Love and Mindfulness: How the two are inextricably intertwined

Pure love flows to us not through us. The love we express in each moment is filtered through our current level of consciousness and influenced by our past and present experiences. Still, there is no form of life unworthy of connecting and communing with unconditional love. Our desire to experience love without conditions is universal, our human nature however, resists the vulnerability we must embrace to receive it. This incongruence is our greatest struggle; it explains why we seek love and simultaneously push it away.

 

What is the source of this frustrating inconsistency? Our primal mind; this is our ancient brain, the one we have in common with all reptiles and mammals. It is the role of the reptilian or limbic brain to identify and protect us from danger. It does this by holding on to the memories of past threats so it can alert us when these threats emerge again. For example, a child burned by fire will remember past pain and avoid touching fire a second time. However, if their primal protection system compels them to turn away from all forms of fire, they may miss the comfort of a warm house or the enjoyment a hot meal on a cold night. After being burned, it takes courage to interact with fire again - even while recognizing its benefits. Likewise, if we have been hurt by love, it will take courage to love again. How can we open our hearts to the joy and liberation that true love offers and still keep ourselves safe from harm? By cultivating mindful moment-to-moment self and world awareness. This empowering way of interacting with our world can help us understand how our thoughts, feelings and interactions influence our ability to give and receive love. Becoming mindfully present to each interaction we have with others, helps us identify situations where we have closed ourselves off based on old threats that don’t apply to our current situation. This awareness also helps us pinpoint situations where we feel safe to experience love. Because mindfulness is a road to greater self and world awareness, it aids us in growing more self-confident to consciously choose when/ where with whom we will open to experiences of love.

  

Though love is omnipresent and has an immeasurable impact on all life, it is only through our observations and interactions with aspects of love that we come to understand our own true lineage of love. If we desire a greater understanding of love we must engage in meaningful fieldwork, for it is only in doing so that we are able to move beyond the limitations we have placed upon love. Our first step in that process is to cultivate self-love. As we foster authentic self-love, it becomes easier to see in others what we have identified within our selves. To accomplish this empowering goal, we must become aware of unloving ways that we communicate with ourselves in our inner dialog and behaviors. Once noticed, we can work to release these unloving ways and replace them with words and actions of love and compassion. Our second step is to apply those same principles to others. This is a beautiful and sacred process; it is the evolution of soul.

 

Allow yourself to step beyond the limitations you have placed on your ability to experience love. Walk mindfully and explore new opportunities for expressing love and releasing the unloving. Become a mindful, patient and compassionate observer of your inner and outer world so you may open to each occasion of love as it presents itself.