the other day, i was asked the simple question, “what is love?”. though, of course, there is no simple answer.
i may love yoga, my husband (the imaginary one), my cat, and my iphone, but each manifestation takes a completely different form than the other. i’m not going to have intercourse with yoga, my cat, or my iphone, any more than i am going to hit the mat and practice my husband, cat, or iphone. it seems the word is the same, but the implications are wildly different. it might be said that love is a many splendored thing. in fact, it has been said.
but what is love? really.
the way i see it, love is an unconditional sense of commitment. more than just a feeling, an emotion, it’s more of a profound intangible that transcends explanation. not just a sense, not just a commitment, but the deep intersection of both.
the real challenge with love is the misguided belief that it must be requited. the desperate need to get it back. as if love is only something you give if you receive something in return.
true love is complete in its very existence. lust, infatuation, desperation can all be confused with love, but each is incomplete, broken, looking to be fixed.
yoga helps us to love.
it’s trite to say that you cannot love another until you first love yourself, as eight billion people have said it before now. but bear with me.
yoga forces you to accept yourself, your efforts, your body, your mind, your spirit, your overall countenance. to be in a state of yoga is to love yourself fully and unconditionally. and the beauty of loving yourself: it is, by default, requited. you love you…and you love you back.
once you realize the beauty of this truth–that love is a circle, not a line or a continuum–then you can invite anyone or anything into the circle and it will be enveloped and, yes, loved.
when you can love a person without them having to love you back, your love is pure. when you can love your practice even when you are sore, tired, and falling all over the place, your love is pure. when you can love your cat even when she prefers her independence, your love is pure. and when you can love your iphone even when the screen is broken and none of your apps or email are working…well, not sure if that is possible…but your love is pure.
ultimately, love is your highest thought. always let it be your guiding principle.