“The only energy that truly moves is love.
Anything else succumbs to love and is transformed."
I heard this said at a recent workshop I attended and it resonated deep in my core.
Love has no single definitive definition. What I know is how I experience and feel love.
Love moves through us…
You and I are constantly communicating as inter-subjective beings. We feel a primal urge toward connectedness. It is a pull for intimacy or merger. This desire for intimacy is both an inner dance and a dance between two or more.
And what is our essence? Love.
Is there a prerequisite to feeling love?
It seems there is. We need to feel connected inside.
According to Margaret Paul psychologist, bestselling author and co-creator of the self healing process called Inner Bonding “without the inner and spiritual connection, any "love" you share with others isn't really love -- it's a pull for love, attention and approval.”
The ability to feel connected is what we are wired for. We attempt to diminish the sense of “me,” or individuality not wanting to be alienated from others or our ourselves.
According to the research of Brene Brown connection comes fundamentally from authenticity or giving up the idea of who we think we thought we should be and the willingness to be vulnerable.
Vulnerable? What does vulnerability look like? It means being honest with ourselves about how we feel, what we need, and asking for what we need. Asking for what we need requires that we feel we are deserving of what we need.
It is hard to believe that any of us would feel undeserving of love but it happens.
In my early twenties I had a boyfriend ten years older who said “let yourself be loved.” He further said that I was so loveable or easy to love. At the time I didn’t have the awareness to realize the power of this statement. That boyfriend was thoughtful and caring and I was unable to receive the love he was offering. We were together for over 8 years until I was able to admit to myself and him that I was not in love.
Inspite of counseling I continued depressed and unhappy. Many times I felt rage, shame and even hated myself. These emotions were tools of punishment and paralyzed me.
In the book “Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships,” author and psychotherapist John Welwood says hatred is a cry for help and attention from a place in us that feels lost and disempowered.
It seemed easier to give love than to allow it in. But was I really giving love?
I had often read or heard that one cannot give what one does not have. So I wondered if that meant I had no love within. That didn’t fully make sense as growing up I was very affectionate. And clearly that long term boyfriend had seen my loving self. According to John Welwood receiving love is scarier and more threatening than giving it as it avoids opening & melting.
I searched outside of myself for answers and ways to stop the pain. I concentrated on overcoming “my depression.” I wanted to be happy just like anyone else. Making a decision to be happy was not enough.
Overtime feeling unloved led me to feel like I was dying on the inside. And in a way I was.
I needed to heal on a more fundamental level. I needed to feel my own love. I needed to open and melt unto myself. Or put another way I needed to feel Spirit or God within.
Being intellectual didn’t help as I processed feelings with my mind. For years my body had messages I often ignored.
Needs, emotions, and desires put aside.
Disconnected from my heart and source of love, passion and guidance I was lost.
No one to fill my need for my own heart’s love.
I am grateful that I no longer dream of a day without pain. Everything has served a purpose.
Certainly, I had been too scared to delve into the depth of my own heart. I had been too caught up trying to meet others’ needs while abandoning my own. I was unable to enjoy life by being too invested and invasive in my sisters and dad’s lives.
Margaret Paul says that “when we are disconnected from ourselves -- from who we really are and from our feelings -- and when we are not filling ourselves with love through our spiritual connection, we create a black hole within. The black hole we've created through our self-abandonment becomes like a vacuum, trying to pull love from others. This neediness tends to push people away, so we end up feeling even more unloved.”
We are not unloved as we are love and therefore capable of love. We seem to forget this and often learn by contrast. Our job is to reactivate our love or put another way - we just have to allow love to flow or be in motion. While the journey of self-love and loving is unique it also one we all share.
I’m turning love back on myself. That means being more aware of the messages my body has, recognizing my needs and desires. It also means trusting my ability to meet my needs moment by moment. Acceptance of what is and where I am is loving. God has my back- I just have to tune-in. When I do tune-in my essence radiates out and love gains momentum. I feel more alive, happy, able to connect with my surroundings, and free to enjoy life!
How have you learned about the love within you?
Do you feel a sense of aliveness and genuine relatedness? And if so can you describe it?
Can you feel love’s momentum?