When you love someone, you don’t usually think too much about what’s actually happening. You’re just enjoying the state of love.
And so you should.
Understanding what’s happening when you love someone isn’t necessary to love them.
However, it does offer you an opportunity to learn more about love, your heart’s involvement, and to build a relationship with it that’s not dependant on someone else.
Let’s take a metaphysical exploration of what’s happening in your heart when you love someone.
As we go through this together, take a reflective approach. Don’t think of this as interesting information to entertain your mind, think of this as a guide to your heart and your relationship to love.
The Importance of Metaphysics
Metaphysics essentially means beyond the physical.
And let’s be honest, if you listen to your heart, you and I both know we’re so much more than a physical body.
When we say “listen to your heart” we’re not talking about the physical heart. We’re referring to an aspect of our inner wisdom or intuition.
Or you might say about someone – “they have a big heart.” This doesn’t mean they have an oversized heart pumping inside their chest. It’s more a quality of who they are.
Common everyday expressions like these show that we all acknowledge the subtle non-physical levels of our being. Even if you didn’t realize you were doing it.
If your goal is to grow, awaken your heart or deepen your experience of love, then looking at things metaphysically helps you to apply what you learn.
Because it’s relatable. It points to things we can feel.
We’re living at a time when science is very dominant. We’re flooded with studies that tell us what’s happening inside of us on a physical level.
For example, what’s happening in our brain or with our hormones when we do things like meditate, spend time in nature, or when we feel gratitude, compassion, or love.
This all has its place, and I always find it fascinating to learn about the complexity of our physiology. But this is only one small piece of the human experience.
While this information might be interesting to our minds, it doesn’t necessarily help us deepen our relationship with love.
If I told you that oxytocin is released when you love someone… how does it help you deepen your experience of love?
In an experience of love, we won’t recognize hormones, we’ll notice how we feel. A warmth, openness, peace -a sense of connection or a softening in our energy, for example. These are all tangible qualities we can experience.
Because we can feel them, we can work with them to feel more.
Unfortunately, in today’s world there tends to be a reductionist approach to all of this – reducing our experiences to the simple chemistry of our physical body.
The danger with this is that if we’re not careful, we’ll reduce all spiritual experiences to a set of physical processes that can be measured by machines or computers.
Ultimately relegating spiritual experiences to the realm of imagination, while rationalizing away our sense of curiosity and wonder for the greater mystery of life.
Like unsaid rules that society is unconsciously accepting by default because that’s what dominates the media. If it can be measured by a study or a piece of scientific equipment, then it’s real.
As founder of Mindvalley, Vishen Lakhiani might call them – “brules” or bullsh*t rules. A blindly accepted rule is a limit. In this case, a limit to love.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The more we all apply the metaphysics of love to have deeper experiences, we won’t need anyone to tell us what’s real or not. We’ll be grounded and stable in our own personal experiences.
Application of metaphysics
Our heart has wisdom and intelligence of its own but speaks a different language to our rational mind.
That’s why understanding things from a metaphysical perspective is so important because it speaks to our heart. It’s not the words themselves, but what they point to that’s important.
Experiences are made up of tangible qualities we feel and sense. If we immerse our awareness into these qualities, it allows us to go beyond the physical into more expansive experiences of the heart.
The metaphysical understanding of what’s happening when you love someone gives you a framework to help understand your experiences.
So you can consciously engage your heart in a tangible way to deepen your personal relationship to love.
Deepening into an experience
When the warmth of the sun hits your skin on a cool morning, for example. If you close your eyes and simply feel the sun’s rays touching you, you can have quite profound moments of connecting to nature, deep gratitude, or a spiritual opening of your heart.
When the sun first hits your face (especially if you’re feeling cool or cold) it might be a sense of “ahhh, that’s nice.”
You may even feel your heart respond immediately.
Stay a little longer and something in you softens as you enjoy the warmth and your heart opens a little more.
Stay a little longer still and immerse yourself into this warmth and softening and you might start to feel a deep sense of well-being throughout your whole being.
Keep going and it might soon be hard to tell where your body is… as you become the experience.
You may have feelings like that of immense gratitude, surrender, or even love.
Remember, this all started with an initial feeling of the sun touching your skin. Then with your awareness simply resting on that feeling, and deepening into it, your heart comes alive.
