Another tid-bit from my Yoga Journal email newsletter.
Most of us have been confused about love all of our lives. In fact, we often begin the inner life as a search—conscious or unconscious—for a source of love that can't be taken away. We may have grown up feeling unloved or believing we had to perform heroic feats to deserve love. Our parents, the movies we see, our cultural and religious milieu give us ideas about love that go on influencing us long after we have forgotten their source. When we read spiritual books and encounter teachers, our understanding about love can get even more complicated, because depending on what we read or whom we study with, we get slightly different takes on what love means in spiritual life. Some teachers tell us that our essence is love; others say love is a passion, an emotion that leads to addiction and clinging. If we're on a devotional path like bhakti , Sufism, or mystical Christianity, we're often taught that the way to enlightenment is to fall in love with God and let that love grow until it engulfs us and we become one with the Beloved. If we're on a more knowledge-based yogic path, we may be taught to look askance at the feelings of bliss and love that arise in practice, because, we're told, the spaciousness that is our goal is beyond such feelings.
For more on this topic, there is a great article here on the Yoga Journal website.