What is Love?

LOVE

The most mind-boggling question there is. What is Love? Can it be defined? Can it even be described? They say love is what brings us together, what connects us, what makes this life worth living. Love is the fruit of life. It’s the essence of life. It is the reason for everything we do. We are here to learn love. Love is the teacher and the lesson. It is boundless. It cannot be contained, controlled, or manipulated. Without it, we feel powerless and dead; with it we feel all powerful and invigorated. Love inspires creation. Love is the foundation of our consciousness. Love allows this physical reality to exist. Love inspires the greatest poems, ballads, and stories, and also provokes the most horrific of wars. We would die for our love, and without it we are dying inside. Love gives us wings to soar, it brings us to new heights, and it gives us new life.

What more could be said about love? The truth is, I don’t have enough paper or battery power in  the world to write even a fraction of what love is to us. Love knows no bounds. It has no beginning and no end. Since the inception of our universe and whatever alternate realities may exist, love has been there waiting. Waiting to teach us, to mystify us, to enthrall us, to entangle us, to wrap us up and carry us to Heaven.

So am I here to tell you what love is? Absolutely not. It is different for every single person, nearly every moment of every day. It never feels the same, and you will never act the same as someone else who is consumed by love. Rather, I am here today to share with you my ideas of how to first find love, how to truly feel love, how to share love, and finally how to become love. I must tell you, these are merely the steps I have taken within my own life to help me fully embody all that I believe love is. You may not feel or express love in the same way as me, and that is fantastic! This post will awaken your heart to the possibility of love in your own life, and at the very least will show you what love is not for you personally. Regardless, I do hope this helps you in some way. So here we go!

Finding Love: Forgiveness

Don’t let this subtitle confuse you; I could never imagine to tell you how to find love in your life! Love will find you in its own way, and you will decide at that moment to embrace it or reject it. Instead, I am going to tell you the quickest way to open your heart enough to allow love in when it finally does find you. Just as they say that opportunity will only knock on your door when it finds you working, so must love find you when you are working to improve yourself. The first step in self-improvement always begins with forgiveness. Nearly all of us are holding on to something in our past that has hurt us; something that we use as an excuse to not share love freely with every person that we meet. Many would call this being ‘jaded.’ When we are jaded, or afraid to give and receive love, then we close ourselves off from ever finding love again. Occasionally, love will enter your life and knock you over the head with a sledge hammer, but to keep that love, you must enter the realm of forgiveness.

So what does it mean to forgive? First, we must forgive ourselves. Many of us blame ourselves for being so stupid as to allow someone so close to our precious hearts. You must stop this! You are not to blame! Heartbreak is merely a lesson, and one that will stay with you until you can let go of what you feel are your past mistakes. Nothing is a mistake as long as we learn from it, and that is why love is the greatest teacher of all. Forgiving yourself for falling in love and then getting hurt will empower you to treat others better and show more love than you ever received before. You will become unafraid to bare your heart to others, and that stone you have used to encapsulate your chest will start to be chipped away, piece by piece.

Forgiving yourself isn’t enough though! We must forgive others who we feel have wronged us in some way. This means in our relationships and in every other aspect of our lives. Whether you hold resentment for a past boss who fired you, the guy who cut you off on the freeway, or a past lover who left you for another; that grudge is holding you back from love. We must reach the understanding in life that every single person is doing their best, and stop taking things personally! No one is really trying to hurt us. It’s that simple. Even a sociopath who may be completely self-absorbed or a psychopath who does not understand the meaning of life are still trying to do their best. That best is just a skewed version of what most of us think is the truth. Our natural state of being as humans is joy, so once we start giving people the opportunity to show us their joy instead of projecting our negative impressions of who we think they are based upon their actions, we open the doorway to forgiveness and allow love to enter our lives once more.

Forgiveness is about removing judgment of yourself first, and then of others, so that you see every being as equal in this beautiful world of ours. Let the pain go, drop the hate, and forgive each other.

