I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love. What exactly IS love? Is it just one, singular emotion? Is it something with think, feel or both? Is it a feeling backed up by action or is it action alone?
The thought process was sparked by a someone I’ve never met in person. They sent me a message over social media saying ‘love you sweetheart’. At first I thought ‘well that’s a bit strange’, but when I started to think about it, why not? There are many different kinds of love. To have anyone, anywhere, think of you in a loving way because of your presence in their life ~ in whatever way that may be ~ well…….that’s got to be a good thing, right?
To me, the most important form of love is SELF-LOVE. To be fair, this is the one I struggle with the most. Loving others is easy, it flows as a constant. Loving myself……(cue screeching of brakes)….hmmm…..sometimes yes, sometimes no. Am working on becoming more consistent with that.
Without self-love however, we have little hope of drawing a deep romantic love into our life. There is an old, but very true saying: ‘Someone else can only love us as much as we love ourselves’. The energy we put out is what we get back, so if we disrespect our body, if we beat ourselves up, if we don’t respect our own boundaries and practice love and kindness towards ourselves, then why should anyone else bother?
I truly believe that self-love, care & responsibility is the key to everything and it isn’t an easy thing to learn as an adult. If we were lucky, our parents will have brought us up with a strong sense of self esteem, of confidence, of self awareness & love. Unfortunately, many parents didn’t realise the importance of these things decades ago. Many of us have our wounds, our shame, our experiences from the past and our mistakes. Without being taught how to love and forgive ourselves, those are hard things to process and move on from.
I am the first to put my hand up and admit to being a hard self task master. Am getting better as I get older, but I beat myself up, berate and tell myself off on a regular basis. I struggle to treat my body with kindness and respect, which is also a form of self-love/care. I often wonder what will happen if I jump that final hurdle and love my body the way I love my mind, soul and spirit…… it brings up issues of whether I actually deserve to be that happy in myself.
Then there is romantic love for our partner. Romantic love is expressed on a deeply intimate & physical level. The physical expression of love between two people is a beautiful thing that isn’t shared with anyone else if we’re in a monogamous relationship, it is what makes romantic love different to any other form of love. This is the kind of love that makes us feel vulnerable, that triggers our weak and shadow sides as much as it supports and ignites our fire.
We are programmed by society to seek out a perfect partnership full of romance, flowers and 50 shades of grey. Really???? What a laugh!! Define the ‘perfect romance’…… then think about it and explore how many people you know that have that as a relationship and more importantly, have managed to sustain it over the long term.
It is better to understand ourselves deeply, to know our core values and what we want from life. Connecting with someone on that level will form our own, personal, original kind of romantic love. It may not fall into the ‘perfect’ category in anyone else’s eyes….but it will be perfect for us 🙂 If you’d like to read my blogs on core values, please Click Here. Without knowing our core values and working with them, most romantic relationships fail in the long term.
There is also a matter of how we interpret love as there are different languages we all use ~ they are called the 5 Love Languages and whether you’re in a relationship or not, it’s a handy thing to know as we do not all give and receive love in the same way ~ far from it! 😉 Click Here to take a free love languages test.
There is love for our family, our parents and those we grew up with. This love is based on shared experiences over many many year’s in each other’s lives. It is a love grounded in loyalty, longevity and growing up together. It is a difficult form of love to break away from as it is hot wired into our entire psyche. This feels wonderful if we had a great upbringing, but can throw us into confusion as adults if we suffered trauma.
There is love for our children. A deep, all consuming, hopefully unconditional love. This love scares me a little as my biggest fear is something happening to my son or step children. I’d rather the country was wiped out than one hair harmed on those kid’s heads. Harsh, but true.
This level of love brings about a sense of fierce protection ~ more so than any other form of love. I don’t know if this happens to other parents, but from the day my son was born, I’d find my mind wandering into awful scenarios where he would be hurt or harmed in some way. It has been a conscious effort over the years to wipe those thoughts from my mind, time and time again. I then reprogram my head to think of positive things, of seeing our kids living a long, happy and healthy life. It’s an all encompassing love and it is fierce!
There is love for our planet, for the living creatures who share it with us, for our pets and animals, for the stars, the moon and all of the natural world. Our connection to Source and our trust in the bigger picture of life creates Divine love ~ where we can feel it in our connection to all that is and allow it to flow in or out of our system as needed.
There is love for inanimate objects, for material possessions. I know many spiritual teachings say we should not have love for material things. On one level I can see that, its not the healthiest energy to covet or hoard. I for one LOVE my home however, LOVE my crystals and LOVE my jewellery….. and I don’t care if this goes against the spiritual ‘grain’ so to speak. I love these things. Could I live without them? Of course. Life experience has taught me to let everything I own turn to dust and rebuild again from the start. Several times. Doesn’t mean I don’t love my possessions whilst I have them 😉
And there is love for strangers. I think if we can reach a point where we can send a message or say in person ‘I love you’ and mean it from the bottom of our hearts, regardless of how well we know someone….then that’s a truly Universal kind of love. We love that person for the small moment we have shared together on our individual paths. Its OK to say ‘love you’ to anyone as long as you genuinely feel it and the words are an expression of that emotion.
I don’t use the word love lightly, but I do use it often. The world has taught me that love is both an emotion AND an experience. Love isn’t static ~ it’s something we feel and take action on. It can be constant, but it evolves, changes, grows, morphs into deeper, different, better things over time. Sometimes time breaks love down ~ this can be over a period of weeks, months or years. Love is so difficult to define because the love we feel for each person in our life is so very different. We’re not going to love our partner in the same way we love our friend, our mother, our child or our dog. So love, to me, is multifacted, multileveled and can manifest or be expressed in many different ways.
Express LOVE, as and when you feel it in whatever way feels right to you. Keep things real, keep things genuine and love wildly and freely. It is part of the reason we have been born into this human life ~ to experience so many different facets of emotion. When we think about that, when we actually explore emotions, its easy to see how there are different facets of EVERY emotion. Anger, depression, grief, sadness, happiness, joy ~ every single person feels and expresses these emotions differently.
So start with self love. Remember, every single person is going to feel and express emotion differently. To honour others’ individuality, we first have to honour our own.
The crystals I use for self-love are Kunzite, Pink Tourmaline or Watermelon Tourmaline and always Natural Citrine. People assume that love is immediately heart chakra related and use heart energy stones. The love for ourselves however, resides in our solar plexus. So I usually carry/wear Natural Citrine and use it in conjunction with whatever heart energy stone appeals at the time. If you feel fearful, vulnerable or in need of protection at any time, reach for Black Tourmaline, Peridot or Turquoise. These are all strengthening, protective stones that ease irrational fears and ground our energy so we are more able to open our heart to love.
To the beautiful lady in America who started this whole train of thought off, thank you and I love you too sweetheart 😉