When you’re struggling with a health issue it can seem insurmountable. You may have tried one thing after another and become discouraged, even while you hope that something will come along to save you. You may not know this but you are equipped with the most powerful tool to overcome even the lowest lows: LOVE. Love not only makes our relationships thrive, but it transforms challenges into triumphs. Love is the root of all relationships. Cultivating a life of love comes with many benefits, including a more positive outlook, better health, and stronger relationships with ourselves and others.
The Heart of Relationships
In my life, the single most wonderful thing I have ever experienced is connected to falling in love. The most painful thing was feeling like I’d lost my love. Love is the essence of our lives. When we think about Love – we often think of it in the context of our relationship with others but that is not the only area we experience love. Every function of our bodies, each and every breath we take, each cell that makes us who we are, exists because of the harmonious relationship existing in our bodies. Chinese medicine recognizes that love is a form of energy, and it is this energy that creates harmony. When we feel balanced and in tune with the world both inside us and around us, we are feeling the energy of love.
Our relationships with our health and those we allow in to facilitate healing is also an opportunity for loving energy. Heart to Heart Medical Center was built on a foundation of love; on the principle that the more loving I am with my patients, the more effective healing is. When I allow myself to become a vessel of love, the healing my patients experience is more potent.
The Science of Love
We already know that when we’re in love, we feel good. On a chemical level, this emotion raises the amount of oxytocin in our bodies. This creates a steady flow of energy, makes us feel happier and more fulfilled, and gives us a more positive outlook. The HeartMath Institute, a non-profit organization formed in 1991, has conducted various studies and experiments centered around the healing power of love.
In one such experiment, participants were instructed to send loving thoughts to a strand of DNA that was isolated inside of a test tube. The astonishing results concluded that these people were actually able to alter the DNA structure! For decades, scientists have considered the structure of DNA to be a fixed property, so these observations were profound!
Studies like these take place every day, and I find the results to be incredibly inspiring! We have the ability to influence our healing, all by shifting our focus, our attitude, and our energy to love.
Learning to Love Completely
What is holding you back from letting love be a healing force in your life? Is fear standing in the way of love? Does stress keep you from producing feelings of love and connectedness to those around you? Below, I share my favorite ways of taking control.
Letting Go of Fear
When fear is present, love is forced to take a backseat. This is because fear triggers our fight-or-flight system, that automatic self-preservation response. As adrenaline and cortisol flood our systems, we close down in preparation for either a battle or a sprint away from danger.
Love cannot exist in the same space. The nature of love is expansive. Love encourages us to dig deeper and to never give up.
When faced with a fearful situation, take a moment to examine your fear. What is it you are truly afraid of? Now try to send loving energy in to replace the fear. Take several slow, deep breaths. As you start to practice this shift, you’ll notice that fear no longer controls you. You’ll be able to find solutions that weren’t present before!
In our stress-filled lives, taking the time to laugh, connect with others, and enjoy feelings of love can seem like an impossible task. However, our emotional and physical health both depend on just that! The hormones produced in fight-or-flight mode can lead to a host of conditions, including fatigue, inflammation, and low libido. In contrast, oxytocin is released when feelings of love are present and supports our healing!
While it can be tough to squeeze all our responsibilities into the day, scheduling in time to laugh, unplug, and be present with those we love not only feels good but is good for our health! This is especially important in times of sustained stress and illness. By tapping into the love within us, we shift our focus on what is “wrong” with us and instead focus on the lesson behind our trials. This allows us to emerge strong, positive, and more resilient on the other side!
If you’re ready to experience a powerful, healing transition in your life, I invite you to spend time each day cultivating love. You’ll notice that you smile more, you feel better, and those around you will notice, too. Consider each moment a new opportunity to experience the power of love’s energy in your life.