Can We Practice Falling in Love?

mindfulnessIf we look at the phrase ‘to fall in love’ we’ll notice that it implies an effortlessness. We don’t think of it as a ‘pushing’, ‘forcing’ or ‘creating’; it’s a falling, a letting go. If we think of the things that we are in love with, whether it’s a partner, a close friend, a pet, a career, or even a pastime, we’re likely to find that we did not choose to love them. Rather, there developed a love which we have allowed ourselves to be open to.

This makes love a rather beautiful and precious thing. We love things not because they are perfect (after all, what in life is truly perfect?), or because we have made a logical decision to love, but because we’ve tapped into a connection or alignment with that thing in that moment.

That feeling of falling in love can be fleeting. Perhaps this is because it requires a presence that we often don’t feel we have time for, or at least don’t make the time for in our busy lives. Even in long term relationships, where one would assume both partners are consistently ‘in love’, there are in fact moments when you find yourself falling back in love again after having become disconnected. This usually happens in moments of letting go of expectations, resentments, and narrowed ideas of how things should or shouldn’t be. When we’re just ‘there’ with that person, connecting heart to heart, that’s when we find ourselves falling into love.

So can we practice falling in love? It actually seems a lot like practicing mindfulness. With love comes acceptance and compassion, and a gentle tenderness. Perhaps love is not that dissimilar to that state of presence we so often talk about in mindfulness. If we make a conscious decision to stay open to life, maybe we can practice falling in love with a beautiful view, a bittersweet song, the dog barking in the street, a stranger who smiles at us, an inconvenient change in the weather, an old friend, a new date, or the partner we’ve spent many years with.

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