or hurt is what needs to be addressed.

Love is a great opener. It can lead to states of exquisite vulnerability. When we open in this way, we get in touch with very deep and sensitive parts of ourselves.

The pain is in the closing

As humans, we’re always going to get hurt and we may actually feel it more when we’re open. But when open, hurt can be experienced and moved through in a way that is healing.

The real pain is in the closing, in the shutting off, the rejection of these parts that can fall in love, the decision to not experience such states of opening again.

Love is a mighty opener

Love itself does not hurt. Love opens up the parts that are closed and that haven’t been touched in perhaps many years. This can hurt. But the source of this hurt is the closing that happened in the first place. Not Love itself.

I can’t help but feel that we often give Love a bad name.

Like ‘it did this to me’, ‘I’ll never love again’, ‘I don’t need love’, ‘love is only going to hurt’.

A dynamic principle

wings of fireLove is essentially a force, a mighty one. A high principle. Absolute. It is endless opening. Mysteriously deep. Expansive fire. Eternal flame. Sea of whiteness.

It’s dynamic. It embraces, holds, blasts open, awakens, pours through profusely like a waterfall. It moves through any obstacles in its way like a giant wave.

I shine through Love

One of my favourite verses speaks of the truth of Love, so I end here with an excerpt from it, from Samuel Sagan’s Atlantean Secrets Volume 2:

Some love to shine, I shine through Love.
Some are great by the might, I am mighty by Love.
Some love life and its delights. Love is my life and my delight comes from the love that lives in you.


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