The Currency we call Love
And the pathway to its ultimate return on investment
Love is a currency that is most powerful when your intention is to experience real freedom. It’s something we all possess, an innate gift that has tremendous benefits when fully engaged. Like the muscles of our body, it needs regular exercise, and it too will enhance your physical vitality, mental acumen, and even your emotional agility!
But in today’s world we use the word love to describe interactions and relationships that differ greatly from the Love associated with real freedom. Today the word love is primarily used to describe an exchange that, although a normal part of human relationships, will not tap into the potential available to anyone who practices it in an unconditional context!
As Krishnamurti so gracefully puts it:
“Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
The true power of Love, and its greatest benefits, are greatly diminished by our casual use of the word. As such, this real power is well hidden under our common vernacular.
This is not to say that how we use the word love is wrong, not working, or not right. It’s more to say that there is a much greater and untapped potential available in using this powerful word for more than its basic aspects of functional and even heart-felt relationship. The true Capital “L” Love is most likely THE main ingredient to a rich experience of life. For sure it is the core ingredient in poetry, art, passion, and even most religions.
When it comes to affection, personal attachment, sexual passion or desire, all terms used in love’s formal dictionary definition1, there isn’t much question about how personal needs are tied to love as the word is used today. There is an inherent expectation that you will receive something in return for what we call love.
Are you asking yourself “Are you kidding Jim? Of course I expect something in return, it’s called a relationship. Isn’t that quite natural?”.
Simply put, no (when you consider the greater potential that unconditional love offers us) The functional meaning we apply to the word love cripples its greatest potential! If we explore Love as a word with infinite potential, engaging and experiencing the mystery of its unconditional awe and wonder, we quickly open ourselves to new possibilities that, deep down inside, we yearn to express.
Emily Maroutian sums it up well in the above meme. Where and how we place our attention is going to dictate the direction our life takes.
So I ask you, how do you perceive love in your life? Is it about your relationships? Do you expect something in return, and what is it? From a practical sense, these are actually good things to explore, and doing so can have some great outcomes, even without transforming everything into an unconditional exchange!
However, there are spaces in our life’s activities where giving love freely, while maintaining healthy boundaries, opens doors to a kind of freedom we’ve only dreamt of being possible.
Love is a verb, and the conditions of its deepest expression are not reciprocity. Try It On! What you will experience as you find little ways to practice Love as an unconditional gift will be an entirely new experience of your life.
Since so many who know far more than I have worked with exercises in this arena, I am providing you with the exercise from 8 Mindfulness Exercises for Love and Compassion that is hosted on the Mindful Exercises site. I am not promoting this site, but I do find this information to be on point with my writing above and for those interested it may be worth exploring (I recommend starting with the 8 Mindfulness Exercise link).
Here is a quick exercise from this page:
There are many different mindfulness exercises online that can be explored in relation to love and compassion. However, this simple heart-centered practice is a great grounding meditation. It can be practiced without any additional tools and without requiring an extended period of time. You can practice this mindfulness exercise anywhere, bringing yourself into a comfortable seated position and closing your eyes as it feels safe to do so.
Wherever you are seated, take a few moments to focus your attention on your breath. Without changing the breath in anyway, simply follow its natural rhythm. and as you pay greater attention to the sensations present with each inhalation and each exhalation. Watch your breath in this way for just a few cycles.
Now, gently tune into the physical body, noting where there is any contraction, and mindfully release this tension. Soften the belly, the shoulders, the eyebrows, and the forehead, in particular.
Next, draw your attention to the space between your closed eyes. And when you are ready, begin to draw your attention slowly down the length of your nose. Then through your mouth and throat, until you land in the center of your chest. Hold your attention here as you breathe into and out of the heart space.
Anytime the mind wanders, pulling your attention away from the peaceful flow of your breath through your heart center, gently invite these thoughts down to the heart for release and/or transformation.
Practice this for a few minutes at minimum or for as long as you’d like. You can practice this technique anytime. When the mind becomes consumed by fearful thoughts that are in opposition with the loving core nestled deep within you. In addition to being used as a standalone practice, you can use this exercise as a way of grounding yourself in the heart space before diving into another mindfulness exercises for love and compassion.
“Let us always meet each other with [a] smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
1: Love, noun
- a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
- a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
- sexual passion or desire.
- a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
- (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like):Would you like to see a movie, love?
- a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
- sexual intercourse; copulation.
- (initial capital letter) a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.
- affectionate concern for the well-being of others:the love of one's neighbor.
- strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything:her love of books.
- the object or thing so liked:The theater was her great love.
- the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
- Chiefly Tennis. a score of zero; nothing.
- a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L.
Love, verb (used with object), loved, lov·ing.
to have love or affection for:All her pupils love her.
- to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).
- to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in:to love music.
- to need or require; benefit greatly from:Plants love sunlight.
- to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.
- to have sexual intercourse with.