How to Experience Love

couple sits in coffee shop holding hands looking at each other
by Deborah Tyson

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes 

To experience and express love, you need to be able to feel. Love is a feeling. Joy, peace, happiness, and contentment are all feelings. To experience feelings, you need to allow them to flow through your body.

When you are in touch with and can express your feelings, it allows you to be authentic and congruent. Authentic means being real and genuine. Congruent means saying what you feel in the present moment, as opposed to feeling something and saying something else. When you are genuine, people sense it, and you are more likely to connect with them on a deep and meaningful level. The exception is if you have a reaction and speak based on the resulting feelings. Speaking as a result of a reaction can create confusion and blame. Telling someone your feelings in the heat of the moment without processing your reaction first, does not usually lead to closeness and connection.

Happy Couple

The most common way to resist feeling is to keep busy going from one thing to the next, without a break, or time to just be. It is easier to become aware of your feelings when you are still and quiet. If there are any unresolved feelings of hurt from the past, staying busy can be a way to prevent these feelings from surfacing. However, these feelings drive your body anyway, regarding unconscious patterns and behaviours. To be in tune with your feelings you need time and space to feel them—rather than drowning them out with busyness. If unresolved painful feelings come to the surface, it is beneficial to recognise and observe them, rather than having them drive you in a way you may not desire.

When you resist how you feel, tension is created within your body that stops you from flowing energetically. You can even mistakenly identify yourself as the feeling rather than observing the feeling. For example, you may think you are a sad person rather than just having a sad moment, which if you acknowledge and don’t resist, will pass in time.

If you continue to ignore your feelings they can build up as emotional pain, and this can in turn manifest as physical pain in your body. All pain is caused by resistance to what is. Pain in itself is not a bad thing; it gives you information about yourself. Listen to your pain when it is small, if possible. It may be telling you to take action, make changes, or let go in certain areas of your life.

It is easy to ignore true feelings, wanting to be happy all the time. However, this can create an internal struggle by resisting natural emotions. You can be a happy person yet experience a sad moment. It is better for your health to observe the feeling and let it flow through your body rather than resist it or push it away (known as repression). Once you allow your feeling to flow, you will then return to your natural state of happiness. The amount of time this takes depends on the situation.

Experiencing Love

A few years ago my mother stayed with us for an extended period. When she was leaving, my four-year-old daughter and I waved her off as she drove away in the car. We then sat down on the front step and had a good cry because we were both sad she was leaving. There was a certain beauty in being present to how we felt and expressing it in the moment.

It is common to search for a quick fix or instant gratification in relation to happiness—by shopping, taking drugs, drinking alcohol, working, or consuming food. Excess in any of these areas ultimately creates an imbalance and leaves you feeling dissatisfied. Imbalance shows that something needs to be addressed to allow you to return to a natural state of well-being. Seeking instant gratification is a Band-Aid approach to life, rather than being deeply in touch with what makes you truly happy.

The problem arises when you override your true feelings with messages from your head, and this can result in alienation or disconnection from how you feel. For example, your body may be feeling tired, telling you to rest, and yet you ignore it, pushing yourself to a point of exhaustion or even illness.

To flow with life and feel love tune with how you feel. Validating and acknowledging how your real feelings allow your inner world to flow. Then rather than resistance and pain, a sense of ease and grace will permeate all areas of your life.

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