Feeling Love: Compassion

The next step towards becoming love is to truly feel love. Again, I cannot tell you what it means to feel love for yourself personally. That is quite impossible. Instead, I can only give you tools to use so that you can open your heart and experience love more fully. Compassion is one of the highest states of being we can reach in our lives. Compassion is experiencing another’s hurt, and selflessly wishing to heal that pain, because you feel it as your own. However, before you can heal another, you must begin with yourself.

So how do you feel compassion for yourself? How do you heal your own pain? Those are tough questions, so I will do my best to help you. Even after we have forgiven ourselves, there is still a biting pain that can rear its head whenever we are in times of stress or turmoil. Our heart aches when we are reminded of a time when we loved or were loved by another. The only cure to this ailment is detachment. That sounds like a heartless thing to say, but it is quite the contrary. When we detach from the pain; when we allow it to overcome us and then pass over us like a storm, we physically release ourselves and our hearts from the suffering that was caused within us. This is not to say that we should completely forget about what happened; we should always keep the lessons we learn and the shining memories of happy times in our hearts, for we may wish to share them or relive them in some way, someday, with another. Rather, we allow the void that was left in our heart to be filled with love from all the beauty that exists in the world. We open our eyes to all that is around us and realize that life is perfect just as it is. We cannot control it or contain it, we can only move with it and allow it to move through us. That is true compassion for yourself; for you are feeling your own pain and then removing it by allowing it to pass rather than fighting it.

Once we have begun the healing process for our own pain, we can begin to help others in this journey. There is suffering all around us, as every person is fighting their own battles. We cannot begin to imagine how another feels in their own situation, and we should not try to sympathize with them. Sympathy is an enabling act; it tells the other person that their suffering is OK and they should keep feeling it for as long as they need to. While that is a lovely sentiment, it simply is not productive or helpful in any way. What is much more essential to the development of love within others is to show compassion. We feel the pain that they feel; we experience their heartbreak with them. We don’t need to tell them this, they will know if you are truly putting yourself in their shoes. And now that you have healed yourself, you know what it takes to begin healing another. Now, you obviously cannot force another person to detach from their pain; that is something you will learn quickly if you try. The best way to start healing them is instead to help them see the love that is all around them. Help them open their eyes to all the people in their life that care for them, show them the inherent beauty present in all living things, show them that every being wishes only to be the best they can be, and to live peacefully. Don’t ask them about their pain, help them detach from it by giving them hope for new love; new life. We are reborn every single day, and when we are suffering, we are living in the past. We must live in the now in order to remove ourselves from the hurt that is embedded in our heart.

Sharing Love: Giving

Now we are getting to the fun part. Once we have found love (or love has found us), and we have reminded ourselves how to feel love, now we can start sharing that love. Giving is the most selfless act we as humans can perform, and love is the greatest gift of all. So to share love with yourself and with every other being you meet will carry you the highest you have ever been. Again, I will mention that I cannot tell you how to share your love, because you will find your own gifts to give within your own life. I am here to help you understand what sharing love really means, and how to be able to give freely without expectation of reward.

Let’s start with giving to yourself. This is hard. Many altruistic people (yes they exist) will sometimes forget about themselves while they are spending all their energy giving to others. These people are saints, and that is their path; but for most of us, it is just too much to strive for. I would go so far to say that the people who are truly altruistic are merely expressing what is an abundance of love that they feel, because their cup is overflowing. The source of the love that fills their cup may be a lover, a higher being, or a healthy and humble love of one’s self (or a combination of all three). For you to start giving love to yourself, you must see yourself as perfect. That is why we must first forgive ourselves for being hurt, and then beginning to heal that pain that has resided in our heart. We accept and embrace the notion that each and every person deserves to be free from danger, have physical happiness, have mental happiness, and have ease of well being. These are the principles of lovingkindness (or metta as it is known in Buddhism). When we realize that everyone deserves this, we understand that we are one of those people that deserves it! How wonderful is that! Just by telling ourselves that we are worthy of greater wellbeing, we improve our situation by knocking down the walls of mental limitation that we have placed around our heart. We see the boundless possibilities that love opens us up to, and so we begin to share love with ourselves. As I said before, love is boundless, and it only multiplies when it is shared, so the love in your heart will grow as you receive love from everything around you and give love to yourself. You will drop all judgment of yourself and you will become truly free.

