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Five Ways to Keep Love in Our Hearts

Five Ways to Keep Love in Our Hearts
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Love is not easy. We are all constantly bombarded with reasons to let other emotions take the place of love. Even though every single person wants to give and receive love more than anything else in the world, nevertheless it always seems to be in short supply. Negative emotions like anger, jealousy, greed, and even hate seem to dominate our world instead.

I’m here to tell you, though, that that is just an illusion. Despite the ugliness on the surface of the world, unconditional, unchanging love is everywhere. It is at the foundation of existence, a force that is part of us and of everything that exists in the world. This pure love lies at the root of the love we feel for people close to us, but it is something more than what we usually think of as romantic or familial love.

Rather, it is completely neutral and peaceful, unaffected by waves of passion and drama. And not only is this love the foundation of the world we see around us, it is the basis of who we are, too. That is why we should always remember that we are not alone in this world and that we always have the love that we need.

It is true, however, that we do not always experience life this way. Although infinite love is always present, our minds block it from flowing through us, and thus we do not experience it fully. Our heart is its conduit, waiting there to circulate love through us and out to the world through our words and actions. However, most of us have emotional walls around our heart, most of which we placed there subconsciously after emotional traumas of various sorts. This is the root of all our human suffering as we have become separated and divided from other people.

So how then do we learn to love again? How do we break down the walls that surround our heart? Here are five simple things you can do:

1. Know unequivocally that we are a beings of love.

Even if in the moment we feel anything but love, we are still love at the core of our essence. This is important to acknowledge because if we cannot believe this about ourselves, it will continue to elude us. If we think that only anger or jealousy exists in a relationship, then that is what we will continue to experience. If we deny that love is always available, then how can we ever find it? That would be like dying of thirst when a deep well is right there available to us, all because we did not believe that the well has any water in it. Love will automatically begin to reveal itself if we truly understand that it is always there.

2. Only we can choose love.

It doesn't help us to blame others if we feel a lack of love in a situation. That is not to say that people can behave in unloving ways—they can abuse us, they can betray us, and they can ignore our value. Even if their actions are the reasons we built a wall around our hearts, it is still our choice to do so. Opening our hearts again requires us to take responsibility for the fact that we built those walls in the first place. The walls will only become bigger and bigger if we continue to blame others for our lack of love. Instead, we can just think: “I am responsible for creating love in my life.” If we can say this to ourselves honestly and without reservation, then the stone walls will begin to come down, brick by brick.

3. Accept all thoughts, emotions, words, and actions that arise.

If we make ourselves or anyone else wrong for not loving, we have ironically also fallen into a trap of non-love. If we judge thoughts, emotions, words, or actions as “bad,” we block the interchange of love between ourselves and others. We must accept the “good” and the “bad” equally in order to use emotions effectively. Acceptance allows love inside to flow, and prevents us from becoming stuck in the same negative emotional patterns. Just like in nature, a flowing stream is clearer and brighter than a stagnant pond. When everything in a situation, even that which we consider “bad,” is allowed to come and go, instead of being challenged and fought, then love can come to heal the situation quicker.

4. Stay centered within ourselves.

While we are “going with the flow,” we need an anchor to keep us from tipping over; we need to stay centered. Being centered allows us to remain fluid and flexible even while being rocked and swayed by difficult circumstances. If we can stay centered, we can also stay centered in love instead of in other emotions. We cannot do this by focusing on the chatter of our minds, as people so often do. Instead, we can focus on feeling the core of our bodies. Imagine that there is a strong pole running through the center of the body, and see it as something to hang onto mentally when strong winds blow.

The lower abdomen is at the center of that pole and is the location of the lower dahnjon (energy center)—about two inches below the navel and two inches inside. With practice, we can learn to stay centered there, keeping a small part of our minds always focused on that spot in our bodies. At first, we may need to set aside a special time to practice every day, meditating with focused attention on that area. We can also do exercises to increase the energy in that area, which will also help us feel strong and energetic. If it is at first difficult to feel the dahnjon and to focus there, we can move our lower abdominal muscles in and out with our breath; this will create a tangible physical sensation on which to focus our mind.

5. Send love to others.

Make love a conscious habit—something we do every day. I recommend setting aside a few minutes several times a day to send love to others through our imagination. I guarantee this will generate more love in our lives. First, we can imagine love flowing from our hearts to every body part of our bodies. As thoughts or feelings arise, send them love, too. Then, give love to everything we notice. We can visualize this as light flowing to everything and everybody. Or, if visualization is hard, just keep focusing on the words. We can do this at a certain place and time during the day, or we can do it while standing in line or traveling here and there. If we keep imagining love flowing everywhere, even if we think it’s just pretend at first, eventually we will feel it in ourselves, and we will know without a doubt that it is real.

Following these five suggestions does not require us to buy anything or do anything time-consuming or difficult. These are very simple ways that love can become a consistent reality in our daily lives. All we have to do is choose it, make it part of our lives, and love will be there for us.
Written by Ilchi Lee
A visionary, educator, author, and founder of ChangeYourEnergy.com, Ilchi Lee has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves. Lee has created Body & Brain Yoga, Brain Education, and hundreds of other wellness programs and methods. A model for the self-improvement he teaches, Ilchi Lee is continually changing and continually creative. Keep up with Ilchi Lee on his blog at http://www.ilchi.com.
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