Are you searching for a real love like Mary J was in 1992?
This used to be one of my favourite songs back then. On reflection, listening to the lyrics and singing this song over and over again wasn’t necessary the best recipe for finding love. I’ve been feeling quite deeply recently about how euphoric and challenging the emotion I have come to recognise as love can be. I believe that at the heart of believing there is an emotion called love, is a journey of self-discovery that makes you question all that you are , what you do and how that is reflected back at you in the people you are surrounded by.
Everybody thinks they know what love is, but how does it feel
There are lots of conversations on social media about the frameworks we use to demonstrate love, like parenting, friendship, marriage, committed relationships and creativity. Love is one of those subjects that evokes strong emotional discussions. Some have made me chuckle, others have made me smile and some have triggered a deep sigh. I’d be interested to hear, what love means to you and how it feels to you?
Media and now social media in the form of Facebook and Pinterest are full of insightful quotes about the meaning of love and tips on how to let love in. We are sometimes so tuned out to love that there is a booming industry of love coaches and seminars that have been designed to tune us back in. At times it feels like we are being beaten around the head with examples of what love is and how it should be; and how it should manifest itself in a relationship.
The conversations I hear about love are usually synonymous with relationships and separated into six camps:
1) Married people
2) Single people
3) Single people who want to be married
4) Married people who want to be single
5) Single people who don’t want to be married
6) People who want relationships but don’t want to be married
Have I missed anyone out? Each camp comes with their own ideas of love and it seems that people’s idea of love and what it should be and do changes according to what camp they have allegiance to. Do you think our feelings about love should change depending on our circumstances?
The media of love can be so loud that often we are driven to look outside for the answers which usually point to the conclusion that there is something wrong with us, hence our challenge in attracting love. Projects such as ‘The Love Project’ and ‘The Man’s Guide to Love’ not only provides some good light entertainment but also an insight into the range of human experiences that defines our feelings about love.
The adage – ‘Doing the same things and expecting different results’ not only applies to work – it also applies to your health and emotional life. If you never say the word ‘Love’ or tell yourself, friends or family you love them, then it is likely that the concept of love will remain unfamiliar.
What about if we only use the word love to describe material goods or use it as a password to get what we want; will this focus our attention on trying to acquire love rather than developing a habit of giving & experiencing love with no expectations of a product in return?
I wholeheartedly believe that it is not that there is anything wrong with us, why love often feels like it is eluding us but rather, something wrong with what we are doing and have been conditioned to do and believe through our life experiences that can often block us from being able to fully express the love emotion.
Is marriage a true expression of love?
One article I read recently by Tracy McMillan at the Huffington Post called Why You’re Not Married Yet cleverly highlighted our preoccupation with seeing marriage as the ultimate way to purchase love and happiness and provided six reasons why the ‘golden band’ was still escaping some females. It is an amusing tongue in cheek read which apart from the ‘name calling’ made some interesting points about how we think about love and marriage. Married or unmarried; want to be or don’t, I think it makes a good read.
We are all love apprentices, who may never graduate
When I started writing this blog, I arrogantly thought that I would channel some pearls of wisdom about love, but realise soon after I got started that the level of honesty that is required to really express true love needs to stem from a place of fearlessness and in my fear of being judged about my views of love I have held back from being totally vulnerable and open…hmmm…I guess I will forever be a student.
Mastery of Love
A couple years ago I read a book called Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. I came across this book after being recommended to read his first book ‘The Four Agreements’ by a passing stranger. Don Miguel Ruiz’s books are transformational and opened my eyes to something I had always thought of as taboo – Self-centred love.
pH Zone Podcaster Lisa Bent from Self-Central talks about being self-centred, not as selfishness but as a way to ‘Embrace and accept who you are, in order to be all that you are’, raising the question, how can you give of yourself and accept anyone wholly if you have not accepted and embraced yourself?
Self-Love: Regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. – Oxford dictionary
Through self-awareness and self-acceptance you eventually come to a place of self-love which involves a strong sense of self respect, confidence and kindness. By giving to yourself, you reduce the reliance on others to make you feel complete or happy. Take responsibility and find your worth, as it is you who sets the bar on how you should be treated by others.
Lisa’s sentiments echoes the essence of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book. He encourages his readers to realise that:
‘You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.’
So, how do you express love? Do you believe that your expression of love is a reflection of the love you feel? Does love start from the inside or is it something that you have to experience through interaction with someone else? How do you find real love? The answer is yours to explore. Enjoy the practice, you don’t have to be perfect to let love in. Have fun. Be brave. Be open. Be Love.