“And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." - Paul McCartney
Love is clearly among the forms of energy that must continually keep moving. It does not come to us without also emanating from us. We can use the same terms of inflowing and outflowing to describe love and relationships with other human beings. It goes both ways. So, while you might seek a loving partner or healthy relationships with others in your life, the energy flows through you, not just to you.
The topic of love, marriage, and all relationships is a huge one. E.M. Forster urged humans to “Only connect!” in Howards End, published in 1910. Today, well over 100 years later, it’s easy to feel that we have come even farther away from connecting with one another in respectful, empathic, trusting, intimate, harmonious, productive, and egalitarian ways. While romantic relationships, love and marriage, may be the first kind of relationship we think of here, many different kinds of partnerships are affected by the Love and Relationships gua. In every case, there are boundaries between us that we have to cross in order to relate to one another in any meaningful way. So, the work of this energetic area is to help us bridge those boundaries.
Bridging the boundaries that split our experiences and viewpoints, our knowledge and understanding, our prejudices and cultural blinders, is not easy. This is an area of life that most people have at least some trouble navigating. It takes real effort to overcome the difficulties inherent in relating well to other human beings. I have often said that if you get just one relationship in your life really, truly right, you are doing very well. Traditionally, that one relationship would likely be your marriage. While many cultural aspects of our primary romantic relationships and life partnerships have transformed dramatically over time, people still couple off, fall in love, and get married. So let’s look at that particular relationship first.
Often, clients will come to Feng Shui consultants wishing to find the great love of their lives or to improve relationships they are already in. They’ve been dating for years and are tired of the cycle of relationships that don’t last long, or they’ve invested years in a relationship that has ended, or they have grown bored and disillusioned with their marriage. They say they want to be in a loving, happy long-term romantic partnership. They say they keep picking the wrong people or just can’t find the right one. Now, before we look at enhancements for the Love and Relationship area that can help them attract true love, let’s look at exactly what they mean by it and whether they really want what they think they want.
Long-term romantic relationships involve physical and emotional intimacy, trust, acceptance, commitment, patience, compassion, empathy, and nurturing. They require both compromise and enough healthy self-love to be a full and equal half of the couple. Sometimes, when people can’t settle into a relationship or find “the right one,” they actually don’t want it or aren’t ready for it. Maybe they fear closeness or loss of their independence. Maybe their parents had an unhappy marriage and they worry that theirs will be, too. Maybe they aren’t prepared to outflow the love as well as inflowing it, or vice versa. It’s worth examining ourselves before we expect to attract the energy of love to flow through us.
Other relationships are also important for living a happy, balanced life, and the love energy must flow freely through all of them. You may not think of love as part of your relationships with people with whom you work, study, do business, or rely on for goods and services, but the energy is always the same. Human beings relating well to one another — cooperating, communicating, understanding, and interacting in ways that benefit everyone— is nothing but the energy of love itself. This is true of professional relationships (student-teacher, employee-employer, doctor-patient, therapist-client) as well as peer business partnerships. This is the necessary ingredient that can and should flow through all human interaction, from buying a candy bar to negotiating an international treaty.
I must add a note here about today’s American political scene. Nobody has to agree with another to treat them as human beings deserving of respect. Love energy would have us approach one another with open ears, minds, and hearts. We all have strong political feelings these days, but removing the Love energy from our discourse has had disastrous results already and seems only to be worsening. Inflowing and outflowing the Love energy, we don’t scream, bully, lie, threaten, obfuscate, belittle, or gaslight others, regardless of the political goal. I know there are other goals, such as making money from television, books and websites, but greed is the opposite of love and shows a distrust in the loving energy of the Universe, which flows freely to all of us. Life lived in balance and harmony is not a fight. It’s a communion.
In your home’s bagua, the Love and Relationships area is in the far right corner, just to the right of the Fame and Reputation zone. Its color is pink and the colors that make pink, white and red. It’s important to note that Love and Relationships is not right smack in the red-hot Fire of the Fame and Reputation area, but instead, it is ruled by the Earth element. Fire nourishes Earth, and Earth tempers Fire, so balancing these two elements in this area is ideal. This is made easy to remember by the visual representation of the color pink, or the calming — but not the complete absence — of red.
The Fire element is enhanced by reds, triangular shapes (including cones and pyramids), sunlight, artificial light, and representations of animals and people. The Earth element is enhanced by yellows and earth tones, squares and rectangles, brick, and ceramics. Another powerful enhancement for the Love and Relationships part of your home is anything in pairs — lamps, pictures, sculptures, statues, bookends, end tables or nightstands, or pretty much anything in twos. Fresh flowers and healthy plants, as well as representations in artwork of people together harmoniously and happily can also help strengthen this area. If your primary interest here is the desire for a committed romantic relationship, remember to have space in your home — your closet, dresser drawers, tables and lamps on both sides of the bed — for another person to join you.
Examine yourself first, and then the Love and Relationship area of your home.
If you are seeking a committed romantic relationship, are you truly ready to love and be loved? Do you believe you deserve to inflow love? Are you willing to outflow love to another person? Do you have enough room in your life for another person?
If you want to improve or expand a relationship you are already in, think about this relationship in terms of inflowing and outflowing. Is the love energy circulating or stuck somewhere? Can you identify where it is stuck and why?
Think about the above questions and perhaps examine them with a close friend or therapist.
Imagine all of your relationships with everyone you come in contact with as inflowing and outflowing love energy. What does this look like? What does it feel like? How does it change the dynamics between you and other people from what you are used to?
Find the energetic area of Love and Relationships in your home. How do you feel there? Are there places of stuck energy? Do you see representations of Fire and Earth elements? Declutter and add enhancements of color, shapes, artwork, and items in pairs.