Love is not easy. We are all constantly bombarded with reasons to let other emotions take the place of love. Even though every single person wants to give and receive love more than anything else in the world, nevertheless it is always in short supply. Negative emotions like anger, jealousy, greed, and even hate seem to dominate our world instead.
I’m here to tell you, though, that that is just an illusion. Despite the ugliness on the surface of the world, unconditional, unchanging love is everywhere. It is at the foundation of existence, a force that is part of us and of everything that exists in the world. This pure love lies at the root of the love we feel for people close to us, but it is something more than what we usually think of as romantic or familial love.
Rather, it is completely neutral and peaceful, unaffected by waves of passion and drama. And not only is this love the foundation of the world you see around you, it is the basis of who you are, too. That is why you should always remember that you are not alone in this world and that you always have the love that you need.
It is true, however, that we do not always experience life this way. Although infinite love is always present, our minds block it from flowing through us, and thus we do not experience it fully. Our heart is its conduit, waiting there to circulate love through us and out to the world through our words and actions. However, most of us have emotional walls around our heart, most of which we placed there subconsciously after emotional traumas of various sorts. This is the root of all our human suffering as we have become separated and divided from other people.
So how then do we learn to love again? How do we break down the walls that surround our heart? Here are five simple things you can do:
1. Know unequivocally that you are a being of love.
Even if in the moment you feel anything but love, you are still love at the core of your essence. This is important to acknowledge because if you cannot believe this about yourself, it will continue to elude you. If you think that only anger or jealousy exists in a relationship, then that is what you will continue to experience. If you deny that love is always available, then how can you ever find it? That would be like dying of thirst when a deep well is right there available to you, all because you did not believe that the well has any water in it. Love will automatically begin to reveal itself if you truly understand that it is always there.
2. Only you can choose love.
Stop blaming others if you feel lack of love in a situation. that is not to say that people can behave in unloving ways—they can abuse us, they can betray us, and they can ignore our value. Even if their actions are the reasons we built a wall around our heart, it is still our choice to do so. Opening your heart again requires you to take responsibility for the fact that you built that wall in the first place. The wall will only become bigger and bigger if you continue to blame others for your lack of love. Just think this to yourself: “I am responsible for creating love in my life.” If you can say this to yourself honestly and without reservation, then the stone walls will begin to come down, brick by brick.
3. Accept all thoughts, emotions, words, and actions that arise.If you make yourself or anyone else wrong for not loving, you have ironically also fallen into a trap of non-love. If you judge thoughts, emotions, words, or actions as “bad,” you block the interchange of love between yourself and others. We must accept the “good” and the “bad” equally in order to use emotions effectively. Acceptance allows love inside to flow, and prevents us from becoming stuck in the same negative emotional patterns. Just like in nature, a flowing stream is clearer and brighter than a stagnant pond. When everything in a situation, even that which we consider “bad,” is allowed to come and go, instead of being challenged and fought, then love can come to heal the situation quicker.
4. Stay centered within yourself.
While we are “going with the flow,” we need an anchor to keep us from tipping over; we need to stay centered. Being centered allows you to remain fluid and flexible even while being rocked and swayed by difficult circumstances. If you can stay centered, you can also stay centered in love, instead of in other emotions. You cannot do this by focusing on the chatter of your mind, as people so often do. Instead, focus on feeling the core of your body. Imagine that there is a strong pole running through the center of your body, and see it as something to hang onto mentally when strong winds blow.
The lower abdomen is at the center of that pole and is the location of the lower Dahnjon (energy center)—about two inches below the navel and two inches inside. With practice, you can learn to stay centered there, keeping a small part of our mind always focused on that spot in our body. At first, you may need to set aside a special time to practice every day, meditating with focused attention on that area. You can also do exercises to increase the energy in that area, which will also help you feel strong and energetic. If it is at first difficult to feel the Dahnjon and to focus there, move your lower abdominal muscles in and out with your breath; this will create a tangible physical sensation on which to focus your mind.
5. Send love to others.
Make love a conscious habit—something you do every day. Set aside a few minutes several times a day to send love to others through your imagination. I guarantee this will generate more love in your life. First, imagine love flowing from your heart to every body part of your body. As thoughts or feelings arise, send them love too. Then, give love to everything you notice. You can visualize this as light flowing to everything and everybody. Or, if visualization is hard for you, just keep focusing on the words. You can do this at a certain place and time during the day, or you can do it while standing in line or traveling here and there. If you keep imagining love flowing everywhere, even if you think it’s just pretend at first, eventually you will feel it in yourself, and you will know without a doubt that it is real.
Follow these five suggestions. Notice that you do not have to buy anything or do anything time-consuming or difficult. These are very simple ways that love can become a consistent reality in your daily life. All you have to do is choose it, make it part of your life, and love will be there for you.