There is a love polarity. One end is love itself. The other is what or whom I love, the object of love.
The first is what I am. It’s a facet of presence. The second is transient and will inevitably go away.
If my focus and attention is solely on the object of love, it will create suffering. And while that suffering is an expression of love, it’s also quite painful.
So why not bring attention to love itself? Why not notice it? Be present with it? Find myself as it? Notice it’s a facet of presence? Notice it’s divine love? (If we want to use that word.) Notice I am presence and love?
This can be a very helpful and even enjoyable practice. I notice love for something or someone. And that’s a reminder to myself to notice love itself. Notice presence as love. Notice myself as presence and love. Rest as presence and love.
It’s not only helpful for me in aligning more with this reality. It also helps my relationships with whom or what triggers this love. There is less of a sense of neediness or (illusory) ownership, and more of a sense of appreciation, gratitude, and giving the object its freedom. Including its freedom to come and go. If I find myself as presence and love, the comings and goings of the objects of love are a little easier.
In a practical sense, this can be quite simple. (a) Love (or joy, contentment, gratitude) comes up, perhaps triggered by an external circumstance. (b) I notice it. (c) I am reminded to shift my noticing to the love (or joy, contentment, gratitude) itself, to how it feels in my body. I am present with these feelings and rest with them.
Thanks to Todd C. from the Center of Sacred Sciences for reminding me of this in a recent conversation with him.