Love is possibly the most used word and yet the most misunderstood in human evolution. People have been less loving towards each other and more transactional in every sense. But they still choose to call it love. Love is not transactional. It cannot be lost. Love cannot be gained either. Love is life. It is love because of which you and I are born. You do not need gifting ideas to get love.
Today is Valentine\’s Day. This is the day when all hell breaks loose. When all the mess happens. When everyone falls from love to what they want to recognise as love.
What is love?
Love is an expression of the Self to the Self. Wait, let me explain this jargon. Let\’s say you want to buy your friend a gift. You go into a store to purchase a gift. You see all the gifting ideas presented in the store. The first thing you\’d do when you are standing in front of the rack where gifts are showcased is, think about your friend and what choices your friend would prefer and appreciate. As you are thinking, you feel happiness. You feel love. That feeling is from you to yourself. That same feeling does not arise when you are with your friend. That feeling is different because heaps of expectations are between both of you. That is a transaction. Transaction cannot be love.
Love has no expectations. Love flows freely. When it\’s love, it shows. The only way you can feel more love is when it is shared without expecting anything in return. Love is health. Love is healing.
So, how does love work?
When two friends meet, its love flowing from you, through your friend and back to you. It is flowing from you and to you. When that happens, the mind misinterprets it as; \”My friend loves me\”, or \”My friend feels love for me.\” You cannot feel anything that\’s outside of you. Remember this truth. You cannot feel another person\’s feelings inside you. Yes, you can feel something happening within! That\’s because these feelings exist in you.
What about the physicality of love?
The body experiences changes when love blossoms. When you address these physical feelings such as hugging or kissing, then, love dies. That action of hugging or kissing is an expression of physical feelings of your attraction and attachment towards the other person. If it is driven towards a sexual intent, then it is lust. Definitely not love.
How can I love then?
You don\’t have to love. When you care, love expresses itself. Being compassionate, is an expression of love. Helping others without any expectation is an expression of love. You are doing it because that\’s what you feel like doing. Love has no motive for its expression. But, the moment you have a motive or an expectation from what flows through you, love dies.
Does that mean the world is wrong in loving each other?
When you look at a mirror, whom do you see? Is it you or your reflection? And when you appreciate whom you see in the mirror, do you appreciate yourself or your reflection? The mind tells you that you love your reflection. In reality, you are loving yourself through the reflection. When you get habituated to standing in front of the mirror to look at yourself so that you can appreciate yourself, you can no longer love yourself without a mirror.
Now, replace the mirror with a person. The same thing happens. When you don\’t spend time with yourself, you need someone else to appreciate you, accept you so that you can feel more comfortable. The world is driven by this reflection.
How can I love myself?
That\’s a good question. I will show you how you can love yourself now. Can you use your mirror now? Ok. You can stand in front of the mirror if it\’s long, else, just let the mirror be in front of you so that you can see your face in it.
Now, imagine that you are holding a flower with your hands in front of your chest. It can be any flower of any colour. Observe whether this flower is a bud, has blossomed or has wilted (is dull and will whither away). Order this flower to come into full bloom.
We will now breathe in love and breathe out love, ok! You can do this practice with your eyes open or closed. I prefer to do this practice with closed eyes. This is one of the best gifting ideas I have for you.
As you breathe in, tell yourself; I am breathing in love. Feel the breath enter your chest through the flower. Next, as you breathe out, tell yourself; I direct this love to my reflection. Do this a few times, say 15 times. Watch what happens every time you breathe in love and every time you direct this love to your reflection.
I\’d like to give a small tip here so that you can feel more love. Every time you breathe in, increase the number of flowers. Let 1 flower become 2 flowers. Then 2 flowers can become 10. Like this, go on increasing the number of flowers you will hold between your hands. During this practice, I imagine that I have about 500 flowers.
At the end of 15 breaths, watch how you feel. Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you see a lovelier you? A more beautiful or more handsome you? This is the way to love yourself. If you want to expand this love, go help others. Be nice to others. Be nice to your parents, your brothers and sisters. Do something nice today. When you are love, you can be more loving towards others. That\’s the way to love. That\’s the only way to love.
— Mahesh Krishnamurthy