Now we must share this overwhelming love in our hearts with everyone around us! Giving love to others may be a new feeling for you if you have lived in resentment or mental isolation for a long time. So take it slow! I will tell you now though; once you have begun sharing, you will become addicted! It is literally the best feeling in the world, because when you give love, you only increase the capacity within your own heart to receive the love that others send to you. How you go about giving that love is completely up to you, so let your heart be your guide. If it feels right, and you see an opportunity to share something beautiful with someone, then go do it! Your heart is the truest of compasses; it will never steer you wrong. Only the mind can limit you in your ability to give love unto others, so tell it to shut up and just listen to your heart. You can never be hurt by others if you are living your truth, so never hide yourself from the world and  always live fearlessly; the strength you embody will be a living testament to the entire world that love will save us all. Remember; each and every one of us deserves to be happy and to feel love, so if you can do something for someone that is a symbol of your love, then do not hold back. You will be rewarded by the Universe beyond your wildest dreams, because you will be raising the vibration of everyone in this reality and hence raising yourself higher too.

Becoming Love: Being

Finally, we reach the pinnacle of our existence as humans. To become love, we must embody love in every action we take. We must listen to our heart always. Quieting our minds and allowing ourselves to be taken into the flow of the Universe will bring us closer to Source, which is the Love that connects us all. Literally everything in our reality and in our thoughts is brought together by one thing: Love. That is why no one can tell us what love really is. We are Love. Love is within each and every one of us, forever. It is in every rock, tree, bird, drop of water, star, and freckle on our skin. It holds together our atoms and it fills the vast emptiness of space. It fills our hearts even when we cannot feel it. It is everything and it is nothing; for it is not to be handled, manipulated, or controlled. We can only experience it, embrace it, and expand it. We do this by becoming love. We become love simply by being. What does it mean to just be? It means we are living in the present moment, no matter what is happening in our life. Living in the past creates suffering, and living in the future creates worrying. It is living right now that opens us up to the possibility of everlasting love.

So first off, how do we become love in our own life? We have allowed love to find us, we have felt it fully for the first time, and we have shared it with ourselves and others. To become love, we now accept all that is. We see the world and we see ourselves completely free of judgment; with only the intention to improve the wellbeing for ourselves and for others simultaneously. We see beyond the facade of separation, into the vast infinity that is all of existence. We see that we are all a part of this incredible Universe, and that we exist as one limitless being. We are all fragments of the mass consciousness that makes up our reality, and we are co-creators together, forever. We come down to Earth to exist as humans only to learn this lesson; that Love is all that we are, and we are all Love. We are all One. Our minds perceive our unique expressions as separate entities only to show us the limitless possibilities that we have in store for all of eternity. We will never become bored when we have love in our hearts, because we will expand the boundaries of our Universe beyond perception, while our minds play catch up the whole time.

We expand the capacity for wellbeing for all others when we become love, because we are becoming ourselves in this process. When we are truly and fearlessly our unique self, we allow others to step into their own shoes without fear of judgment or rejection. It is the most beautiful experience possible, and the quintessential way of being for all life and forms of consciousness to exist in this state. It is possible, and we will reach this state of being, for we are already there. Our minds have just forgotten who we are and where we come from, and it is our job here on Earth to remember the Source of the Love that fills us up, and to embody that Love once we have found it again.

We are never separate in this reality or any other. Don’t let your mind fool you; I am you and you are me. I am that I am. For what I am is Love and so are you. Love connects us and flows through us. It inspires us and creates us. It pushes us and drives us. It reminds us of the one undying truth; that we are all One for all of eternity. Now go become love, and join me in the eternal celebration of our ancestors and of those to come! Namaste loved ones.

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