We all know deep down what love is, for we come from love and we are love, in essence.
When we are born, we are love, and that love offers a reset, if you like, to ourselves and all those around us to be that love too. You can feel that in the presence of a newborn baby most people drop their guard, open up and allow themselves to be all the love that they are and to share that love with the baby. It is a beautiful thing to watch an otherwise tough, hard, protected adult open up and melt in the presence of love, remembering that they too are that love.
But as we grow up we are not always met with that equal love. We then have a choice: to stay open and loving in the face of the reactions to the love that we are, or to react ourselves and shut down our own love. And this is what most of us do. We think that we have been hurt by people and life, and most of us have, but in truth what really hurts is to feel that we chose to shut down our own love in reaction to being hurt.
Not being love hurts tremendously. And so we look for ways to not feel that hurt. In the absence of love, we settle for recognition, acceptance, and approval at any cost, whether it be at our own expense or that of other people. We go into competition, comparison and seeking for self, leaving the love that we are to seek outside of ourselves, while love goes deep inside, buried under the layers of not-love that we take on to try and cope with living a life void of love.
Even love itself becomes a distorted caricature of the truth. We seek external symbols to prove other people love us – hearts, flowers, chocolates, diamonds, material stuff, sex, marriage, children – as trophies of love to prove that it exists. But at heart we know what is true and what is not, and the trophies can feel like a shiny but hollow substitute for the real thing.
But love is always there, deep down inside, all along. It never leaves us, for it is the essence of who we are.
So how can we open up to love again and bring that love to the world?
Being love and being loved starts with us. We can only love another as much as we love ourselves, so if we truly want to love and be loved – and all of us do – we have to start with ourselves. Treating ourselves with the tenderness, love and care we would treat a baby, irrespective of what we do or don’t do, is a great start. Refusing to give ourselves a hard time for our human frailties and failings, appreciating who we are, and allowing ourselves to be open, fragile and vulnerable, starts to crack the shell we have built around ourselves and allows us to re-emerge into the light of day.
Being love is not always easy, but it is so simple and so worth making the effort to be love. There should be no effort involved, for it is our natural birthright, but we live in a world that is designed to constantly take us out of ourselves and away from the love we naturally are. In the beginning it does take an effort to counter this constant barrage of not-love that we are bombarded with, but the more we are willing to be love, the less the unloving thoughts and ways of the world have power over us.
If you are not sure whether to say yes to a thought, word or action just ask yourself:
Is it loving for me and all others, equally so?
If the answer is yes, it is love; if no, it is not. And yes, it is that simple.
Living in this way, caring deeply for ourselves, which allows us to open back up and care deeply for all others, equally so, returns us, step by loving step, to living the love that we all are, and come from.
We live and are held in a body of Love that always loves us, never leaves us, and never lets us go, no matter what we think, say, do or don’t do. It does not judge us, condemn us, betray us, or hold us as more or less than any other being. Our bodies are made of particles of that same Love, and the more we reconnect with the truth of who we are, which is Love, the more our particles will guide us on our journey home, back into the arms of Love.