Love! Probably the most bastardised word in the English language. A big call I know. However, most of us seem to chase it, dance with it, lose it and suffer for it relentlessly in life as if there is no other way forward.
So, it is not crazy to imagine that redesigning your relationship with love might potentially serve you better down every avenue you choose to walk in life.
Before stepping out into the big wide crazy world where love feels like an over-expensive commodity, sold on every corner and promised from every mouth, it is critical to get your home in order first.
When you understand that all the love you ever need exists within you, life changes in ways you never imagined. Love does not begin in a beautiful face, a kiss or the touch of another. Love grows from within your heart, and it always has since the moment you were born. You simply may have forgotten. The wonder and joy of children remind us of the purity of love held within us all. Your love is still there in your heart, with possibly a layer of protection, making it merely hidden from view.
Understandably, as we grow and experience life, conditioning overlays lenses that change the very way we see the world. The social and cultural conditioning that has been deeply embedded in us all, has created a constant craving to seek love from things and others. This very idea is projected at us everywhere we look, making it seem impossible to escape.
Then to add insult to injury, we have added conditions to the giving and receiving of love. When we love another, we expect them to love us in return, and if they don’t we feel sad and rejected. This is a taught behaviour that can be broken at any time.
Unconditional love is not only possible to achieve in life, it will also bring you infinite joy. In every situation in life where you apply conditions, you create limits. When you remove the conditions, the potential for everything, including love, becomes infinite. We have all felt the pull of unconditional love, in something as simple as when we lovingly connect with our pets.
I discovered through mindfulness practice to remove the conditions I had learned associated to love. I did this not only in the love I develop in my heart for others but also the most important love, the love I have for myself. The ability to love yourself without condition, knowing you are enough right now in this very moment, is what underpins long-lasting joy. Whether right now you feel broken, a failure, overweight, lost or lonely, you are always enough. No matter the circumstances, it is your absolute and fundamental truth.
Many years ago, I learned a valuable lesson, through this beautiful piece of advice, that I frequently share with others.
"If you want something in life, first give it away for free"
This may seem like a strange thing to do, I know. However, many years ago I began to try it for myself, and it really does work. Giving away love freely is an incredible gratitude practice to develop or enhance within your life. The more grateful you become in life, the more you will attract into your life to be grateful for. I see this regularly in my own life. I also have the privilege to see the beautiful results that occur, for those people who I helped to redesign their relationship with love.
Today, love comes into my life in many ways, I stopped seeking it. Now I give it away freely without condition, and I live in a beautiful place of allowing.
This simple change in the lens we choose to view the world through, from wanting to allowing, is a beautiful prescription for love. We have a habit of chasing down things and people, that do not serve us well in life. Then when we get them, they don't end up bringing the feeling we were looking for in the first place. In love, sometimes we also settle, worrying that the love that sets our heart on fire is a myth and only projected in movies.
Begin by feeling into the beautiful love that exists in your heart. Set your own heart on fire with the most beautiful self-love that you could possibly imagine. Then share yourself authentically every day you step into the world. Be open and aware in the present moment. The people who have the same fire burning within their heart will find you, and you will recognise each other. Not because you are seeking each other's love, because your combined love could very well set the world on fire. Now that is something worthy of attention and effort to understand, don't you think? Who doesn't want that?
A life filled with unconditional love awaits you. What are you going to do about it?
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