Of course, a scientist could tell you what is happening in your physical body, but it’s your metaphysical experience that allows you to deepen into it.
Our logical and rational mind has its place, but it’s not the part of us that feels or even understands love. It can have a mental idea of what it is, but the idea of love is not the thing itself, any more than the idea of the warmth of the sun.
Love is an experience, not a nice idea.
The only way to know it is to experience it for yourself.
What’s Happening When You Love Someone?
Start by taking a moment to reflect on how it feels when you love someone.
It might be your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, significant other, parent or child, brother or sister, or best friend.
What happens in your heart when you feel the love for them?
Does it feel more open?
Does it feel good?
Notice (by feeling) what’s happening inside you.
How do you feel different to your usual sense of self?
Let your curiosity take you deeper…
Continue feeling it as I ask you this question:
Is it your love?
Or, is it something bigger than you?
When you love someone, you often feel a greater sense of fullness, joy, warmth, connection and openness (to name a few qualities).
It’s like something filling you up making you feel like more than your usual sense of self.
You might feel your heart… expanded, and no longer limited by your physical body.
The stress or anxiety you usually feel fades away.
They simply don’t exist in a state of love.
The beautiful thing about relationships is that they help facilitate an opening in you to the experience of love.
When you feel love for someone, it’s easy to identify it as yours – as in “I love you” – because you feel it inside when you’re with or think of that person.
I invite you to keep feeling into it. On a deeper level, you can start to perceive that you’re actually tapping into something much bigger than you.
Love is not yours
Love is part of the fabric of creation, and it’s beyond the usual dramas and stories that so often fill your mind.
It exists independently of whether you’re aware of it or not.
Like the sun, it continues to shine whether you feel it or not.
When you feel love for someone, you don’t generate love (if it’s the real thing), your heart opens, and allows love to flow through you.
It’s similar to the sun touching your skin. It facilitates your heart to open, and from there much deeper experiences can pass through you, including love.
That’s why it feels so good – because something of your usual and familiar self gets out of the way.
Feeling love by association
It’s a natural part of life. Sometimes we meet people, have a deep connection of love for a time and then things happen and we “fall out of love”.
When we “fall out of love” it can feel like falling because we’re dropping from a higher state of consciousness to a lower one. One is not necessarily good and the other bad, they just have very different effects on us.
Like moving from a state of joy to one of sadness. We don’t need to judge either one, but we can recognize that each one feels quite different. The contrast of love to heartbreak can feel like a drop.
When your opening to love is associated with someone else, if the relationship ends then the opening you had to love can also come to an end.
This is not the end of love, it’s only the end of how you opened to it at that time.
That is, as long as your opening to love is associated with someone else, it has limits.
When you love someone, it’s an opportunity to connect to this broader love. By feeling into the love you feel, you can start to build your own personal relationship with it, that’s not dependent on someone else.
Just you and love.
Your Heart is the Gateway
When you love someone, it opens the gateway of your heart to the flow of love. Your heart is the part of you that knows.
Relationships of all kinds are beautiful, but your true capacity to love another rests on how much you can open your heart to love. The relationship is merely an opportunity to establish your own connection with love.
It’s your personal relationship with love that you ultimately share with the people you love.
And this is why it’s so important for us to understand love from a metaphysical perspective. So we can go beyond the realm of science and into the realm of personal experience.
So let’s be sure that we’re not just thinking about it, but actually feeling it.
When I’m feeling a sense of love for someone, it often has both a personal quality and impersonal. I feel the experience of love inside me, which feels very intimate, but I also feel a sense of love that’s not me.
Where the two meet is my heart.
A Practice in Love
This is a short practice to help you open your heart.
Think about someone you love. This might be someone currently in your life, or it could even be someone who used to be in your life. As you think about this person, let yourself feel how it feels.
Notice what happens in your heart when you think of them.
Spend a few minutes just feeling the qualities of the love you feel for them. See how deeply you can let yourself feel it.
Then, continue feeling this sense of love inside yourself, but let go of the person you were thinking about.
The sense of love is still there… the warmth, openness, or feel-good qualities.
Rest your awareness completely within this feeling of love. Immerse yourself into it. Start to notice that it’s not actually dependent on anyone or anything external to you. It exists completely independent of whether you feel it or not. it’s always there, always available to you.
Let it awaken your heart.
Let your heart respond.
Return here often.