What images and notions come up for you when think about love? Warm and fuzzy feelings, babies cooing, romance, heartache, loyalty and devotion are some associations to the word. Do you have any rules and expectations around love such as how people should treat their loved ones, or who you can and can’t love, or how people are supposed to express their love? All of these concepts and regulations actually inhibit love. Love isn’t a commodity to be traded, sold, bartered or negotiated. It’s the essence of who we are and it is free flowing within us.

Many have been taught that to have love requires having someone else love you. This just leads people to restrict the amount of love they feel based on how many people love them or how much others love them. You can’t get love ‘out there’ and you can’t measure love. It originates within us and it’s infinite.

It doesn’t matter how much your parents did or didn’t love you, how many friends you have or don’t have, or whether your partner does or doesn’t express their love to you. Only you allow or stop the flow of love into your life. No one can give you any more love than you already have and no one can take it away.

What it would be like to let go of all the concepts, rules and past experiences you have of love and instead open your heart to feel the abundance of love within? Imagine what your life would be like from this place.

Try these reflective exercises to gain more insights about love:

• How would you describe love? What it feels like, looks like and anything else you can imagine. Do you have any charged memories around love (positive or negative)?

• What are your rules and expectations about love? Look within your relationships for the hidden rules. Do you expect to be treated in a certain way? Do you withhold love for any reason? Do you have criteria for who you share love with, or how you express it, or how it is supposed to be shown to you?

• How would you like love to feel, look and be expressed in your life? What would you have to let go of to experience this? What would you have to embrace?

Try these experiential exercises to increase your experience of love:

• Sit with your eyes closed in a relaxed, centered, meditative state and become aware of the highest form of love, above and beyond any rules or limitations. You might at first see it as an image, symbol or color, or you might just sense it. Let yourself feel it and bring it down into the cells of your body. Feel the essence and vibration of love and let it flow throughout your whole space until it overflows out of you.

• Let yourself tune into any past-time pictures you carry within you about love that may be charged or untrue. One by one, release these out of your space and watch them disappear. Replace these with your highest vibration of love.

• Whenever you are tempted to withhold love from another, shut down within, or react to someone else’s unloving behaviour, instead turn up the volume of your own inner abundance of love so you know that no one else controls how much love you can have, feel or share.

Author's Bio: 

Gini Grey is a Transformational Coach and author of the book "From Chaos to Calm: How to Shift Unhealthy Stress Patterns and Create Your Ideal Balance in Life" and the CD "Create What You Want in Your Life". For more articles go to http://www.ginigrey.com .