What is love? Love is the most fundamental yet nebulous feeling that makes us human. It’s the fabric of our existence. We all crave love because that is what we are made of. However, in our humanness, we can begin to fear that the love we have will leave us.
What if our loved ones leave or pass away? What if their love runs out?
This quote is one that was spoken by Sirius Black (played by the great Gary Oldman) in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. Sirius reminds Harry that the love his parents had for him still lives on in his heart, even though they have passed away.
What is Love?
Most of us have grown up with a distorted idea of love. We define it as what happens in romantic comedies, Disney movies, or love songs. We try to put it in an overly simplified box: something between a man and woman, where they feel butterflies in their stomach and have a happy ending.
The problem is love is that and much more. Love is not just about the physical butterflies, nor is it limited to romantic heterosexual relationships. Anyone can love and feel love towards anyone and anything else. In fact, love is what connects us all. It’s the essence of humans.
3 Types of Love
Spiritual teachers have tried to categorize the many kinds of love, boiling down to at least three basic kinds of love: Absolute Love, Individual Love, and Sadhana (practice).
Absolute Love is the spiritual love that unites everything and everyone. The yoga tradition describes Absolute Love as satchidananda. Sat refers to its pure beingness. This love is everywhere and in everything. Chit refers to how it is innately conscious. Ananda describes it as the essence of joy and love.
This love is the feeling that we all experience at some point or another; it is the reason why a magnificent sunset can bring us to tears. It’s a profound, almost ecstatic feeling. It can be found in a moment of solitude in nature, or in an intimate moment with a partner. The where and the how isn’t important. And as we practice opening up our hearts, we can tap into this Absolute Love more often.
Individual Love refers to the love you feel for someone or something. However, the source of Individual Love is still Absolute Love. For example, maybe you love a certain song (Individual Love), and it makes you feel something. That feeling is still a reflection of Absolute Love.
Sadhana refers to the practice of love. It helps us connect the feeling of love that we crave with our actual reality. It is the actions and attitudes based on kindness and acceptance that helps us act loving even when we don’t feel like loving. For example, it is saying thank you even when you don’t feel gratitude or taking a break from work even when you don’t feel productive enough.
We Can Tap into it Anytime
If we are all made of love, and love is universal, we can always tap into this universal energy. Thus, if someone you love leaves you, their love will never go away. You can always feel their love for you by tapping into the feeling of love right now. Whether you do something kind for someone else, practice self-love, feel gratitude for everything around you, or soak up the beauty of nature, there are so many ways to tap into the energy of love, the same energy that your loved ones had for you.
The More Love You Give, the More Love You Can Give
The beauty of Absolute Love is that the more you give it, the more you feel it. It is abundant and multiples. There is no limit to love! Think about a time when you did something nice for someone else. How did you feel? No doubt, you felt amazing! Suddenly, the entire world felt more beautiful, right? That was you tapping into the infinite and powerful potential of love.
We all crave love at our essence. But in our humanness, we forget that we are love. We can tap into the feeling of love any moment, any day. The love we have for people and the love they have for us is infinite and permanent; it can never leave us nor run out. We just need to tap into Absolute Love.