Love is energy. If you paid attention in your science classes, you may remember the first law of thermodynamics, which states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, though it can change form and can flow from one place to another. Love is not immune to this scientific law. In deed, love IS. Love always IS and always has been. It is an energy that remains and that cannot be contained nor “had” for oneself. Love is an experience, is freely given and received and flows where it is asked to flow and even where it is not asked to flow. Just as love can be found in the warm, giving and compassionate person, it also lives in the cold, hard and angry person who resists sharing themselves – it IS in them, it is only the awareness of love that wavers from time to time.
In an article from Psychology Today from November 2011, Deborah Taj Anapol, PhD, states that “Love is inherently free” and that:
“Love is bigger than you are. You can invite love, but you cannot dictate how, when, and where love expresses itself. You can choose to surrender to love, or not, but in the end love strikes like lightening, unpredictable and irrefutable. You can even find yourself loving people you don’t like at all. Love does not come with conditions, stipulations, addendums, or codes. Like the sun, love radiates independently of our fears and desires.”
Anapol’s perfect articulation captures the essence of an energy that turns our wheels, rocks our boats, calms our waters and permeates everything and everyone with its gentle invitation. An invitation to ride a vessel of faith upon love’s waters.
This causes me to reflect on a situation that I have been privy to a few times: when couples end their intimate relationship, saying that they “fell out of love” or “just don’t love” the other anymore. I don’t believe this is true or possible. Love shared remains and, much like the description of energy in the first law of thermodynamics, it has not gone away or ended, it has only changed in form. Many years ago, one of my sisters was lamenting the loss of her long-term partner in her immediate life and she took comfort in my reminding her that the love is not lost, nor will it ever be lost. Change is the only constant and sometimes even love must change in form. Even good things must come to an end. In my sister’s case, staying in the relationship would have been unloving towards herself, the other person, and their children. Ending the relationship was an example of integrity, healthy boundaries and loving movement in a more conducive direction.
We cannot truly know and recognize love if we do not also know sadness, pain and anger. During those more challenging times, love remains, waiting on the sidelines to comfort and restore. Consider the parent who lovingly asks the adult child to leave the nest. Consider parents in general who repeatedly deny the wants of their children, who, in their vulnerability, may perceive this as being unloving, while it is so often quite the contrary! Years later and after the storm of pain and anger subsides, the children recognize that love was at the helm when their parents delivered those difficult messages, pushing them out off a cliff into the unknown territory of this loving universe.
February holds an undertone of love, long associated with Valentine’s Day. It is also a month to focus on heart health, the heart itself living in an energetic centre of the body called the “heart chakra”, where we experience both love and loss. Again, we see that love and loss share space and while they seem like a paradox, loss opens space for love just as love sets the stage for loss. During a time peppered by visions and feelings of love, might we always know that love IS, whether or not we have a Valentine, love IS. Might we face love AND loss with faith and understanding, knowing that love has never and will never go away, though it will always change form and we can count on it flowing from one place to another.
And so it IS: Love.
Roberta Shepherd for Wellness on Whyte