And that’s the funny thing about love. We experience only as much as we think we deserve. We experience only as much as we are willing to give. And we feel only as much as we dare to feel. Love exists in all things big and small. Love doesn’t see boundaries, doesn’t fit into a box, or lie only in the union of a marriage. Love seeps under every door, it illuminates every room with light; love fills all of our veins and floods our lungs with each breath.
When you can begin to understand the vast nature of love, the fact that love is everything that we are & everything that we do, you can begin to breathe again. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there is no pain with things like a broken heart, an ended relationship, a betrayal, a severed friendship, a family fight, a confrontation, a negative vibe from a stranger… all of these things will still hurt. But, the perceived “loss of all love” is just that- a perception. Love isn’t lost but only changes form. You cannot lose something that you are made of. You cannot lose something that can be felt in your heart and soul.
If loss is all that is felt for a while, it is hard to remember how to experience joy again. I have found myself looking for validation from outsides sources during times like this. Thinking that maybe someone or something could make me feel whole again. Shopping sprees, one night stands, eating disorders, and addictions aren’t common for no reason. Filling the void is a collective human attempt at recovering that loss of joy & that loss of love.
What I know to be true right now is this: Buying, consuming, grasping, or rejecting things may temporarily fill a void but ultimately, that void will be there waiting for you (and it may be even darker and deeper than when you left it). Looking for love is like searching for your keys that happen to be in your pocket. You may scour the house for them, only to realize later that all along, the keys were right there with you. Love is like that. The absent feeling you experience when things inevitably happen in life can lead you to believe that love is in fact, lost. You can proceed to drive yourself crazy searching for it. You may find yourself pursing love like it is your full-time job. This pursuit will only lead to more heartbreak if your assumption is that finding love/acceptance/flattery will somehow mend you or guarantee a future of security and love.
Start to notice when you feel fear. Fear can be a great indicator of a loss of love threat. Next, notice what your instant inclination is. What do you immediately grasp for in order to rid yourself of an intense emotion? Maybe on the surface of that fear it is hard to see it as connected to love. Challenge yourself to look intimately at that fear. Allow yourself to sit with it and really taste it. If you’re doing this right, it will not be fun. Things worth doing are often uncomfortable. Go with it.
Start to notice when you feel jealousy or have a lot of judgment about a person or situation. What is underneath that jealousy? Insecurity? Sadness? Anger? What is that judgment comprised of? Misunderstanding? Pressure to conform? Projection?
Understand that the only way to experience love is to be able to extend it to everyone and everything you come into contact with- good, bad, and ugly. How do you expect to be able to love yourself or a partner at your/their worst if you cannot extend love to a frustrated tail-gating driver behind you or to a person cutting in front of a long line? We all fluctuate energetically, mentally, physically, and emotionally throughout each day. We can’t expect to all be in a state of bliss at every moment. What we can do, is extend love to someone no matter the circumstance because we understand that we are all one. My bad day, will be your bad day, will be his bad day. If you energetically send love to someone in a bad mood, you are holding the space for that person to be flawed and human. You are also allowing yourself the space to experience your next bad mood. So instead of judging someone, you open your arms and heart, and let them know that it is ok for them to be vulnerable, flawed, and human.
And last, start to notice those moments when you feel complete and utter joy. Start to really tune into what makes you tick. With each joyful moment, try to mindfully sink your way into it, as to record and capture just how the joy feels on your skin, up your spine, and how it makes you smile. Catalog these little memories of pure bliss. Seal up each experience and store it away.
When all hope is lost, when you are depressed, when you feel that love has been lost, when you are mourning your past, when you are exhausted, or when you think you may have forgotten what joy feels like… tap into those perfectly wrapped packages of joy and let the feelings of goodness wash over you. Love may be “lost” but your memories of bliss are yours forever. Nobody can take that away from you. Those little reminders of joy exist in your cells and make up the very stars in the sky. That is why humans can never stop loving. No matter the pain we have suffered in the name of love, we can never stop loving. To love, is to be fully human.
You are made of love. It is always there for you.