Love is more than something happening in a distant future when we’ll be ‘happy-ever-after’. The only love that counts is the one you feel right now.
The magic thing is that we can learn to feel and create more love in the present… like everything, like yoga, it’s a practice.
Tolstoy, one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century wrote:
“Future love does not exist, love is a present activity only. The man who does not manifest love in the present has not love.”
That’s not an easy concept to grasp, especially since we’ve been educated to believe in a happily-ever-after future when everything will be perfect. Especially love.
Almost all the love stories we consume focus on the beginnings of relationships. The casual encounters, the first dates, the first kisses, the final get together and… that’s when the story ends.
But the real work of a relationship doesn’t end once two people have decided to be together. That’s just the beginning. Love takes work.
Not just romantic love. Let’s turn this towards ourselves. How much do you love yourself… right now?
Are you regularly communicating with yourself your desires and needs, forgiving your mistakes, trying to learn and grow, allowing yourself to be truthful and vulnerable, even going on self-dates and looking after your wellbeing?
Or maybe you are waiting to be… less busy, healthier, have more money, go away on a holiday, have a job, don’t have a job, be more relaxed, 1 year from now, 5 years from now, have less pimples, freckles, more hair…? The list is endless.
Mostly, we are too busy to stop and contemplate on our own needs, desires, or even flaws. Those who meditate regularly might notice an increase in their awareness. Depends on the type of meditation they practice too. But allowing the space to self-reflect to know what your needs and wants are is key to then communicate them to the other.
There are other ways in which we can develop an awareness of the self. Self-reflection and journaling can be one of them.
This month let’s make it the month of love… Love you can feel right now.
In the right here, right now.
A few things we can try:
1. Find 5 things to love about yourself right now. At least. And 3 things you need to be honest about (the ugly stuff, you know…)
2. Also find 5 things to love about the people you love. Pick one, two, three, as many people you like, and choose 5 things you love about them. And ditto, 3 things you need to be honest with them.
After the above, perhaps you’d like to try this short meditation
3. Sit in silence for a few minutes and simply send love to yourself first and to the people you love, reminding yourself of the things your love about them and yourself.
Finally, if you’d like to know more…
4. Bhakti Yoga. Love in the present moment indeed! If you want to find a practice that targets directly your heart… look into Bhakti Yoga. Often defined as the yoga of love, it’s the devotional path of yoga, through practices such as chanting, singing, dancing and selfless service within the community.
Music seems to be the most direct path to the heart and to communing with a higher power (call it what you wish).
There are many famous Bhakti yogis (Gandi is a prime example) and many devotional singers. Today I’d like to share with you this beautiful song by Khrisna Das, one of my favourites.