In this article I am going to argue that most of us have completely misunderstood the true nature of love, and as a consequence, are damaging our relationships and creating problems and misery for ourselves. I want to show you how our research into heart-to-heart connection points us to a radically different understanding of love.
For many of us it is in the area of romance that we have the most powerful feelings of love. To find somebody we love and who loves us, is a truly uplifting experience. Falling in love is often the emotional high-point of our lives. While some couples may be lucky enough to sustain these feelings for a lifetime, most of us know from bitter experience that they often fade with time. The quality of our relationships may then be severely compromised or end in failure. If this happens our need for love is so strong that we will continue our search, perhaps finding a new partner, only to see the same problems re-appear in subsequent relationships. Our songs, books, poems and plays describe the ecstasy of finding love and the agony of losing it again. These experiences convince us that love is a fragile, transient phenomenon.
This is how most of us understand love. We can so easily see it as something that we lack and must therefore bring into our lives. I will show that this fundamental assumption is literally at the heart of all our relationship problems.
Our heart research in relationships has shown that love is not an emotion that comes and goes but is a fundamental property of who we are. It is our essence.
Love is the Realisation of our Natural State of Connection
When we fall in love, we are removing any sense of separation we have with another human being - we are becoming one with them. You can watch this happening for yourself on this short video that shows the extraodinary power of your heart to communicate with another human being.
Of course, this new definition challenges virtually everything we know about love. Most of us have experienced at first hand the way in which feelings of love seem to come and go depending on circumstances. While it is true that our emotions do fluctuate around the experience of love, our underlying capacity for love remains constant because we are connected by a higher, loving state of consciousness. It is important to distinguish between feelings of love and the loving bond itself. The bond, the connection that we all possess cannot be broken, but we may choose to feel or not to feel it.
With our new understanding of love we can propose an alternative explanation. The process of falling in love removes the barriers that we have been using to hide our natural loving essence. At some point we make a subconscious choice to feel the euphoria – we give ourselves permission to feel all the love that is within us and connects us both psychologically and spiritually. The presence of our partner is important, but only as the trigger to the release of self-love and our love for them. The rapidity with which we fall in love shows that we have not learnt anything new – there wouldn’t be time for that. We already know how to love and be loved because it is our connected essence. Falling in love is therefore a process of remembering who we really are.
Our conventional understanding of love is built on a belief in scarcity - that we are personally lacking in love and that there is never enough love to go round. In contrast, our new understanding is built on the idea of abundance – that we are one hundred percent complete when it comes to love. This has some startling implications - it turns everything we know about love on its head, for instance:
If our essence is love, we must have it in limitless supply.
We no longer need to search for love because we already have it. This takes away neediness, a very damaging behaviour in a relationship.
Although we may stop feeling love, we cannot lose it entirely - so can always return to those feelings.
Our experience of love is not determined by the amount of love we bring into our lives, but by the amount of love that we allow ourselves to feel.
The quality of our relationships will depend on how much love we are willing give to people and receive in return.
and finally... the accountable piece... our experience of love (and the happiness that goes with it) is a choice.
I accept that these are challenging ideas. If it is true that our essence is one of love and we have it in abundant supply, then the first and most obvious question we will ask is: “Why don’t we experience love and happiness more often in our lives”? The truth is that we place a number of conditions on whether or not we access our loving essence. In holding back the love, we erect barriers and create smokescreens that hide us and other people from our true identity. Most of us are largely unaware that we do these things.
Much can be done to remove the barriers that we have inadvertently erected to our loving essence and our essential connectedness. My other articles focus on the attitudes and behaviours that can help achieve this. You can read about the heart connection research in my book - Connected Hearts, available at Amazon. Here you will learn how to open your heart, even in difficult situations, and lead your relationships back to love, success and happiness.