Sometime today, you turned on a faucet in your home or apartment, and water emerged. You used that water to cook, to take a shower, to wash your dishes, and for many other purposes. You need that water. It allows you to experience more happiness, ease, and enjoyment in life.
How does water flow into your home? The water comes from an enormous original source and collects in a smaller reservoir assigned to your home. it’s carried into your house by an intricate set of pipes that then connect you with the water. Are the pipes the same as the water? “That’s a silly question!” you think. “Of course they’re not.” The pipes create the relationship between you and the water—they supply the water, but they are not the water.
The difference between love and a relationship
This metaphor helps us understand the difference between love and a relationship. Love is like the water of life. it’s a divine, limitless source that nourishes us and supports us in so many ways. We need it to survive.
Each of us has our own personal reservoir of that love called “the heart”. Our heart is the place where we collect and access that water from the source.
When two people have a relationship, they’re each accessing that love from their own separate, individual heart reservoir. You have your own personal set of “pipes” that connects you to your love, and the other person has their pipes connecting them to their love.
All of the components of a relationship—affection, communication, shared activities, and so on—serve as vehicles for your love to flow out and interact with someone else’s love, kind of like two streams of energy interacting together. (Visualize two streams of water dancing and splashing.) But the source of that love is inside of you.
A relationship is not the same as love.
Love is a vibrational field of sublime, life-enhancing energy.
A relationship is a vehicle through which you can experience love.
Another person is also a vehicle through which you can experience love.
But they’re not the source of the love.
Love doesn’t come from the outside of your life in.
Love comes from the inside out.
So what is it that we’re feeling when we feel love? What we call the “feeling” of love is the vibrational experience of the limitless field of cosmic energy as it moves into us and through us. That means any love we’re feeling is divine love!
Why is it that you feel more love in one moment than you do in another?
Here’s the best way I know how to describe it:
You have your own individual reservoir of love—your heart. Imagine it like your personal ocean filled with the energy of love.
- Someone comes along—your mate, your child, your friend—and does or says something that is sweet, kind, and caring.
- Their loving energy is like the wind: it stirs your vibrational ocean of love energy to rise up in waves.
- The stronger the wind of the other person’s vibrational energy, the bigger the waves of your own love that you feel rising up in your heart.
Isn’t this an illuminating way to understand what we mean by “love”? When you “feel” love, you’re actually experiencing the movement of that life force rising up within you, like a quiet ocean suddenly rising up in waves. The same amount of water is always there in the ocean, but when it moves into waves, it seems like something greater has happened, as if the ocean itself has become bigger.
So perhaps some new, enlightened translations of the phrase “I love you” are:
“My love is rising up in waves.” or “Your wind makes wonderful waves on the ocean of my heart!”
Once we gain this understanding of love and relationships, something else instantly becomes clear:
When we feel love, we’re never falling in love. We’re always rising in love.
It’s always just your own love
Have you ever wondered: “How does someone else’s love get into me?” The answer is: “It doesn’t!” No one gives you a transfusion of love, or provides bottles of love for you to drink every day. When you register that you’re feeling love, nothing has been added to you that can be measured. It’s always just your own love.
Love isn’t something we can actually “get” from anyone else.
No one can give you any love you don’t already have.
No one can fill you with anything you don’t already possess.
Sometimes you feel it, and sometimes you don’t,
But all the love you ever feel is yours, rising up from within you
from the source of all love.
Try recognizing this the next time you’re experiencing love with someone. Be aware of the other person and think to yourself:
Right now, I can feel my love rising.
In the presence of your heart, the waves of my ocean of love rise high.
My waves really love splashing against your waves.
But it is still my love!
Are you at a turning point in your life and sense that you’re ready for more — more inner awakenings that won’t disappear, more fulfillment with who you are and what you can offer to the world, more freedom from anything that has been weighing you down or holding you back? Join Dr. Barbara De Angelis at the Art of Living Retreat Center from June 21st-23rd, 2019, for Peace, Power and Purpose: A Trasformational Weekend of Healing, Wisdom, & Revelation.
Dr. Barbara De Angelis is an influential teacher within the fields of personal and spiritual transformation. As a renowned author, speaker, and media personality for over four decades, Dr. De Angelis has reached tens of millions of people with her practical wisdom for creating a life of true freedom, mastery, and awakening. She has published 16 bestselling books in 25 languages – including titles such as The Choice for Love; Soul Shifts; and Real Moments. She has starred in television shows on CNN, CBS and PBS, and is a frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is honored as one of the outstanding speakers of the century by Toastmasters International. Dr. De Angelis is a spiritual seeker, deeply immersed in her own practice while sharing her insight with love and generosity.
This article is reprinted with permission from Hay House Publishing: The Choice for Love: Entering into a New, Enlightened Relationship with Yourself, Others, and The World © 2017 by Dr. Barbara De Angelis.