The Meaning of That Word, Love

Mikaya Heart is a Minister of Holistic Healing and an author, writing books and articles on subjects as varied as lesbianism, orgasm, politics, and shamanism. My Sweet Wild Dance, which is the story of her personal journey from anger to joy, won a Golden Crown Literary Award. Her latest book is The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women. She is a coach in the art of being fully alive, using shamanic methods to help her clients live in trust and access Universal energy, facilitating positive change in all areas of life. (

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By Mikaya Heart

Many of us, women especially, believe that sex is primarily about another person, and that really good sex is about an experience of oneness, which might also be called love, with that other person. We tend to believe that the experience of one-ness is inextricably tied up with our partner. That can get us into a lot of trouble, since assigning the power of creating such a sensation to another person is always false. Any and every perception of reality is to do with the person who is doing the perceiving. You may be able to tune into a completely different experience of reality than the person you are standing or lying next to, and the fact that you feel a great deal of love (or one-ness) is a tribute to you. Love always flows from inside.

Love has little or nothing to do with finding a partner, whether we are married or otherwise. Many of us are terrified of living out our lives alone; we equate feeling loved with having a partner, who, of course, loves us. Yet, what are we talking about when we use this word? Don’t we more often mean compatibility and companionship? Those things are what make a relationship work on a daily basis; love does not. In fact, sometimes we really love someone and need to stay well away from that person because she or he is abusive. No amount of loving will change an abusive person until he or she is ready to change.

Love, when experienced as one-ness, is quite different from compatibility and companionship, and it has nothing to do with any other single person except insofar as someone else’s presence may facilitate our feeling it. But the presence of another person is never required in order to feel love; another person (whether a guru, a lover, a relative, a teacher, a therapist, or a complete stranger) may simply help to open doors, or rather, point to doors that are already open. The ability to recognize an open door and then have the courage to walk through it is your own qualities. Such gifts may feel that they are out of your control because the depth and breadth of awareness necessary in order to feel love is far beyond the capacity of the ordinary brain. When you are in love, you are in touch with some far deeper wisdom than anything the brain can match. And so, it feels greater than the you that is used to feeling small. We, humans, know ourselves to be very tiny and very vulnerable. Without the greater, or vaster, self – sometimes referred to as the soul – we are indeed tiny and vulnerable. We develop an unhealthy ego in order to bolster ourselves out of that place, but when we are in touch with the vaster self that we really are, the ego falls away. It has no place anymore. And then we understand what tremendous strength there is invulnerability.

The greater self, that which we truly are, makes everything possible, and when we are really in touch with it – that is, when we allow that greater energy to flow through us – then we are vast, and we really know love. That energy, that life-force, which we call love, exists outside of time and space and is therefore vast beyond our wildest imaginings. It is impossible for our brains to grasp the reality of existence outside of time and space since they dictate everything about our daily lives.

This is a world of duality: peace and war, summer and winter, good and bad, night and day. Seeing through the limits of the physical eyes and intellectual understanding, we always perceive a thing in relation to its opposite. Through that perception, love cannot occur unless there is also hatred, and good cannot occur unless it is also bad. Within what I am referring to as ‘one-ness,’ these opposites don’t occur. Within one-ness or unity, it is possible to have an experience of love that has nothing to do with hatred. The following words come close to describing it: joy, delight, beauty, peace, bliss, ecstasy. There are a number of ways to get to that place, and an orgasm is one of them. Our tendency to fixate on the person we are with when we have that orgasm is not useful. If we can have that sensation with one person, we can have it with another, and we can have it when we are alone, and we can have it without touching our genitals – although the fact remains that many of us most easily experience it through an orgasm that is sexually induced. Caught up in our daily lives, we find those blissful moments very hard to recapture. Very few of us dwell in that place for more than a few moments or think about it much at all. It would be very beneficial to practice allowing the feeling to last longer.

Clearly, sex can be a very powerful healing force: restorative, clearing, expansive, profound. Because we live within duality, sex can be used to do the opposite of healing: to alienate, destroy, pervert, and hurt people. It is a very powerful force. Many women, especially those who have grown up in cultures where fear of rape is a daily reality, are very aware of this other side of sex. Although society may tell them it’s something they are supposed to enjoy, they are understandably uncertain whether they want to get too involved with it. For some women, sex is a way of getting pregnant, and something they do because they are with someone who wants it. If they don’t enjoy it, they are very unlikely to talk about it because they think there is something wrong with them, and because there is so little support for anyone who has conflicting feelings around sex. A supportive partner can make a huge difference, as the feeling of being loved can enable a woman to be honest about what is going on. It is this feeling of being loved, and not judged, that so many of us are looking for. Genuine love is always unjudgmental and undemanding, and truthfully it is around us all the time. We need to learn how to be in a place where we can embrace that instead of being suspicious and anxious, which creates an atmosphere where the presence of love cannot be felt. We can extend that unconditional love to people we don’t know, and we can receive it from them. We don’t have to be intimate partners. We only have to be willing to offer what we want to receive.

Intimacy with another human being is a very wonderful thing, and if it includes having wonderful sex, then that is doubly wonderful. I find, for myself, that it is very easy to love someone I am intimate with – but that doesn’t mean I feel attached to that person, or have expectations of her, or make commitments to her. As we all know, it is very hard to get involved over time without having expectations. A relationship that lasts is one where there those expectations unfold easily: in other words, where there is companionship and compatibility. How long a relationship lasts, however, is never a measure of its quality. I would measure its quality by how real and honest we can both be, how deeply we can share. In one of my books, I wrote the following: “I want those three little words, I love you, to mean, ‘I see the wholeness of all that you are at this moment, and I accept you without judgment, honoring your unique infinite beauty. In this moment, my heart is joined with yours and I know that we are not separate beings. I support you absolutely in being fully who you are, even if that means that you will go away and I will never see you again.’ “


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