The love is within. It’s not conditional.
So many of us grew up thinking that love was conditional. On our good behavior. On our doing good for others. on us not “causing trouble.” Sometimes even on our just being invisible – because being visible felt like it made us a target for un-love.
And so as adults we still live in this conditional world. We depend on others to remind us we are lovable. That places a burden on others. And it sets up our life externalizing the source of love and peace. Like it has to come from outside of us.
But the only source of love we can truly, authentically experience – is within us. The love others express for us is only a reflection of what we allow ourselves to feel about ourself.
If I completely depend on others to tell me I’m lovable, the “feeling” of love comes and goes with their whims. It grazes the surface of our being. It may feel good for a few moments, but it passes. On the other end of the spectrum, we know we are the source of love itself. It rises within. We experience it. And share it authentically with others through our words, our presence and our actions. We never forget; we are always “in love.”
Most of us live somewhere in between the two. We can connect to some sense of love within. Receiving expressions of love from others ignites a remembrance of that inner connection to love. We receive the external expression and we feel it within. And it seems to me that the relationship is proportional. If we know our inner connection to love about 25%, then we “let in” or receive someone else’s expression of love toward us about 25%. In this way, the amount of love we experience receiving from others can be a mirror for how much love we’re feeling within. How much were feeling for ourselves.
And if we want, we can practice growing that feeling of love with. In her book, Love Without End, Glenda Green suggest 3 practices that help us access that love:
- Gratitude. Choose gratitude for this moment and what you have and contribute to life.
- Compassion. You’re human. You make decisions you wouldn’t make a second time. So to others. Choose compassion for yourself and others.
- Innocence. Begin again, in this new moment. Perhaps choosing to see and act with love, or compassion, or gratitude.
These are some ways that we can grow the source of love within. We can internalize our connection to love, rather than depending on others to feel love. It makes life an entirely different place to be.