What is love anyway, and why does it seem so difficult to define? For many, love can be unfamiliar, especially if our life experiences have not resulted in anything that we thought love was meant to be. Or worse still, love has become something that has tainted our heart and left us feeling dull, self-protective or even damaged. This is not love. Nor is love a set of rules and conditions of how we must feel, or what we should say or do.
So how do we experience love? In our heart and soul, we know that ‘love’ is something we desire, yet many of us struggle to know what is that experience of love. It has been written and spoken about for centuries, and in so many ways we have attempted to illustrate it in our paintings, books, movies, media, and the stories we share.
Divine Love is not an idea, a fantasy or a fleeting emotion. The concept of love may be different for all of us, as it's a very personal experience, personal in the way we perceive it to be, and in the way we give and receive love. In whatever way love manifests for you, Divine love is a choice and a way of being. Love is the opposite of fear. It's not something we conjure up, nor something we can buy or obtain.
So what is love?
So many of us spend a lifetime searching for love, believing it will appear if we try hard enough to obtain it. It's not an experience of the mind, or a list of qualities or criteria we have defined, though we may use this as a way of understanding what it means for us personally.
Ultimately love is an experience of the heart and the soul. The good news is, we don’t need to go in search for it outside of ourself, it's already within us. However, we are unlikely to tap into this experience of love if we over-think it or if our life is in a state of chaos and conflict.
True love lives within our soul. To access this Divine love requires an experience of deep listening, which at first may be difficult to do if we are unaccustomed to quietening our mind or creating stillness in our physical world. Like anything in life, the more we practice listening to our deeper knowing (our higher self or our soul), the easier it becomes. Love is a way of being, which we outwardly express in a variety of tangible ways, in our relationship with ourself and with others.
In the first instance, true love is a choice of the heart. It's a choice to see our life, ourself and our world through eyes of unconditional love and without judgment. It's the choice to step above our ego, and to see ourself and others as spiritual beings who are learning and growing in the physical realm.
If we want to experience greater love in our life, then the opportunity is to see our loving potential, rather than judge ourself on the basis of who we believe we are not. True love begins with ourself. It's acceptance of all of our being, not only the parts we believe measure up to a set of standards. It’s the choice to see our divinity, our true spiritual essence that is one and the same with all others.
Perhaps our blockage to experiencing true love is because we are used to telling ourself we are not worthy of love, or that we are not as intelligent, emotionally aware, or as good as the next person. Staying fixated on these beliefs is disempowering and gives us the illusion our soul is imprisoned and incapable of experiencing love.
You and I are no more or less worthy than anyone else. Full acceptance of who we are allows us to emotionally heal and to spiritually grow so that love is always in our experience and our conscious awareness. Allowing fear to take front of stage will block the healing available to us and lead us down a path of self-inflicted pain, mistrust and low self-esteem. This experience attracts the opposite of love, which then becomes a vicious cycle of self-imprisonment and 'un-love'.
What happens when we resist the experience of love?
It may feel challenging, uncomfortable, unfamiliar and even scary. Why is that? Is it because when we let go of the way we have always been, we won’t know what else to do, how to think or how to feel?
When we struggle to let go of our beliefs, our egocentric mind wants to focus on what we believe we are losing, such as the safety and comfort of what we know. Or we may be fearful of the pain we anticipate if we open ourself to love, which means being vulnerable and possibly facing rejection or disapproval.
When we resist love it can be easy to focus on what we believe we don’t have or to compare ourself with others. When we fall for this level of thinking we disconnect from our truth and we may end up running for the hills! Our mind will convince us to hold onto old ways of thinking that ultimately determines our choices going forward.
Fortunately, we can break free from this limited thinking and the experience of 'going around the mountain’ again and again, when we choose to love ourself completely.
It's simple, though not necessarily easy. As we practice living in the present moment, we can release mental and emotional strongholds, and be free to be our true self. The magic is realising we have the power to do this.
When we let go of self-judgment we are no longer dependent upon anyone else’s approval, opinion or measure of love. When we make the conscious decision to love all of who we are, we naturally begin to release what is ‘un-loving’ in our life.
So, what's next?
You can focus on what draws you towards feeling lighter, more empowered, and calm in your soul. You can trust yourself. There is no reason to doubt anything about you. As you love who you are, you attract more love into your life. Love is not ‘out there’, love begins with you!
Practise doing all that you do with love, despite your circumstances. You can choose to love anyway. Choosing to love is no longer paying mind to those beliefs that we are not good enough, or that our life will not improve, or that our happiness is dependent upon what someone else thinks, says or does.
As we learn to love and accept our unique self, unhealthy relationships, unfulfilling jobs, and self-sabotaging habits fall away. This is our moment of personal transformation towards greater love. Why would you want to think and believe in a way that prevents you from being the best you can be, and from experiencing greater love in your life?
“Let all that you do be done with love”
(1 Cor 16: 14-22)
"The Power of Soul Loving - A Spiritual Guide to Love and Freedom"
By Rebecca Gabrielle
(Balboa Press, 2019)
Rebecca Gabrielle, author of "The Power of Soul Loving - a spiritual guide to love and freedom".
Rebecca Gabrielle has been able to see the magnificence and truth of people’s souls from an early age. With a background in psychology, counselling, life-coaching, spiritual development, and energy healing, Rebecca has fine-tuned her psychic and intuitive skills to connect with the Divine to receive and deliver messages of unconditional love. Through her writing, soul-coaching and card readings she assists people to reconnect with their true self so they can experience clarity, peace of mind, joy and passion for doing what they love.