Wow, big word.
There are so many layers of love, so many nuances of love in our life. Love can be falling asleep in your lover’s arms; a sweet kiss on the cheek from your three year old; Watching your highly anxious 11 year old twirl through the air on a trapeze in front of a large audience; or hearing your 6 year old tenderly saying, “I love you mama”. Love can be hugging your mom after an extended time of absence. It can be remembering the embrace of your mom after she has been passed for some time. Love is complicated. Love is not simple. Love is sometimes forgotten. Sometimes we have to cultivate love to have love. Sometimes we have to remember love to know we can still experience love.
Some days I am so confused by love. Does it mean to be taken care of? Does it mean you feel protected? Does it mean you’re unconditionally able to give and give and give… what is love? Is it a thought? Is it a cerebral explanation? An obligation? A “because I am supposed to? Is it a feeling?
For me, love is an experience.
For me, love is NOT just a feeling. Feelings are fluid. Feelings like emotions are fleeting. You will feel one million different ways in a day depending on the minute, and they are typically fleeting… BUT experiences like love, although perhaps, never front and center, they are usually pretty consistently available to experience should we allow ourselves a moment of pause to tap into the experience of love. Experiencing love can give you the feeling of ‘coming home’. It can remind us of purpose. Love brings us back into our heart and out of our head. With the experience of love can come transcendence into what makes us feel fully connected and whole.
I am a mother of three beautiful children. I am the wife of a hardworking night nurse. I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, an aunt, I am the owner of a thriving psychotherapy and coaching business. I am all these things, and I LOVE all these roles. Of course I do, I am supposed to love my children, love my husband, love my mother, love my job and my clients. BUT, sometimes I have to ask myself…
How many times in a day am I allowing myself to experience love?
We can “love” lots of things. We can give our “love” to lots of people. We can say, “I love you” a hundred times a day. But words are just words and thoughts are just thoughts. Experiencing love is akin to feeling a whole body sensation of deep soul penetrating calm. It is intrinsic attunement to everything and everyone around you without judgment or criticism. Experiencing love is like surrendering completely to a moment of embodied neutrality to the world and yourself. There is a deep knowing of calm and security that comes with experiencing love.
Sometimes, to access the experience of love, we need to stop and create a moment. We need to get super real in our hearts, and come in for a landing. We need to acknowledge we have been loving WITHOUT experiencing LOVE! We need to feel with our heart and think with our heart. When we act with pure heartfelt intention we will experience love but it is critical that we stop to soak it in.
Literally, stop, now and feel your heart… Can you experience love in this moment? Can you give yourself the experience of love? If yes, savor the moment like it’s your last. If you’re not experiencing love, then stop and know that you are not alone.
Most of us have experienced loss and lack of love. Acknowledge the pain, the loss, the exhaustion, the void, the disappointment the surprise, because whether you’re ready to name it is as any of the above, NOT being able to access the experience of love in your heart, is ALL of the above.
Sometimes when I don’t feel love I am feeling anger, I am feeling stress, I am feeling worry, I am feeling disappointment, I feeling forgotten, I am feeling taken advantage of, I am feeling overworked, I am feeling downtrodden, and hopeless, but above all I am missing the experience of love. And I use this as my guide:
Feel free to try this on for size:
1) Close your eyes for a moment
2) Take three deep breaths
3) Tune into your heart
4) Choose one thing in life that exudes a loving experience
5) Grow this feeling inside your body till you feel it spill out and expand and grow into every facet of your life.
6) Repeat daily! It only takes 60 seconds