Our experience of love is greatly impacted by how deeply we love another person. Today, most people tend to stay on the shallower end of the emotional pool to avoid vulnerability and appearing too keen in their connections. But loving fiercely is one of the most effective ways to experience bliss and spiritual alchemy. Find out what loving fiercely looks like and why it’s worth it. (Estimated reading time: 7 minutes)
“Only from the heart can you touch the sky”— Rumi
Love is a force of nature. For centuries, poets and philosophers have tried to capture its essence. Yet, no matter how many sappy songs we listen to or romantic movies we watch, we won’t understand the experience of love until we actually feel it.
Having loved and been loved, I’ve often questioned what qualifies as true love. Is it when we experience a flurry of excitement when we think about our beloved? Or is it if I feel a surge of compassion rising in my heart when I see them distressed and in pain? Or, is it both?
There isn’t a lot of inspiration in the dating-verse right now. Society is uptight and fickle when it comes to love and expressing feelings. We refuse to remove our armor, either due to bouts of FOMO (fear of missing out) or concern about coming off too strong.
We’ve come to a point where the type of love that can be described as “fierce” is seen as overbearing and needy. There’s less tolerance for intensity and ardor in our connections. Being cool and saying the “right thing” has become the social norm. Dramatic gestures and elaborate courtship rituals are a thing of the past.
Fortunately, the markers of intense love can still be found outside the realm of romantic love. We see it in a mother who instinctively nurtures and protects her child at all costs, or a wide-eyed entrepreneur working into the late hours to get his startup off the ground.
According to author Brené Brown, “To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with all your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain.”
The road to fearless love begins with us. Our ability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability and our willingness to plunge into the depths of our beings determines our capacity for love that is devotional, lasting, and fierce.
Expanding our vessel: what loving fiercely looks like
Cinema, novels, music, and art are the only windows many of us have when it comes to loving fiercely. Movies like “The Notebook” became a cultural phenomenon for this very reason. It captivated our hearts and made us cry as we rooted for the onscreen couple to reunite.
Nicholas Sparks gives us a glimpse into the emotional landscape of fierce love when he says:
“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I’d hoped to give you forever.”
These vicarious experiences satisfy any cravings for depth and intimacy we have. They allow us to escape a reality that may not live up to the ideals and dreams we harbor.
This need for escapism is largely because we’re conditioned to settle for the type of love that is sensible and safe, or because we haven’t met someone with whom we have experienced that spark.
For many, a practical type of love is sufficient. Not everyone has the capacity or the drive to engage in a relationship that plummets them to the deepest levels. The shallow end of the emotional pool suits them just fine. Lowering the stakes also feels safer and prudent.
And yet, these walls limit our experience. You can’t fake companionship, affection, and compassion from a genuine place. You may arrange to coupled up and buy physically gratifying experiences, but love itself cannot be sold.
In his book, “The Road to Character,” writer David Brooks states that the transactional love that many people opt for is based on “utilitarian calculus” – a route we take to maximize pleasant experiences and protect us from vulnerability, social disapproval, and to maintain control.
He writes that this type of attitude forces us to “go through life as a self-contained unit, cooly weighing risks and rewards, and looking out for our own interests.” But Brook argues that to be in love, you must lose yourself a bit and be “elevated by magical thinking.”
Loving fiercely induces a poetic temperament that makes us surrender to its power. He defines poetic temperament as “part thinking, part brilliant emotion,” leading to a spiritual awareness that “gives us a glimpse of a realm beyond the edge of what we know.”
Under its influence, you don’t fall for the person who is the most useful, popular, well-connected, glamorous, wealthy, or can give you a leg up in your career. You find your home in someone who offers an experience of joy, harmony, and inspiration.
Brook notes that love doesn’t always seek the efficient path. “For some perverse reason, love feeds on roadblocks and is not usually won by prudence… Lovers caught up in magical thinking don’t see what others see, and they would rather be unhappy together than happy apart.”
We see this in the “Notebook.” Allie and Noah must face seemingly insurmountable challenges to be together because they come from very different backgrounds. But that didn’t stop them from finding their way back to each other. It didn’t stop them from loving fiercely.
Striking a balance: fierce love without crashing and burning
Some of us have scars from loving fearlessly. The idea of doing it again might make you cynical as memories of failed relationships come flooding back.
But loving without fear doesn’t mean loving recklessly. Without prudence, we expose ourselves to the risks of hurt and heartbreak. We don’t have to allow ourselves to be consumed by the flames of passion and forget to protect ourselves in the process.
Loving fearlessly entails boundaries. Ignoring them can lead to unhappiness and abuse. You should require conditions for respectful behavior that honor you and your needs. There must be equal give and take to ensure a balance of power.
When we love fiercely with unmet needs, we are offering codependent love. In a codependent dynamic, we enable and excuse unacceptable behavior. There’s a big difference between loving someone from a place of lack versus loving them through hardships.
Fierce love comes from a place of strength and self-esteem. Like an overflowing cup, we want to share the abundance and joy that we experience with another person.
We know that we’re just as deserving of respect, kindness, and safety as anyone else. Anything less, and we’ll walk away, even if we still love them. In such cases, you may have to love fearlessly from a distance.
The invisible ties stay intact as you treasure the memories you shared while letting go of the pain and regrets. It becomes a private, inner paradise that you preserve for its personal significance.
Fearless love: why loving fiercely is worth it
The type of love that lasts isn’t lukewarm and lackadaisical. It’s focused, intense, and a little bit crazy. It lights up the sky, ignites fires, and makes birdsong sound just a little sweeter. Anything less, and you’re settling. The passion within you stays frozen and untouched.
Here’s why I think loving fiercely is worth it:
- It sets you free: A genuine connection liberates you from obsessing about the annoyances and worries of daily life. You feel light and free, with a sense that nothing can hold you back. This buoyancy takes you up to the highest reaches of consciousness. In this place, you’ll find comfort and solace.
- Romance is always on the cards: No matter how long you’re with someone when you love fiercely, romance never dies. Candle-lit dinners, walks on the beach, roses, and chocolates feel natural. The excitement from the early stages does not wear off and there’s never a dull moment.
- Creativity flourishes: When you love fiercely, the subject of your affection becomes your muse. Historically, artists used divine figures, inspirational people, and lovers as muses. Studies show that love is a catalyst for idea generation and creativity. When you daydream about the object of your affection, your instinctive need to create is awakened, and you’re moved to create soul-inspired works of art.
- Senses are enhanced: Deep love is shown to alter neurochemistry, and how our brains process information. Our senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch are heightened and amplified. The world is enhanced with vivid colors and imagery taking on a beautiful glow.
- It brings out the best in you: Loving without fear makes you selfless, and those around you will benefit from it. The care and generosity you express towards that one person bleeds into other relationships. You’re happier, less judgmental, and you’re more generous with your compliments.
- The little things amount to a lot: You know that you’re loving from a real place when the little things matter more to you than the superficial. A small gesture, a smile, a simple touch, or a long hug have more weight than dramatic one-off romantic gestures like diamonds, trips to exotic locations, and lavish dinners. It’s the closeness of genuine union we desire. Nothing else can fulfill that need.
If you ever find someone who makes you want to love fiercely, consider yourself lucky. While there are other avenues to access higher realms of being, soul-based love is one of the most potent. In a world where relationships are commodified, you can be part of the minority to experience an effervescent type of love that takes you to eternal bliss.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What does loving fiercely mean to you? Have you ever felt this way about anyone in your life?
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