Growing up with the ideals of blood family, best friends and soul mates, I had always considered love to be something reserved for those ‘special’ few in my life. It wasn’t just a normal way of being with everyone but something that needed time, consistency and a track record of trust. Take away that trust and the love would seemingly dry up like a puddle in sun.
This was how I lived in my relationships: I’d ride the ‘connected’ times for all they were worth, all the while preparing myself for the inevitable hurt and disconnection that would come. This would play out in its various forms of protection - holding back, distancing, or even complete retreat from the other person.
The false version of love we're sold
But that was love, right? Everything in the culture around me had confirmed the belief that love hurts; that you can have it and lose it and it is finite.
I had never considered it to in fact be an energy you embody (from within yourself). As far as I was aware, love was something you went in search of giving and receiving, not something you chose to be.
Looking back over my relationships, I can clearly see how this conditional version of love set me up to feel ‘needy’ of others and disempowered in life. Things would feel great when I was getting the attention, acceptance and recognition I was seeking, but when it inevitably dried up, I was faced with the saddening reality of how I truly felt about myself – that I never felt quite good enough no matter how much I seemingly ‘succeeded’ in life.
The responsibility of loving ourselves
Through the teachings of the modern day philosopher Serge Benhayon, I’ve come to understand that the only way off this roller coaster of conditional love is full acceptance of the responsibility that nobody else can do the job of loving me, for me, and that with commitment to myself, it is possible to feel loved and supported, no matter what’s happening in my life.
A far cry from the relationship I once had with myself, the world and everyone around me! Understanding this simple truth that I AM already love and that this is at the core of every single person, has helped me to see through the layers of hurt and protection that get in the way of this love being felt and expressed.
These layers of the ‘what isn’t’ love, such as the hurt of not feeling like we are good enough, feeling rejected, abandoned or not recognised, can seem overwhelming, yet in reality they’re all minute in comparison to the amazingness of who we truly are.
The art, as I’m gradually learning, is where we choose to put our attention – on the ‘what is,’ – Love; or the ‘what is not,’ -everything else.
Confirming the essence of who we are
When we confirm and appreciate ourselves for who we are, rather than for what we do, such as having an innate lightness or joy, we call for more of that quality to be lived and expressed, leaving less space for the negative self-talk that can dominate our thoughts and ways of being.
Could it be that this type of loving relationship with ourselves, one of full acceptance and appreciation, is THE one we’ve all been searching for? And is it possible that any romantic quest for the Mr or Mrs Right actually takes us away from knowing this true love?
Perhaps it’s time to bring our focus to the one staring back at us in the mirror – the ONE who will be with us in every moment of every day, waiting for us to stop and finally see who we truly are – pure, all-encompassing and beholding LOVE.