Learning to Love

Everyone once and a while I realize the deep importance of loving in our lives and I have to talk about it. The idea of love get’s thrown around a lot as a catch phrase for many thing. In this case I’m going to speak of love as love for oneself. Even this statement I’m going to redefine as experiencing love ‘through’ oneself. It is to be in a constant state of flow and trust with what is arriving around you, and to fully adjust you based on what presents itself.

We are in fact in a constant state of low level ‘fight or flight response’ when we are not connected with the love within ourselves. You may not be aware of it but it is there. That love or the energy source of all things is our connection to God or the divine and it helps us relax. The understanding of this type of love can only be experientially understood and not from a place of mental distance; meaning you have to go out and practice it to know what it is. It is not a mental concept, nor is it a belief system.   It is an experience that moves through your body, that feels relaxing and lovingly. It feels like home.

We are always trying to get back to this home, to feel comfortable with ourselves and our life. One might argue this is the underlying motivation for everything human beings do. When we ‘get back to this love’ our muscles lose tension and we enter a relaxed state of being.  We find the home within ourselves once more.

Thoughts at one level can be very much disconnected from the love within ourselves.  We can live an entire day, week or month in our minds but not necessarily feel deeply relaxed or connected with the world.  And the more time we spend in this reality the more we come to believe that it is the only one available to us. We then set life goals (financial gain, career advancement and relationship success) in this disconnected state that lead to less than stellar results.

This is similar to focusing on winning a $100 poker hand on a sinking ship.  You are so focused on your cards that you are oblivious to everything else going on around you.  You are missing the big picture.

Many of my clients who come in to see me report not feel deeply satisfied with their life regardless of their level of success. In a sense they have learned to play the game well but have not learned that connecting with love should be a extremely high priority.

The key aspect of any psychological, spiritual or mental health program is always a) reconnection to the self and b) reconnection to the world around you. And one of the quickest way to do this is to stop focusing on ambition-based tasks and becoming more focused on love and connection based tasks.

Stop striving so hard at work, or obsessing about some small thing in your life (we all do it). Go outside and feel the connection with nature, or meetup with a loving partner or friend or a good discussion.

The goal is to get your awareness flowing once again around the big picture, to see the ocean around you, to appreciate it and maybe even so swimming in it.

Once you have reconnect with love then you can still play poker and enjoy it but when you see the ship is going to you put down your cards and see what is happening outside.

Heron Free, M.Ed. is a Counselling Psychologist and the author of the upcoming book The Little Big Book of Change