The first time I fell in love I couldn’t believe what happened to the world. The sky had never been that blue before! The trees looked like works of art! The most annoying acquaintance was suddenly adorable, and the morning traffic jam became a delightful chance to sit and dream.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? But of course, in the years since, I’ve learned that it’s not that the world that changed; it was my own heart. When we’re in love, our hearts open up like flowers, making the whole world seem like paradise. Wouldn’t it be great to live this way all of the time?
That was the question I set out to answer in my latest book, Love for No Reason. As part of my research, I found and interviewed over 150 unconditionally loving people I call “Love Luminaries”—people living with an open heart no matter what was happening in their lives. Among the key lessons I learned from them are what I call the three “love mantras,” phrases that help us remember to open our hearts and feel the love everyday.
Love Mantra #1: Love is Who We Are. Love isn’t just something we feel for others, it’s who we are. Though we usually think of love as a stream of emotion flowing between two people, love is more like an ocean that’s inside and all around us.
Instead of walking around with a little cup, begging for a few drops of love from others, recognize that you’re the huge ocean of love. Let go of the feeling, There’s a limit to love and I have to get mine. When you do this, you relax, and your energy expands. Rather than looking at every interaction as a potential source of love—something to fill you up and make you feel good—come to every interaction radiating love. Then you go from being a “love beggar,” to being a “love philanthropist.”
Love Mantra #2: The Purpose of Life is to Expand in Love. Love is your job description – no matter what you do for a living. If you ever feel unsure of what you’re supposed to do in a situation, here’s a good rule of thumb: always do what leads to greater love. When you put giving and receiving love at the top of your priority list, you’ll definitely experience more everyday success and raise the quality of your life.
Love Mantra #3: The Heart is the Portal to Love. Your heart is more than a physical pump; it’s your ticket to experiencing Love for No Reason. If it’s open, love flows freely, both in and out. If it’s closed, even with the best intentions, you’ll have a hard time being loved or being loving. Try pouring water into or out of a jar if the lid is on. It’s a simple case of physics.
Focus your attention on your heart. When your heart feels open, expanded and light, then you know you’re on the right track for greater love. When it’s shut down, tight or heavy, you know you’re going in the direction of less love. When this happens, shift your thoughts, feelings, and actions so they support the opening of your heart.
Remembering these three mantras will help you shift to a new paradigm and open your heart to a deeper and higher love.
As you’re learning to experience more love in your life, it’s important to treat yourself with love. When you notice your heart closing, instead of getting down on yourself, know that, just by being aware that it is closing, you’re one step closer to positive change.
Many of us think we’re only going to change by beating ourselves up, but harshness and self-hatred don’t lead to lasting change and never lead to more love. Being gentle with yourself will speed your growth and improve your quality of life as you go.
Doing this will put you on the fast-track to Love for No Reason. Then every day can be an “in love” day.
About Marci Shimoff: Based on the NY Times bestseller Love for No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love (Free Press, 2010) which offers a breakthrough approach to experiencing a lasting state of unconditional love—the key to lasting joy and fulfillment in life. Marci is also author of the NY Times bestseller Happy for No Reason and co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul series. To order Love for No Reason and get the bonus gift package free, go to www.TheLoveBook.com and follow Marci on Facebook @ MarciShimoffFan.