There are millions of people on Earth right now who are “searching for love”. Maybe you are one of them, or maybe you have already found it. Regardless of which position you are in now, we can all relate to that intense craving for love. We see other people engage in acts of affection with their lover, and we feel a pang of envy along with an undertone of shame.
Love is seen as an OBJECT. Something which must be “achieved” by some means. Usually, the means that people use is to be more lovable. After all, if you possess traits that are attractive, your prince or princess should show up at your door, right? You probably already see the flaw in this logic. It is not only naive, but it is an incredibly passive approach to love. This will result in an inability to be truly happy in ANY relationship that you are in.
The problem with trying to be “lovable”
Being lovable involves having certain traits that you/other people view as “ideal” or “attractive”. People will often reflect on themselves when they notice that they are not in a fulfilling relationship like other people in their life. Once they do this, they will have the realization that the problem must lie within their character. This is how the quest for love begins.
This “quest” is not really a quest at all. It is passive and assumes the expectation that love will come around if we fit ourselves into the “criteria” for being lovable. While this may eventually result in a relationship, it will not be a fulfilling and LOVING relationship. Let me tell you why.
The art of being lovable is not the same as the art of loving. The desire to be lovable comes from a place of selfishness. Why do you want to be lovable? So you can feel happy. So you can get love from someone else. You search for love externally with hopes that it will bring you lasting happiness. This logic is fundamentally flawed because love cannot be chased. It can only be felt from within.
What does it mean to Love?
Believe it or not, many of us need to learn how to love. We are born knowing how to do this, but as we grow up our ideas of love are changed by our parents/environment. The environment that most kids grow up in today is one where we are not taught how to LOVE, but how to GET love. While this may sound like the same thing, these things are fundamentally different from each other.
Getting love comes from a place of scarcity. We act as if we don’t already HAVE the love, so we seek it externally. Then, once we get it, we are not satisfied. Like addicts, we go around collecting love. Whether it’s from our partner, our parents, our friends, or from society. Innately, we all crave love. Sometimes it comes in the form of validation, attention or even pity. It’s always the same thing in disguise.
Loving someone else and not expecting anything in return comes from a place of abundance. We have found the place within OURSELVES where we are love. Once we rediscover this place (which is within all of us), we no longer love obsessively or selfishly. We no longer need to GET people to love us. We love other people freely and get great pleasure simply out of the act of GIVING love, not just getting something in return.
Love is unity. Love is surrender. As humans, all of us want to be in this state as much as possible. We are all so busy seeking it outside of ourselves that we are blind to the abundance of love inside of us. The love that is longing to be shared with the world. What holds most of us back is our brains. While your mind may have good intentions, it causes you to hesitate when sharing your love. You hesitate because you fear that if you do love freely, you will eventually be hurt or betrayed.
The Mind vs. The Heart
The mind and heart are in a constant battle for many people. The mind thinks logically and treats love as an exchange. This makes sense, right? If I give you something, then I should get something in return. That’s only fair. The mind believes that if we don’t think this way, we will be taken advantage of and our love will be stolen.
The mind treats love as a precious jewel. It knows that deep down we want to surrender and give all of our love away. It protects us by using this armor of rationalization. What would happen if you gave your love away? What if you did love freely without hesitating because of fear? Would it always end in heartbreak and regret?
I can remember a time when I did love freely and was met with unbearable heartbreak. I’m sure you can too. The pain is still so potent that it haunts your mind whenever you think of love. This is exactly what your brain is trying to protect you from. But, think about your first love. Think about that intense, liberating, all-consuming love that you experienced with that person. That’s the power of love when it is given freely. Without fear of heartbreak.
Now, of course, first loves are not perfect. First loves are often immature, and we learn from them in a lot of ways. What we should not learn, though, is how to shield our hearts. If we shield our hearts, we will never experience pure love again. We will live in constant fear, constantly holding back our hearts from giving themselves away.
Experiencing the Love of LIFE
Imagine feeling the power of true love in every second of your life. Imagine that everyone and everything IS your true love. You approach life with an intense appreciation for everything that you come across. Every person, every challenge, every heartbreak, every regret, every win, every loss. You can live this way. You can live a life a complete abundance once you let go of the layer of armor around your heart.
This armor will fall off naturally once you see that all the pain you’ve felt has shown you that you are ALIVE. Pain might feel like your dying, but it is simply a sign of living and thriving. You are thriving because you opened up your heart. You are also in pain because you opened up your heart. The pain goes along with the love.
So, when you feel pain, heartbreak, or betrayal, do not shy away from it. Do not deny it or repress it, but feel it just as intensely as you would feel the love. Accept it as part of the act of loving. You do not need to enjoy it the same way that you would enjoy love, but once you put your walls down, you may experience something completely new. Once you stop pushing away pain or labeling it as “bad”, you will find that pain and love are part of the same cycle of life. You cannot have one without the other.
When faced with a decision, ask yourself: “Am I choosing fear or love?” Choose love.