What is Love?
Love has many different faces and in some languages it goes by different names. When we speak of love, what do we mean? Love of life and all the wonderful things if offers, love of a significant other and the way they make us feel, love of power and the influence it yields. Do we mean compassion and love for others or the pure bliss and intoxication of love for the Beloved that Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic, speaks about
Unconditional Love – Awakening the Heart Chakra
You are the Essence of the Essence,
the intoxication of Love.
Love has many different faces and in some languages it goes by different names. When we speak of love, what do we mean? Love of life and all the wonderful things if offers, love of a significant other and the way they make us feel, love of power and the influence it yields. Do we mean compassion and love for others or the pure bliss and intoxication of love for the Beloved that Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic, speaks about - a divine infinite love for the essence of the essence. One love, one heart as Bob Marley sang. This all encompassing love flows from the fully awakened heart chakra.
To extend our love vocabulary we generally borrow from the Greek language, which hosts a rich array of terms. We all know Eros, he’s the one with the bow and arrow representing passion, romance and of course the erotic. Then there’s platonic named after the Greek philosopher Plato, representing friendship and love without Eros. Philia is familial love - the blood is thicker than water variety. While pragma, forms unity for logical reasons and attaining mutual goals, this love is led by the head not the heart.
Love from the heart is known as agape, often translated as unconditional love. A powerful energy, that asks for nothing in return. In yoga, agape is the basis of seva and karma yoga - the yoga of action and selfless service. The desire to give with no thought of return. I remember struggling with this on my yoga teacher training in India. We were taught to love everything the same. Things we liked and things we disliked. That means, standing on your head or other advanced postures are no more meaningful than cleaning the toilets. A big learning curve for the ego! We were invited to view everything as part of the universe and equally deserving of love. We were taught not to see separation, but to love everyone as Self, all as God, all as a part of the Beloved. The recognition of the interconnectedness of everything and everyone, known as entanglement in quantum physics, is at the very heart of yoga.
True unconditional love is easier said than done and requires a degree of humility and grace. A releasing of ego that allows the heart chakra to awaken. When energy flows uninterrupted from the solar plexus chakra, which is our seat of inner power, to the heart chakra our centre of love and compassion, a major transformation takes place. This movement of energy creates a shift from the love of power to the power of love.
The heart chakra rests in the centre of the chakra system with personal chakras below and universal chakras above. It unites the inner male and female energies holding everything in balance. Maat, the ancient Egyptian Goddess of truth and justice, whose symbol ‘the scales’ are still seen over our law courts today, is also the goddess of the heart. Maat is recognised by her outstretched wings and the feather on her head. Her feather is used to weigh the hearts/souls of the dead and pass judgement. If the heart weighs heavy, then the soul will reincarnate and return to the world. If the heart is as light as a feather (hence the popular saying), then all lessons are learned and the soul may return to the stars. We all know how it feels to have a heavy heart, holding onto fear, anxiety, pain and negative energy. No one escapes the lessons of life. Sometimes we experience a light-heart and expertly weave the secrets of love and laughter. Whenever we release and let go of our fears and worries we instantly feel light.Life constantly asks us to lighten up, to show compassion and forgiveness, to cultivate loving kindness. It’s so easy to hang onto our pain, when we are ready to let go, the question is how do we do it? The ability to forgive is truly a wonderful gift and a blessing for those forgiven. When we awaken heart chakra energy, anger and fiery passion melt into compassion. To forgive is a gift we allow ourselves and offer from the heart for the good of all beings.
"Love is the perfume a flower bestows on the foot that crushed it!"
The question I ask as Valentines day approaches is "What is Love to you?"
I would love to hear your answers.
Caroline Shola Arewa energy4lifecoach.com
Yoga Teacher, Psychologist, Author and Trainer of Wellness Coaches.
For more on Energy, Mythology and the Heart see Opening to Spirit