“Where there is love, there is life.”
If there’s anything in my life that I’ve learned, it’s the power of love.
It doesn’t matter what happened, if I leaned into love, all was clear. Someone could have said something unkind, I could have done something unkind, a situation could have gone totally wrong, but if I stepped into a space of love, I saw that love itself is what these things – opportunities – were asking me to open to. Once I did, no matter what it was that was going on, it all clicked. Total surrender into the space of vulnerability and trust that is love.
I’ll be quite honest here and say I was – and still am – not perfect in this arena. There are plenty of times when I step out of my heart and resist love in those moments. Eventually, though, I come back around and deepen into it, wondering why the hell I wasted the time I did on resistance, resentment, blame, or victimization when I could have felt this way from the get-go – when I could have “gotten it” immediately. I realize though, that in order to truly experience this, I had to experience the opposite. Those delayed opportunities to live in love provided me with the surprise and comfort of what it feels like to do so. And the shifts that happened when I made that choice were profoundly transformational.
Above all the earthly lessons we may come here to learn, life is ultimately a lesson of love.
I’ve found it’s a trifold thing.
Today, I’d like to share them with you.
Love of Self
This is not the cocky, over-confident, and selfish kind of love of self. It’s the act of honoring ourselves. Of trusting ourselves. Of listening to ourselves. Of expressing ourselves. As the old adage goes, “You cannot love another if you cannot love yourself.” This is such a profound truth. It all starts within us. What does it mean to love ourselves? It means we love ourselves when we’re happy, when we’re sad, when we’re lost, when we’re angry, when we mess up or when we succeed at something. We love all the bits. The whole is greater than the sum, and when it comes to ourselves, this is hugely important to realize. Each and every thing that makes up who we are – our appearance, our personality, our beliefs, our actions – all coalesce into the unique and expansive human beings that we are. We are here, alive, at this moment, and to be quite honest, it’s a miracle. Honor the miracle that you are. Show compassion to yourself when you make a mistake, when your belly or your skin isn’t the way you want it to be. Celebrate yourself when you hit a milestone, goal, or get a new hairstyle. Express your truth when its urging you to let it through, no matter how uncomfortable or scary it is. Take care of yourself – mind, body, and spirit. Trust yourself as you navigate your way through life, as you are truly the best guide there is for you. Listen to your heart, allow your feelings to be acknowledged, and love the hell out of yourself for being – and showing up as – the beautifully complex and multifaceted human being that is you.
Love of Other
We’ve all been hurt. We’ve all been wronged. And I would guess this – if not love of self – is probably the most difficult aspect of this for a lot of us – I know it has been for me. With that being said, in loving ourselves, we are better equipped to love others, no matter the situation. Now, this doesn’t mean that we’re passive and allow ourselves to be doormats if someone betrays us, but instead it means that, like ourselves, we acknowledge the fact that they are also a beautifully complex and multifaceted human being. We recognize that they too make mistakes, have hopes and dreams, and probably haven’t stepped into a space of loving themselves. This is where we come in. We love them anyway. We show compassion and find understanding that regardless of what it is that they’ve done or said, we still have a choice to either love or hate. We don’t have to love what they did or said, but we can still choose to love them as a human being – as an equally important thread within the web of our existence. All things present are necessary and here for a reason. Most of our relationships serve as mirrors of the things in us we’re refusing to see. Whether those relationships turned out to be solid or not, I would assume they shed light on something you needed to learn – whether it be boundaries, trust, love, etc. Of course, the choice is yours, but let me ask you this: what has hate ever done for you or the other? Has it ever created space for growth or peace? Please. Choose love.
Love of Experience
Like our relationships, our experiences also serve as opportunities to learn how to love and honor what it is we’re calling into our lives. Each and every experience you find yourself going through teaches you something, and for that reason, it is something to love. Without them, we would not grow, we would not understand who we are, and actually we would not know life. Life is a series of changes, of choices, of chances to step more fully into who we are at the deepest level, and each experience acts as a catalyst to that. It’s easy to love when things go “right.” What isn’t easy is loving when things go wrong, but often those instances are when we get even more connected to what is important to us. Love the job going wrong, love the rain on the day you wanted to go to the beach, love the fact that your birthday didn’t go the way you planned, and love when all Divinely works out. The more love – and gratitude – you show regardless of how things pan out, the more you’ll find the good – the love – in the seemingly “bad.”
This is an ongoing process. We block ourselves off for reasons only our egos would understand, but the act of leaning into love has always proved that it is the antidote to all ailments – of self, between others, and in experience. The important thing to take away here is that mindful awareness and the intention to live in love is the way to mastery of the Highest lesson of life, the lesson of love. You may have stumbles and blocks like I have, and do, at times, but being sure that, eventually, you make the choice to come back around and dive into this space is all that truly matters. Sometimes it takes time, especially concerning others or something you’re going through. That’s perfectly okay.
Have love for yourself in those moments.
After all, it’s what we’re here for.