I’ve written before about the many apparent hearts we have. Each of these can be said to be the heart expressing on a different level of being.
We have our physical heart that sustains the flow of nutrients and protection throughout the body. It has a grounded love of life most are unfamiliar with. This relates to Hrit, an energy center above the physical heart and below the left shoulder. This center is said to be where the spark of life turns on and is the energy center of the physical heart.
Then we have emotional love, the kind often sung about on the radio. This is attached, needy, or conditional love, given if someone meets some needs. It’s a step up from sexual attraction but is commonly driven by expectation and sometimes delusion. Too often, we’re unconscious of our needs and what we expect of others. When things change, as they always do, the relationship fails us and we blame the other.
This may seem a little bleak but seen from the other side, it is. That’s why the radio is dominated by songs of love lost.
Dr. Chapman proposed Five Love Languages to explain how we try to express love to others and meet our needs. For example, though gifts or touch. Yet our partner may expect love differently, perhaps through reassuring words. If this mismatch is unconscious, we fail to act in ways they recognize as expressions of love and they fail to tell us. Becoming more conscious of this can make a huge difference.
Emotional love can also get confused with passion and an instinctive need to mate and reproduce. These can certainly be interrelated but are distinct.
Many people experience love as pain. Dysfunctional, unconscious relationships lead to disappointment and heartbreak. Love can then trigger fear and aversion, often driven by unresolved past loss. We experience love being lost even though it came from us in the first place.
This is the height of irony. We experience gaining and losing love even though it has always come from (through) us. The potential partner was just the catalyst to wake it up within. Love is never lost. We just connect and disconnect from it.
It takes time to see this. We are filled with love when we give it away as Nirmala put it. But for sustained love, we have to go to a higher love that’s not co-dependent.
The heart chakra, anahata, can open to bring us a more universal and unattached love. A “brotherly” or redemptive love. But it can be a fierce and unconditional love too, such as a mother’s love for her child.
Then we can experience real love, big “L” Love. Love that is not dependent on circumstances or others. And yet, Love often desires a focus, a place to be directed, a partner – even if they are not the cause.
After awakening, we can open hridaya, a higher octave heart that allows the expression of Divine love through us. Our heart can become giant, filling the cosmic chest with an outpouring into the world. When this occurs, we often seek a focus for giving, such as our teacher, a devotional form, or mate. But the object can take any form we resonate with.
“If you know real love, you can’t withhold it from anything or anybody. When you behold the One in the other, the one Self in the other — and not just one other, but all others — then you start to know what love is.”
This higher love is eternal and unending. It’s not experienced as coming from us but rather through us from source.
And yet even this massive outpouring isn’t the highest form. When the physiology fills with pure Divinity, we connect with pure power – the source of love itself. Love can become super-charged.
In relationship with an object of devotion, multiple forms of love can express and flow at the same time. It’s like the layers of currents in an ocean.
There are also secondary centers that express other forms of love. I mentioned Hrit and love of life in the opening. There is also the high heart behind the clavicle between the heart and throat chakras. This expresses what we might call the soul’s loves. What brings the soul fulfillment in the world.
When Hrit on the left, the high heart, and the manas center below the right shoulder are awake, it forms a fleur-de-lis pattern across the chest. The flower of life has a much deeper meaning than is usually recognized. When that is awake, love can flow into all aspects of life.
Love flows though us in a myriad of ways and on many levels if we’re open to it. It brings a richness to life that is deeply nourishing.