Illustration by Liz Pavlovic
By Debbie Attias
Debbie Attias is a Brooklyn-based healer, artist, and musician. She was formerly one half of electroclash act Avenue D. She currently hosts healing retreats and spiritual fitness Dancorcism classes. Find out more at funhealseverything.com.
What is love? (Baby, don’t hurt me.)
But seriously, what is love? Is it a battlefield? A drug? A shield to hide behind?
Remember romance? Giving flowers and writing poems now just feels like a brand of freaky role play. It seems weird to think about how we’ve evolved from love letters and mix tapes to swiping and ghosting. Are we more “realistic” and grounded now? I’m an old-school romantic (I’ll do anything for sweet nothings!), but crazy chemistry and out-of-control hormones have gotten me into trouble more than once, and there’s nothing worse than realizing that you’ve accidentally given someone tons of power over the way you feel. One minute you’re tap-dancing across a rainbow and the next you’re soaked in tears, clawing at the window, listening to ‘Purple Rain’ on repeat. But out of avoidance of pain, many of us have cut ourselves off from true pleasure. According to a Rolling Stone article, “Inside the Awkward World of Millennial Dating,” millennials (people born between 1983–2000) are having a lot less sex and getting married a lot later than generations prior. While this can seem empowering—implying that young people have more control over their love lives—they’re also taking less chances in the realm of love. There’s a lot less fumbling, sure, but there’s also less intimacy. No wonder the world seems to be going crazy.
But romance doesn’t have to be limited to just one person. You can have a romantic relationship with the whole wide world by consciously shifting your vibration. In every moment, we can choose to live in a state of love; when there’s someone special there but also when there’s not. Talking, walking, and moving through the world with love is a commitment that takes a daily effort and practice.
Everything around you right now has the power to turn you on. If you can just refocus your attention from one object of affection (or obsession) to the entirety of existence, you can shift into a state of constant cosmic bliss. The breeze makes you fly. You’re hot for the sun. The rain gets you wet. You lose your inhibitions and find a deep freedom from a place beyond your tiny ego. As you walk through the world as the element of love, energetic heart emojis shoot out of you in every direction. This is the place where you remember that there is no separation between you and anything or anybody else, and you vibrate with the love of existence. In this state, you’re not chasing anything or anyone. You become a magnet, and the world comes to you.
Deep inside of you, there is an energy that is vibrating in ecstasy. It’s pumping through your veins and tingling up and down your spine. You don’t always feel it, or even know that it’s there, because there are so many layers you have to get through to reach it. Your thoughts, your emotions, and your physical body distract you. Then there’s your conditioning, your beliefs, your past experiences, what you “should” have and do and be. Who cares? What if you just do whatever you want to do? And love it. Fuck it. We waste so much energy wishing things were different. What if you just decided that you are going to be who you are and walk around loving every single thing, including who you are?
Let’s try it out. Sit up tall. Notice your breath. What does it feel like to breathe? Can you find pleasure in your breath? Take a few minutes to breathe until you can sense your breath giving you pleasure.
Now listen. Tune in to sounds around you. What do you hear? Imagine that the universe is creating an orchestra of sound just for you right now. Listen to it. Enjoy it.
Look around you. Pay special attention to all the colors, textures—details of everything around you—as if you were seeing them for the first time. Fall in love with the beauty of your surroundings.
Notice how your body feels. Feel any sensations on your skin, and take a few moments to notice what feels good right now. Now bring your attention inward. Ask your heart this question: What is love? Feel the answer without words.
This article was featured in the Sex issue of Tom Tom. Purchase it online.
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