What is love? This is a question we have all asked ourselves at some point in our lives. What is it to truly feel loved? Is it about feeling connected to something bigger than yourself? Is it about feeling heard? Is it about feeling validated? Is it about feeling worthy of receiving? Is it about feeling worthy of giving? Or is it all that wound up into one experience, sensation, emotion and then still more?
It’s a subject I have questioned many times. I have experienced many instances in my life where I have not felt loved and I know from those experiences, I have at that time, felt rejection, heartache, disappointment and responsibility. Responsible in the sense that I found myself believing if only I had… If only I had been more attentive? If only I had shown more compassion? If only I had been more understanding? If only I hadn’t demanded or expected so much? If only I was worth it?
For the most part, our sense of being unable to feel loved, stems from that very deep feeling that we have about ourselves, where we tell ourselves that we aren’t worth being loved, that we aren’t worthy at all. It’s that deep down personal truth that my guide speaks about so often. For each one of us has a personal truth. What is your personal truth, or what exactly is a personal truth? Personal truth is something you believe is true. … It’s part of my Personal Truth, and if I believe it, I need to live it out. Personal truths are unique, and based on your perspective and life experiences. “We all have a personal truth, and you generate the results in life that you believe you deserve. DrPhil”
So then what is love? According to Dr Brene Brown, who I absolutely love and find so incredibly inspiring : “Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”
And in order to love, we need to make ourselves vulnerable. Speak to anyone you know and their answer will be same – no-one likes to make themselves vulnerable. The greatest reason of course being that we all fear rejection. And interestingly, we will all keep our guards up, we will all do anything to protect ourselves from being rejected, even if it means missing out on a great loving and fulfilling relationship. Dr Brene Brown says this : “Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow – that’s vulnerability.” And, “When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.”
Loving can be easy and can be hard. It can bring us so much joy, but at the same time, can bring us so much pain as well. Being human is all about experiencing relationships and what are relationships without love? They’re just acquaintances and that’s very different. We are all hardwired to love and to be loved. We all need to feel like we belong, it’s also something hardwired into our DNA. When we don’t feel like we belong and we don’t feel like we’re being loved, we don’t cope with life, we fall apart. We get sick, both mentally and physically. And sadly, when we don’t feel love and we don’t feel like we belong, it changes who we are. It changes our behaviours and we end up hurting others in order to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. Of course this doesn’t work. What it does do, is keep us in the same destructive patterns of behaviour that don’t benefit us in any way.
To quote another inspirational person, Ed Sheeren says : “Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes. But it’s the only thing that I know. When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes. It is the only thing makes us feel alive.” And : “Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul. And it’s the only thing that I know, know. I swear it will get easier. Remember that with every piece of ya. Hmm, and it’s the only thing we take with us when we die.”